Monday, August 27, 2007

Slash

I recently had my car vandalized (for the second time) by a disgruntled bi-polar crossdresser who has been loitering at the Cathedral for the last few months (I couldn't make this up if I wanted to). To say the very least, it was a sobering experience, despite it being almost Kafkaesque.

Here's a poem that came out of that experience:


Slash

1.

The raw-faced young deputy—
his grim jaw set just so—
says, “That’s

hatred, there. That’s
violence.” The other slashes
only mimic

this one, which
floats in its
tan background as

a storm-driven horizon
does. It glares back
white and deep

where the grooves
of his key
went in—

he, who
lurks, creeping
about like a stench

or a spreading
stain
on an otherwise white carpet.

And all of it
on this car that
is, in its simplest presence,

me, or an ikon of
me at least—
a symbol of whatever

he, flouncing about
in his Lane Bryant skirts, saw
and despised.

I ache over it
the way I ache
over wasps’ nests

or bats. I ache!
but set my teeth—
one against the other—

and wish not
for violence
or vengeance

but for… accountability?
for admission? or acknowledgement?
of what he’s done—

for the humility
wrought
unasked for

on me to be
wrought on him
the one who

held the key
and set its grooves
not once

or twice
but three times
into the paint,

leaving scars
behind it
undulating

like the scales
of a song we sing
only on occasions we dread.


2.

I could go on forever with this terror—
this sullen anxiety that dogs me. In bed,
the humming fan lulls the sheets,

the pillows, but not me. I awake, dreaming
he has snuck up on me with a knife—
or, on worse nights, a gun—

and, still half-asleep, feel myself
go dizzy not with the pain of it
or even the shock of violence

but with the loss of my blood,
spreading hot and thick
like natal gunk around me.

My friend—the Reiki master—
tells me, “He’ll crash and burn
the middle of the Fall.” But

it’s only August. And who’s to say
the crash and fall won’t come
after I’ve been laid low and left

in the grass, grasping at that spilling
heat which pours from me with
every heartbeat? Who says I won’t be

crying out—like the voice
in my dream—to the rain, like the nun on
the sinking Deutschland, crying,

“O Christ, Christ,” in English
as dying Aelred did because he loved
the word best in English?

“O Christ!” I sing in the night
“Christ!” as that man—it’s a man!—
a man in his absurd broom skirt,

his foul stink still in my throat,
bounds for the rain-slick pavement
as deftly as a dancer too big for his tiny feet.

1 comment:

ann said...

Wow....too funny..'Lane Bryant skirts'...loved it...get a little frustration out there Jamie boy??...'oops I keyed it again....(please use tune from Britney Spears song).....