Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jack Scott writes

An Expensive Date

You're an expensive date
high in your gilded tower.
For your perfection’s silken hours
I must toil long in cotton fields,
one of many prices I pay for my desire.

Ah, semantics!
Do I merely want to fuck you
or make love where none exists,
to camouflage as passion
what is really lust.
Tongue-tied ardor,
this self-deception
impaled upon the tip
of tangled mind.

You are as irresistible as breathing. 
You make my liver quiver,
and prickle up my pulse.
I clench my breath
and sphincters
at your approach.

I live, I love,
lovers, hand in hand,
those words.
I walk and talk,
I breathe the air,
and gulp the water,
all much like you: necessity.
I can’t resist you
though that thought’s too often
your reluctant surrogate.

It seems a bribe’s in order,
so I will tender
from my store of volumes,
unwritten on my shelves,
a Dedication, yours.
If I don’t now begin
 to write this poem for you
how long might I procrastinate
by endlessly composing titles?
 I’ll call it simply “You”
to get it swiftly underway,
but get caught up in imaginings:
acknowledgements and credits,
Preface, Foreword, Epilogue -
all substitutes for actual writing.   

How do I love thee, I begin,
let me count the way. (I jest.)
At once, I’m stuck in lust,
imagining your cunt,
while staring at my pencil,
rigor mortised writer’s block.

I know what all writers should
about the pencil’s other end,
the manuscript’s unwriter.
I’m a charter member of the club
who knows books aren’t simply written.
We should be called rewriters.

Will this be biography of us,
or my imagined future memoirs?
That will depend on whether
you will play the role I’m writing
in this poem of ours, for you.

So I continue to recount
our ups and downs,
but always on the level.
Though I may exaggerate,
I would never lie to,
though not about, you
so you should believe me.

Now, I’m done,
I’ve finished it.
It’s ready to exchange
for your affection,
this product of midnight oil
and neglected days,
this heartfelt incantation.
I’ve had it bound,
so be impressed,
I beg you.

You take it in your hands,
accept it with a word or two,
thank me with a smile,
then riffle pages
 as if to see
if banknotes flutter out.  

Is this the smile I’ve longed for,
slogged toward for so long?
Now it seems a billboard,
wide and not too deep
with cow fields just beyond,
real cows in them.

I could point out
the parts of speech,
define vocabulary,
parse every sentence,
disambiguate uncertainty
ending with the epilogue,
bookend echo of the preface
sandwiching typography,
meaning’s clothing,
if that would enlighten you
or unburden me.

I could,
but it makes me shudder
to be made to tell
the meaning of
a poem or a joke
when you don’t get it.
I’ve done my job;
that should be the end of it.
Why should I dumb myself,
because you refuse to smarten?
God help me big time
if this ever need be done
for a book-length book.

You held it like a brick,
my opus one, my baby.
My offering was, to you,
as a block of cheese,
hors d'oeuvre to nibble on
while in conversation
with your more cultivated friends.

One of a kind,
this rarest opus,
though meant for you
and given,
an unsought gift,
is not lost to me
and never will be
no matter your disposal,
for it remains etched
within my memory,
so I’ll stick with
the woman I created
once I get free of you.

I bit my tongue,
held all this back without a word -
I fear  I’ve used them up,
beguiled with you, a butterfly,

I’m now wishing for a pin,
Would you be better
dried between some pages,
of maybe Elle, Vogue or Ms. -
or would I keep you in a jar?

One more thing in closing,
another lesson learned
about myself
and others like me who’re
prone to fall in love,
it’s easier and cheaper
to rent a real whore.

 Image result for writing paintings
 Portrait of a Man Writing in His Study -- Gustave Caillebotte

Image result for writing paintings
A Portrait of Tuna Writing -- Kari Sagal Allgire

1 comment:

  1. Tuna is a homeless writer in Kolkotta.
    Elizabeth Moulton-Barrett was the product of two parents who had derived considerable wealth from Jamaican slave labor, and she was convinced that her grandmother was of African descent; as an adult she crusaded against slavery (though its eventual abolition ruined her father's business). Due to her family's insistence that Barrett be a permanent surname, she used "Elizabeth Barrett Moulton Barrett" on legal documents and often referred to herself as "Elizabeth Barrett Barrett." From the age of four she became a prodigious writer of poetry, and "On the Cruelty of Forcement to Man," written when she was six, is her oldest extant work; by 10 she was studying Greek (she later translated Aeschylus' "Prometheus Bound" twice), and learned Hebrew. But at 15 she developed severe head and spinal pain that plagued her for the rest of her life, as did her dependendnce on laudanum and morphine. At 20 she published her first collection of verse, "An Essay on Mind, with Other Poems," but the first volume under her own name was "The Seraphim and Other Poems" 12 years later (it was highly uncommon for women writers of the time to reveal thir gender). Six years after that, her "Poems" (1844) made her famous and attracted the admiration of Robert Browning, who was six years younger and far less successful as a writer. "I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett," he wrote, and praised their "fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought." They began seeing each other and corresponding in secret in 1845; they eloped in 1846, knowing her father would disinherit her, honeymooned in Paris, and moved to Pisa and then Florence. In 1850 she published "Sonnets from the Portuguese" (a nickname that Browning had bestowed), the work for which Elizabeth Barrett Browning is best known, especially #43, written in 1845 during her courtship. Meanwhile, Robert wrote much of the poetry for which he became even more famous than his wife, but when they appeared in "Men and Women" in 1855 they were barely noticed; he did not emerge as a major poet until after her death in 1861. At 43 she gave birth to their ony child, nicknamed "Pen."

    Sonnet XLIII

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of being and ideal grace.
    I love thee to the level of every day's
    Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
    I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.


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