To be paralyzed, to have to watch
the machine of our death lower
itself into gear on our flesh, that’s
the worst of it. A needle creeping
along our spine, eyes on the other
side of the blinds. Giallo films
on the screens, muted, English
subtitles in italic yellow text run
along the bottom. L’Uccello Dalle
Piume Di Cristallo, Your Vice
Is A Locked Room And Only I
Have The Key
. Who rented them,
who bought them. Nothing you
can keep, but nothing that you need.
Stars outside, lustrous and full,
immense monsters that we don’t
even think of, not seriously. We’re
in for it, that’s serious, but for now
we can still enjoy miniature luxuries.
Candies, movies, beer at a bar with
a patio and fans that spray mist
in a simulation of the open surf.
Sirens, and an ambulance drives by,
maybe one of us crosses herself.
No other star or planet can come
close to matching Venus in brilliance.
Fulci’s L’aldilà is praised by some
for its incredible gore, and by others
for its dreamlike incoherence.
The clip that grips the papers
together gives them unity in body
where there is no unity in content.
Methods of surrender, talking,
letting it out. A devil or a cant in thought.

Two thousand maniacs, a song with an immense
chorus. Imagine Mahler had his way. He refused
to finish his 9th Symphony for years because

he feared The Curse, that he would not live beyond
it. He did not live. His 8th, Symphony For A Thousand,
played only rarely it’s so exhaustive. There’s no

melody, nothing famous, only movement in strings
and wind. Why is a cello so sensual, because there’s
movement, an embrace? The student claims the way

to win an argument is to be the last one speaking.
Like saying goodbye, or being the last one to give
a compliment. Who knows if that’s right, I’ve never

won an argument. Everything in my chest is wrong,
all the organs mixed up, the air squeezing through
them dissonant and arrhythmic. Imagine at this hour,

in this city, all the parties that are going on. It’s Houston,
it’s bigger than it gets credit for, bigger than it even
deserves. Thousands of parties, just mathematically.

Discussions, movements between men, between
women. Music played at a volume neighbors will
find inappropriate. I am not at a party. Probably,

neither are you. I wasn’t invited, and you, I don’t
wish to presume. I can picture all the faces through
the doorway, the faces of women engaged and dis-

engaged. Mahler is not that well known, not that
well liked. Lucky Pierre, he is at a party. He avoids
all the things that make life worth leaving. I’m not

interested in singing well, I’m not interested, even,
in invitation. When the movie Blood Feast came out
people had never seen mutilation on screen before,

they paid lots of money to see a woman get her
tongue ripped out. Carnival shows, geekery. People
partying in the courtyard, I should join them. How

old am I. The flashing lights in all of the city’s cop
cars are replaced. Now they are more vibrant, cause
distractions on the highway at night as people crane

their necks toward the aurora, something buried deep
within our genes, two full choruses who scream
at each other in harmony. Believe me. I don’t need to beg.

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