In Rehearsal


“Darling, I don’t think so.”
 Can I hear that again, please? More feeling.
 Would you try that, please? Once more, then.

“Darling, I don’t think so.” How was that?

“Darling, I don’t think so.” Is that the line? Line! Where’s Sarah? 

Miss Saslock is dead. I rang you this morning.
What? That Sarah? My reader? Why didn’t you say so? Our Sarah?
Does she still have my script?
Well, send someone over to retrieve it, will you? I really don’t give a shit 
right now about her privacy. Just get that fucking script.
Is that too much to ask?

“Darling, I don’t think so” can’t be the line. Who says that? 
What is this, Noel Coward? Even fags don’t talk like that.

Uhm, Ian, I take offense at that remark, if you don’t mind. 
I don’t think there is any reason… This language is not called for, 
is all I’m saying.

For crying out loud, would you shut up? Just shut the fuck up, 
will you? We are working.
This is not a sand box. If you want to play house, go take a walk, 
go to the park.

What did you say? What did you just say to me?
I said, if you want me to prove how much I love fags, 
take out your fucking cock
and I’ll suck it. Otherwise, please shut the fuck up. 
MEN AT WORK. You get it?

I never. I’m leaving. I WILL go to the park. I’m going. 
Anyone want to join me?

What are you going to do?

Shit on the grass, what else?

Let’s all go shit on the grass.

Yes, let’s.

I love it! Fuck Sarah Saslock.

That’s right. Fuck her.

Fuck death.

Fucking A. Somebody bring some toilet paper.


Ambrosia or Lickspittle


That film Poison has set my heart aflutter.
I fear an ambulism. I have the sweats.
He’s a student of Nat King Cole or was it
Werner Fassbinder, the pervert?
His name…his name…just another pretty

It is all so fervid.
She wants hers done, a complete
makeover from stem to stern beginning with
makeup. By the time they’re finished,
layers upon layers of blood orange will be
applied to cover her five-o’clock shadow.

Get in line, just another admirer. A teeny bopper
in bobby socks, hanging her tongue out at Frank Sinatra
like a panting dog. What did the director ever do for you?
Now you’ve let yourself be Poisoned. Is it the boys leaping
in the air or the boys’ spitting that turns you on?

Three boys take aim at another boy’s face. Gobs
land on his cheeks and dangle from his lips. What
a horrendous act of human cruelty, almost as thrilling
as rape, only they’ve taken the fun out of it. All that
aimed at that one lad. Projectiles of humiliation.

What then is the school’s motto? Have they posted
this year’s mission statement, full disclosure? Someone’s
promised to raise expectations. The school is devoted
to child development. I say shave them from top to bottom.
Degeneracy, not transcendence. And then pan slowly
from the boy’s sputum-covered face to the Heavens. Cut.


Home Free


I know a place called Homeless
I’ve been there
I’ve been there, man
In a room with Lou Rawls

It’s a tent city on the edge of town
At the side of the road
Where they don’t use jam but jelly
Where the wine is new not old

You can always thumb a ride
Jump in
Pay you back as soon as I can, man
Sign up for stamps

Let me sleep in your back yard
Under the avocado tree
Promise to be gone in the morning
Just give me some more of that, bro

I used to carry a copy of that
Nah, I’m still suing the city
I keep my shit in my backpack
Got a sandwich in there somewhere

Yeah, well, can you spare some cash
Then, you ain’t no bro
Nah, not my brand, man
Got any Camels

That’s cool
I’ll take that
Gots to get me some shoes

But hey
You what
All right

Don’t gotta be like that
Shouldn’t do people like that, man
I’m just saying
That’s cool


What’s True


Why do some prefer today to tomorrow?
They have a curiosity for what’s happening, 
like a cub reporter,
But no interest in tomorrow.
They are indifferent to the future.

Hemingway, Norman Mailer, Rambo and others, 
Gloried in being he-men. They saw themselves so.
They declared themselves dedicated to what’s true, 
Or to “the truth,” as they called it,
but settled for masculine fairy-tales.

All of them wanted to be punching bags.
They were into jock straps and making an impression. 
They liked to push other people around and, if necessary, 
Give their woman a fat lip. 
Looking back now, it’s not very impressive.

Norman Rockwell was a bully, too.
Why weren’t they bored by the dreams of little boys?
At some point, 
and I know women who would agree, 
Firetrucks and scrotums grow flaccid and rank.

These men fancied themselves heroes for demanding better service.
They pounded the tables, demanding their wine be topped up. 
They drank from mugs. They gulped. 
What they needed were bibs; 
Some say they drooled.

Body shaming must be draining for young ladies. 
Boys, too, are forced to stand for inspection while burly men 
with cattle prods stride around the playground. 
The whole thing’s right out of Planet of the Apes. 
The chimps are in power.

Won’t this movie ever end?
It’s all so rinky-dink. 
This posture smacks of the impostor syndrome.
It’s one reason boys want to wear their sisters’ dresses.
They look each other over and seriously consider marriage. 

The rough stuff makes no sense.
Most men are comfortable in their own skin.
Young lads grow out of it by six.
Cowboys and Indians are no longer warring. 
They’re out shopping for a cheaper mortgage.


Brace for Impact 


Cue the sound track to Once Upon a Time in the West.
Listen for 30 seconds, rewind.
Listen for the vocals, not the words. Now the strings.
Try to imagine a cloud of dust. 
Now stop the music.
Ignore the dialogue.

Sit in your attic.  
Think dust. 
Smell the dung. 
Find an old belt and bite it. Put your nose in an old shoe.
Breathe in.
Now listen to the music.
Listen to the harpsichord. Get a load of the orchestra.
Picture Fonda. Look into his eyes. 
If you dare.

Now close your eyes.
It is 103 degrees in the shade.
A crow flies by.
Sergio Leone cries action. 
The dust blows.
Try to imagine you’re there.
Don’t hold your breath.
Open your eyes, slowly. 
Listen. Listen for the chime, listen for the bell.

It’s Bronson.
Here comes the harmonica.
There’s a creak. There’s a drip.
There’s a fly. There’s a whiney.
You can smell the dung.
You’re ready for death.
There’s anticipation.
There’s expectation.
There is no hope.
Listen for the whistle.
Don’t look at the sun.

Leone cries cut.


Celebs at the Beach


I strain myself to get a better look,
a good long look at what is promised
to be the view of a life time.

I’m not a star gazer; I gave up my dreams
long ago. I’m a star fucker. All I want now
is to look up someone’s skirt or down someone’s pants.

I want to see something that’s been getting
star treatment, something powdered, coifed,
and well oiled. Not just a piece of meat left out to rot.

I’m looking up to people who are admired, not down
on them like a lousy snob. I’m into worshiping at my idols’ feet.
I want a glimpse of what really counts.

Will she offer me some of her urine? That’s what I’d like to know.
As a temple worshiper, I’m ready to be touched by the Divine.
I’m willing to stand all day in line with my tongue out.

We are becoming like India, with starving people picking lice
off each other’s bodies. Tent cities, befouled by waste and the stench
of death; people sleeping in the nude covered in their own shit.

The stars like the gods above live nearby, in glass palaces
on hilltops from which they can see. They can throw the gristle
and the carrot peels to the monkeys from their back porches.

Down below where their worshippers live, it is hotter.
Our stars, it is said, stay cool and they want to keep it that way.
They listen to Lou Rawls and snap their fingers.

One star it has been rumored descends from the highest point
in the city so she can speak to the people, those deemed
ready to hear the truth. She says in no uncertain terms: leave.

The people are not enlightened. They are lost. They are themselves
part of the pollution, adding to and not alleviating the grotesquely
poisoned air. She calls on them to be exterminated.

And now finally there is peace. The stars come out again. The ladies
remove their tops and bottoms. They levitate. The men, erect, expose
their masculine glory, freed at last to do as they please. Everyone is dead.