Several Layers – Jasper Schlaffer

Onions have layers, ogres have layers


Jasper says no visitors

Jasper says advanced reservations must be made

have not been made  

and paces the room.

He says: “It’s a farewell party

all my friends are gonna leave me”

And: “If you don’t want to go, I’ll have to go alone”

She nods at him

and smiles at me

I made no comment

half of them still in bed

or already again  

and an army marching up and down the room

another hacks her body up

one whose dreams are all forlorn

is cold like ice-cream on a winter’s dawn

another one writes poetry,  
quotes T.S Eliot and the Marquis de Sade

terribly smart and wrong from the start

he knows every statue has a concrete heart

everybody is talking to themselves

and nobody is watching.

This is to say:

I have external resources

which means:
I am neverbored.

I have 12 shadows who walk without me

3 who hold her hand

22 with monkeys on their back

and one who prays to the lord

he locks you in a bold, distinguished stare.

he can’t go to paradise no more because another

has killed a man up there

How old was I when it started?
I can tell you, missus or mister

in a polyphonic whisper.

I can speak to you and to others
very loudly

None of the poems were written

very loudly

under cheap tenement parquet floor

by eleven hands or more

the susurrated, r-rated kind

from licking the green mold in the

cellar of the mind

He’s had intercourse there as well
(the architecture begs for it)

4 or 5 times,

in 7 different skins

hiding sore muscles a liver and a heart you can’t see

that’s where his future birthday parties will be.

And as the grumpy one

– the one that quotes Eliot –

grants himself an undeserving nap

we smother him

and hail a taxi cab.

We will miss him too.

You see, the madhouse has a revolving door

so does the shopping center

they have insanity on discount

and the white rum for daiquiris

for all of them wearies.  

here’s to social drinking

“Jasper, you’re not yourself when you’re drunk”

“On the contrary milady.

I think you mis –

you misapprehend the comprehen –

It’s complicated

The situation
It is much more severe

I had to write a poem about it.”  

I put myself together

and take myself apart

I mean, I was born three times already

have about 7 to go until I’m through

and yes, I have planned about another two with you

and maybe, just stick my scrapbooks up with glue

“The seasons change and every winter lasts forever

and when we fuck it is always the last time.”
“I know. Guess what I brought the memory foam mattress for?”  

And when they came home from the ordeal

A spitball in the water with somebody’s daughter

he, last polliwog, not drowned in the liquor
sez with a snicker: “You can suck me dry like a lemon peel”

in the space between our bodies

the air had grown small fingers

Soft wind seeps through a cellar door

It was a cold winter day

I was wearing several layers.