Shock & Applaud

                    To Nadya Ginsburg,
                                        new muse for old souls—


‘It’s an industry with no soul,’
     isn’t that how these stories go?
     Or so I’m told, yet it’s my own
     in her hand and on her dime my
     whole world turns, this dame tightening

          my pants with just a glance, her fame
          why other men might want her, but
          unlike those head-hunters, I’d put

my brain-money where my heart is,
     tame my poetic licentious-
     ness, make like a true artist—an
     adventurous author—and trade
     in my Jaguar just to help her

          outrace those ravenous panthers
          chasing her paper, placing in
          the stars my fate with this woman

dead constellations dedicate
     themselves to reshaping, no face
     more radiant or worthier
     of a man’s eternal praise, since
     words and light pulse through time, as mine

          do, brazenly racing when girls
          like her take off in an instant
          with my breath, baiting it before

ransoming my reason, seizing
     my spirit while I’m inking an
     epic to capture the crushed pearl
     essence of this goddess stealing
     my attention, clothed with the sun,

          beauty demanding a tribute
          of my talent which can only
          mimic her own, as I’m blushing,

pounding the gas hard to push far
     past the efforts of art’s lesser
     demons to claim her, knowing too
     well how free her own spirit is,
     at once dark and bright, wild like her

          hair, its kink what curls toes, her voice
          what throws men like me into such
          frenzy, her wisdom what did in

Solomon, and does to me things
     that—if I say them—will never
     be forgiven, so I strive for
     purity as I drive home by
     this poem what she works in me.