Living like a Ruby in Dust

Fuming nostrils dripping atrocity
call up a trinity of mes to
fall onto eager leaves, each stroke of
pen a dropping of seed globes of starved
                                        readers author and eat, peeling like
                                        grapes the lids from my eyes, undotting
                                        those periods of suffering worth
                                        closing, stripping my lies to nude truths

and tragedies their eyes live through, each
page dramatizing the trauma, its
unfolding blossoming exalting
litanies of each moment of which
                                        I am made, in that sense making me
                                        at once Byron and Whitman, a shamed
                                        poet of personality who,
                                        knowing fully no one cares about

the internal struggle or its pain’s
outcome, only its origin, since
once invaded, one’s privacy can
seldom be regained, so save me, babe,
                                        from disappearing into the splayed
                                        marrow of my always-buried Self,
                                        from embracing closely any old
                                        body belonging to someone else,

from swallowing another perverse
perspective to which I did not at
all consent, rich without pretence or
precedent, a world is a place made
                                        up of resources to exhaust and
                                        experiences to consume, that
                                        somehow making a dent is an end
                                        rescuing from its jaws those singing

out-of-tune and off-key the all-too-
oft apocryphal song of long-lost
liberty, we malapropos
malcontents wandering hand-in-hand,
                                        foot-in-mouth, cramping styles, and crowding
                                        empty rooms like twins infiltrating
                                        a womb full of anticipation,
                                        following hysteria through

history, we are ambassadors
of missed opportunity nodding
at every plastic holiday
as it passes, only then allowed
                                        to transgress standardized decency
                                        unmolested, untied tongues that speak
                                        of rivers, serpents divided by
                                        a grinning fork pitched in the path of

our differences, unified by
our leaking of secrets before we
can digest them, such as knowing how
morning finds a light floundering in
                                        a piss-and-pastel sea of choking
                                        melodies, less a skill than a gift
                                        or a disease regretted after
                                        inherited, relatives so

reluctant to embrace the aching
certainties of centuries of less-
esteemed genetics, if only I
could skip past you wearing all my stained
                                        degeneration, a cocksure cunt
                                        smirking and superlative, please don’t
                                        include me in your ‘we’, living like
                                        a ruby in dust has taught men less

confident, and effectually,
the sage method of the wise madman,
the holy fool whose camel moves through
the worn soles of waxen cylinders
                                        with the daring imprecision of
                                        shared needles, sticking it hard to his
                                        recording angel as if my own
                                        middle finger were a tool used to

push back into the throat what sins are
not worth pointing out, a confession’s
coughing of occulted guilt the shtick
transmuting doubt to obscenities,
                                        stirring up what for so long has been
                                        robbing us of untold lifetimes of
                                        undermined beauty, ours an unkind
                                        infidel silence shining meekly.