November 21, 2008

ritalin nightmare

gorgeous spells for cast aways,
poppy fields, a new pair of shoes,
the likes of thelma svirsky,
the naked poetess,
reading her mildly erotic, mildly outdated
and mildly boring verses
before an audience of drugged up
ADD affected children

these profusely extravagant,
ludicrous attempts at celebrity and stardom
i watched from the last row,
near, so very very close to the emergency door
my face was dyed green by the exit sign,
trying not to be one of them, not wanting to fit in,
stretching verses to reach a second octet and
holding my first conscious erection with a hand in my pocket

* * *

all memories get messed up when thelma appears,
even now, like, two decades after,
even now, when time is not time at all,
it's just hot air inside a green balloon,
a dead folk singer making passes at the local beauty queens,
who happen to be siamese sisters sharing genitalia,
receiving the farewell of their lives, off to the statewide pageant,
imploding in confetti that looks like vomit and feces

and sitting right next to me
the girl who would not talk to anyone
so skinny you could break her in halves just by looking at her
thelma's teeth are melting, it's horrible, and i shout for mother
but i can't speak so i turn to her, the speechless girl,
holding her hands when someone points out i'm not wearing
any pants and thelma shouts and i kiss her, the silent girl,
saving me from a sure death and waking up in a puddle of sweat and pee

jonathan s. baker (San Diego, CA, 1984)