Meltdown: Poet as Francis Bacon’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X

Can’t breathe anymore no sleep perchance to dream
screaming inside out pop-eyed dangling on the edge
of chairs clutching white-knuckled like flying

Some say the end is near trapped behind something
like pipes underground flattened scraped
watery gravesite marked by waves

Calliope drives the carousel faster aging
wrinkled breasts sagging ass dragging fatter
than the Boteros on the Champs-Elysees

Sad shabby hurdy-gurdy plays for us
at the St. Germain des Pres Metro his cat and dog
leashed lounging in piles of rags

Trapped in the Pont au Change for a dead man sheeted
surrounded by uniforms incurious faces and the smell
runny limburger cheese on the front porch it’s a shame

Shame we know while your trammeled heart flutters
like wet wings a goldfish in fresh air mute open and close
unable to matter much

Greek waiters smash white plates on Rue de la Huchette
angry homeless woman screams grey hair knotted both of us
caught in a squall and lost the map home

Draft SAIC workshop Spring 1998 from notes December 1992 Hiram College Extra Mural Studies trip to Paris. Fits my current mood.


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