sea urchin prickly

mary’s lament

07/29/1990

he said i must discipline my temperament—crush my egoism.

it’s like my medulla oblongata was on sale for $1.25 at zayre’s—compare… you can’t do better than zayre—trust was power, father on the prowl—and as neptuna’s only daughter i found myself floating, holding ophelia’s hand, on the morning after.

hippies, fuckin’ hippies, he said—there was a heavy-osity in the air then—i prayed—the impatience was thick.

titian-woman thick, he said manhandling—i didn’t know who titian was (hadn’t seen the venus with the organ player yet—where did he?) i didn’t know what he was on about (when did i then?)

then i thought—oh yeah, i’ll knock your block off someday, rock’em/sock’em robot sharp—that day he looked like an extra from that movie scarecrow—gene hackman’s double, for shit’s sake—all i had to block out his musk was to obsess on that thing he said about ernie! ernest borgnine, what an actor!

and i said, yeah, give him an oscar along with fred flintstone—i got a loose bicuspid from that one.

what was missing in my life was bookish children, snowflakes, and good music. oy, the herb alpert & the tijuana brass was killing me—we were spiny monsters, sea urchin prickly—stay away or we’ll poison your life—as he poisoned mine.

yeah, i was going places! why did he keep all those empty packets of condoms in the dresser drawer? next to the revolver, the crumpled bills, and the guerlain mother gave him for his birthday the year she disappeared.

i once overheard him talking to an associate, and he was ripping off the lyrics to brandy passing them off as his own deep rumination—you see, my mistress is the sea. the sea was my life, my love, my lady—his dimwit friend (trafficker and smoker of stink-pot cigars) was impressed.

i wanted to scream—which? which sea? caspian? sargasso? azov?—but all i could manage was to hiss at them—terry riley’s in c?

bums both. or as my mother traduced in her cuban accent—yuar bumps! bumps both! monstrous all of it. all of us.

how did I get lost in that grift city of adolescence and bad magic? piecemeal, genetics, and refugee wave tectonics. his ideals—shave thy armpits and legs, slather and powder thy face—he liked lips blood red. don’t you see, he said, it’s a win-win proposition!

now this beat is technotronic not tijuana (br)ass!

i burned all his records.

“… I was a good
ununderstood, a wrist
of bent light, undressing
alone an even quieter violence.”

— Vanessa Angelica Villarreal / “I Was a Good Wife”

About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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