Open Casket

This has to be the strangest funeral
in recorded history. All of the mourners
are sitting in chairs gathered around to
make a square with rounded corners
and they’re leaning back and they’re
raising their hands and having someone
call on them to speak and they’re speaking
about fucking when they go out to a
party on Saturday.

And the lights are glaring down and the heater’s
been cranked up and the door is wide open but
inching shut and the windows are barred
and the curtains aren’t drawn.

And they haven’t hired a rabbi nor monk nor
priest nor preacher nor nun alike to exult the
departing soul and there’s an eulogy around
that’s been written nor heard.

And they’ve propped me up on a desk at the far left corner of the room and they’ve forgotten to build a coffin around me.

The Passion of Andy Warhol

andy-warhol-shot-scarred-torso

His corset resembles a pair of tighty-whities
pulled too high. His belt is undone, his fly
is down. His white dress shirt has been
peeled back, revealing nearly his whole chest,
leaning toward the left.

His chest is only slightly covered by his right
hand. The scars run in all directions,
undercutting his right nipple, bisecting
along his diaphragm, slanting across
his intestines. His eyes peer out,
toward somewhere beyond the ceiling,
from shadows falling over his eye sockets.

It’s 1969, and somehow, he’s still alive.

Photo by David Montgomery/Getty Images

Whose Hue

I handed you each of my memories,
and you put them into picture frames.

“I made them into art,” you said,
cradling my head, letting my lips
rest more and more into your palms.

I find my mind’s your kind of paradise,
a place to fool around in, slap colors
on a pale face, flip time on its side,
erase a furrowed brow and a hanging fist.

I find that nothing from me
ever looks the same as it once did.

That’s the point, that’s why my memories
are yours to take away. But you were never
supposed to give them back.

I never was supposed to see anything
other than black-and-white.

Metabolic

Once in every five days,
I recognize I’m letting sugar eat me alive.

Sugar bluffs me at my tongue, then slinks down my throat
and hides, burrowing behind my swelling sides.
Sugar flies in my blood and bangs against bone
like rocks on a windowpane, and it builds
wherever it breaks and bends. Sugar builds itself
up, a rounded, shimmering cell, high and high upon high,
all over inside.

But I think things through.
So I reach inside my chest
where my rubber heart beats my veins blue.
I throw aside bone and brain and skin
to lie further into me,
to some cranny where some sugar cubes bind
their sides against me. I pluck the things out,
then fasten up my anatomy.

I have stitches a mile wide, and an empty stomach,
after all, for now.