The clock ticks quickly.
The traffic grinds by.
The homeless man wants money for beer and his dog.
Even selfish bastards have a god,
Brandon states airily.
My shadow dogs me, biting at my heels, like the cigarettes I kicked.
Sometimes I suck dick for profit.
I like to eat the spines of sardines, they beautify me.
I go to the MoMA.
I drink coffee in Union Square and lust after men;
it’s not them I want but for them to want me.
I read Dickinson:
Tragedy is the child born of power and fear.
But let me ask you what it is:
why the days rush like steam through my hands,
why life is a sea of vapors, I cannot get home?
I trip mushrooms at Brighton Beach with Brandon.
Children swarm like psychedelic abstractions in the surf.
Where are we going? Where are we going?
I shriek when I discover the mossy humanoid
rotting beneath newspaper on the scummy train.
I have no reflection,
I say like Dracula to the train window
I have no reflection.
The city is full of legs flashing toward you
like the blades of a combine.
Creating images lets me express my desires
but then the images try to kill me.
Manhattan loses its daylight ferocity
and shrinks:
purple clouds heap like sherbert on warm air –
lights leap eagerly in the windows, fresh and seductive;
they seem out of place, like flowers in a dungeon –
humanity, for most of it’s history,
is bestial, jackels snapping at bones,
truthfully I want to walk upright,
speak to a selenium archangel
in the temple of my “trip”,
where the ocean unloads it’s alchemy
and my celestial ears hear Brandon cooking to wanton music
it’s heaven and earth
in my mummified state in this room on carnival Bleecker and 6th
as a doom faced sun rises,
thunders through the trembling green leaves of my mind.

Robert Cunningham