Why Whiskey, Why Porn

“Now Whiskey and porn for everyone” is a line of poetry I wrote some months ago.  Words become chants to me, or obsessions, and that phrase in particular continued to surface in my thoughts.  It surfaced as I waded through countless ‘change your life’  theories and doused myself with every spiritual survival method I could lay my hands on.  As a writer, I have some saints: poets or mystics whose words first opened my heart.  I went to them, too.  I did find some comfort, some direction, from all of those places.  But I walked away with a sense of dis-ease.  I woke up at night feeling a heavy grief and a sense that I must do something.

The shout in me was bigger than seemed possible for my little body.  My grief, anger, and deep pity was too luminous for my own self; the hurt was not that I had been hurt, that I was lost, but that we all are.  But nothing quieted it.  If I prayed, god’s resounding silence only irritated the sore.  I listened, and then I did the only thing I know to do, the only thing that has given substance to my life.  I started to write it all down.

The line – now whiskey! now porn! is a bitter toast.  It’s tired of everything reduced to stimulants and objectifications – to blow up dolls rather than real girl’s bodies – to the wreckage actually taking place, though, on real girls bodies and the whole wounded slash of the earth, burning under war and poverty.  But it is still a toast.  Still a call to love.  I acknowledge that the world is broken, but I insist on loving it anyway.

A toast, though, is not alone.  It’s an act of communion (this is my body, given for you.  Let’s all have another round, line em up Jack.  Here’s to you.)  I am only able to write (pray, shout) because I’m writing for someone.  Not the pansy-assed writing the book for the girl I used to be, but for someone real and now.  I am only able to write this because of you.

Here is what one of the saints said, one of the other phrases that kept surfacing in my thoughts:  “The whole theory and origin of the universe is directed to one being.  Namely, to You.”

This is for to You.  This is Yours.

WHISKEY AND PORN FOR EVERYONE, THE POEM

Infidel (a crescendo)

i.

Sex is a god.  With teeth for wings.

Blessed is he who is not offended.

 

ii.

An illness that most closely resembles

breathing

o my blue master.

I am a true shrew

screw flailed and lanky

lewd and awkward

bit and torn.

I hither to non and non and

not quite

again    again    again

 

iii.

I knew, as I turned to face him, that I would love him.

Knew that we would touch,

and often.  That was why

he held out his hand

as if to touch my elbow

but not quite

touching it.

 

It was his hand that I watched.

 

iv.

Perhaps it began

even before that,

before I knew of him.

He, eye.

Perhaps it was not us

but something before us.

All we did was give.  In.

This possibility

is only powerful because it isn’t true.

But oh, the smell of it.

I have been in love.

I do

not love

any longer.

 

This, also,

is not true.

 

v.

This is why I loved him.

He spoke my name

after I had forgotten it.

 

vi.

Desire is the wire

and the barb

and may even be the rust.

But we still call that ripping

a touch.

 

vii.

The smell of sex completes the air,

fibers the shadow and the light.

Like honesty.

Not truth: honesty:

I know it will stop

in five minutes:

in one minute:

I press the minute wide with my knees.

 

viii.

eye mutter.

I pace.

Imagine a sputtering wick.

Yes.

Something in me laughing,

that I’d thought dead.

Some other thing,

dead now,

floating.

And there we were.  In the back of a taxi.

Suddenly, it was June.

 

ix.

meet me at the phone booth

at the corner of 5th and Dean.

Meet me at the sushi take-out

the corner diner

the phonebooth next the Laundromat

behind the post office.

The corner of.

meet me.  Back

of the garden.

 

x.

it’s like closing the eyes.

or opening them.

I can’t tell which.

 

xi.

destroyed.  Not lost: destroyed:

o lark! a leaf.

o left and fore (granted) gotten gone

o love! release

o grief: my knees

kneed need distorn and distending and

shorn, my little cockle suck,

of all that (n)ever mattered.

Landscape with coyote and empty chair:

now whiskey and porn for everyone.

 

xii.

We were sung dry.

Flyridden.  Bent

and crushed

and pulped

in needing

and granted

the One.