Introduction

Once upon a time in Paris I met a Princess, whereupon I immediately invited her to join me for tea in the Luxembourg Gardens.  At that time I was  director of London based Creative Artists Limited, and when the Princess showed me her folio of quatrains and sonnets I offered to manage her career, indeed, her very life if she’d let me  Accustomed to odd proposals, the Princess sipped champagne, nibbled caviar sandwiches, and wisely refused to fulfill my fantasy.

A short time later I came across the Princess again, on a mountaintop in Switzerland, composing lyric verses about cans of tuna-fish and rolls of toilet paper, which she was then buying by the case.  My wife, who fell in love with the Princess’s chauffeur, immortalized her in a song and handed over a check for 200 Pounds Sterling for the rights to the story of her life.  The plan was to bring it to Broadway as a musical comedy.  All this was a long time ago.

The reader, therefore, will understand my excitement when the postman delivered a slim package with portions from the Princess’s new epic poem, offered forthwith.  While this form has not yet found its commercial niche on the legitimate stage, it is the stuff that dreams are made of, and while still a work in progress, we see a compelling tale emerge from the turbulence of images splashed shamelessly across these pages.  This proves I was not dreaming that fateful day in the Gardens of Luxembourg.  Something tells me we’re finally going to get that story.  Pass the mustard, please.

Stan Stunning
London, 1995

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For the two Julies, Jack, Billy, and Alan wherever you are.

SPECIAL EDITION

md08_bulb late night press
los angeles ca
© copyright 1995

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i
Rubber runs to the ground
wherever it train-snakes through
photographs and when forced
I see anything
can happen.

ii
It can get too cushy
here
in the room
with the pink couch
where I roam in utter
parquet and sailboats on a story
in the middle
of Hollywood. Another dream
Another life and I’m still here.

iii
Now the country sounds good.
I always had a good time
in the grass with knuckles and nights
with my cousins and crickets that scream
it was too quiet. My home was a noisy place
and never felt dark road easy out there with peace.

iv
Books and trolley-cars on the way
to school on the other side
to prove it’s not
a matter of what anybody thinks.
I’ve taken to it like train story on flash rails
in speeding slow rocking night
lights in a dark night
on the far side
of town.

v
I fly the trapeze where it’s
blue on Vermont Avenue near the film shop.
It’s time I hit flash a little
black lace through a crack in the door of
a hotel in
Amsterdam.
Favorite scorpion in the desert
Just popped up in my
Thailand slugging it out
with the image.
Julie and I drove up to Chaing Mai high
I stopped. I need a shower.

vi
I was faithful until London changed
Ryan O’Neil in an Indian Sari riding
in the back of a black Bentley going back somewhere
Zen. Irish coffee and brown rice on the
cracks. It’s not a bad way. I wouldn’t
have dreamed ocean or a lot of other things
without Brooklyn and only God knows
what’s the ticket.

vii
Time and Sabbath
are coming tonight and I will go and sit quietly
and fish Moroccan style. Back to the beach
because my first
wasn’t really
Marcello Mastroanni with his wife and mother
So French and Italian.
The dentist from the Mountains was skinny
and ugly
but not his wife.
I wore a green splotch
with orange and barefoot on
dark-skinned marble with a one-eyed fish.

viii
I polished the place on the stove
where the dials are. Maniac is creating
tables
on a spreadsheet, which are
Cobblestones near the great house
in the old city where I walked
every day. She gave me red hair and
a smile in the end. I gave money. It was cheap in those days.

ix
There’s nothing
to be gained without bearded old men
with hats and voices from caves.
I want to ask a question but I can’t because
Jack will slap me. Paint cans block
trolley cars from my point of view
I saw one the other day but I forgot where.
Actually between times there was lunch
and a little tv. Recess today because
spikes were all over the place and it was grey haired manic mad shit.
Not me but it. I’m sitting pretty
with it all in all but David heard it cookie
with a chip once before surely.

x
My landlord reads my column. So does my neighbor
I learned today when the sky fell on some poor
bastard walking down the street. Damn, son-of-a-bitch
if it didn’t cross my mind he was faking. A tile from the roof
when he called me Caracole,
which is entirely beside the point of this poor
immigrant with blood gushing down the garage
on the snow in the Alps, run over
while babies waited upstairs for their drool
sweet kiss, soft infant with no mother.
Flashback. Wow. You never know when the sky
will fall.

xi
This morning’s activity
Pool-hall makes sense only to the players Avocado
whose lips are sealed except diaries
and letters to the editor of magazines
where fat ladies type blonde. It has something to do
with genetics but maybe not so deep. At least
I’ve learned the light show. I can go on alone.
I did it in Long Beach but I quit the union.
Liar organized everyone including me.
It was hard to give up Hermance and the trimmings.
Parking on the Place de la Confederation in a
Little Pink Floyd wide open though
I wouldn’t rule out the apricot matador
behind the eight ball
tossing his white condom to the crowd in Barcelona this
Rock-star-fuck morning.

xii
I’ve taken a leap in buttercups today
but it just might be hell.
I won’t let swans stop me this time.
Freedom, spotlight, action
Music is coming back fast now
that I’ve gotten away from corduroy and have sharpened
the black pencil.
Makes all the difference in the world
and Catherine says it brings out my eyes.
She let her poor fax relax and said
Do whatever you hot-dog baby.

xiii
I can’t get over Roy dying while I was in France.
I only wish I could’ve shown him my hair
before he gave up his parking spot in the back alley.
I loved him. Hairy-legs
too for having freckles and knives in the back
of infidelity long ago. Poor dear.
But enough about them, look at me
what I’ve done this shadow on the road to
that shore where I fell down. Again.
I don’t like that palabra. It will be different
from now on. Blood comes into this
I’m sorry to say, but only as a metaphor.
Don’t worry. Get Yogi and go to Singapore.
I can face the mustache now.
If you please, señor, pitch my roof
under the boardwalk and take me down to the river
in a bamboo bird-cage with T.S. Eliot
and while we’re at it
I’ll take Rimbaud the little prick.
Bach must have felt like this
wall in the bedroom near where it happened.
I want to forget all that like Mexico
in a fever that never stopped

xiv
but I
can
do
it
now.
It hums
under the desk or in the hallway
singing patriotic songs while the bombs fall.
Prayers would have waves of blue
under the circumstances
but we had to do as we were
ink-spots on the old wooden desk and a
sudden correspondence with a boy
who wrote, “Who are you?”
I never learned who hit me in the schoolyard
or the boys with salt-shaker tops
running home across the tracks.

xv
I’m sitting here
flirting with French boys in the garden
stairs losing marbles where sheep graze
in my history book. Sitting back on a white chair smoking.
A juicy peach for breakfast. This will
gravel whether I want two or eggs. I’d love
oysters surprise in the black warrior
who said they did him good
God help me.

xvi
The old philosophy crab
knew I had cheated. It was only a test
unlike this which is white for the moment.
She must be dead rocket-ship now
running around a cemetery and peeing behind a bush
but my plumbing needs doing now and spring.
Maybe that explains Venice on a bridge
In Brooklyn where it never belonged.
I had to come fence with roller skaters
On a diet near the blue wall
after driving all the way to Providence
and sourpuss wasn’t there.
I burnt those pictures
and the book.
Let the past play spider-web on a dry leaf
I can’t take with me
on the roof.
I can leave now. God it was
mirror and sweet. He was right I was
wrong. The waiter is waiting for the order
and I’m waiting for Alan Watts.

xvii
I don’t know what’s the dough of all this.
Maybe it’s too toothy for him. If
I think about the brown carpet it’s wrong
like flirting with Robert in
front of Goldilocks by the sea.
I’ve been dismissed by so many brooms
already I don’t feel a poem from an actress
however well delivered.
Her too.
There’s hardly anyone left for bread.

xviii
Hey, the day’s not over and there’s
a coffee-cup on the answering
machine
and I’m going curtains
if he hoofs. There’s
so much house here, I don’t know why.
I’m going to take a hot digital clock
and keep the lips near by
just in case. I’ve started something
And I’m not in movies anymore. Time to
say good-bye
to that little paper boat
now.

xix
Missed my screen door on
a suburban street where he sat hiding.
It will be Henry. He came up this dream rubber
and said he’d give me a village. Just like a kid
from Brooklyn but his cheeks are rougher
than mine. He’ll whore for me.
His intro is a fund raiser for
the Leonard Bernstein musical. They all know
each other there.
Henry said he’d be a park in my landscape. He
doesn’t talk like this though so
I’m going to hook up his hummingbird
to sculpture the book.
Look.
There are the Luxembourg Gardens
something is dictating
a wall of butterflies
for old times’ sake.
My memories are there. This
doesn’t count yet.