Monday, August 9, 2010


I, Lady Lazarus, have been raised to meet my match. The copper smell of blood drives me crazy, the need to kill what haunts and destroys, taunts and infects: the deadly
mouths of fakery. It is the animal in my head, an unnamed wheezing breather who craves the guts to speak, a grand roar, a many-toned truth about living. No vintage
notions of freedom, Kerouac's dead roads through dusty towns in an America that no longer exists. The map back is burning. The smoking trail of stones could kill,
sharp as a politician’s smile, sharp as the knife in America’s back.
I am no longer torn but aligned in algebraic fever with the killers of the bride and groom, the marriage of Soulless and Fearless who have plenty of nothing to lose.
Ginsberg long ago asked America, why are your libraries full of tears? The answer
was static, illiterate with fear. My country, there is no one now to greet you soft at the door, no angelheaded hipster sweetening the threshold between less and more.
Our cities are cold and poisoned. There are hungry children scrape-kneed at your door
but you are not home anymore.

We were born into gardens pastel and hostile, our mother’s Martha Stewart blooms. Now hours of television tantrums and cellphones chanting electric songs.
Call out the bloodhounds, sniff out the antique beauty of bedroom sex, the lure of love or a continent. Born, born into our father’s pill bottles, bowls loaded with pills, pills to kill the Vietnam memories, the vague echoes I can’t help hear because all my life I’ve lived in the black light of his eyes and no pill can ease the fury of murder gone by like a season, cast into a memory-ditch and expected to rust, dust to dust. My father was a carpenter
trying to build a house with no hammer. We were born full of rusty tools, bellies round with debt. Momma says What kind of attitude is that?
Momma, I am shivering with fever, cannot deliver this bluesy baby. A yowl in my belly, sermon in my brain. Maybe the nauseous riot in my soul is mine alone but no, no
we are born killers and it is not enough to write a poem or smash a fist against the wall. It is not enough to fuck with bored casual violence---losing face won’t abate
the sin of being born into the great white alarm that sounds HUSH, sends a rush of salt into the wound.

A young soldier’s face contorts fantastically as he hauls another drink; I ask what he thinks of this bloody desert madness---me in my sparkle-shining dress, mascara mess,
craving to control his stiff ache, the weight of his uniform ugly on stooped shoulders. He is fresh from Iraq, drinking himself into a private dark room. Again I ask but he keeps his secret cocked, a weapon. His sanity now depends on it. And later there is viciousness in the kitchen, my swerving voice hissing something about the purity of rage and hubby says You're not old enough to hate this way. I tell him the fear of hellfire saves. Shit man, he says, I’m going to bed. You're a fucking lunatic. Love this, domestic bliss. Maybe I am not Lady Lazarus but instead halfdead and howling for Jesus. We were born into the world naked and believing but isn’t it the old cold human policy
to kill without rhyme, meter, rhythm, or reason.

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