Joyelle McSweeney

THE BOMB OF AMHERST (Tied to Time’s vine. Wants an EXIT.)

Let’s tuberose, evacuate
Tobacco Road like a tribe of feckless maricóns or a vinyl tube
fed down the throat for suctioning Time’s lungs. From the hands of the steroided
orderly let’s slip let’s slit Time’s change purse and flit
like expired lottery tickets and loose change into
the pale uncreaséd palm of the teen pickpocket,
Death. Death’s hand signals from the clockface, up, now down.
It taps an index on its nosecone or feathered crown
fetid with bird flu and viral bomblettes. Let’s litter
like Wrigley wrappers  tossed by the bomber’s crew, migrate
beyond the cardinal directions, fuster-ate the sonar
Descartean grid with our baby boom, goof off
like a bomb-squad dolphin pod high on nitrous
our slit-gills slick with goo,
our slack chins Death’s stirrup. Ride!
Too much time in the weinermobile
too much time at the zoo
zoning out and hoovering up that exhausted fume perfume.
Let’s be gone now, let’s beget ‘gone’ now, pancakes
on the O-ring, send up their bubble signals,
Jiffypop, bye. Time’s sticky lung and foil hairdo
has been cookin all day on that Teflon lawnchair
like a double-breasted matinee-idol-cum-president
just cooks with the investors on the asylum’s deck
his hair a plastic black wave imitating an air-filled garbage bag or
miner’s lung or Death or cantilevered deck where it
hangs off the edge of its bluff: Time’s air traffic control strike, Time’s
missile defense, Time’s iron curtain, T-cell count, swollen lymph node,
area code, Time’s IP address, detonate, Time’s IRS, evade.
The digital timepiece and modular nodular virus keeps
switching its whiptail up and fills my wells
till I’m a girl again, I’m a psychopathic pigtail
off the rails, eyelashes curled up for the big meet, I’m positive for the pathogenic protein
which splits my thinkin into multiple dubious lines. Choose one.
One victim, one scape goat, one exit strategy, one escape.
Stop rending your pathetic nails on the pathetic grate. Death
knits a tutu for me of shredded Time and keratin.
Your magic’s no good on me cause I’m made of magic,
Time, juju and mojo and koolaid and crushed ice. Hit me, take a hit off me Old Masters and
ahh. sublime surmise, surprise like a blowhard breaks the chokehold
whereupon the bruised vocal chords of the victim playback the blow that kilt her,
scream. Now you have me now you have so many neurons like me
for carrying bad news, el-ec-triss-uh-tee fe-liss-uh-tee,
fleur-de-lis, gapemeters, the defunct credit line
revolves and melts its vinyl method into the thigh, shows
its polymeric breakdown
over Time. Raincoats! Time’s condom is ripping, Time’s myelin sheathe
is shredding, spreading, Time’s retina sags and reports
a lot of shit that isn’t there, plastic fleshrain falls into
the pits melted into Time’s plastic
cheek, Time’s bored cop loops the block,
Time’s red lights are listlessly reeling but Time’s siren forgets to wail,
craps the bed and casts its deep penumbral bedsheet enchantingly
out a wide veronica illicitly makes a still meadow of, shadows the
wings and annexes and the galleries and mimics Death, 
whoops.  Shit-lilies giggle and nod
like girls on their thin stems, Time, pleural,  sucks
a deplorable hit from its dim condition, Death’s
forehead breaks the plane of day like dawn
from its deep position.  Pumps shrill whine.

Joyelle McSweeney’s PercussionGrenade, featuring poems for performance and a play, is now available from Fence; Salamandrine, 8 Gothics, a book of short & spooky prose and another play, is due out this fall from Tarpaulin Sky.

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