poetry

Existential Doublewide by D.M. Jerman

Back in the Grill Room Cocktail Shop after many years weeks days, a hard cry that left a puddle in my jacket and a long walk downtown with earplugs in listening to myself breathe. 

My favorite trailer park of dread called Chicago is all around me, curdling gently into the early throes of a Friday night in June. A celebrity suicide has kicked it all off and still hangs in the air over my head like an intoxicating smell. A sweet poison tricking me into inhaling more.

I can't yet tell if the man-portion of the couple at the hook is trying to pick up the woman-portion, but I brought along a book and quite soon I don't imagine I'll care about anything but it and my second irish coffee. The bartender calls me "babe" and that's dope because she's really hot.

 

I shouldn't have aspired to anything today. Should have acted predictable- a good local American idiot cunt. Putting on makeup then never leaving the house like someone who plans on getting their vapid daily attention quota exclusively from social media. Drinks and a twenty gone, I transform into a ghost in dark denim and board a train.

There is buried treasure all over this town. Most of it has been underground so long it will only stand to retain its obvious fate, which is to remain precious garbage. Sometimes I am comrade only to this put-together trash. I blow smoke into my own face and pull muscles in my back. I frown thinking of all my hard work filling my landlord's coffers. Sulking away a beautiful day until I can cheer myself by remembering exhausted boys bodies piled over one another on the floor of the club after the hardcore show.

In one form or another, one man becomes the other. The future borrows from the past to decide how to remake it, only succeeding in impoverishing them both. The present stands in awe of this misuse of time and sobriety and in its wisest moments exudes the levity it once so desperately begged for.

 

Two petals left on the drooping flower. A plastic water bottle glistens with trapped condensation in the weed bed. Dandelion dust flees across yesterday's air and chokes its puffs with sunlight and pranks of breezes knocked forth from the ice cream cart bells. People adopt dogs and then act insane around them and force them to do dumb shit like sit their warm innocent assholes down on cold rough pavement at stoplights. Just rude.

Flat tires and pistol rapport. Lemon-scented cleaning product like a punch in the nose clearing out something else I will have forgotten to say. Wild mint and sour grapes. Caffeine and misconduct and the reprieve on the fire escape. I'm comfortable in alleyways where it's quieter. I prefer the company of piles of metal and vines. Tattoo parlors make me wish and gloat. I see twins and I am jealous with confusion. I spit on 'For Rent' notices and kick at empty cigarette packs while I pretend the 'No Trespassing' signs mean the opposite.

Congratulations, girl. You've earned this heart like a perpetual garage sale. Those eyes of green tinder with matchhead pupils. Dead boots and the dirty ground when you know you're not around. All the best for walking into that stormy lake, which is your lover, and cooling quick as a gutter in a flood. I'm still looking for what I've unearthed and finding it and losing it everywhere. One retreat into bliss means another day-long episode of apologetic shrugging. The loiterer's refrain in the garden of sighs near the wellspring of smirk and waste.

Here's your fifth star, bitches. Turn your flag-cast neighborhoods from chalk white to coal black. The life-sick dusk sets a hundred hundred thousand books on fire behind me. My booming cackling laughhowl blows out all the skyscraper windows like an atom bomb. Smoke sears my eyes and my hair stinks as it catches in earnest. The heat against my heels is immense. Flames set and arch from the base of my sleeves and onto my elbows like the wings on Mercury's shoes.

I am shot from a cannon and going down, down, down...

 

Home now. Could read some Peter Sotos or watch a gory movie maybe. Husband endearingly calls me "sweet ennui lady" and I could burst into tears all over again. Wish it was due to humor and not this lugubrious multiplicity of repeating problematic daily world-wide foolishness that coaxes me like a siren of damnation toward the top of the tallest parking garage I can find.

Man oh man. And just when I was coming out of my thirties into being a decent writer...

 

 

Short Work = acrostic + memoir + erotica by D.M. Jerman

FUCK/MARRY/KILL

For a total amount you talk

Unless violence swings on complete

Cock, we had better measure

Kiss with an element which exceeds

Morons deer games won piled

And cross over the wild and

Random expanses fresh or maybe

Rebellious yes rebelling while

Yardsticks are used to collect

Kef and major edges measured by

Individual drunken magnitudes

Lightheartedness while coating precious

Lists of everything blasphemed.

-

When I was working in Kentucky at a girl scout camp, toward mid-summer I went out with some other counselor ladies to TN.

We stayed at hotels in Memphis and Nashville and it was a long wild weekend, but toward the beginning one night in the middle of our drive we stopped at one of the counselors' parents houses.

It was a hot and beautiful night full of stars and mischief.

The counselors were younger than I and impressionable. Over the course of the drive, I had borrowed both of their cell-phones to make prank calls.

I even dialed a number close to my own and an exceedingly nasty woman answered. I called again and she was dumb enough to answer a second time.

While they were indoors, I sat on the curb outside dialed and dialed, leaving spastic patois and jive accents in my wake. Unrecognizable to the perturbed answerer.

One woman challenged me, tho'. As I stared up into the the southern spark-strewn black she talked and I talked and the lonely in her found a story in me. The exchange was warm and kind.

Fathomable and full of small truths, the kind a palm-reader tells you.

I stopped calling after her. I think I got what I wanted or needed, after that.

The next day the counselor's phones rang and rang with people calling back out of curiosity and confusion.

-

206 East Seventh Avenue. New York City, 1953.

Finally Billy Burroughs is topping Allen Ginsberg in his apartment living room somewhere between the roll-up couch and the orientally shagged floor and it's a moment the latter has been jerking it to for some time.

He is determined to be Bud's best lay (nobody calls Billy "Bud" but Allen, who gets away with the pet name probably because it's only used privately indoors), and maybe earn a scraped knee or two trying, cranking his soaking ass right up there to the hilt. Al's come twice but nothing much ever leaks out of his little brown jewcock and pecan balls anyway, so he keeps powering down until about twenty seconds from now when Bud busts and hunches fast over Al like he's captured kill.

Al has taken so many mental pictures as this "tea-n-tea'' real-life afternoon unfolds, his sweaty hair-pulled scalp is tingling in heady waves. Bud makes noises Al's never heard anyone else make ever while he nuts and he's stealing them also for potential later use. Al is only nervous about one thing and that's having more body hair than Bud, but Bud gives zilch for fucks about all that and knows Al was angling for his prick for awhile and Al doesn't really know that Bud is currently taking out his frustrations over someone else who is somewhere else out on him.

It's just sex and it's good. No one is falling in love here.

He pulls out. They arrange themselves and collapse. The room is musty with fornication and the muted chaos of it leaves Al grinning deliciously. Bud smells like stale cigarettes and the last glimmers of a once-bright aftershave wafting from the heat of him. Al watches Bud's thick dick soften and sink. He concentrates on this and mentally connects it with his asshole and the raw bliss of the worked-over feeling he's earned there.

After another moment, Al goes for the cigarettes. He'd been admiring Bud's breathing. Flat on his back, chest rising and falling with the small rouge nipples spread wide over the white barrel. Mouth open and near sleep in the 3pm light. Al fidgets anyway- a default setting from feeling so perpetually freaky-deakey all the time- but is afraid now Bud will catch him watching.

He does his best to be quiet and careful. Strikes the match and gets on with the next phase of afterglow.

All Odes in Honor, All Prayers To Floyne... by D.M. Jerman

I spent the night in that city, creating light before moving on.  In an afternoon, in a year between wars, I arrived.  Even in summer on a train the world grows dim. And the rain puts me to a sleep like children. A child’s sleep – after play and refreshed by dream.   They know far away the sea is singing its milky lullabies for transforming the cool moan into froth. Dissolving the pains in the bones from growing up which spread out into the blood. Making the marks it leaves harder to remove, but who wants to banish a stain that saves a life? These stains, in the brainshapes of the lush and rolling hills of my constant imagination, numbering in only the few thousands on reality’s plain.  All are art. And I long to be upon them.

I spent the night in that city, creating light before moving on.

In an afternoon, in a year between wars, I arrived.

Even in summer on a train the world grows dim. And the rain puts me to a sleep like children. A child’s sleep – after play and refreshed by dream. 

They know far away the sea is singing its milky lullabies for transforming the cool moan into froth. Dissolving the pains in the bones from growing up which spread out into the blood. Making the marks it leaves harder to remove, but who wants to banish a stain that saves a life? These stains, in the brainshapes of the lush and rolling hills of my constant imagination, numbering in only the few thousands on reality’s plain.

All are art. And I long to be upon them.

Rain in the morning, still old men ride their bicycles in the same direction up the winding narrow cobblestone. Perched on the cool thick sill, my lips find the white concentrated air of cigarette smoke and pull each drag lungward before the following fullness of exhale manifests.  I have struck upon a holiday.  The prayers pull the day down quiet and slow, melting its vanilla sun over a natural blanket.   The dimmer the haze, the paler shadows.  The wash basin in the corner like a sundial. Creamy path of light touching the edges, a lover lain over.

Rain in the morning, still old men ride their bicycles in the same direction up the winding narrow cobblestone. Perched on the cool thick sill, my lips find the white concentrated air of cigarette smoke and pull each drag lungward before the following fullness of exhale manifests.

I have struck upon a holiday.

The prayers pull the day down quiet and slow, melting its vanilla sun over a natural blanket. 

The dimmer the haze, the paler shadows.

The wash basin in the corner like a sundial. Creamy path of light touching the edges, a lover lain over.

I don’t fall in love until I sleep. Waking again to find, purified, the color.  The streamlined air has a song on it. The stringed instrument of a woman’s voice. I cannot find the source to view from my window. The room, the paint, the walls, the texture and hue of ash. Of soft burnt freshness.

I don’t fall in love until I sleep. Waking again to find, purified, the color.

The streamlined air has a song on it. The stringed instrument of a woman’s voice. I cannot find the source to view from my window. The room, the paint, the walls, the texture and hue of ash. Of soft burnt freshness.

But the echo carries effortlessness and charge. On a sky whose tone is about some season that knows no stars. Long past. Long forgotten. Lost. Hidden and preserved under blazing diamond snow of mountain crags. Beauty beyond all observation. And as well it is for the sake of those mountains and stars that I light all the candles. Half melted, they crack in the sconces as each accept the fire.

But the echo carries effortlessness and charge. On a sky whose tone is about some season that knows no stars. Long past. Long forgotten. Lost. Hidden and preserved under blazing diamond snow of mountain crags. Beauty beyond all observation. And as well it is for the sake of those mountains and stars that I light all the candles. Half melted, they crack in the sconces as each accept the fire.

A match awoke on the two I planted firm in the rinsing bowl. The burn sits even upon tall wax pillars occupying space in the thick green bottles that rival my age doubled. I have left half of that batch, the final bit of my day’s rations, on that same sill. New now yet familiar to my sitting and reflection. Much in the delighted attraction of two dirty dueling sparrows. Attracted to the breezeless flickers.   Gentle vagabonds, they are like me in this.  But this is their home, and I am bound for other countries with no more candles to my name.

A match awoke on the two I planted firm in the rinsing bowl. The burn sits even upon tall wax pillars occupying space in the thick green bottles that rival my age doubled. I have left half of that batch, the final bit of my day’s rations, on that same sill. New now yet familiar to my sitting and reflection. Much in the delighted attraction of two dirty dueling sparrows. Attracted to the breezeless flickers. 

Gentle vagabonds, they are like me in this.

But this is their home, and I am bound for other countries with no more candles to my name.

Because I remember what it was like to stand in the middle of the living room and open my arms wide and spin and spin and spin... by D.M. Jerman

NIGHT OUT 2025-

 

First the hot sunset. A real desert burner. Then thunder hiccuping like a sphincter deep in your gut.

Thick clouds, real in their gilt edges within the pale uniform of tired indigo washing out the sky beyond. That end-of-summer rain on approach. Fetid downpour ripe as a tramp. Slowly clearing.

Full evening takeover, then.

A hazy, half-fat moon. Over half. Gibbous waxing, wet as a jawbreaker worked over by a dog.

 

Before all this. Hard to believe now what those clouds looked like. Wide and peach-milk-pink. Spilled strawberry milkshake melted out on a lamp. Then atrophied blue gangrened deep thru. Corrupted simple under the sounds of bootsteps in blind alleyways.

 

The bar closed down after a good run and the team had themselves a long final party. They put on music the boss would never let them play with clientele in the place, and proceeded to destroy the ambiance with their bare hands. It would stand empty for a time after that.

 

Meanwhile- bass and smoke. Expletives, skateboards and some game on. More of everything than usual, especially sirens.

The city a bit of clamor and noise reeling amongst itself.

 

A ponderous night, drunk on new wind. Streetlamps courting miles of loneliness in all directions.

People can feel summer gasping its last and they want it gone, but they don’t either. It would be hard to make a false world and stay there while any windows are open and the whispered threat of more rain is riding the airy relentlessness.

However, a week prior is an example. Another place, courting the taxidermied reverb of memory.

 

Earlier, in the park made of late afternoon and bench and foliage in a neighborhood different from your own, a man stands in the shade of the garden not far from your spot and sings the same song aloud over and over. The book is good. You put it down to close your eyes. You are wearing heels. You are perhaps a half hour away from stopping at a new bar and killing more time before an art show.

Is it Friday? A day hazing over fast into the good long while of night. Both are so happy to have had themselves. To have been connected.

This was long after the rooftop days were over. Removed and exposed from the vantage of three or more stories.

 

Still stranded on a long road abandoned to cold on the saddest night of your life. These opposites were the same. They came before and after the dream-within-dream world of another bedroom.

Here you climb into the bed. Heavy covers lush and cool. You wake and find the envelope hidden under the pillow.

 

“Give this to the butler” says the fine paper with a black key etched to its opposite side. When he comes, you do. Then change into a red robe to follow the tall handsome butler silently out into the carpeted castle hallways and down. Down into a tearoom where you are expected. You greet and join your ancestors for light repast until the sun too goes down. Thru the prismatic glass all netted together with tall wrought iron spires, it turns into a polished cherry flame and winks out.

What do you do then? What do you say?

 

Come back now. Quit dreaming. It is Friday after all. The last of the last. Someone stumbled in to the place saying “I’m just here for the piano.”

Many hours later everyone made it home, altho’ the homes they made it to weren’t always theirs to start.

ASTFORTUNE.TUMBLR.COM.BLASTFORTUNE.TUMBLR.COM.BLASTFORTUNE.TUMBLR.COM.BLASTFORTUNE.TUMBLR.COM.BLASTFORTUNE.TUMBLR.COM.BLASTFORTUNE.TUMBL by D.M. Jerman

gods of september bleeding forward

over biblical bubblegums cinnamon time

trusted to wire the present to uncertainty

sizzling severed jesus stains clouds

and manholes city indisposed

of piss thick revolution

on a black mat there go meditators open faced

the guitar plays the typewriter plays the monkey

heaven pulled from weak lights to tornadoes

hauling prayer like mountains into the spectrum

castigate the new until the old becomes lost to use.

 

 

alpine breezes

chamber pots

in the dark for satin wax and square dances

who hopes for atrocious sexy people in pink eyeshadow

horsehair sofas left

by the road the men put a tree down 

spiked hard with a church of 1000 lights

and 25 cent saturday nights.

opposing school breaks

into oak blocks and bake shops

The oven is on and breathing deeply

baking strays and strangers

and the mooring mountains are want for a hot cup

of quiet which finds nouns and kitchen parties

passing verb soufflé, adjective casserole.

 

 

If I could spit paint... I would also spit things in nature. I would spit trees.

Plants. Carnivorous plants.

I would spit doors and houses for my friends to walk thru and live in. I might spit money.

Spitting spies to assign takeover missions for them. The act of spitting records and cassettes would thrill my friends. Coughing up electronic things makes me a genius and a god.

If I could spit paint my canvasses would be rank with postmodern insensibility.

I would produce whole works, the paint already dry, the brush strokes predetermined.

A work that truly came from within.

So much for buying up the world.

So glad that the disaster can be fathomed, then forgotten.

 

 

A magic bottle of red wine that never stops pouring and is delicious every time.

A magic coffee cup that stays full and hot with magnificent brew.

A magic water glass- cold, fresh and clear.

A magic notebook- the pages growing up under the pen.

A magic pen- all the ink ever needed for all the right words.

 

A magic mind.

 

This

magic

mind.

Together In A Grave - Lines from Future Poems by D.M. Jerman

By turns money in my pocket, but a crushed can and a crushed banana. The life leftovers in a world of plastic.

My unprotected heart and cold beer.

Wet ass from bike ride in the rain on a day after acting stupid and being the only one to know it.

That and the heart, broke with satisfaction.

Wet on a crush. The roof leaks.

The book's new chapter line is just perfect: Turns Out This Wasn't a Real Date.

Today,

this is my one good line

my single sword proclaiming

affirmative

in a theatre of stars

His dream and its implications are inconsistent with the reality he's been waking up to.

Bless you. Have money and aching eyes, joints. Deep breath. Pleased to finally exhale.

Need a new battery for a new thing by turns not loud enough and imperfect.

Jodorowsky said:

We really think how our great grandparents thought.

Fifteen people thinking and dreaming thru us at any one time.

A Sunday feeling on a Saturday starting out so nice with weather clear and warm. Then hail and dismal looks from under mascara eyes dirt.

Nothing special. Shivering eyes, empty hellos. Doesn't feel so lovely and good as when flesh pumps real from love's outpouring in a humble heart.

Today,

I will not be afraid to read

old poems

to get reborn on the moon

In my world

In my work

Mention that organ again. Take all the wrong bait.

Lobbing back weirdo walls within walls- that warm room my own that nobody's been invited to touch.

So thankful for a knot of pressure working in where the things I thought I understood used to be.

For the notion that one has to take a stand in life against the suicide note is a refusal to suffer the fool in oneself.

-When you get home tonight, do this 

(A List)-

-Watch everything made by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Or at least have it on in the background while you execute the following.

-Consume as much chocolate as you have available.

-Put on all the jewelry you can find and take a slow-motion capture set of yourself in the bath. Candles=bonus points for the score you're not keeping.

-Make a stack of similiar objects. Glue them together, then spraypaint them aquamarine or a breenish color. This is your new magick wand.

-Start a list. Call it "What I Fear Most."

-If you name the next poem you write "Seep, Swallow" What will follow?

-Start another list. It will contain a hundred things.

-After all this, what else is important? Answer in 400 words and red marker on your kitchen wall.