To Anya Frank
Miss Frank, I miss you terribly, since I saw you
bathing by the river
as the new Germans threw stones
and urinated from their uncircumcised.
I always saw you as glamour
an opiate-pellet downing
Armenian courtesan, young top-model
in the court of Tammuz, in the underworld
of gray dust of Sheol. I would have waited
for your fermentation, until you turned a nineteen year old scribe,
and like all the greatest models, a writer as well,
To kiss all your fathoms, to make a painting
of you my Odalisque.
Tear your flesh, on a flying carpet
to cuckold the cold rich Tammuz, gangster and philanderer in the afterlife
who was not a good lover to you and did not return
your caresses and letters after he made money from your image.
Safe from the dust of Sheol,
I would drink
in the shadows of your shivering back
My vow was never to step into
that desecrated, void tollhouse in Amsterdam, papered in the
polaroids of your unworried, certain sad smile,
Unstellar mansion, toll house.
Never will I pay tribute
to false philosemitism of the Europeans, to Nether-austria.
Cousin for whom I lusted
Your name means lily,
lily means mortality
grows from the small feet
of tenderness in the sunless underworld
not from the mansions of lies and coins,
not from the seats of the Dutch who castrate
the world with their folding bicycle-shearers.
Don’t worry, I will not show these photographs and drawings
I made of you
to jealous Tammuz,
but if they become famous, he might see them. He will not
spare his rage, dispatching
his birds and boys on motorcycles.
A EUROPEAN COUNTRY SEEN FROM AN ARUBAN FLYING CARPET
the usual beating buzz-words, carrion-birds of language
gauged, jargon-jammed, call it anything you please, save censorship.
Young liberals in europe monitor
discipline each other, inter-voyeurs,
They spit coins into each others mouths.
Draw mocking portraits
on the tables of pub bars, catharsis dead as the sun
as their catch-phrases.
Their envy is for the darkest browed, the shovel-armed
and the idle laborer’s sons who know how to be Barbaros,
the Greek word learned
1 as in the soul
does not dare rear its obscene ruby or emerald parakeet head
in their eyes
or gloat in their faces. They are correct
civilized. No symbol of the phallos may be written on the wax
surface of cork, as it once appeared
on bathroom wall mosaics, all of them once
pubescent, male or female before rites of passage and voyages of Self
scratched a tiny swastika into a middle school desk,
little bird-footprint of twisted toes, crying they admit to the sin.
It came before they dawned as Men, Women, embracing the religion of Ganesh.
Political discourses of college dormitories they scratch out a plan
on how to politely de-eroticize the world
on a globe lampshade, allowing some room still
for the hermaphroditic’s sex
in their future senate.
They will avenge only instances of oppression
they have known—middle-school’s taunts,
shouted from faraway classmates,
fellow-uniforms, cloud-colored on passing bicycles. Se questo un huomo
they would ask of themselves, not knowing the magnitude
of the martyr who asked the question in his native tongue, my dear Cousin.
They draw the Itching in coins, Confucian replacing Calvin.
Predestination, fate, all unspeakable, previously unspent
animal horror, learned sow’s cavalry
in electric cars
Above all, they hide
to rape, rape
and to be raped before an altar with caricatures of Anne Frank and Mohammed,
in a heavenly sky-vault of crystal, wind-electric engine/
the smiling, insatiable Ana Frank, serene
as a mango-fallen child
of the goddess Parvati, eyes ringed
Then leap across to the lands
of the provincial hatred. Here where
the lemurs vote. Kulaks, enigeers,
stupidest hayburners and hide-flayers,
of our Time, all of them
The farmhands and the daughters of rural 40% Income Tax-martyr’d
have no poet but Race,
Hate of foreigner,
Hate of the city-dwellers. It seeps into all their sentences, sensorium void.
The cork of their ocher, hard language, they season
each sentence barked from their crystal bicycle seats
with as much evil as possible, riveting and ice-skating along
the rink-realm of the land of Erasmus’ Reason.
Fools who think their lives the hardest
and that their hands manufacture the world and tether its grapes
A Socialist Party functionary once helped them
believe these lies before selling the Party. And the devil, blue skinned
and passionless cold, came along with new plans,
laid out for them, on electron paper.
They speak the blank speak
of the washed city folk, the bourgeois warriors
of Rembrandt’s Nightwatch, but this time
with blanks in their holsters. Similarly they discuss
business, affairs of state and the war
against other parts of the voting population
while going for a beer-piss between the lake and trees.
Votes on foreign policy: fold ballots into paper Napoleon hats and jet-planes
to throw at a tower in Damascus, Galilee, and the Iraqi city of Ur
from where the first Itinerant,
kebab-salesman Abraham, hounded, departed, flanked by lambs,
multiple-wived and with his slutty daughters from the first marriage, and their heavy suitcases, rafts across the Euphrates.
All cowherd’s grandparents’ illustrated Bible lessons.
Here and now in the cold Northern lands of tempered
broad and shallow minds,
the rural, the cowherd dynasts,
speak the speak
and the silent seconds and minutes
in the mouths of the farmhands have the censor and silver silencer
removed from the muzzle. Blinders on, but jaw-straps
dangling in Freedom
to eat the rotten oysters given to them in gift-packs from politicoes
visiting door to door selling blood, revenge and insecticide.
Scatter noise-pearls on the carpet
for their hay-haired children to play with. The i’s , axis dotted in the coloring books.
A spade a spade.
Arturo Desimone, Arubian-Argentinian writer and visual artist. His poetry and short fiction have previously been in The New Orleans Review, in the Buenos Aires Reader, and in the Rosetta World Literature Quarterly of Istanbul, Counterpunch Poets Basement.