Exquisite Corpse - Issue 4
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by Andy Young

Greg and the Geisha Neck

He invents smudges to remove,
spiders to save her from.
Anything. Just to touch -
he watches, wants to take
a bite from its long question mark,
so swan-stretched it transcends
swan, moves on to marble arch,
architecture, smooth
curve of history itself.
Arc of sinew, spine, long
climb of steep cathedral
where he worships, prays
for pure lips, wants
to slurp communion blood.
The breasts, although sweet puffs,
sugar-perfect, merely
witness it; the shoulders
with their Libra balance
announce its porcelain justice.
He wants to fold and blind-
cape her, bolts of black silk,
block all distraction.
Enraptured, he wraps her
until she is statue,
vein-traced sculpture flooded
with jugular liquor -- sweet
creature, how it beats! He wants
to weep for its innocence,
its simple clavicular origin,
but feels nothing for the face
blanked by black, mouthing a slick
growing circle, the silk
rising and falling with breath.


It is not that it is given,
but that it is taken --

What can be saved in a darkness
that cleaves the carpus,
that leaves the body to hang
festered and broken?
What kind of world
would accept it?

The problem is not
not believing the story.
The problem is not the belief.
It's the crux of the matter,
the crux, see, the cruelty
that makes the story possible.

The taking, even, of the gift
(if you see it that way)
that pushes the weep to the throat,
and begs an altered salvation:

On this good Friday
when I cannot love Jesus
let me, stained with want
give myself to you,
dark storm of your mouth
pushed against my wound.

Let us seek veneration
in the damp room where
flesh meets, offer it in skinlit
shine at the blister of parting--

Show me how you can
but do not take my life,
hand clutched to mandible,
thorn against the thigh's crease.
Let me offer this.

this flesh, already cleft

because I no longer
recognize redemption,
and the only rising I seek
is you inside me.

Smooth-boned, I am supported
by the sturdy agreement
of hip and thigh:
stiffened by structure
sacrum, coccyx
I am hollowed:
the scooped-out place
inside my skull,
little caverns inside my bones --

bones, bones
that solid architecture
they ache, they creak,
they groan like houses
they bow toward ground

relics left by other eras
remote as the Renaissance,
the age of reason.

What do we know of
struts of marrow
still trapped in warm flesh:
fiddle-bow of clavicle,
riddle of hip --
ilium, ischium, pubis?

What do we know of bones
we will one day become,
given to earth
the way coins are dropped
in collection baskets?

Bones that will jut from ground
in heavy rain,
now chalk-drawn in redness,
hinged sketching of our framework.

Bones like the hip
a man once slipped
in a healing pool in Ecuador.
It came out round,
complete as an incense tip:
smooth-boned, like the skull
I once shoved
in a place too small for it,
to see if the bone was solid.
The Anointing

The doctor told her
the only way
to beat the blues
was to turn them into purple.
"Violetrification," he said,
preparing the injection.
Sudden shocks of color
swam the rivers of her blood,
like salmon they reached
her dull gray brain

and suddenly
she was kissing African violets
and bathing in lavender pools
while everybody ate grape popsicles,
singing red and blue notes
that collided in purple explosion--
clouds and sunsets
cooled above indigo
and everyone
was royalty.

Email: Andimuse@aol.com

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