by quinten collier
_________________________ . ________________________
El Topo II
The sunlight turned to smoke above the desert.
The caravan wound westward
In search of the naked thighs of mice.
A Russian gypsy named Takato Yamamoto.
The sunlight turned to dust above the mountain.
The caravan wound westward.
A Russian gypsy married to his mother
In a mask of self-hypnosis.
The sunlight turned to soot under the horse hooves.
In search of the everlasting serpent.
A puppeteer in a mask of human muscle.
A gunslinger, a pedophile,
And a Russian,
Crawling behind a miracle,
Turned to sunlight.
The sunlight turned to Takato Yamamoto in the fountain,
I appear terrifying. Fear Evil
And everlasting life, said the serpent.
The gypsy turned to ashes in the sunlight.
The mice have found her.
The caravan is now our mother,
We cannot be born.
The puppeteer shot a child in the sunlight.
We are not alive:
That is what draws us to the womb.
My name is Takato Yamamoto, the Blessed Serpent.
Only the mice are everlasting.
The gunslinger with a mask made of horse hooves.
Westward wound the caravan.
The snake’s crypt of sunlight.
* * *
The Cold War
I don’t know if we were spies
or just fugitives.
We were on a bus.
I was fleeing again
but confident this time
I would attain liberation,
Everyone on the bus felt the same;
we could see ourselves gliding across the map from above
through a country of weightless gold.
Sitting next to me was an Indian girl—
Hindu, Aztec, Iroquois...
I couldn’t discern her origin—
I thought she had the power to heal.
I knew I would never escape my native land,
though it seemed the journey itself was a sanctuary.
The girl asked me where I was going
and if I’d taken this route before.
I answered then asked her the same,
her eyes a window to the foot hills behind,
the desert a mask for the forest
absolved of all duration.
She had a baby in her arms.
I asked her its name.
Her lips turned ocher like herbs
and she was silent:
This child was a gift.
Our destination cannot be determined.
Her name is October
and she must never awake from her dream.
We entered a territory of wind and sand
This was America.
The girl pointed out the window,
We call this place Russia, she said.
* * *
Going Nowhere (A Middle Class Blues)
they want to talk to rain with smoke
these misers in their gold belts with
they want to acquiesce
to the wishes of their oil riggery on
under a perishing facade of locust
in the mountaintunnels they want their fears to subside
in a dusk of coal powder
for the women who seek them
will never enter their masculine
they want to catalogue
the stars with
for a posterity engineered
they want to cultivate prisons &
security implants name their
this train ain’t going
the sky is coagulating into glass
& i’m supposed to ask
if you care
here is a hand that
will never float over the
kitchen table again
a choir sucked back into the stereo
an implosion of fruit flies
to compose an exegesis
on the compost heap
mother, let me back in!!! I’VE CHANGED!!!!!!!!!!!!
he’s swearing he’s changed & it’s this
miserable mildewed rag weed eyelash
dapple in the trailer park hush as the
methheads sleep still western annihilation
methods that slip through the heart there the
maudlin stricken unloved of god
w/her fifteen-year-old picture everyone’s left
their breath on so says the officer at the door
he’s changed I tell you he’s changed
you have to please the neighbors
& we’re all divorced
at the barbeque
in our company tshirts
w/the composite sodas of flaccid eternity
loosen your belt
at night in the lawnmower plasma drone
subdued in the way
there is nothing to understand
give me justice
fatty human melodrama
to sedate me
give me a naval aircraft carrier
that is about to sink but
give me the nuclear submarine that is ab
out to fire torpedoes
but on second thought
m a y b e
we should wait
my baby left me
for my lawyer
i’m so demented by her wedding ring
she’d, hanging out at thrushcross grange
& I’m stuck out hunting strange
my suitcase ain’t gonna
leave my hand again
call me heathcliff
ugly gypsy looks fifty but he’s twenty-four
i can’t lift myself into the
hot tub with
this ain’t my real life
i’m just vacationing
from cosmic unity
in this corrupt amalgamate
of lacquered excrement
some people were
just born to get ripped
off & i don’t care to
now that’s nonetheless for ya
the curtains open themselves
the iris of granite
printed on a translucent gray shawl
who should be murmuring to the
carpet mites at this hour in search of
the cat has a urinary tract infection
the dog has a glass eye
& toads sleep in caverns several many meters
under the topsoil:
euthanized buddhas in the dolor of bloodless eunuch
we’re all connected
what the hell good does it do us?
can’t sell it
can’t eat it
can’t tell it what to do
you get these microscopic illuminations
& they’re about as substantial as chewing gum
& last just as long
but MARS TOM!!!!
you get this book
& it unlocks the universe
but the rose garden the plum blossom
the crab apple
all irreparably cropped
the elms will go to seed when you have to
go back to work in the etc. & their regenesis is
pain in the ass
the sheriff is a beautiful woman
wielding a vast amorphous prison cell
to encompass the highway
like some silicate silhouette
when sprinting in the sedans of sentience
the a.m. threethirty drunks flee their tremens of haunt &
vermin-crazed they reel the towers of chrome city
hallways peeling like paint
barstools of faustian repose now jarred spiraling
through windows of lilac air in the heat mirage of august
street lamps & cicada shrills
sawtooth winged newspaper clippings
& warrant papers to arrive in your mailbox
everyday for the rest of this menial
tain’t meh awaidden un dat tring
fodder for the starving engines of
doggerel of magenta
incision of hours
long since past she was
the orange milk vermilion
of sacrament & sunfall
the final motel sign
the cosmogonical orphan
you clean up nicebut your face is
still planed & creased & discolored fingerstained
as an old roadmap
it’s nothing personal
the planets, the lunar/solar decompositions
mimesis of atoms,
the vinegar, the sponge,
the oracle in the catacombs,
the violent, the pacified
manifestations of the gag,
the nefarious prank
& flesh-hewn rhythms of the
blackdrum of space
this joke of angelical horror & obscenity
it’s nothing personal
& every electorate
is devouring itself
& friday you will get a raise
then buy a brand spanking new beer cooler
take the little kitchen cleaner
& kids out
on the river
confused as to what is love
& what is indoctrination
i ain’t even gettin on it
ain’t no one
ain’t no one
the dove lands on a telephone pole
gray against the precise blue fidelity of the sky
she plays a harp of her own breastbone
a girl with a blouse of washed sunlight
stands corroborating soundless farewell
with another mortal out of vision
then i am lost in a cul-de-sac on sunday morning
not worshipping a god
© Quinten Collier