INTRODUCTION TO NAMELESS BOYS

INTRODUCTION TO NAMELESS BOYS
by Martine Compton
(Previously Published in INPATIENT Magazine)
______

IF ONLY YOU COULD SEE HOW I’M SHAKING, BOYS-
THIS PALE STALE FRAGMENT GIRL-
ME AT 23.
TREMBLE IS
MY ANTHEM
ALL I HAVE TO RECOMMEND ME
IS
MY PURE ATTENTIVE FREAKISH WILL
DRIVE PULL PUNCH
CHILDHOOD ANTHEM.

SUBURBAN SPRAWLED BOTTICELLI HEAD
I
DISCOVERED SEX AT AGE 3
LEARNED TO LIE SOMEHOW,
PERHAPS BY WATCHING MY
MOTHER’S EYES,
BUSY HER HANDS,
TYPEWRITER GRANDMOTHER.
LEARNED TO SMOKE
BECAUSE I FORGOT TO WRITE-
.
BEFORE SHE BEGAN
I THOUGHT SHE WAS
DOROTHY PARKER.
RED LABEL PALL MALL QUEEN.
AT THANKSGIVING DINNER.
YEAR-ROUND NEW YEAR’S MOUTH-
ASHTRAY PIANOMOUTH SOUL.
THIS IS MY LABOR, BOYS,
HOLD STILL: I THINK I SEE A HEAD:
I ALWAYS FIGURED
SHE’D COME OUT
FOOT IN MOUTH FIRST-
HIP LIP FIRST.
SKIP A BEAT, BOYS,

BREATHE BREATHE LAUGH GASP…
IS THIS A GODDAMNED
VIRGIN BIRTH
AFTER ALL THE SEX I PUT IN?!

HERE I AM DINING IN CROATIA
WITH NOTHING TO RECOMMEND ME
BUT A GIFT FOR THE LIES AND
HERE, STILL: DON’T FORGET
I AM GIVING BIRTH
LIVE BIRTH
IN YOUR PARLOUR-
HOW’S THAT FOR AN ENTRY FEE?
NINE MONTHS COME TO A CLOSE
WHILE WAITING FOR A RHYME
TO CONSUMMATE A UNION WITH THE PAGE-

MY MIND IS A WELL
AND THE PAGEWORLD IS
ALWAYS THIRSTY:
HISTORY TIME SPACE’S
MOST PAINFUL IRRIGATION
SYSTEM: WRITING.
PUT OUT THE RUG, BOYS,
LIGHT THE FIREPLACE-LIGHT IT UP-
I NEED TO HAVE A LIE DOWN WITH YOU
AND I CAN’T SEE YOU-
YOUR FACES ARE ALL UNYET
AND CURRENTLY
YOUNG LOST OR SHRIEKINGLY
ALONE LIKE ME.

I CAN’T CHOOSE THE FUTURE
I AM
OVERWHELMED BY THE PRESENT-
SOME NIGHTS
THE PILLOW HITS ME LIKE A GUN-
I FALL HOLLOW
INTO SHAME
AT MY OWN INACTION
COWARDLY WORDLESSNESS.

IS THIS MY WOMB WRITING?
DAMN THIS SHOT.
NEXT TIME I ROLL AND GAMBLE-
MEN HAVE ONE LESS
ISSUE TO
CONQUER BEFORE
TAKING UP THE PEN.

(IF ONLY ALL SOUNDS
COULD CODDLE QUIET
LIKE A WATER HEATER
COFFEE POT, WATERTANK SINK.)
I COULD OPEN MYSELF
UP BY THE LID
AND TIP MYSELF OVER AND
NEVER CLEAN MYSELF OUT-
MILES AND A THOUSAND YEARS
OF THINGS TO DUMP.
ADULT EPIPHANIES
TAKE LIKE MEALS-
THEY REQUIRE PREPARATION, FAITH,
AND A HOT PLACE TO COOK THEM.

THIS NIGHT,
ALCOHOL IS MY WET-NURSE:
SOMERSAULT BIRTH-
GROWING MYSELF
AMPUTATION/REGENERATION:
A STRANGE NEW TWIST ON
THE MURDER-SUICIDE.

THE CRAZY UNCLE
NEVER RECOGNIZES
HERSELF-
JOE AND I AGREE,
THEN,
AT OUR FAMILIES’ ABSENCE
OF THEM
WE
ARE
THEY
(SHE).
SOON LOVEMAKING WILL BE
A RESTING PLACE FROM PANIC.
THERE ARE NOT WORDS, LOVER
(BOYS FORGIVE MY
BREAKING INTO THE PAST)
THERE WILL BE
THERE WILL BE
MAPS ARGUMENTS
RAIN AND CHAMPAGNE
BUT GOD HELP ME:
WHEN IS ENOUGH?

BOYS, TELL ME WERE YOU
BORN WITH THIS
HALF-MUSCLE HALF-WIT
COMPULSION
TO LEAK YOUR LETTED BLOOD
ONTO A STRANGER’S
SPARE PAPER?
THE KIND THAT YOU FIND IN
A KITCHEN DRAWER
OR ABANDONED
AT A BUS STATION
OR THE WHITE AD SPACES ON A NEWSPAPER
OR A RELATIVELY CLEAN NAPKIN
AFTER EVERYONE HAS LEFT THE  DINNER TABLE?

WHEN DID YOU ACKNOWLEDGE
THAT YOUR
HAIR IS A DISASTER,
AND A SOURCE OF COMEDY
TO OTHER PEOPLE
WHO WATCH YOU
AS, FEVERISH, YOU
WRITE?

WHEN DID
BLANK PAGES
BECOME
LIKE
DARES TO YOU-
WHEN DID YOU LEARN
THAT THIS CHALLENGE IS THROWN AT YOU
LIKE AN  UNEXPECTED CHILD
AND
KNOWING YOUR WOMB IS FULL OF WINE
AND
THAT EVEN MOTHER SAID
YOU’VE BEEN TELLING STORIES ABOUT BEARS AND SUCH
FOREVER.
BEFORE YOU KNEW YOUR ALPHABET
YOU SPOKE STORIES
AND BEFORE YOU KNEW YOUR GRAMMAR
YOU WROTE THEM
AND NOW SINCE
YOU’VE FORGOTTEN
YOUR GRAMMAR
YOU’VE WRITTEN SINCE-?
YOU WITH MORE THAN
YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH
HAVE FOLKS YOU MUST WRITE
OF AND TO
AND, OH, NO, BOYS,
AND OH
THAT SILLY APPLE SPICE
BOTTLE FROM
THE AFTERNOON
AND OH
CHARACTERISTIC DESPAIR.

WELL, BOYS,
REMEMBER WHEN YOU THOUGHT
THERE WAS NO ONE-?
REMEMBER NURSING
ME THROUGH MY FIRST STORY DEAL-
REMEMBER OH
DEAR GOD PLEASE SAVE ME
FROM FEMALE MYOPIA!
IT MUST BE 3AM
AND HERE I AM
REMEMBER THIS?
ALL THE BOYS
AT LEAST
WHOM I STILL
SEDUCED AS
AN OLD(ER) WOMAN-?
IT COULD WELL BE
4AM.
TONIGHT IT IS
IMPORTANT THAT I TRIED
I GAVE
I SANK
I DRANK.
SHE WILL DIE
ONE DAY
GODDAMNIT
AND I WILL
WRITE HER A
GRAND POEM:
A REASON TO PICK UP
THE TAB
WHERE SHE LEFT
OFF.
PLEASE EXIST, BOYS.
PLEASE KISS
MY WOUNDS
PLEASE LICK
MY BAD REVIEWS-
PLEASE
HELP ME PAY
MY GAS BILL
WHEN TRUTH IS
NOT FASHIONABLE.

PLEASE HELP ME HEAL FROM HIS MEMORY.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s