Poetry by Chris Haberman
 

Poetics 
by Chris Haberman

Vintage

They scream of vintage clothing and gothic
sweethearts frozen to cups of dead coffee.
They dawdle in front of drug stores, the
houses of Mephisto, waiting for shots of
sanity to be fired into their mouths. We wait
outside in the car while it all falls apart.
This is the drug generation, eating
themselves good, screaming of western
culinary delights and quoting lines from
Jung. We all hate Freud for some feminist
reason and Nietzsche is the collegiate
Christ. Bas ackward political refugees flow
in for free financial aid, standing out front of
a low income housing project selling sheets
of paper as bullet proof blankets. The
doomed rise at night stirring in the streets
listening to dirty guitar music played out of
thick brick buildings. They scream of
coincidence and comic books and video
games and the electronic generation of
Asteroid Afterburner simulation for air force
pilots, socially restricted to typed sentences
and loose laptop lingo. The rest is a jingle,
rewritten from a popular song sold out. We
all know how it goes because it’s gone. And
we scream of retro heroin sheik and
tubercular clean gay models with waists
like iron poles and eyes like plucked out
Grecian gods. The music hits harder and all
the drugs are dropped in some part of the
body and someone is getting their tongue
pierced or someone is making sex on the
futon with wine spilled around the wooden
cushions and someone vomits sushi in a raw
design on the wall and everyone claps and
calls it high art, post retro dada modernism.
They talk, serious now, of vintage clothing
and vintage times. And how things that say
vintage aren’t vintage and how that word
doesn’t mean as much when you’re sober or
damned to work a real job or pay rent for
wine stained wooden cushions. Instead they
dress in generic suits and talk of yesterday
and the music drags to a pop and the news
(diabolic and new) speaks monotone
through all their talking heads.

Watering Like a Dry Hyena

I watch her nipples engorge with blood
and my mouth waters like a dry hyena.
I lay her down on the desert flat
and I lick her down to ready her for love.
It doesn’t seem right but we both
understand how this works.
She doesn’t let me do what I want
and that’s good because I didn’t
want to anyway and she frowns
upside down and says she is always
ready for love and come to think of it
she is always a wet lover when I check
and it has little to do with me
and everything to do with Oregon
and humidity.
Then we shower so neither of us gets
a yeast infection because all we do
is fight about not having sex and we
break up and get back together
and we make up over telephone politics
and we are together in the same room
in the same compromising positions
when I like to watch her nipples
engorge with blood—and they do—
and the phone rings
and it is God, and he says,
“Get out now! It sounds like love!”,
and I say okay, and hang up and I look
at her outstretched in all her
white nakedness, pure beauty personified,
and I see her mouth
watering like a dry hyena.

Empty Naked Black Slumber

I watched you through the window all night
with one hand tied to myself. I recorded alien
sounds from your window with a paisley hand-held recorder.
I read fiction, commercial and bright with dinosaurs
and damsels in distress. I remembered all the lost minds
of our generations on sexy barstools drinking themselves
to death. I walked around the steps of your apartment
and waited for someone to let me in. I parked
my car in a handicap spot waiting for the police
to arrive. I drank all of our wine outside
your window staring in at the darkness
at the night light. I dreamt of you asleep,
naked on the floor with your arms above your head.
I took pictures of the dark room and developed
them at a grocery store. I saw lines from
the lights of your naked body on the floor
with your head to one side. I bought a tie
I thought you would like and matched it
with a new black shirt. I picked you some flowers,
waiting, oh waiting for you to come home,
to wake up from your empty naked black slumber
and rise to greet me. You never came home.
I never left. I am still standing outside
waiting, staring at the blackness and the opaque pattern
of your body on the carpet
shining in the dark.

  

© 2000 Chris Haberman

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