Death of a Ladies Man

Death of a Ladies Man.

Comrades, if the heart is located anywhere
on this stinking old earth,
it would be at Magnetogorsk,
the Soviet ubercity in the Urals,
churning out pig-iron and smiling buxom factory-girls
aligned and staring like Kraftwerk,
diagonally into the future.
Don’t listen to the thieving kulaks
who’d have you believe
the heart is mechanical and powered
by a constant stream of dissident slaves
working night and day to
prevent the lights from dimming.
Those are lies, damned lies and statistics
from the lickspittle West.

They dedicated the most romantic day of the year
to a saint dragged screaming
through the streets of Rome
and martyred with clubs and rocks
and finally a rusted blade
to open the voicebox
hacking his scream to a whistle.
And yet
somehow
it’s fitting.

Chet Baker throws himself out of
a hotel window in Amsterdam.
Valentino dies at 31
and leaves his wife one dollar in his will.
Six men dead
on the floor of a Chicago garage,
the seventh, dying with 14 bullet wounds,
tells police when asked, “Nobody shot me.”

The most romantic thing,
maybe the only
certifiably
romantic
thing,
I have heard in thirty years
is a man having a tattoo of IRA
altered to the name of his wife.
That is love.

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