Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Poetry: An Odyssey

An Odyssey

Sing to me of the man, Oh Muse
And through me enflame his nerves
The Singaporean man, buffeted, by
Flagellation and desire, An artist
A deaf artist and mute, can't hear your song
Lucky bastard, he was spared your sirens
I can hardly stand your voice of rust

Anyway, he left his showing in heat
Decided to escape his worry-wort handler
When you own a three piece suit, and tie-collar
And you can spin straw into goldleaf shading
You are closely watched, it wasn't easy
But this one was crafty, a stealthy lion

For Singapore is the city of liions don't you know?
We call it Disney-Land with the death penalty
They call it SingDollar utopia, so sing dollars
And he had plenty of those to chase the illicit

When you're horny, rich, and reckless
And have downed a cocktail or two to communicate
With rich socialites by universal watering hole
And forego your interpreter, you will not be babied
Oftentimes you get lost on the way to the strip club

Fate brought him, lost, to the shores of The Eagle
And mildly drunk, he decided to wax umildly
Ill-mannered, not that the gatekeeper noticed
Too contrite, he bounced away from deaf mute shriek-sound
And took the artist's ID, who took delight in unnerving

The bar was dark and had a second floor
A pool table on the first, real Americana
Dive deeply, dive, he thought of black waters
Surrounding his island when the incandescence
Was sure that no mortal or goddess was looking

On the first floor, there were no women

On the second floor half naked men in harnesses
In collars, in work-boots, in jockstraps and cleats
Some tied, some chained, some rubbered
The scent of new leather, sweat, and hair
Revel in the pig-sty, some find it enticing,
I paint a scene, Oh Eros, Eros! Such stimulus!
Prometheus fresh-bound, new-bound, bound by Dionysus
Bound and red-flagged, up for love and bloodsports

At that moment though, whatever, he needed a beer

He made the sign for deaf-mute, in Signed Exact English
Double language barrier signing, bastard ASL
They spoke English in Singapore, not that he'd heard it
Whatever, his gut, beer, now, hopefully Japanese
Which they did not have, sigh, grunt, point to Yuengling

Took a sip, paid, waved out his thanks
And quietly, for all is quiet, drank piss
Someone was probably into that, he thought
And how could he blame, when they settled for gold
Gold over his amber, He chuckled then scowled
He heard that his laugh had sounded satyr-like

There was porn on the TV, which he tried to ignore
There were patrons in the bar, whom he tried to ignore
Not that he hadn't crossed gender lines,
People were people, all of them a Tiresias
Money buys bisexuality, or at least its awareness
And artistry calls for leaping without looking
But not in this context, you stupid stupid man,
Not with all your chains, far apart from these

More beer. Now! His hands were aflutter
This too, did not go unnoticed, of course
Here too a curiosity, but at least not a celebrated one
Let him go, down then, this was now Tartarus
Debase me, hurt me, choke me, this was the place
To be othered it seemed, even here he was denied connection

We are such vocal lovers. Even he could feel vibrations
Screams linger in the air, and make it dance with ecstatics

And then, oh muse, a sign, finally a sign
A man had said hello, and he had understood
Praise such revelations, And praise Adonis
Aphrodite being absent in a den such as this
And Pan not able to abide with Protocol
They say we are bound by the strings of fate
I say, muse, that those hags don't understand
We have cut their threads and only are bound
Yes bound, and bind in turn, to each other in Bondage

The man, was scruffy. Brown haired, Pale and limber
Not like the rich fat Australians, who evade taxes
Islands Interlopers, but he had taken their patronage
No he was different breed of Caucasian,
Wearing a collar, and an absence of shirt
He wanted to know if this was his first time, and it was
He wanted to know where he was from, and the artist said

More questions followed, slightly slowed by their accents
ASL, Exact English, two and two hands do not make four
There should've been a universal language, but no
Ease was not in a mute vocabulary
Even if he could make the signs, it was not there

Anyway, the collar, the man had a Sir
Who was away in Cancun with his husband
Who himself had a The situation confused him
Language notwithstanding, Circe had done work
Here piggy-piggy but the pigs, as myth tells it
Could see the wind, and the wind blew forward
To unions of choice and not old bed-rite
And it seemed one of the choices
Was to leave none of the silent behind
It seemed these strange people
Always interpreted for one another

For useless are spells that can only be uttered
And to make words safe, you can' t make them words

What do you? I'm an artist? Really? A famous one.
Are you good? No. Oh no, why do say that?
I've never made real art. My irritation is spent
And the expense goes into irrigation, drown the well
The water nymphs, flirtation, and haze, I'm drunk
Poseidon on the side of a can of Sapporo

As he told, he was ashamed, Sapporo, really?
Ethnically Korean and addicted to the rising sun
Dawn with her rose colored fingers, had tainted his tongue

Put the beer down, said the man, his tone commanding
The artist did, with some reluctance, but with gratitude
Are you out of control? let me control you then. Make you my art.
Paint you on the side of an amphora, strum you like a lyre
Or immortalize you in the festival Dyonisia in role and epic

Had he divined correctly? Metaphors were gods' work.
He was no god. At least not to himself, but then
In the man's eyes, he saw, that to the man he was

Have I been to forward? the man's hands were skittish

Pause. Rewind. Stop. Watch the night in fast forward.
HD quality, Muse doesn't mess around with money
Sing dollar, dollar, sing! But still no sound
Few captions, no connections with characters
But this, only this, artist to canvas, a role
An escape from the beer, he needed discipline
Connection, those eyes, a family, an expansion

No, he said, take me to the third floor, he said
And led by Penelope, he returned to Ithaca

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