I have the Cadillac blues and a migraine head,
the piano won’t play career shattering fugues
I’ve dreamed about in whiskey hot pants
and rainy day schizophrenias. The basement
suffers menopause as I compose mood pieces
about leather turbans, silk footballs and Shetland
ponies. Fans I hate call me the dashing wizard,
idolize isolation, armor, and masks
I wear at concerts of detoured malaise,
sad barmaids, and scorched flowerheads.
As my stature increases,
I awake earlier each morning,
scamper upstairs to deny a dying cult intrigue,
and long for a khaki safari, an ontological
expedition complete with ebony crackers.
Every day I slap myself silly with coffee,
cattle flesh, and polo drugs. Rumor has it
any time now I’ll publish memoirs and discuss
my latest necklace. Untrue. But I’ll share
secrets from lost tapes if it’s agreed
failure won’t menace me: shrubs ramble behind
the shed, diseases spread through their veins,
and I wait for my patron
to dismiss me, for consent—the hunt
northward, the premiere of my greatest movie.
THE DOOR MARKED EXIT
I never could spell because I’m no
walking dictionary and that skill
was omitted from my DNA. I’m
an American, for Christ’s sakes,
in a hurry no matter the zip code
I mail letters in. Give me
an Indian massacre, or allow
my unbuttoning a woman’s blouse
that has the scent of Dior
before I crumple it into a corner.
I don’t even know where the Louvre is,
or how long Queen E has reigned.
Give me the murder channel, some apricot
schnapps, and a little bush I can dicker
with, I’ll be happy. I’d prefer a movie
star with the buzz of a meteor, so don’t
label me a monster. As long as I hum
and can smell the pollen from a white
iris, I won’t be in a copperhead’s mood.
But I’ve met too many pickpockets
of the heart who’ve skimmed my joy.
I’m exhausted and don’t want to struggle
or suffer—just live in a tent and collect
stamps, mingle with the thrush
and the hawk before I roll up in a jeep
by a chilly deli’s EXIT door open
to the white light that waits for no one.
Yes, I’m the hunchbacked auctioneer
who hugged Virginia at her wedding
in the wilderness mansion she named
Corkscrew for no good reason. Ginny,
a small, ponytailed, redheaded jogger
who cartwheeled before she grappled
with the muck on her route, sometimes
chose to bicycle miles through moss,
lions in her animal preserve, the sheep
that grazed. I stole her journal a week
before I witnessed the marriage
of her and the local hero, a pro wrestler
named Concrete. They were a pair,
Concrete and Ginny. I was a tenant
next to their bedroom and heard them,
I swear. They bit each other—her journal
says so—and prayed, howled, threw
Krugerrands in a satchel after every sex bout.
Sometimes I heard Ginny cry between moans.
I feared for her safety, volunteered I’d slash
Concrete’s throat, but she couldn’t swallow
that solution. That was two days before
the reckoning. Concrete donned a crown
of cherries around his shaved head.
The bride wore her white jogging outfit.
Everybody applauded, and, as I mentioned,
I hugged Ginny. And then shot Concrete
in the forehead five times with my .22.
When I’m released we’re booking
a cruise along Alaska’s coast.
David Spicer has had poems in Yellow Mama, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The Laughing Dog, In Between Hangovers, The American Poetry Review, New Verse News, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Dead Snakes, and in A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart, is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks, and is the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.