Lady Ghislaine

It must have been reassuring;
her posh British accent,
the tender way
her hand rested on their shoulders,
like a mamma bear
with her cubs.
Her eyes burning so bright with vitality
they teared up
as she handed her phone number
to the middle school girls.
Their Walmart jeans
and chipped glitter nail polish
were no match
for Lady Ghislaine
when she was on the hunt for nubiles.

Phoning mothers,
to assuage fears.
Dangling educational opportunities
like carrots
in front of starving bunnies.
Throwing hundred-dollar bills
into the air
until all their clothes
fell to the floor,
while the girls giggled,
reborn in the mirror.
Their potential sized-up.
Their measurements taken.

A ride on the jet.
A shopping spree.
A tutorial massage
was all it took.
Their small lubed hands
fisting the asses
of the rich and powerful.
Their mouths full of cum
and braces.
Strap-ons pulled from a laundry basket
adjusted on their pubescent frames.
Kings and queens.
Presidents and judges.
Scientists, lawyers, actors, comedians,
and World Cup champions
have all smiled
for the cameras.

While Lady Ghislaine,
British socialite and philanthropist,
sat back and smirked.
Her insatiable boredom
momentarily relieved.

Happy People

I see the three of them walking hand-in-hand
along the sidewalk.
The smiling faces of a young mother and father
on their evening constitutional
around the neighborhood.
In the middle is their child
talking up a storm.
The parents have each taken
a plump little hand in theirs,
swinging him
until he explodes into giggles.
They are filled with fresh-faced wonderment.
Engaged in the world around them,
whimsical in their love,
solemn in their vows.
They wave at me
as I drive past in my car.
I wave back, smiling.
They are everything that is good,
and kind,
and decent
in this world.

Which makes it all the more
of a mystery to me
why I want to put their fat little
chipmunk cheeked faces
in a vice
and squeeze.
What the fuck, I wonder.
What the fuck
is wrong with me.

Jack LaLanne’s Jumpsuit

Jack LaLanne appeared to me in a vision
one night,
after watching him hawk his juicer
on late-night T.V.
He sprang from my parent’s old black and white Sony,
zipped and belted in his jumpsuit,
his obscene muscles
emitting inhuman amounts of energy
as if he had been hooked-up
to some higher voltage.

Pulling a two-ton tugboat with his teeth,
handcuffed and shackled in icy waters,
he swam all the way
to Alcatraz.
“I’m an animal.”
he told reporters.
“I want to eat everything.
I want to get drunk every single night.
I want to screw every woman there is.”

I had read somewhere
that at 14, he was psychotic,
wielding an axe at his brother,
setting the family house on fire.
Beaten-up every day at school,
he was the kid
who was never picked for the team.
Afflicted with migraine headaches,
feeling like a scrawny dog,
he gorged himself on ice cream.

Suicidal and homicidal,
Jack’s mother took him to hear a lecture
by a health guru
preaching about human garbage cans.
Evangelizing against the evils
of meat and sugar,
praising the miracle
of vitamins and minerals.
Reborn, Jack stopped eating junk.

The gym became his cathedral,
exercise, his religion,
the Jack LaLanne Show,
his pulpit.
It was in my parent’s living room,
in front of the Sony
that the secrets of the universe
were revealed to me.
Sitting on a wooden chair,
the Apostle of Fitness
looked into the camera one morning,
“Boys and girls, come here.
Uncle Jack wants to tell you something.
Go get Mother or Daddy, Grandmother,
Grandfather, whoever is in the house.
Go get them
and make sure they exercise with me.”
Kicking his chair aside,
he dropped to the floor,
performing a set of his finger-tip push-ups
while two German Shepherds,
Walter and Happy leapt through hoops.
And off I ran,
organ music crescendoing,
pulling my grandmother’s cigarette hand
into the living room.
Smoke curling around our heads
while we did jumping jacks
on the plush shag carpet.

That was a long time ago.
But now I see the light again
shimmering off Jack LaLanne’s jumpsuit.
I was a glutton
with my hands
on the last doughnut.
A charlatan.
A late-night hustler.
An animal,
shackled and handcuffed
in icy waters.
An axe-wielding slut,
feeling like a scrawny dog,
never picked for the team.
But now, before I go into battle
I slaughter my suckling pigs
and pray for hunger.
Call me the Gut Butt Getter.
Call me the Hindu Jumping Ball Buster.
Call me your Sweetpot Muscle Head.
Blessed with struggle.
Redeemed with endurance.
A believer in feats of Herculean strength
and uncanny fortitude.
I see the light
so clearly now,
beaming from the screen
of that old black and white Sony.
Jack LaLanne’s face radiating an atomic blast of vitality.
His nimble physique leaping through the air.
His jumpsuit ablaze.
I was stingy with my love,
never bothering to recalibrate my muscles
or train the valves of my heart.
My brain contorted
and stretched over the years
until one day it snapped.
My mind floating on the waves,
my body swimming all the way to Alcatraz.