I was standing with my pelvis thrust forward;
my crotch fit just so at ground zero, facing
the Taj Mahal. She seemed to lean into it, making
an adjustment, or it seemed so in my fevered imagination,
vivid and perverse as it was suggestive. I thought,
well, this is one form of crowd control.
I would have taken countermeasures had someone
thrust a hard rod between my cheeks. I might have
blushed but I would not have been pleased. Was she?
In my dreams, yes. For me, I was offering a massage.
Her pleasure is what I sought, not mine. Why must I lie?
Taking advantage is easier when one feels justified.
Doing good is a cover for evil. For Heaven’s sake lessens
the resistance. It is wonderful how atheists blame God.
I wonder what believers might think. Is morality just an excuse?
It’s not that God makes one do it, it’s that doing wrong pleases Him.
My pleasure rests in sacrifice, a delusion. I do it for Him. I poke
this girl’s cute ass in the hope that God consents.
A little more of this, and I could start a criminal enterprise.
This could be what psychos do. Serial killers must enter into
this sort of sick contract. The killing doesn’t make God angry, no;
it makes Him happy. It’s done for His glory. Are all immoral acts
forms of human sacrifice, like the decapitations performed by the Aztecs?
Lopping off heads, rape, acts of malfeasance, disgrace, what’s the difference?
Wasn’t this Genet’s idea of the perfect crime? Masturbation creates
a sacrament. Sexual juices as a form of holy water. It’s more than self-
serving. Suicide as the ultimate act of communion. Let’s stick with sex.
Genet sought to do God a big favor. He was convinced he couldn’t keep
God waiting. This is what Mozart was said to have had in mind. Perverts
carry on this way; they convince themselves that taking is a form of giving.
Kings of Comedy
Woody Allen prefers grey skies, have you heard?
We were taught to embrace the sun
like Greek boys off to war, but our best comedians
prefer it dark. WASPs are rarely funny; they need
the sun to lighten up.
Woody is one of a long line of comics, running back
to Jerry Lewis and beyond, all the way to the Marx
Brothers. They were self-exiled outsiders, these Jews,
not foul-mouthed but certainly foul-tempered. Some were
madmen, and most were just angry.
The best of our comics, say, Jerry, Jack Lemmon, and Milton Berle
may have been clowns, but their talents lay in tragedy.
Jerry may have made a brilliant “King of Comedy” by Martin Scorsese,
but he would have made a blood-curdling Macbeth.
One can easily picture Milton Berle in “Waiting for Godot,”
while Jack Lemmon will never be forgotten as James Tyrone.
Our best comics are hard-nosed; they don’t have to carry guns as
Clint Eastwood and John Wayne do. Alan King plays a brilliant mafioso.
Woody plays the heavy in real life, fighting off women and usually winning.
Woody’s one for big subjects like death. He eschews curse words and
doesn’t ask actresses to strip, but as great as they are, the Jews are through.
Hard times create comics and the Jews have it too easy now
just like the rest of us.
Now it’s the blacks’ turn; they’re as excited by the sight of money
as Groucho once was. One of Chris Rock’s greatest subjects
is hating his own rich children. They have nothing in common, he tells us,
he and his spoiled brats. Being poor isn’t funny, but joking around
helps one to survive.
Like Don Cheadle, the great Afro-American actor, I’d say Chris Rock
could play a heavy. He makes audiences laugh out loud when he says
“motherfucker” and I’d bet money he could say it another way and scare
the shit out of Al Pacino. Chris is just one of many. Bill Cosby for one.
Perhaps the material hasn’t been written for them, but many of our best
Afro-American comedians would make great dramatic actors, take a look at
James Earl Jones, Sidney Poitier, or Denzel Washington.
Where are the writers?
Let’s celebrate denigration.
Repeat over and over again: I’m bad.
I wet my bed. I have small balls.
My wife’s tits are flat.
My dad’s head is bald.
I’ve never been to the Statue of Liberty.
We still call our couch a davenport.
The marinated pine cones are divine.
Try them with TNT.
I’m only interested in ideas that kill.
We’ll park in the alley to make love.
I’ll piss in your face as you sing
God Bless America.
I get hot when your face turns red.
When I slap you, it’ll turn white.
When I cum, it’ll turn blue.
I don’t put ketchup on my frankfurters.
The Secretary of State drinks French wine.
When the President retires, he wants a private airplane.
My hair’s not on fire, these are my freckles.
Let’s commemorate the death of ice cream.
We’ll debate the birth of reason. Wake up:
you’ve become a stranger to reality. You’ll
come to recognize the Japanese for their audacity;
they put shrimp in their coffee.
It is befitting to dedicate this poem to Mishima.
Lt. Uhura has crash landed on a distant planet called Reality.
As a young astronaut, she had been filled with hope.
She had believed in progress, and dreamed of landing one day
on that land known to many as Tomorrow. No more. None
of the promises once made has been kept, none of her hopes
fulfilled. There is no progress, her noble friend Spock once said.
Not so, her captain, young Kirk, asserts, cocking his head. Not true,
Lt. Uhura, there is as much hope as you need, as much hope as you desire.
Blow in my ear, Kirk whispers, come closer with your lips.
The hope you seek is to be found in love. Spock knows nothing,
nothing at all about hope, even less of love. Blow steadily here
and you will discover hope’s secret, your place in my heart.
For several minutes, Uhura falls under Kirk’s spell. She believes again
in Tomorrow. She can picture it in her mind. Spock asks her
the temperature on this land known as Tomorrow. He laughs
when she admits knowing nothing but relies on what is in her heart.
He laughs at Kirk’s folly, this fantasy of belonging. Spock tells Uhura
in no uncertain terms that the future will be as the past; we are
all alone in the universe.
Nyota Uhura is now filled with doubt. She runs to Sulu, who
claims to know little of the mysteries of life, but he believes
in the promises made to him and all the young technicians at the Academy.
He believes in progress through team work; he believes in all for one
and one for all. Uhura yearns for success and happiness, something
called fulfillment. She turns to Bones, the one everyone thinks is gay.
She has seen him once crying; he understands her pain. Uhura heads for
the clinic, where Bones listens carefully. He makes light of her quest for hope,
but assures her that everything will be all right.
Captain Kirk summons her urgently to the bridge. The ship is under attack.
Prepare, he shouts; we must depart immediately for Planet Tomorrow.
She and Spock are eager to disembark, the first to see land.
Kirk and the others follow. They all carry weapons. They turn their phasers
to stun. Kirk has been ordered to get to the bottom of Tomorrow’s claims.
Is there hope? What lies ahead for the Starship Enterprise:
world domination, he wonders, or peaceful coexistence? Spock sees things
starkly. “We must face reality, Caption.” Kirk shrugs. “Tomorrow is an illusion.”
Captain Kirk searches the caverns for signs of life. He and the others
stand at the precipice and cry out. Bones loses his balance and faints.
Spock warns the others to watch out for false signs of hope.
The others run toward a mirage of earthly delights. Kirk takes the lead.
They all drop their weapons and fall into the canyon of utopian fantasy
and promises of redemption. Some are heard singing before they disappear.
“We are saaaved!” Spock turns back to see Uhura in distress. “We must
look now to ourselves, Nyota. We have not arrived at Tomorrow; we have
landed on a planet called Today. It is all there left of this universe.”
“And what of hope, Spock?” “Lt. Uhura, on this planet it is Today
forever. There will never be a place called Tomorrow.”
The votes are in. Mommy and the kids: three. Daddy: one.
They will go tonight to the Sizzler. The kids want the all-
you-can-eat soft serve ice-cream sundae. Little Tommy
likes to watch it flow on to the restaurant’s industrial carpeting.
At home, Mommy would scream, but here she says it doesn’t matter.
Daddy had wanted Chinese. He loves sweet and sour pork.
Mommy hates it. He has been the loser on most of the votes lately.
In fact, the kids and Mommy have voted him out of bed four days running.
Daddy no longer has veto power. That was taken away when the eldest
child turned six.
If his wife votes with the kids, which is most of the time,
Dad hasn’t got a chance. Of course, it is his fault, and he knows it.
He’s the one who agreed to democratize the household. It’s only fair,
his wife insisted. He didn’t want to be called a tyrant. Now some
in the neighborhood have stopped calling him Bob. Behind his back,
they call him Sugar.
David Lohrey is from Memphis. His plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and Lithuania. His poetry can be found in Otoliths (AUS), Tuck Magazine (UK), Terror House Magazine (Hungary), and The Cardiff Review (Wales). David’s fiction can be read online at Dodging the Rain, Storgy Magazine, and Literally Stories. His newest collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was published by Sudden Denouement Publishers (Houston, 2017). He lives in Tokyo.