Welcome (Back) To The Grotesquerade

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Welcome (Back) To The Grotesquerade

It’s a thin borderline
that separates me
(and me)
from a full-blown personality disorder.

Put Casanova
(or is it Nasa Cova now?)
back in a coma—
he’s awoken from his limp-dicked slumber
and he’s eyeing escorts
and flirting with friendlies
like a romantic in retrograde.
But at least he brought flowers,
right?

Take Cadillac de Bergerac’s
binoculars away—
he’s peeping on the ribs again
and what’s worse
has the audacity to refer
to women
as ribs
during his Evening treetop misadventures.
Just steal his fucking valve stems
and be done with it,
man.

But Johnny Warpath won’t make
like a tree at all.
Turns out he doesn’t only come out
when I drink my gin.
No—
he ain’t Dr. Jimmy, man.
He ain’t Mr. Hyde neither
and he ain’t hiding no more.

White flags, black thoughts,
red-faced, silver-tongued monologues
in perfect slant rhyme
in waking-nightmare-rant-time:
I thought I buried you,
mother fucker.

“You can’t bury me, pal.
Who do you think’s gonna answer
that crimson receiver
when the prank calls come packing?”

And
just like that
we’re back to
ordering in
ex-lovers
like there were ever
any other kind
to begin with.

All the court judges
and all the policemen
couldn’t put Johnny Warpath
back together again.

“Do you see what I did there?”
Oh, I always see
but I’m the only one
(and another piercingly shrill
train whistle screams,
Dumb Spiro Spero, mother fucker.)

Diagnosis: Debatable
Prognosis: Non-Refundable

“Do you remember how horrified
you were when you opened that door,
you gilded scoundrel?
Do you remember how horrified
you were when you thought
you could never open it again?
Well, don’t you feel relieved now?
Don’t you feel like a proper artist?

There is nothing proper
about your art
and you know it, pal.

“All writers are just multiple personalities
trying to become one.”
Nah, man.
Where’s the fun in that?
Where’s the sense of
fraternity
and democracy
and insanity
in that?

Good thing we mustn’t fret
about that,
isn’t it?
(There is a Sailor Jerry Rum Label Love Missive
in here somewhere
about how women
are like
guitar frets
and
something about
how it doesn’t matter
which
you try to land on
because
it won’t be very long
before
you’re on
to mess up
another.)

Oh Johnny, how I’ve missed you.

The best thing a woman
(not Esmeralda Rose
but it could have been)
ever told me:
“I hated you
but I loved your writing.”

Well, that makes two of us.
Or three, I suppose.

Here it is,
the barebones of it all,
the truth laid bare
as much as an inveterate conjob
can bear, I suppose:
“You will pick up the pen
or you will pick up the needle.”

Now that’s inkin’ thinkin’, Johnny!

“Does it concern you
in the very least
what people may think
about us
palling around again?”

Well, it’s the very least
I could do, really,
concerning myself
with the concerns of Others
concerning myself
concerning—

The Rabbithole of Concern
must have its rabbits,
and my floppy ears are burning, mate.

Heartache is a give-and-take.
So is talent
passion
insanity
and any other haggling act.

I see your nonsense
and raise you
one cohesive thought:
They can never take
from us
what we do not freely
give.

INMATE INVENTORY
WARPATH, JOHNNY D:
ONE (1) BLUE BANDANA
(STAINED WITH BLOOD,
SWEAT,
TEARS,
ETC.)
ONE (1) FOUNTAIN PEN
(LEAKY)
ONE (1) SILVER BELL
(BROKEN)
ONE (1) NOTEBOOK
(EMPTY)
ONE (1) CANDLE
(BURNED TO THE WICK)

I do believe that’s all we’ll be needing, old friend.
Oh, how I’ve missed you.

grot draw

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