Thursday, June 24, 2004

Life with the lions

Often you would talk of lions - a
natural enough subject, I suppose, for one
born under zodiacal lionsign with mane
of tawny hair & great laughing lionmouth
even though it never was - save once - real
lions that you spoke about. Rather of
statues, of illusions & allusions, almost as if
you were unwilling to admit there were other
living creatures that looked like you.
from some small New England town at eighteen,
to New York & bigcity snow, & an acid freakout
outside the public library - flickerflacker
interchange of situations, justseen Potemkin re-
curring amongst these other steps where the
stoned lions have started roaring - that kept
you, for the moment, frozen - yes, like a
statue - & permanently ensnared by the image
of the lion.
                   Whether you fled or / followed them
I do not know. Only that the wealth of your
pilgrimfathers let you travel the world, to find
more lions in Mexico & London, Lisbon & Ankara &
christ knows where else, all stone or steel
or stuffed, & all sufficiently still to let you
overlook your fear of them, to come to look
like them, to learn the illusory/allusory lore,
from Ginsberg to 'The Girl Beneath...'
                                                      Which is where
we came in, you with your talkingbook of jungle
tales, me fluctuating between derision & desire.
I bought 'Born Free' once, drunk, to give you
for your birthday; but sobering up kept it, & my
silence. Until that night when you fucked me
more ferociously than usual, & I felt carnivore breath
on the back of my neck, real mane brushing
my shoulders. & as you came in me I
called you 'Lion'. You belted me across the head
& said "Shut up! I hate the fucking things."


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