“Lady Dilettantes”


Tracks sticky from visceral juices
led me into the mist of severity
behind which the openwork night
grating shone through – I was walking drunk down
lowering & wandering
where powerful time machines
dig their holes in every baby’s forehead – I knocked
myself on the head, for a moment felt sorry for my initial
desire – to meet hands controlling machinery,
to touch skies with one struck breath, & finally, in tune
with the eternal idleness’ chorus succumb to
do-not-own-it-ness, watch crystal chandeliers
flow into porcelain cups
filled with coffee & urine
in which somewhere, far away, the stars, zodiac, nebulae reflect
& everything that falls, eventually crushed
by the weight of its own interior, the responsibility for the divine realm
so named by us, forever sniffering beauty, bestiality
charming, full of grace, approachable & composed
exactly how the rulers want to see us

Why not, for the kicks, build a bridge
& pull the tracks onward
continue beyond the fog, night, the end – look for a moment
into the eyes of creation, which may be the ancestor
of lightbulbs shimmering now
on poets
focused on a game of bridge
over glasses filled with tar, ash
covering the table
contemplating their youth – drunk-over, stoned-under,
spilled & slept through, looking at the rulers
from behind the inaccessible half-bohemian curtain
from under their straw hats & Ray-Ban sunglasses
behind the striped suits, pajamas, bathrobes
throwing word grenades
against the tanks of asceticism

Oh, they were ascetics once, met the enemy well,
so now they want glamour, splendor
of due honors – want women they squandered in notebooks
want them physically – nothing is able to
prevent the pharmacists hand
from falling, slowly reaching for the hands of rulers
to drunk back, fight back & sleep back all jewelry
due to the ladies, then spread it out on the bed
& bum around all day
tumbling like Keaton as much to their delight
they, seduced by the bells of silver, punctuated by war
in trips towards home

But what is our home – standing against boastful
dilettantes, wishing to
catch up on Neoclassicism
fawning in their collection of
post-romantic, prostituted
half-overgrown transvestites
doing here for the ladies
we’ll give you, we’ll give you dilettantes

Copyright © 2012 by A.J. Kaufmann. All rights reserved.