Monthly Archives: January 2009

Arguing with Francis Bacon over Infallibility

Was it a swan dive, a full gainer, a back
flip that launched him into the
electrocuting water, the Westlake boy
in the Acapulco luxury hotel
swimming pool? Did he do the dead
man’s float in that gin clear liquid, his heart
convulsed by the ungrounded
pool light in the Intercontinental,
his iceman a sub-minimum wage
technician? Having canceled the visit
to the Holy Land (intifada, dangerous),
their blue lipped son un-
breathing, were his parents still proud of the money
they saved traveling
to Mexico?

You preach what matters is the
smell of chlorine,
not juniper. and so it wasn’t gin.
Perhaps rum beneath the toothpick paper
parasols in the Mai Tai’s of the poolside tourists
who evacuated, or better still
tequila, imperativo, in their frozen
tropical margaritas. Worm
of the dog.

But I insist; the dour, Bombay
protrait of Queen Victoria is both
therapeutic, political, and physical.
Imperial as malaria:
tonic, and quinine. There is no understanding
that likeness without the Mandate,
the Balfour Declaration, and poetry devoid
of politics is a snowglobe snapshot
of the boy diving before
the electrocution. A mother’s world
about to be both
shaken and stirred. A screaming

Did you know that screaming popes are difficult
to paint? The execution of a screaming pope
a technical marvel, an oil-pigmented adventure
through canvas? That donating the precise shriek
of apocalypse to a pope’s eye, capturing the sunken ash
of his skin, the dusty furrows of his fear, these
are to portraiture what tenure is
to poetry? Without feeling,
the boy framed perfectly,
forever, the swan about
to enter that electrocuting martini.

Terrence Provost*

*for more of Terrence Provost’s work, please click on link “Chomsky in Chains”


i want to bleed all over everything

until th whole word is a flood, carnage
terminal placental mass, ruby bits of womb,

take that.

i want to dip my hands in a bucket of it,
paint with menses, circles on walls and windows,
and on doors: “abandon all hope
ye who enter.”

i want to grasp clots in my little fists
and shove them down throats, screaming
“HERE I AM,” liquor of my insides,
raw meat juice and iron –

eat this. taste it. savor it because it is
a gift.

fall on yr knees, kiss
th hem of my garment, clean up
the dribbles on my toes
with yr tongue.

that is what it tastes like
pinned to a mattress and pulpy,
that thick
crotch feeling,
losing it.
th membrane, its
nile. dark spots all over,
a busted pen
sputtering its guts
all th words it never wrote
all th words you took, and took, and take.

now take this.

this is what it tastes like
running the length of your leg
swirling away in a toilet

trailing from a shark mouth
exuding chum, th gut bits,
th bite wound.
the straining and tightening of
walls, claustrophobia.

i want to cram that flavor
down your throat
and force you forward, force you
downer forever.
i want to rob you, yr virgin lips
puffed up against the hard wall of my arm,
my fingers pulsing against yr tongue,
pieces of me caught in yr molars:
cum, last supper.

i desire for you to taste this;
therefore you must taste it.
my desire and my motion are a phalanx,
many dissolved into one.

taste th way it crowds yr viscera,
fertilizes yr kingdom of flesh,
huddles in liquid stasis.
th more things change, they say.

taste my cycling, lunar,

unpredictable as a mother wolf
guarding her litter,
a mollusk
coveting its sweating pearl,
the white of dull lacquer, th grey
like skin stretched taut across a
as it squeezes through,


it slicks your muscles, taste it, native to me,
salt of my home country, th only country
to which i bear allegiance, waving its flag,

it is a country of felons and whores,
saints, sociopaths,
daughters and sisters.

it is th territory of
abortion and calamity, rape and war,
creation and destruction
subsumed in one glance, one movement of a hand
th singular contraction of one
glistening godhead cunt.

its ground is rife with landmines and poppies,
th sweet nectar of sleep, th sweet geometry of
death as it blooms outwards,

i want you to taste every inch of it.

choke on it, digest it, piss and shit it and
flush it and watch it twist down into th dark –
endless circle. i want you to cramp,
bend with pain
and as you howl and hunch over the bed
you will imagine being taken from behind
broad hands stretching skin
than further has ever been.

i want you to taste its sorcery: blood, blood, blood,
blood. for th word in your mouth. feel
the compulsion
to pull th wound open and let it gush
for days, vast torrents
charting a course toward th ocean of gravity
spreading its wings under th crust of the earth.

taste its subtleness, its shades: pale pink, th color of your
gums, fire red, maroon, bruise purple, caramel,
earth brown, void black.
taste its archetypal rage and slowness, its solid core, its

taste that and you will know wretchedness,
what it is to submit.
you will know the dazzling, magical effects of

you will know your mother.

you will know what it is to waste precious
blood, red gold
that you spare, or spill, for no reason
except to try and match me.

well, try and match me.
ace diamonds, ace of
watch me.

ace of lungs, kidneys, a sewer of blood vessels, and
a system of wires so complex you cannot imagine it.

i am king cobra, i am
king of spades,

queen hysterectomy pulling jewels from her flawless
stomach, scrawling songs in scar tissue, songs
you will try to appropriate and slink away with, well,

try. try to build something with blood. try
to pull a large part of yr body away from yr body
and hold it like a stillborn kitten, like a witch doctor
excising a tumor, a high priestess holding a beating
heart above her head to bake in the sun like a dead machine
which cries
i me mine

and you will
steal it, cortez, judas,
father, stranger, you will
steal it,

lover, trying to mold your image in wet clay,
well, here is my wet clay,
my sand the color of
roses burning.
it is my essence and you
will never possess it.

it is something you are born with, like fingerprints
or freedom or

that endless nameless speechless dark.

that weird molten core. that sun licking flames.
that geyser, that mountain of red ice
standing at th place beyond good and evil.
shiva the destroyer, that fountain of youth

and i am not ashamed to possess it,

abashed the devil stood

unable to look away from
all that blood.
look, how red, see, how red;
all that blood.

th world will drown in it
and will not
be resurrected by an eternal father
and th blank spot that will stand in its place
at th edge of th universe
will forever bear
my name: blood, blood, blood, war, blood,
war, birth, death, abomination, and
the final motion will always be just this:
blood, blood, blood, blood.

Carmen Tracey