Aaron Belz

poetry

Cleopatra Cleans House

C. 1947/8

1.

Also, after the rise of what might best be termed
an “emotional mafia,” any team member
who failed to pay a daily “how I’m feeling”
(in addition to doing his job) found himself
excluded socially if not physically
from the workplace.
                 Then, over the holidays,

2.

One of that period’s
few extant sculptures
is Blooner’s “Ape With Crackers”:
a fine example of what has come
to be called endoterianism,
at least in its provincial form.

3.

I have the hots for a brainiac,
and she has the hots for me.
But neither of us knows what
“the hots” are, brainiacz tho we be.

4.

After she’d finished speaking
she began to sing quietly:

“I love you for your inflexible pattern
of maladaptive inner experiences

and pathological behavior.
And I love your pickup truck.”

He replied, in tears, “I thought
you just wanted to eff.”

That was the last time either
was seen on earth

by man or by marmot, on land
or at sea. Say, “Starboard.”

But then, the war. And then
repatriation, work shortage,

market volatility. I mean, I say
market volatility , but what do I know?

5.

[Error state message 91]

6.

We claim for our Pil. Cleopatrine
its general superiority as a

A-P-H-R-O-D-I-S-I-A-C

specifically
affecting the organs of generation
in male and female.

7.

Not a single band above has done
anything as quality as Sister,
Daydream Nation ,
or many of their lesser works.
Not a single band
listed above holds a candle
to “Candle,” even. Or to “Mandible.”

Or “Flammable Mammal.”

8.

Why must you speak,
gentle Greek?

Aren’t you meek?

9.

When I think of the trial
I of course think of my father’s symphony.

My own father was a small-town attorney.
When I think of its libretto

going viral
I think also of you, minor celebrity,

fanzine publisher,
acupuncturist of my spiritual heart.

When I think of calumny
I think of college,

of course, and all college brought:
weary nights, awful thoughts,

heavy books, sideways looks,
a smell of trouble

far off, far off.
When I think of college

at this point
I laugh.

10.

Publifhed, according to Act of Parliament, by Arch. Bell.,
Bookfeller No. 8, near the Saracens Head Aldgate.⌘


Aaron Belz has published poetry and poetry-related prose in Boston Review, The Atlantic, Books & Culture and San Francisco Chronicle. His books include The Bird Hoverer (2007), Lovely, Raspberry(2010) and Glitter Bomb (2014). He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.


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