Rodney Koeneke


I have seen Grandma's secretion's.
I have dressed in Auntie's pantyhose.
I have discussed gender issues with the sager of the amoebae
In backstreets watched by swart gendarmes.

I have worked the alphabet at Mother's seances
And chauffeured the local diva in a succession of teal minivans.
I have wrapped the flag round pre-made Safeway sandwiches
And placed chaise-lounges on the Maharani's private lawn.

I have watched pacific oceans
Disgorging their slimy wares.
I have crammed foolscap with poems
And suffered Euterpe's brisk stings.

I have traced the airplane's lemniscate
Through lands very foreign to mine.
I have called down distant objects from my airspace
And in turn given boomerangs a lawn on which to land.

I have brunched with stepmothers in strip clubs
I have gazed on the scroll behind curtain # 3.
I have dropped to my face during fire drills
And uttered canned prayers to the Indian god of flame.

I have dandled the lesser Muses on my knee
I have lost the OED, my better half.
I have sunburned beneath traffic lights
And cooled under moons by the Bros. Lumiere.

I have clasped hands with the former century
And I, too, made my peace with fey Walt.
I have placed ebon dildoes on the coffeetable
For Mary to find out with the plumbs.

I have conjured orchestras with swizzle sticks,
Picked up failed dates in airport bars.
I have danced with singing girls in lean-to yurts
And have heard duodecimal jazz from the vulval conch.

I have collected brown envelopes from P.O. boxes
And taught square dance at the local Sunday school.
I have built a chocolate ziggurat of after dinner mints
And eaten my way to its dark, funereal bowels.
I have entertained a taste for Nembutal
And find it weaker stimulant than sound Welsh tea.
I have indulged a well-known lust for tummy tucks
Then banged up my body like an unclaimed airport bag.

My foyer is dark with pink and womb-like silks.
I keep the study gloomy as a grave.
I resolve to make an ending. I politely decline to begin.
Double yet sterile; beginning, I end.