Monday, March 7, 2011

Richard Prins: Poem "Other Cities"

Other Cities by Richard Prins

I. Cape Town (Jazz Festival)

A saxophone’s the only thing
ever made me feel
like a woman,
thighs thrumming with sass
of spiderlimbed arpeggios
tickling into me. I bury a knuckle
in the valley of nose & brow
unearthing delicious chaos there.
A gone lover used to privately convulse
this way in our aftermaths—tingling
showers of notes leave me
no choice: I’m not ashamed
moaning my consent, but this
feminine breathiness of me!
gilded unabating shriek
banishing all smoke
between us. My loins clench
the multiple goodness & trick
me into thinking it’ll stop.
But the lustrous master’s
got another
rollicked-stiff release. It loves
my ass, it needs
my tits, it makes me
hot, it
bursts for me
& is lulled by the cymbal’s dissipation.

II. New Orleans (Backyard)

A bonfire’s the only thing
to make me a man again—dragging driftwood
up bouldered dunes of Lower 9th Ward
in porkpie hat & blue dashiki.
The banjos come in threes
with beards & panting dog
named Satchel Paige. To wag a tail
at my glittering lager is to dance
slathered in blackberry paste
between a mama bear & its cub.
Smoke braids shut the eyes. Moon
tonguekissed aglow. Sparked beads
of light will serve as necklace
to repurpling sky. So fill my glass up
to the brim/To lose the memory of him
we crow to flame as hollow as a gourd
and become this fiddle cradled
in a planet of sharp thighs, wept
into paroxysmal orbit. I’m six high lives
towards a blacklipped sheath, perched
on shipwrecked mattress & framed
by absence of nuzzly hair—tasting
burnt of a nut brown ale, handful
of pignoles for a chaser—my sleep
picnicked in by all her whirling smoke.

Richard Prins was born in New York but would rather die in Dar es Salaam. He's underway with his MFA in Poetry at New York University. His hobbies include politics and the blues; his work has appeared in such publications as Night Train, elimae and Catalonian Review.

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