Sunday, April 25, 2010


You’re laughing the silk poinsettia
Xmas necktie again, the one the fuchsia bush ties on for
another hungover magenta Sunday here in
                                                                           statussymbolland & laughing
an HO gauge Lionel trainwreck, the requisite
catastrophe: jumping the tracks at Santa
Rosa sometime in March 1987 when you yourself were feeling a
                                                                              tad like a bicycle perhaps—
jumping the tracks under the indefatigable
lemonade sunshine you can sip if you like thru this pleated
the trainwreck spilling cedar waxwings &
eggplants & a passel of gorgeous scarlet yo-yos soaring let’s say just
for the heck of it into the clouds etc

I’m constantly astounded by such things: & June busting thru
as usual like a headstrong taxi nailing a puddle—
Don’t contradict me!
I’ll deny nothing: you somewhere else in that pink & green neon-hemmed
black pleated skirt: the night itself with its tons & tons of black coffee dis-
solving sugary stars into sugar itself & as I was saying a neon-hemmed
                                                                                            advertising Vegas
sexy as a 2-door Cadillac Coupe de Ville rolling over
the Mojave northward ex-
ploding San Francisco snowdome calendars skyrocketing out the power
windows, rolling from
                                          diner to event horizon to diner
like a flying saucer

like a flying saucer sporting a bonnet with actual
gardens sprouting on it— which is 100% demonstrable
fact, this happening— which includes a waterfall falling then falling some
                                                                              such a silky lincoln green
necktie with big coin print, such a cascade of schmaltzy
Nilsson songs with their own astonishing beauties, such
a torrent of surfactants— i.e. your laughter & crankiness &
                        nobody knows your business &
nobody knows your business— & fugitive goldfish & April showering
strawberries strawberries strawberries & stubborn
Vietnamese lunch menus, in essence they’re bad translations from
Les Misérables
                                                with a touch of fish sauce
& fragments from 10,000 homeless nasturtiums scattered across
the know universe & across the first
drive in theater in Camden NJ 1933
                                        & you somewhere else

But you are most assuredly NOT NJ whatever else I might say
I might say for instance bird’s nest soup or I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
as if I were actually Frank Sinatra oozing Extra
                                                                    Virgin Olive Oil
all over the antipasto’s black tree-lined avenues— but
the checkered tablecloths were spectacular as ever!—
but more like an opera actually, actual plastic redshell turtles glued to the
terrarium rocks & of course your weekly horoscope with its fits & its
                                   empty hands & a half a grapefruit—
as if I were actually Frank Sinatra though I’m really neurotic & twitchy, I’m
Rudy Vallee with a redwing blackbird’s
heart where my tongue ought to be
                Take my word for it! Things are always this way:

black penny loafers aching for a shine & actually feeling about as
        dumb as
a Bellows Falls VT wishing you were here postcard especially if seen thru
basically octagonal glasses brimming with
hummingbirds swirling kaleidoscopes, a diet
                Mountain Dew effervescing into
lily of the valley in a glass
snowdome, a field deep in the depths of darkest Sonoma comprised of
lime sorbet a misplaced blue sailboat sailing west by southwest thru a #1
PETE plastic Pine-Sol bottle
                                                                          a skyblue-pink
                                                                          TV set hovering
where the sunset was supposed to be, a blackrose print
dress speaking perfect French & hovering
on its own lonely clothesline— black penny loafers self-conscious meantime
as a frozen vanilla yogurt upside-down on the sidewalk i.e. the paper
cone’s downside & nothing to say but
See you in the funny papers or else

I’m OK actually I feel like a blue light blue
moon on any godforsaken Saturday in the most Pabst Blue Ribbon-
          ridden cocktail lounge on Valencia— or else
          like a raspberry bush with its bruised
          ego & angst & feeling slightly preposterous sporting as no plant has ever
          the black silk full moon
          rising necktie you’re laughing thru your
          117 moods
                                              each in a different shade of green
          I don’t doubt the world or fate
          but I’m standing by a cup of tea in my hand
          but maybe it’s not your cup of tea

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010


when the sky’s tumbling into a heap of frustrated
nightsticks the cops with their sea of cop-
ernicus eyes gawking luridly & gray at the
balloons in disarray
which are red & Israelite with memories of the
desert the silhouettes of Joshua trees the tawdry
Rte 66 gift shops lurching into view straight out of the pages
of Bullfinch
                    the hedge had a baltimore oriole nest hidden just out of the
king snake’s reach
there are only 16 things left in the world besides memory
green eyes a television set a pair of Reeboks a baseball glove a
cheeseburger etc
I can’t remember what to say after we say good-bye
& the blinds are drawn &
the oven’s turned off the
streetlight on Grove St glaring into my eyes well
sleeping’s sort of irrelevant when everybody wants to smoke &
be in love with you & be somewhere dancing

Jack Hayes
© 1996-2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dr. Zhivago

In this film I'm not quite dead but I'm just as good as because I'm a snowman; & besides she's wearing a wool cap, which gets my attention. There was something, too, about catching a train, & the train meantime was inching up the elevator shaft or somewhere else it's snowing like crazy & in the Cyrillic alphabet or, as you might guess, a bit effervescently like this string of white Xmas lights exploding into still photos of her 93% naked. I've said that before. It's not like a string of white Xmas lights exploding into still photos of her 93% naked, it's like a flurry of eyeballs each staring fixedly behind a monocle. I told her it's 7:23 in Berlin & there are few poems that could compare with the goldfinches singing in her underthings or some other French lyrical malarkey about jewelry, rhododendrons & grecian ruins undergoing a blizzard; but as desperately as I was looking for an orthodox church & a Pennsylvania Dutch quilt with complex memories of her pajamas, just then I was somewhere else; & who doesn't understand that desperate sense of being displaced when someone passes the borscht through the clouds, through the Bolsheviks in their rabbit-fur hats & through that piquant aroma of copulation that accompanies every good meal, & all the while you're thinking of making it like souls in bliss in a house full of 16 tons of snowdrifts: though to be honest you're utter strangers, not to mention you're a snowman. But I told her it's 9:30 a.m. in Moscow & I need to get inside. There were a few other non-sequitors, for instance my moustache becoming the 1 sentence of a love letter that'll penetrate the centuries like a passenger train, its sleeper cars awash in snowstorms— but it really wasn't like a flurry of eyeballs each staring fixedly behind a monocle, it was like a seasick dictionary. Words, words, words. Right now it's hard to say why I'm thinking so much about her amidst the dead sockeye salmon gillcovers & the brokendown zambonis & the crumpled Personals section & the baggy Russian monsters. It's hard to say anything. That's what winter means, folks. The world is flat & so is this beach. Skating across the Pacific. Skating across the Pacific we fall in love & then through the black ice thousands of miles west of Waikiki. Under the dense & frozen waves you could see boxes of chocolates that sailors have been tossing overboard since time immemorial. I was about 7 then & drowning in the rural town pool's black water; at the bottom was a no-wax ice rink linoleum floor chock full of figure skates cutting her silhouette into a map of upstate NY's unhappy arthritic finger lakes, & there I was becoming a balalaika. Thank god it didn't hurt, & on top of that, here I was, if not dead as a doorknocker, then a snowman at least laying with her under a ton of salt & beach balls & dog sleds. If this
ain't love, what is it? Nonetheless, I'm inundated with realists. Nonetheless, the revolution is tramping on snowshoes towards the Ice Palace. At last we have reached that delicious place where everything makes sense, but here amidst the Kleenex & the tortured teeth & the blowfish & the hypothermic gloves, who can tell who actually had a mind of winter? Good-night, my one-&-only, I'm floating away from your lovely wool face through the ice & through the regions of space where there isn't an awful lot of matter, just a few mongrel stars & a tavern with Rhinegold on tap. When next we meet I’ll practically be an iceberg.

Jack Hayes
© 1990-2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Love Song #57

It was one of those nights the wind has lots of hands all groping for 16th notes the turntable spits out spinning off whistling black lips without any body— they sounded like a clarinet wheezing a kiss through exsanguinating teeth & it emanates from this birdcage that's in fact a wire mannequin's pelvis & there're no sleeping parakeets there, there's only a radio perched on the edge of a precipice & a pair of mirror sunglasses looking lonesome without a face;

& each hand gestured desperately like the hotel's curtains, & just as out-of-breath & as stitched at the wrists, because one night at the same time Gwendoline snatched the pentangle down through the curtains thinking eternity & The Sunday Funnies as well as I want a blue ballpoint— which is nothing if not blue blue eyeballs exsanguinating— they'd come to realize they were not so happy as everybody thought they must be;

& each hand had a few too many blue blue eyeballs bursting the seams i.e. the lifeline, the loveline, they looked like paper napkins folded into hats transformed to the Sunday Funnies folded into hats— as if some stupendous haberdashery had been turned upside-down & shaken through the curtains & then over the edge of the precipice;

& there wasn't much wine left & what there was tasted like combs & paper napkins & Gwendoline's blue blue eyeballs, it tasted like dried roses in a Mexican chapel, except it was white— & Jackson sat slumped on the edge of the bed because he'd come to realize he was not so happy as everybody thought he must be, in fact he was out-of-breath like a turntable & had had a few too many, he was a sleeping parakeet caged in a mannequin's wire pelvis & at the same time slouching without a face inside his raincoat;

& as I was saying there wasn't much wine left behind in that hotel with stupendous curtains & what there was swarmed with spongilla & ciliata & hydrozoan polyps & of course flagella enacting a tableau from this Pompeian fresco emanating halos & combs & whirling black lace personal things stitched at the wrists, or was it actually the Sunday Funnies folded into hats;

& Gwendoline sat on the edge of the bed, the bed was a turntable whirling black lace personal things on a stiffened finger, & these things were actually black lips whistling without a face, & as I was saying this turntable it was spinning 16th notes into long black hairs combed straight through teeth through an out-of-breath clarinet;

& that clarinet spit up bloody teeth, it was the kind of kiss Gwendoline recoiled from tasting, all spongilla & ciliata & hydrozoan polyps & also this exsanguinating rose halo— she thought she must have been drunk in a Mexican chapel, & she was tired already from resuscitating so many suffering bastards;

& Gwendoline wondered what she should do with her hands, they were desperate gestures stitched at the wrists— or were those actually stitches or were they pentangles Jackson's blue blue ballpoint had inked in at the same time he was thinking paper napkins or 16th notes, because he was perched on the edge of eternity like a hat;

because it was one of those nights the wind has lots of teeth, when everybody realizes they're not so happy as everybody thought they must be, i.e. they would be headless mannequins sleeping in a Mexican chapel except they're white & unresuscitated, & Jackson's wheezing drunk on the edge of the bed, he's slouched inside his raincoat & at the same time recoiling from flagella's long black lifelines & lovelines stitched into the Sunday Funnies among the suffering bastards;

& Gwendoline sat on the edge of the bed, she was a radio perched on the edge of a precipice, which was in fact as like eternity as the hotel's curtains transformed to mirrored sunglasses, or was it pentangles the black lips spit up— because at the same time she realized she was not so happy as everybody thought she must be, i.e. she could not in fact be a halo, because Jackson's folded into a hat & stitched at the wrists & she's the flagellation tableau from a Pompeian fresco which is actually the Sunday Funnies upside-down in a birdcage;

& there wasn't much wine left & what was undrunk was actually exsanguinating roses & as I was saying it got shaken out like black lace personal things when the turntable's transformed to wind amongst lots of whirling hands, except the wine was white though it tasted like a raincoat & at the same time Jackson was perched without a face on the edge of a precipice like a 16th note groping for a kiss;

& Gwendoline wondered what she should do with her hands.

Jack Hayes
© 1990-2010