love crushed like a dead fly

in many ways
I had come upon lucky times
but was still living in this
bomb-struck court off   the
avenue.

I   had battered my way through
many layers of
adversity:

being an uneducated man
with
wild mad dreams–
some of them had
evolved (I mean, if
you’re going to be here
you might as well fight
for the miracle).

but
at once
as such things occur–
the lady I loved
let off
and began to
fuck
around the block
with
strangers
imbeciles
and probably some fairly good
sorts

but
as such things occur–
it was without
warning
and along with it
the pitiable dull languor of
disbelief
and
that painful mindless
clawing.

and also
in the turning of   the
tides
I broke out
with a huge boil
near
apple-size, well, half a
small apple
but still a
monstrosity of
horror.

I pulled the phone
from the wall
locked the door
pulled the shades and
drank
just to pass the time of
day and night, went
mad, probably,
but
in a strange and
delicious
sense

found an old record
played it
over and over–
a certain roaring section of
the tonality
fitting exactly into my
cage
my place
my
disenchantment–
love dead like a crushed
fly,
I was reaching  back and
wandering through my
idiocy, realizing that as a
being
I could have been
better–
not to her
but to
the grocery clerk
the corner paperboy
the stray cat
the bartender
and/or
etc.

we keep   coming up
short and
shorter
but
ultimately
are not so terrible
as all that, then
get a girlfriend who
fucks
around the block
and
a boil near apple –
size.

remembering then
the chances
turned away,
some from lovely
ones (at that
moment)
not many
but some
fucks
turned away
in honor of
her.

ah, redemption and
remorse!

and the bottle
and the record
playing over and
over–

asshole, asshole, ass-
hole, be hard like the
world,
gear up for
disintegration–

what a record it was
as you stumbled over the beer and
whiskey bottles
the shorts
the shirts
the memories
besotted across the
room.

you came out of it
two weeks later
to find her
in your doorway
on a 9 a.m.
morning

hair neatly
done.
smiling
as if all occurence
had been
blotted out

she was just a
dumb
game-playing
bitch

having tried the
others and
finding them (in
one way or the
other)
insufficient

she was
back (she
thought)
as you poured her a
beer and
tilted the scotch
into your early
glass

remembering
exactly   and forever
the sounds of that record
heard again and
again:

the gift of her had
ended, new
failures were about to
begin

as she crossed her long
legs
made that smile
smile
and said,
gaily, “well, what have you
been
doing?”