The New San Francisco Poetry Underground:
Guinevere Q.


Guinevere Q.

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 125 in December, 2010.


To Be Screamed at Full Volume on a Busy Street Corner


When the fog fails,
the sun comes in
and when it comes
it wails
like an angry infant
on a bus
or in an elevator
or from within
somewhere walled up
where everyone around
looks annoyed
but never says anything
because language is meaningless
to an infant
and to the sun.


When the sun fails,
the night comes in
and when it comes
the world is porn.
Scenery surrenders
bodies blur in inkblot chaos
elbows come off
noses stuffed with avocados
and toes tossed and stiffened
stretched and scratched and thrusted
and screams release themselves
because language is meaningless
to an orgasm
and to the night.


When the porn fails, you shut it off
before it resembles a surgery video.
The clichés have been stripped away
only to wall themselves up around again,
again, the sounds of screaming
high pitched in pleasure
or habit
who can tell?
Again the swell
again the smell
of lotion
familiar lavender
chamomile’s fingers
staccato caress
sleep looms behind
like a hilltop tree
that spreads shadows on the sheets
cast back in sighs
Oh holy strobing light of naked bliss!
Oh sacred shrines of pornographic nothingness!
Because to the divine tongue fire,
Language is meaningless
this incipit ictus
this is

When the dreams fail,
awake sets in
and sometimes there’s no difference
and again the world
is framed ceiling up
between lazy lashes
grasping hairs
flanking eyes
clawing out at it all
blinking escape
begging to fail again
because language is meaningless
to a sleep talker
and meaningless
without contrast to true meaninglessness

And to those joyous proclamations of the soul
those bursting, grunting, primal phonemes
rebellious nonsense
revel in the mess of meaninglessness
I say:

I say to you:

I say to your ideology, your arbitrary identity, your exclusionary “you is not me”
I say relentlessly:

I say to your self-image, self-esteem, self-destructive, self-inflicted, self-loathing, self-punishment, self-reported, self-storage, self-absorbed, self-hatred, self-injury, self-assembly, self-complimentary, self adaptive network entity, self-consciousness, self-confident, self-obsessed, selfishness:

To your bank account! To your taxes! To your bracket and status! To your investments! To your career plans! To your credit! To your stocks and to your bonds! To your spare change and interest rates! I say:

To your religions:

To your wars:

To your second guess and polite request! To your mailing address and intelligence test! To the treatment for the side effects of your treatment’s side effects! To your regurgitated, civilized playacts, rehearsed and recited - Detached! To your methods and customs and manners! To your great western canon! To your college degree! To your wallet and cell phone and keys! To your thank you and please! To your better living through chemistry! To your so-called land of the free! To your business strategy and social hierarchy! I say:

To the rumbles and rabbles! To those who say that none of it matters! To washing yourself in a shower of hammers:
When the Baddasasa fails,
the nilllzahbafa comes in
and when it comes
I say to you
language is meaningless to you
I say to you
I know your greatness
the way a suicide jumper knows weightless
just before the impact
and in fact
I know it best
when I say to you, I say to you, I say to you, I say to you, I say to you, I say to you, I say to you,
I say to YOU:  BulipbosaQAsadadagadabedatatatatatariraheoZEEXCHAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!