an inexpressible pain. a snake’s tongue inside a horse. a boy tied to his mother’s apron. the eyes of the neighbors. the mouths of the neighbors. crows. a sad house and its inhabitants. a nail-filled cocoon. apples, bruised. a mother spilling out explanations. stories to be invented. the man with the hammer. the pull of bottles. screams they puddle. the whip crack of a belt. red-dotted walls. a barefoot boy through the streets. a man sleeping it off. wishing him dead.
Paganini in love
It was June in Los Angeles and for months Paganini had been stalking strangers on the streets. During the day he photographed women; mostly blondes. At night he lashed his violin until the face of each nameless woman turned to music. Music for a breezy night; music for skyscrapers; music for boulevards; music for unlit windows and messy kitchen tables. Music for a starry sky. Most recently, the face of one petite Russian blonde he had photographed on Sunset Boulevard, possessed him. He needed her pretty face to fill his nights with aubades and spilled milk. He named her Katya. Night after night, in sprays of light plucked from his violin, he called out her name. But the only person to respond was the man in the apartment directly below. ‘Keep the noise down,’ he shouted, ‘Right down now or I’ll call the cops’.
It feels like I am from another planet. From the passing tram the hand of an old woman waves. On the platform, an empty plastic bag and three hopping sparrows. I was completing an intimate questionnaire while you were preparing drinks. In my bough a red-haired mummy started to sleep talk. We made love again and again, until the pebbles I’d gathered in my belly began to swim. After breeding I told you of my obsession with woodpeckers and their intimacy with rain. I told you about my childhood and how I never felt loved. I told you about the snowbanks I buried in my mouth. When I noticed the black band around your left arm I knew I was dead.