the perfect shade of lipstick
a red that belies
carefully weaved into a style
eyeliner drawn with an artisan’s hand
replication makes perfection
she’s just a button short of trash

matching toes and fingers
the peek-a-boo shoe
as subtle as the perfume
a South Beach tan under a sun-streaked do
orchestration and precision
the girl works harder than you

primitive inspiration
packaged in modern disguise
permitting a glimpse of the thigh
masculine resolve with a feminine plan
domination and submission
she smells the gas then lights the match

stylish deliberation
the chattel of Calvin Klein
calculation of color and design
glamour defined by supply and demand
education and graduation
she’s just a culture short of class

a moment of indecision
cool wind from the edge of the cliff
feels like love when it looks like this
if Truth is the price for a superficial charm
the night is laughing
watching us turn absolutely nothing into form

the season changed and the sky
turned gray
without the sun there is no night, or day
the hours stack like sand in a glass
i suppose i should sleep till spring
like the grass

but there’s reason to believe that spring
won’t arrive
there’s reason to fear that when you left,
I died
when i look in the mirror,
my face is too white
when i check for a pulse,
i’m afraid of the quiet

definition is blurred by the shadows
of white
movement is stalled by the absence of light
i can’t bear the cold without the heat of
my blood
i can’t find my heart without the warmth
of your love

If i start to cry the tears freeze on my face
If i start to smile my skin cracks in place
if i start to scream the snow buries
the sound
i slip on the ice that covers
the ground

like a snowman, with arms open wide
i’ll remember the spring
i’ll remember the light
i’m petrified, like stone in the cold
but i’ll wait forever, frozen,
and alone

no one must know
no one to call
but for the lipstick and perfume
there would be no trace here of me at all
blinded by your tenderness
crushed beneath your kiss
i’m your silent partner in this

a ghost in this room
waiting for you
but for the naked desire
that promises to shelter a love-sick fool
lost inside your wilderness
exiled by your kiss
i’m your silent partner in this

intoxicated on the violence of this fire
feeding the greed that burns my fingertips
suffocated on the sweetest brutality
and the warmth and breath
and whisper of a liar

nowhere to go
beg me to stay
can’t you hide the kindness in your eyes
that leaves me bleeding
on and on this way?
blinded by your tenderness
crushed beneath your kiss
i’m your silent partner in this

for company
i like lots of MTV
stylish imagery, advised, connived,
and contrived to
take me far away from me
i like a cell-phone conversation
short enough to slip in the cracks of
the call-waiting-generation
i like a foreign film or two
if that’s what everyone else likes to do
for company

for company
in the 21st century
i go to the club, talk through the show,
i’m so hip there’s nothing about jazz
that I don’t know
i read the critics evaluation
short enough to mirror the copy of
expensive public relations
i like a loud and noisy tune
if that’s what everyone else thinks is cool
for company

for company
i like french philosophy
deconstructive obscurity
formalized, canonized, and dignified by
the university
i like a trendy indecision
weightless enough to forget the
forgetting of which
nothing bears repetition
i like an expensive aperitif
if that’s what everyone else thinks is neat
for company

for company
i like down-sized efficiency
touch-tone community
digitalized, expedited, and systemized
for fiber-optic fraternity
i like a face-less congregation
plastic enough to remove
the discomfort of
intimate association
i like an ethnic look and feel
if that’s what everyone else thinks is real
for company

lord, let it rain
i can’t stand the lie of a blue sky
one more day
can’t you make the pitter, patter
sweet teardrop splatter
against my windowpane
c’mon, bring down the sky
let those clouds and me have a good cry
let it rain

lord let it rain
take away the glare of the empty
shape of the day
can’t you make that liquid fly, bubbles rise,
heatwave die,
the water slip and slide me away
your sun makes me feel like a fool
god your weather just don’t match my
let it rain

let the thunder crack, let the lightning snap the tension of a
long, dry afternoon
wash away the time,
cover me in shadow, then forgive me for
lying in bed
listening to the rain fall on my roof

lord let it rain
i can’t stand the sound of the silent sun on
my face
can’t you make those downtown hopping,
grocery shopping
perky, plodding, cheerful folks
go away
c’mon bring on the flood
let my soul have its day in the mud
let it rain
c’mon bring down the sky
and let those clouds and me have
a good cry,
let it rain

put off your faces, Death
for day is over
not even the darkness
will outmarch you forever
and i perceive
several smoothly gesturing stars
clever to persuade
even silence
wonder opens a gate
the prisoner dawn embraces
some few
most rare
day being come
Love, put on your faces

as the century ends and
tradition turns in on itself
as Boulez screams and yells
his music is put on the shelf
repetition is back,
a rose is a rose, said herself
Bill Gates has won
i’ve got the postmodern blues

1900 began the obsession
with function as form
with a hammer and nail and a
paintbrush and camera
they storm
in Russia and Bolsheviks
conquer, the masses want
Karl Marx has gone
i’ve got the postmodern blues

line is fragmented, Isadora
invented modern dance
philosophers ponder while
communists squander their
illusion is captured in
Cubism’s reign over france
Picasso’s gone
i’ve got the postmodern blues

the stock market rallies as
futures are tallied and sold
pensions are raided and
parachutes painted in gold
conformism packaged to save
us all from the cold
Cezanne is gone
i’ve got the postmodern blues