Poetry


Tuesday, February 9th, 2010


Cinderella at the Sexual Diversity Festival
Kathleen Balma

 

Punk sly, the crowd is still a line outside, queued up and stuck staring at itself like a snake eyeing its tale. Even the doorway is horny. She likes that one’s silver paint job: all head and skateboard, his muscle shimmering in the hairless wind. Inside there are booths, a stage, people – or are those props? Uncoated and cramped, all the nobles in the land walk-strut-dance the open envelope of room, graze each other lightly with braver hands than faces. A kiss smells cotton tastes onion feels rubber. Three mouths later, her lipstick is the smear of a brochure sunset, her feather mask the casting sun.

But minutes to midnight, full-length mirrors reveal godmother magic. The fishnet bodysuit is converted dishrag, blister-red wig: a turban squash. Black butt-buckle pants are trash bag with fan belt. Spike heels: two hammers balanced under boards. The Mardi Gras mask is an unplucked chicken, strapped to her face like a woman in love. Salmonellaed, surly, she slinks home, basted in occasional police light strobe.


*****


Franco’s Spain: A Study of Hands
Kathleen Balma

 

In a park that will eventually be named for a poet who is currently missing, the majority of hands are busy practicing avoidance of genitals and other accessories. Notice the general quiet of evening, during which couples in required cloth husks are forbidden to display certain labial gestures, including but not limited to, celebratory slobber on or around the face.

We focus now on the hairy populous in question, or more specifically, on certain pairs of hands. The hand of one party in the park, unsheathed of pocket, jiggles and grates against another’s block of flesh like a cheese grater rubbing a loaf of curd. (The hand job of course is a public infraction, punishable by death and a firm scolding.) A red kernel of nipple pops out of the first party’s shirt like a piece of pomegranate when peeled. In accordance with arousal, the hand of the second party sweeps away an offending skirt and proceeds to pit the first party as one would an olive. (Olive pitter, cheese grater, olive pitter, cheese grater, olive pitter, cheese grater …)

On the other side of the park strolls a third party, one hand dangling from the sleeve of a uniform, the other gripping a spanking new baton. All around him, a quick gypsy clicking of heels: the flamenco scatter of citizens from sidewalks as the policeman slides the wood wand across his bald palm. Shrubbery insulates the throbbing sound of his steps and from this day forth he is upon them.


*****

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