by Richard Hell and Cookie Mueller

is like the welcome that the childbride of the bubblegum
king prepared him when he emerged from his grave for their honeymoon
and not unlike being tossed around in the wind without having
the roots to hold you somewhere
in short
after New York the life in Italy, France, and unknown
ancient landscapes provides the party who will stay
up late
wide oceans
of avenues leading to drifts of being awake

and someone you have never met before (in the mirror)
or perhaps have seen so well (as through a
window pane) --
Why is it that people look so much better in Europe? Is it
the landscape that sweeps out behind their heads, is it the
old and older buildings that they stand up against?
But then it's the same for them here. Sometimes people
compared to trash in gutters are such a contrast
that you like the person even less for the lengths
they lead you to find them in a good light when
one plane ticket can buy the sky of Paris sweeping
the pedestrian below away from the pedestrian
into your mouth and veins whose
paths resemble far more closely
the map of Paris than the squalid rectangles of America

and I drifted through the European days like
walking through an underwater universe, so new to my
eyes, and extremely nice to rest them in... but
like being underwater it was sometimes hard to breathe
not because of the density and lack of oxygen but because
there was so much air it was trans-worldly in
intox in toxic toxicate trans-intoxicationness of me and
irresistible as air and I never wanted it to stop
which it didn't until
I left and came back where there just wasn't any air at all,
and yes so feeble but smug as ever
into its final decline into ugliness no
longer even functional but merely dying of self
inflicted heart forgot somewhere and
utterly misplaced desire
and desire for desire ravaging the population
that cold and ancient European harbors have
evolved in stone that can
support the most extravagant of all ones
fatal and diseased desires and disease
as easily as
if one were another human humans recognized
and welcomed home

October 7, 1983

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Rob Roth for The Jackie Factory ©1995
Moved to and updated February 2000