Ghost Writer Monologue:
They call my anxiety a border crossing.
But really it's how ordinary everything starts looking.
That's what's ruined my Valentine.
When the muse leaves you for dead, you only have an abyss.
I say "That's when you rent horror movies."
Or writer's movies that make you want to wear tweed.
And sit at your desk to type and play power games.
But now you lounge naked on a blow-up mattress and wait.
The air conditioner is starting to make dripping noises.
They're perspiring too, on coconut isles where muses go to die.
I say "Map the longitude and latitude and check real estate."
There are no cornices in their rooms nor electricity.
Nor children to read philosophy to and to talk to.
Nor the redeemed, nor blank brains, nor full physicals.
Nor our big-time milestones binned.
All that remains are empty plastic bags stashed in one another.
How do I tell when a truism is a lack of inspiration?
Index Editor Monologue:
These pages waste me like the corners of this room.
The corners of this room have no cobwebs.
They are as clean as this page, as me, as me this year.
I can't write enough to sustain me through this year.
There's a church next to a mosque next to every kind of temple.
Once, a flood seeped into all of them like a puja.
"I'm having a bath if you'd like to join me."
I'm handed a bottle of Amstel Light like protective custody.
I drink cheap red wine from the bottle.
It goes well with eggs between bread and lots of pepper.
The sunny side up is dripping too.
Celebrity Playwright Monologue:
Book boxes don't come with arrows to tell you which way is up.
They seem to keep heaven inside like your promises.
I'm awaiting more of your disappointing simple words.
They will force you back into writing about writing like I tell you.
I tell you about metalanguage and how it binds.
It names little but the bird's eye view like a still point.
It hovers above a page like that doctoral student.
Look at his insecurity arresting his energies on wrong friends.
They are of no use to him, doesn't he see?
I'm becoming obsessive-compulsive on you again.
I'm flipping pages to get ahead because I'm filled up with them.
"You will outgrow yourself," they always say to me.
"You will outpace yourself into no better races," they say.
I'm not strategic enough.
I don't know how to make people in power feel wanted.
I'm cutting sweetbread on granite kitchen tops.
For you, it's steady and material like an intravenous drip.
For you, it's easy like sourdough on kneading boards.
For me, there's no spontaneity like everyone gone to worship.
There must be some way to write beyond oneself.
There must be some way to write beyond belief.
Religion must will itself to slit, to bleed literature.
Ask the notary in that precinct; she already believes me.
Poet Wannabe Monologue:
My religion teachers know better about narrative.
They invent limericks about the devil, bad as he is, seeding the earth.
He has a feather boa tail that he lugs around.
"He's a flamin' faggot, didn't you know?"
My religion teachers are a secret society, giggling in public cafeterias.
Because no one understands their symbols, they wear beards.
Jesus too; he's a teacher like themselves, all with well-trimmed goatees.
And the Buddha was scarcely bald; in fact he probably wore garnet rings.
My religion teachers have a secret; they also really like sexy narratives.
They tease that their secret is the god they believe in is not your god.
And that we know more about the past than the past knew about itself.
But I told my professors I was afraid of accidentally blaspheming.
My lover laughed and asked me what they did then.
For once, he was actually paying attention which was nice.
"They laughed," I laughed albeit circumspect.
True religion teachers get really upset over religious leaders.
And even more so politicians, especially the half-Windsors.
They behave like fast love.
They are like poets; they've abandoned their allegiances.
"It's like a dopesheet," my kabbalah professor advised me.
"If you don't like my image, I'll just substitute it with the one you like."
Renaming god is what gave us fairies; so we are demanded new names.
"Language, m'dear. push language beyond history, beyond borders."
If all I'm left with is nationalism, where will I live out my years?