Editor's Note: The following poems are excerpted from Adam Henry Carrière's premiere chapbook, Zigeunertänze, forthcoming from Chippens in May 2009.
Mon amitie est vive encor, malgre l'absence. Hate-toi!
My friendship is warm still, despite absence. Hurry!
— Guilliaume Apollinaire
Small pretty statistic, what's the use?
A person's gloom is their birthright.
When I left for the glowing pink neon,
you were shed, a mirror image
spilt over colorless sand.
But, like old cobblestones, you still smile,
hiding the affectionate beach in the mortar below.
You have no reason to sero-fancy and forget-cell;
Feel the atlas of your remaining
body the way I once did,
Put up, put out ... out
the stiff upper lip sewn into the quilt,
tripping up your one-step on the way in.
Do not swallow the pharmacist's pleasant
jingle; build the home away from home
sweet homo we naïvely wrote of
in puppy-loved Valentines
illuminated by medicinal torches
now lining our hands.
Your bodily breakdown, dismalness bathed
in light, dines with us in Thanksgiving,
this hospice meal.
I am your last, best friend:
No matter the blueprint of the coming
lull, your voyage is mine,
our antibody leaves fall together.
The dialect of our Magyar and Saxon eyes,
full of unlived yet permanently minor life,
almost deliriously lurks
behind the Hapsburgs' many great facades.
Its gloom burnishes the epitaph
haggard pilgrims shamble toward
Tell me, how many of them would deliver themselves up deliberately to perdition (as He Himself says in that book) rather than go on living secretly debased in their own eyes?
— Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes
Aloof, Voltaire would advise looking for someone less
like a character in a book; Goethe agrees, adding,
'A little less re-writable, please, or less so than I.'
Genet shouts, 'I want a boyfriend!'
With an anxious nod, Forester peeks open
his journal, noting “He can look like this:
Bare, often, warm in the dark, soft to the touch."
Myakovsky growls, 'Zapadniks!' and seizes a quill,
scrawling, "Short, sweet-smelling hair, fingers to glide
over the ice of my heart, nipples for my erect tongue to caress."
Isherwood raises a gloved hand. 'What about, "Lips
tight over closed eyes picturing him, an out-of-fashion movie
unnoticed by the Society page." Hm?' Fugard claps politely.
Greene sneers perfidiously. 'Veneration doesn't propel boys
into refuge. The wind does. "Let the West Country breeze
hide with him in my soul." Or something like that.'
Hiding under the buffet, Kundera tosses a note
onto Schiller's lap. The German reads it skeptically:
"A near-perfect banquet that isn't a black grave."
La Rochefoucault pours more wine.
Da Ponte and Schikaneder carouse duetically.
Williams scurries out through the back door.
Mishima takes his bread. Goddard scribbles up the tablecloth:
Captured in silver dust, framed in gold, the boy makes the man one.
Stone drunk, Fitzgerald approves; Gertrude and Zelda demur.
Tchaikovsky begins a seventh symphony on the spot,
but cannot decide what to call it.
Balzac, smelling of cognac, proves no help.
Marlowe begins to bicker with DeVere.
Yevtushenko wins a drinking contest with a bitter Hemingway
and takes the floor. 'A man's love is voluminous!
Glorious! Victorious!' Brodsky cheers ostentatiously.
Seeing Mandelstam hasn't yet arrived, they both weep.
Winner of the Nevada Arts Council’s Fellowship in Poetry, Adam Henry Carrière publishes Danse Macabre, Nevada’s first online literary magazine. He lives in Las Vegas.