Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

Say it & Repeat; Suburban American Prayers; He’s in Landscaping
Say it & Repeat

 

her hard hand 

took my head 

 

she held high 

by my hair I think  

 

now you know 

you do block some 

 

of this out I

mean like anything 

 

else you make 

so much of it 

 

up & it’s all just 

you’re dreaming 

 

or so she liked 

to say as much 

 

as it’s not a lie 

though that I 

 

know I was told 

to say that I am

 

sick & perverted

repeat after me 

 

fatass, she’d call me 

when in turmoil 

 

get down here & do 

as I say or else

 

I will backhand 

you: I’m a sick 

 

& perverted good 

for nothing filthy

 

waste of time 

I am etcetera for 

finding her Joy 

of Sex, the book 

 

by Dr. Alex Com-

fort in the bed-

 

side table drawer 

in their bedroom

 

unreal as it is 

terror to recall

 

my body went

stiff as a bunny 

 

& was degraded

by the real boys

 

who threatened 

they wanted to 

 

& would beat me 

rough me fuck me 

 

right up then 

& there I am look 

 

at you shakin like 

a chickenshit leaf 

 

no fight in you 

flung back into

 

a concrete corner 

of the arcade 

 

limbo lower now 

rollerama limbo 

 

know how low 

how low can 

 

you go where 

the skate shop pro

 

 

said mine were

junk pure junk 

 

when I asked him 

if the new black 

 

skates with red 

wheels that mom 

 

had gotten for us 

my brother & me 

 

when I asked if 

they were precision.

Suburban American Prayers

 

Hear my prayer right here                                                             please & thank you

              for turning tony turn around to pay dirt 

                            it seems like every time & especially when recently

              I performed the recitation with rotation to try & help Melissa.

 

She’d lost the last ring Dave had given her before succumbing to it fully

              some fourteen months from the hip hip

                                             we’re married hooray! 

                          party, Hudson Hotel rooftop, NYC.  

 

What might have been contains                      a compos mentis I can hardly turn to

                          take & turn myself around to 

                          hammy hokie poke it up                       act out, intone

              another tony tony turn around & beg Saint Anthony & pray to what was 

lost that it be found .

              & sure enough, she located the ring.

                          They’d held it for her at Whole Foods the whole time.

 

I beg of you lord; please lord please.

No health problems; no trouble with the law; no ramifications

or repercussions, no consequences from my behavior whatsoever

especially concerning drugs & sex & driving & my job & all the rest.

 

I would surely occasion, on occasion, so to speak & should occasion allow

              & everything like that, be cheers! to what’s left & my right

 

So be it, it’s yours                       so let it be, but seriously                      who says that?

Who does that?

                          Shoosh will you? Say this, say it              this way start again, please 

                          lord please, I beg of you, help me

to not have contracted HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis C

or Syphilis or Gonorrhea or Herpes or staph,

crabs, genital warts or parasites or whatever fucking venereal cum communicable disease lord please keep me clear of all of it I beg of you lord

 

please & thank you & how about another                                   goes like this

(because you know how much by god I need you to please) 

 

lord please help me to have a body                   better than this one is, to have instead

one like that guy there on the cover of Vanity Fair.

                          A protean priapic friggin phallossus he may as well be 

              any-fucking-one because believe me they are truly everywhere lord 

                          so please do your best 

                                         to help me have a better body, have better 

 

arms & legs & stomach & ass & cock & big low-hanging balls & endless perfection in

the distribution hirsute withal. Please lord please help me to have a guy like that to love fucking & feel at my best loved by this being 

 

              I beg of you, please come lord Jesus!

                          Join our supper & we’ll play like kids all summer

                                         find ourselves a real fixer upper.

He’s in Landscaping

 

Was good with the cold hard. 

Flush cash money.

Meant he’d always have a buck in his pocket.

 

Which is to say this landscape stretches beyond the bed of our dear Protagony

Unto hills & hummocks like Moab’s mumps in the middle of that park on Dixie 

 

We’ll pass godswillin again & again & again

Over & under & hither & thither feral 

As this cat’s asinine pursuit 

Of none other than another 

 

Sober night without

A fight.

 

               ****

 

No matter the terrain, refrain: 

It’s worth the struggle.

 

If that’s the best you can do.

00:00 / 01:26
00:00 / 02:37
00:00 / 00:39

Bosch Jones (J. Paul Heiner) holds a BA in English Literature & Studio Art from Oberlin College & an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. Poems (not submitted here) have appeared in The Paris Review, La Presa, IMPACT, & in the collection Blood&Tears, Poems for Mathew Shepard. A resident of South Florida, Bosch is active in community theatre & continues to write & make art.

Interview with the Poet:

Cathexis Northwest Press:
How long have you been writing poetry? 

 

Bosch Jones:

30 years


CNP:
Can you remember the first poem you read that made you fall in love with poetry?

 

BJ:
fortunately, the event happens in a continuum (polyamory d’poesie?). . .tho Wallace Stevens’s The Snow Man is certainly one among the founding firsts. . .

CNP:
Who are your favorite poets? Any specific poems? 

 

BJ:

Marie Howe’s What the Living Do (titular poem & the book itself), CD Wright, Lucie Brock-Broido, Louise Katz, Frank Bidart, Tennesee Williams, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsburg,  Terrance Hayes, Jericho Brown, Tony Hoagland, Elizabeth Bishop, John Ashbery, Hart Crane, Frank O’hara, James Merrill, Adrian Matejka, Liz Phair, Priscilla Becker, Gwendolyn Brooks, Anne Carson, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Anne sexton, Brenda Shaughnessey, Denis Johnson, Ada Limon, Gregory Pardlo, Ocean Vuong, Danez Smith, D.A. Powell, Ariana Reines, Wayne Koestenbaum, Mary Ruefle, Patricia Smith, Richard Seiken, Leonard Cohen, William Shakespeare, Wallace Stevens, Gerard Manley Hopkins, George Herbert. . . .


CNP:
Can you share for us a little bit about your writing process? Any specific rituals that get you in
the zone? 

 

BJ:

Reading poems gets me going, also a bit of guitar or piano, sometimes a spot of pot. . ultimately, a prolonged series of revisions over time. . .i’m feral about it: a structured discipline in the discipline eludes me & other enthusiasms oft claim the imperative. . .i like the wee hours of the pre-dawn into the sunrise & often like to let it all hang out ‘round midnight. . .I am in the practice/habit of doing my numbers like a good courtier, daily. . .times vary (& digital devices allow for a spontaneity in note-taking, etc. that is become a contributing component to my generative enthusiasms & overall poetic askesis. )


CNP:
How do you decide the form for your poems? Do you start writing with a form in mind, or do you let the poem tell you what it will look like as you go? 

 

BJ:

I loved writing in form (particularly sonnets) while in graduate school & still enjoy a one-page poem. . .more often, these days, pieces take on their own structure/shape (revision, revision, revision!)


CNP:
Any advice for poets who have yet to find their voice? 

 

BJ:

With a limbic loosening, here goes— 

The finding of voice conceit (tho I get it & oft enjoy that kind of accomplished ringing of virtuosic dexterity we find in many established poets & artists). . . it’s an approach I tend to eschew, fearing a foolish consistency (or simply finding such seeking less interesting & less likely to bear the undiscovered fantastic (versus abiding plastic). . . I find it more compelling, in practice, to remain lost (open to exploration & variation & confounding of authority toward finding a brave new agency. . . maneuvers, like adoption of persona & vernacular & sight & resound & if I’m not making sense here I hope at least to confound lol xoxo. . .& there’s always Saint Ant in a pinch! Now turn around. . . wink, wank, wonk & bahbah black sheep may we yet find our own private show beau peep!


CNP:
What is your editing process like?

 

BJ:
unceasing, spanning decades in some cases (sigh)

CNP:
When do you know that a poem is finished?

 

BJ:

I dunno nuffin bout birthin no poems be done done done done, mizz scarface. . .doh!

Re me: finished, never. . .tho satisfying resolution(of which most pieces have known/seen many) is part of the practiced imperative). . .or what just feels goooooood, like a healing in the heart &/or a harrowing tone sounded, struck, duality noted xoxo