Polish Stripper in my Lifeboat

By | 24 July 2007

Dear Polish stripper Monique (if that is your real name),

We are in the same boat. We are in the same lifeboat. And I felt you. Either that or you brilliantly co-opted my sensibilities and took my money. You can barely speak English. Me too. You are beautiful but that doesn't matter at all. I'm trying to wish you success and happiness upon parting because I felt you the way Nijinsky felt people. You don't understand. I'm crying because you don't understand how to use articles. I write poems meant to be beautiful only to me. The language in them is beautiful and the mind in them is beautiful. I write only of the mind and of the collective minds-essences. Sometimes the writing is like buds and sometimes like flowers. You are like a flower and I am a bud and you are like a stone that weighs on me. You and I will someday get off the lifeboat and walk across a bridge I've built to each of the seven continents and oceans. Someday you'll put your tits away — when your beauty dries up. Instead of dancing will you just speak Polish to me? I don't know Polish, but I'm sure I would feel it. You said you are half Spanish but don't know Spanish. I know Spanish only fractionally, but I feel it. I know how the words sound in Spanish, so when I read Spanish poems it's beautiful. In hearing you I have become you. This is the way it is. This is the way it is. I am still listening and talking and feeling all at once. There are only these three things because three is perfect or more perfect than two. Instead of wishing you success and happiness and love I should have tried opening like a flower. As you weighed on me like a stone and I felt your troubles, so did I weigh on you and closed off completely. As I watched you take men back to dance for them, I knew they would not feel you except in a strict corporeal way and I was sad. For you, it must have seemed like I disappeared. This man who caused you all this trouble and then disappeared. I heard you. I am you. I write as you. When I next concentrate on sending love out as bubbles (little worlds within a big world and universe like bubbles that will not break) I will try to reach you. My powers are so weak. These bubbles break because of my weakness. I cannot make promises I cannot keep. I cannot save you or anyone or me. But I try. I am you and I am trying. That is all I can say. And in trying I mean failing, always failing. I hope somewhere to be successful, but I don't think it will be here. I am crying because I am too honest. I have become too many people. I am not a well or a boat, only a man. I can neither hold water for long nor float above it. Soon it will pour forth, enter in. Our boat will sink my dear and the well will be useless. We will drown because you trusted me and my feeling. Your goals are simple. Feeling is complex. I am writing into cliches because I fear cliches. The collective, worn-out honesty of a cliche makes me weep. I can't change anything because it's already happening. There is too much thirst and too many tears and not enough joy.

I don't feel joy, only you.


me and the people I have become.


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