by Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino
The audacity of pigeons. She said the pigeons have Brooklyn accents. She said I saw you in the subway. I asked you is this train going to Brooklyn. You had the worst case of hat hair.
I was madly in love with her for two years, and when we broke up, amicably, she gave me back everything I had left at her apartment, everything except my volume of Neruda’s love poems.
She was from Germany. She wanted to see where Lennon was killed.
Do you know the hissing swans? Do you know the scene where he drinks water from her hands, and then he looks up?
You are so totally without guile, she said. And that is why you are so totally clueless.
On the receipt she wrote, ministre de corbeille à fruits. I said, That is an act of poetry, and she said, And for me. This is a photograph. A vélo-taxi on a Paris boulevard. On the back of it was written, ministre de corbeille à fruits. She said the soul is a stranger on earth.
In the envelope, this letter, where it read, You are too well-balanced to be a poet. Your poetry insults the poetess in me. And in the margin, Quite so. This photograph. Someone I did not recognize. I told her, replace your apostrophes with commas and use as few contractions as possible. That night, as she slept, I rewrote her poetry, replacing her apostrophes with commas and using as few contractions as possible. In the morning I took her to see where the comedians lived. The pool is empty now, but see there? See that crack in the foundation?
In the morning I took her to the House of Hearts, to the place of the Destroyer of Hearts. The pool is empty now, but see there? See that crack in the foundation? That is where Medius fell. This is Procopius, Greek historian and proto culture critic who made scandal his specialty and survived into his seventies. The man with his pants at his ankles is The Fool.
In the morning I took her to meet the Climack sisters. They are something out of the Brontës, she said. The cure depends on your having what you want and doing what you want. Conjugation, my love.
I usually get what I want, but not always. The only way I can describe it is she seems to be mistaking me for somebody else.
Finally, we see him back at the Greenmarket at Union Square, where we first met him at the beginning of the film. He is handling the peaches. He holds one up for closer inspection. Suddenly his expression changes. He centers his attention on the deep redness of its skin and on its curvature which he now likens to the curve of Marie-France’s behind. The red peaches have taken on a new meaning for him.
Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino is founding editor of the online poetry journal, Eratio. For more from the novel Suicide by Language, visit suicidebylanguage.blogspot.com