irene, winded and wet

Fill bathtub with water and bathe inside. Play tic-tac-toe on windows with blue tape. Fear trees, grocery store mark-ups, evacuation demands. Gather suppers for five days, Then, hoard. There is an arrival of drunk and boredom on a Saturday in Brooklyn. Tourists and residents wait for the wind. They wait for the rip of trees from pavement. They wait for t-shirts to be printed to brag about weekend disruptions. Subways go to sleep while rats wear life vests and float from one borough to another.

blood on the dance floor (for Xoe Keri)

had to cut off that knotty hair

had to walk to the river, even with metal and sore

had to suck on dictionary for warmth

had to eat banana with salad dressing with pills for pain

had to warn sister about broken chair before the break

had to sleep away nightmares, granddad, dog bite

had to speak maori on friday to impress the american

had to sip raro of raspberry to wash down the night

had to cover eyes with hood of cotton to cut away the shy

had to smile when cat arrived

had to put away sharpener when long-distant tears dropped

had to listen to the earth, once it grew mouth big enough to remind you
to stay.

don’t.miss.anything.

a disrobe

turn to hide the symptoms

so,

I cannot say “I love you”
outside of text, poems
a whispered orgasm phony like blessed sneezes.

[i must turn around for this]

I attempt to sing its syntax
insist upon deep-throating its intimidation.

the la-la-love of it
weight and burst of musical initials

{too much}

and i could never carry a tune past shower stalls and
bike ride shouts

(whisper)
can you possibly love me after this?

almond milk eyes
drink my crunch.

where did that ceiling come from?

asbestos kills

add to that:
this day
last night
a haunting of unknown infiltration

perhaps i was touched
toward this moment.

my body wants to window
wants to reflect
wants to close
wants to rise
wants to streak

gather up these tiny squares while i disrobe
lay bricks over the numb
until the sound of choke

concerning the body

photograph by Francesca Woodman

when in a pinch, go to the body.

MY. BODY.

YOU SEE THIS?

PERFORATED LOOSELEAF RECYCLED DERMA BODY

WHO NEEDS PAPER WHEN YOU HAVE SKIN

THIS
BODY

THESE ECHOES
SEMIOTICS OF BLOOD

Distribute cells like religious literature traveling door-to-door
or bed-to-bed
or mouth-to-mouth…

Call it intimacy called art called plasma called sex called kiss

Called lonely
Called misunderstood and forgotten.

Oh.

Tell me.
Tell me
Does this
shirt make me look
FAT

Does this
hair
make me look
FAT

Does this
Does this
poem
make me look
FAT

Tell me.
Tell me
Does this
FAT
make me look
FAT

Convince the body
that outside, a sky chews on skin

DID YOU KNOW…

Three calories are burned when toilet seat is pushed back into its natural state.

Fifteen minutes of laughter melts away three bites of carefully digested chocolate bar.

And semen, primarily water, boasts of its trace amounts of almost every nutrient our body needs
and contains only five calories per serving!

The liquids extracted from a woman:
Calorie free.

On a Sunday,
I go for a walk
in Prospect Park
and notice a skeleton
doing sit-ups.

Blond haired complexion,
breaths thicker than the skin collapsed over her bones.

I watch this skeleton with a belly ring but no belly
move up and down,
grabbing at skin, invisible and grey.

I watch this skeleton in black spandex
and pink tank top
and pony tail
and ankles the size of wedding rings
count to herself
—lips moving—
each
crunch.

one.

DID I EAT TODAY?

two.

I CHEWED ON SOME THOUGHTS….
NEVER SWALLOWED…..

three.

TODAY,
I AM GOING TO FIND OUT WHAT A SIZE ZERO FEELS LIKE

four.five.six.seven.

wait: size zero?
How can anyone fit inside a number that means
nothing at all?

I walk away because I cannot digest this
skeleton of a former body
attempt to create a six pack of lines
on skin stretched too thin to understand.

I wonder about the length of her mirror
misunderstanding her shape.

I think about the strength of corpses
and tally the distance
between weight and beauty

Hello…………body.

I know,
I have bothered you with sharp implements,
strangers’ hands mishandling you

I have stuffed you into over-priced bras and denim

Called you feminine
then, changed my mind.

Called you masculine,
strapped down and hidden.

Called you beautiful,
then attempted a runaway.

This BODY
Lineage of entrails
Gendered bloodline

This BODY
Got confusion
Got alarm
Got discoloration of sex

This night grows thick
and love looks best on scratch paper.

So, we try and scratch ourselves away and watch what imprints remain

Moon,
if only I were not so afraid of heights;
I would climb up there
push your neon strip between my thighs
and whisper inside your pockmarked skin:

love me. love me. love me.

Happy Birthday, Charles Bukowski.

Charles Bukowski sips wine like glass shard woman

Charles Bukowski sips wine like glass shard woman

That woman screams out her name from my mouth.

I do this sometimes.
I don’t watch videos or look at pictures to push out an orgasm.

I think of words.
Shaped as women.
Letters shaped as skin.

She pushes her lips together like they are too heavy for her face.
Her teeth are perfectly straight line-up of criminals waiting to bite me away.

Women, Charles.

I am trying to get away from them.

I left the country with passport and two backpacks and folded clothing and empty notebook and extra ink and I just needed to find my way out of these women.

Their smell.

The salt and vinegar. Smell of nail polish remover or mascara. Grease and leather.

You like the pretty ones. The ones with inches against their heels.

I like the girls who look like boys. The dirty ones.
The ones who confuse men like you or challenge men like you or put men like you out of commission.

Oh, women.

I think about the one who dipped me in the Pacific and covered me with shells and dried kelp.
Or the one who never owned a bed, preferred bathrooms and barrooms and dance floors and car parts like hood or roof and alleys and brick wall blankets. Those women.

Women with wrists tied up like elliptical gifts.

Hair, sometimes enough to pull on or that stubble that scrapes or what gets shaved away that slides beneath me.

I left so I could write, Charles, because their sex is too distracting.

You and I, we are supposed to be alone, with occasional bouts of bodies releasing us toward our next poem.

They think I am capable of love, Charles.
Can I send you on over?
Can you let them know how we are?

That woman kisses an erection onto me.

* * *

My nudity is alarming at times.

Bruises form and I forget to ask why.

I used to be hairless.
All those men and women like that, you know.
They hate the challenge of hair.

Don’t want your pubes in my teeth, she says.

My cunt hides now, which I like because sometimes I don’t want it there.
Sometimes I want a different shape or Latin classification.
Not a mammal but a reptile. Or amphibian maybe.

Those women popped your pimples with their manicured press-on nails, with their crooked, nicotine teeth. They never asked you to stop being ugly. And if they had, you would have just sent them to get more beer.

That woman blinks slowly enough to translate the wind pattern of clouds.
She moves over me like a wave of grunts.

I fake three orgasms in seven different languages.

I yearn to grow hairier, to challenge her digestive system.

I order up another round of poems, place them beneath my body and use the still-wet ink as lubricant.

When I look outside my window, Charles, I see only the tops of trees.
Everything is dark, yet the sky is plum.

Yours in whiskey and women,
Aimee.

Back to Where it All Began…

When my hair was not quite this red or puffy or locked up in knotted disturbances, I used to drive borrowed red two-doored car with Jersey plates and Jersey interior and head to The Internet Cafe (no longer in existence, sadly) in Red Bank for their Sunday open mic.

I was still gathering up the cadence of my voice and figuring out my poetic intentions.

I was new to this scene and yet I remember I had a poem that I regularly read:
Mr Fancyman.

It was in my I-Hate-All-Men-Because-I-Think-I’m-Supposed-To phase. I was still in some kind of closet. Gay without knowing it or calling myself this or announcing it.

man, you make my heart bleed with frustration/everytime i see your beady eyes/my hands outstretch to rip out your heart/until i realize/you have none to take away/

I am not as angry as I once was. Or, at least it isn’t focused on a particular gender, rather the politics of gender and sex and body.

Sunday, Aug. 14th, I return to Red Bank, New Jersey with Red hair and Red blood and Red poems, slightly older and thicker and louder. I’ll be performing alongside fabulous Uphook Press poets: John Trause and Francesca Sphynx @ 2:30pm at No Joe’s Café 51 Broad St.

Son of Pony @ Cornelia Street Cafe

Aimee Herman and Eric Alter perform at Cornelia Street Cafe

Aimee Herman and Eric Alter perform at Cornelia Street Cafe

The legendary SON OF PONY poetry series with special guest host: Jane Ormerod

Friday, August 5th 6pm-8pm
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street, NYC
Arrive before 6 pm to sign up for open mic
Cover $7

Featured Reader: Aimee Herman
Spotlight Reader: Eric Alter