The joke

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This is a companion to yesterday’s post.

He was a funny one, he was a funny one, he was a funny one, Poe.
Oh, he was a funny one, he was a funny one, he was a funny one, Poe.

If he’s going to rave about his Annabel Lee, you might as well keep time, you see. Your Poe, your poet, what a funny thing his face does, the place in his face where the words come out, the hurt, the heart, the hole, the holes in his head, how godawful funny he is! Larry, Curly & Poe. It makes you weep with the effort to keep from bursting.

You have a bird to whistle & you have a bird to sing. Look at them, look at them, girlfriend – aren’t they sweet? They preen themselves, they touch bills – how touching. Only apes & monkeys groom each other, silly monkeys dancing on leashes, monkey, monkey, funny monkey. Under the bam, under the boo, you want to be a monkey too! But not in a zoo.

Look how serious, how deep & serious, oh how delicious, he loves you, he loves you not. The idea of it! The idea! You wish you knew where this echo came from, it makes you feel like his Echo: as if! As if!

Eyes of a deer, a dear, under all that hair. Your mouth is doing what his mouth does – or is it the other way around? There’s nothing so intimate as being in on a joke, you know. When this is all over you’ll laugh, but not just yet. You must both go in, go in, go under, you must surrender, you must become who you are or were: your morbid Poe, his Annabel Lee.

You are the flower with scattered petals. You are the blossom unfertilized by a bee. The struck match who lost her phosphorous head – a lass, poor me! The blank fired by the starter’s gun, the nothing that it is still required to be, don’t hate me because I am beautiful, beautyful, bootyful Annabel Lee.

How did your face get this hairy? Whence & whither & wherefore these caterpillars crawling on your forehead? What does this droning, moaning hole have to do with me? The more you cry, the less you understand why. You’ve been higher than this before, but never so far inside of a joke.

What are these foolish things? They remind you of yourself. Your lips still mimic his, but it sounds like nonsense, the random syllables of birds settling in to roost.

We whisper. We chirp. We lie down side by side & smile. You can almost forget he’s a man when he’s like this. You’ll never find out about us now, my love, my really me! What a wonderful joke to play on my self, whose ways are neither so many nor so mysterious.

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