Unpublished Poem from Cruel Joke Press's first release, I AM NOT ARIEL, by Rusty Barnes

OK. I can't recall if this is really unpublished, but let's treat it that way. I AM NOT ARIEL is due out in November 2013.

Describing a Bad Painting Describing, for Christ's Sake, Lost 'Love'

Look: the fat ass of the moon rises
Between sturdy legs of oak. That, is a 'love'
line. Try as I might, your memory fades

into dusk like a lost 'love' poem
might if 'love' truly ever lost
itself; o the skies reign now

in protest, a silver-blue mat
weeps lines of turpentine
on the vassals—us grounded

folk, the ones who don't know
'love'. It's a tired thing to try on
in a poem unless it's about the death

of 'love.' Like fate, God, azure skies
and creamy thighs, 'love' should not
enter a poem unless like a rabid wolf

it snaps at everyone in sight first
and goes off to drown in deep water
or under a rot-brown log,

snarling rip-toothed at a fallen leaf
when everything else is dark like
'love' and its aftermath; when

milk-white stars rise like pimples
around that fat-assed hunk
of cheese we call la lune

dans le langue d'amour
but what 'love' really says
is ultimately—um—nothing.

Like porn, you know if you
feel it. No one, no painting like this
of big-legged blues women

petting a stray mutt will
make it for you. The real thing
evades and distorts and pummels

you into submission like a domme.
Ask for it even though it hurts,
accept the pain as your measure,

bow your head to it like the little
slut you are.

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