Four Poems

Four Poems

(LIGHT STUDY IN ONE BREATH)

overhead lighting is abusive says our diva Mariah
and the light designer recommends eight sources
in every room, when Joni goes in for let’s not talk about faretheewells now, the night is a starry dome don’t you feel expanse and containment lever open the moment before, groping in its absence, at some point I learned the room was still there when I wasn’t underlit by screens, seeing in from street’s rosy bricks to neighbor cat golden in their fish tank, modernist chandeliers of midwinter, the least day, then it’s all downhill from here until it isn’t, we like this shapeless season, lets us be shapeless too, Trish says that she is transsexual of course lets them know they are women and men, I’m a she in pink earbuds and sir without, chalcedonies glow on hands with their own light and what about that private sensation of purpose, walking upblock thrumming with it bulbs about to pop, streetlights flicker and most everyone wants to be reflected back, round sky rock at the ready the one thing I’m good at

THE PEOPLE’S BEACH

on your leash I’m accounted for femmes cuddle up on the sand you grab my ass say you like to see us enjoying each other driveby stench of the water pollution plant police copters agitate overhead they dragged a guy naked down the boardwalk when his towel fell up beach private hammocks palm trees for rent vs. nutcrackers on our seedier
stretch rosy lizard
insides sticky lychee
skin I’m reading
Bob Glück’s gyroscopic
nipples you’re pursestrung under pasties honey gauze dissolving stitches. me I’m years out and still livid pink resolution? I don’t know her we sink in even the book is sweaty

LAST ADDRESS

bricks in the bathtub hot
and bothered people in and out
you went along he died on
the other side of the country
everything spells BO sweat smoke look out on the fire escape where you’re from is less
come in sit down
you’re a fireman again night
looking in windows meet
in a doorway. in reality I’m only
into him for the smell there are
still stars in the city I didn’t know
how much apart downstairs with a rose no trees in your streets gardens
came later of course it matters what you do your bricks
a portal over over heaven’s hole almost sealed off in my Lower East Side street screen flashes city politicians wake up every morning and say
Well we’re still in New York! I wake up and say to myself Well
neglect still kills!
but what does that do
for you your giddy fireman
costume your up against
not in knew there’s no
belonging no reason
not to come closer

with Martin Wong

BIG HEAT
(MARTIN WONG INDEX)

I really like the way firemen smell
silence
voices
money
danger
Stanton near Forsyth Street
starry night
down for the count
love is
where it's at
Cupcake and Paco
freak freely
can you dig
chin cactus
saturday night
king
of pain
did I ever
have a chance
40 die in flaming
roach motel
rapture
double lithops
Little got rained on
dream fungus
sign & sign
TV party
the flood
heaven
closed
bang thud zing
bricks


“Light Study” incorporates text from an interview with Mariah Carey, Joni Mitchell’s “Carey,” and Trish Salah’s Lyric Sexology Vol. 1 

"Last Address" takes its title from Ira Sachs' documentary its and namesake walking tour led by Visual AIDS, which brings visitors to the last NYC addresses of artists and writers who died from complications related to AIDS. The backside of this poem, "Big Heat (Martin Wong Index)," is made entirely from titles of Wong's paintings. 




Charles Theonia  is a poet from Brooklyn, where they are working to externalize interior femme landscapes. They are the author of art book  Saw Palmettos  (Container, 2018) and coeditor of   Femmescapes  , a magazine of queer and trans affinities with femmeness.

Charles Theonia is a poet from Brooklyn, where they are working to externalize interior femme landscapes. They are the author of art book Saw Palmettos (Container, 2018) and coeditor of Femmescapes, a magazine of queer and trans affinities with femmeness.

Ways to Look

Ways to Look

Push Down and Turn

Push Down and Turn