Hollow Smoke by Don Van Vliet

Hollow smoke the hole transmitting
her hair come out like red meat through uh screen door
wiped her shoulder balanced like a ball
her face was erect on a long thin neck
light rubber mountains in the distance stretched
under wind blown spider webs
the wind puffed out drank the blue sky
one milk cloud grazed
the sun sailed into black bag hung t’ strap around
the girl bowed ‘n rested against her cocked hip
a row of buttons ran up her like raisins
crisp collars folds made shadows under her loose breasts
feet orange rakes wiggled sand
the sea moved returned claimed one lace paper plate
like a frayed damp fish it spun ‘n sank in a foaming circle
a sandwich corner flys in a gulls beak
she smiles her fingers skim into green beads
drip roll ‘n line off her creased palm
clear salt diamonds sparkle on her nose
black horns shadows her cheeks
turn pink red pulp darts into speech
‘n rests between glazed white
in a moment I say
the day caught me full hot open eyes swam blood graphs
cloth grated roughly damp where I set
black hair fur ‘n wings rancid rainbows
hummed the half eatin’ dead fish silver ‘n pink brine
bubbled from the torn off fin
I searched for a stick
poked the bloated bulb one scale broke loose like uh husk
shaped like a fingernail blew away like paper
over my shoulder the sand made the highway crawl
black ‘n wavy my car looked important
a fat person moved noisily by with two small children
on either hip disappeared down the beach as decorated genitals
under an umbrella rocks stuck my buttered body
I caught one under my nail ‘n flicked it with my thumb
Pena said: “You look like a sugared strawberry.”
we better get going before it gets cold ‘n it makes us too hot
Pena danced like a wounded stork – held her foot up
screaming: “I have been bitten by something!”
I consoled her – you have been attacked by a coke cap
it’s angry teeth prints fading
Pena exclaimed: “That’s the raspberries.”
uh banana like uh limp star drooped from her free hand
this situation pleased the old man
his face smiled leather laughter
the thermos opened – the inside of the car
tasted like a caramel you walked by
this is cold – this is too – somebody will see if we do something
about it – it’s too day
you wanted to – it was your idea – it’s damp ‘n cold ‘n noisy
at night though – cops might arrest us – who cares how we go
together but Jesus?
Pena your legs are pretty as uh crab the way they open
“Are like pincers” said Pena innocently
“Whales never come out of the water do they?” Pena tongued
if that happened it would be uh sticky situation – listen to
the ocean – I can’t – all those little ears – ha ha pth pth zzzz
Pena exclaimed: “That’s the raspberries!”
what more could you want than to be brought up?
the old fart’s heart beat like uh drum
his mouth was dry ‘n there was an angry whelk
throbbing from where he’d been poked earlier that day
while posing as a dead fish
one fly had crawled through the nostrils in his intricate
trout replica mask and had somehow got fouled-up in his
intricate air-bulb atomizer breathing device ‘n it whistled
‘n stank ‘n tickled with every breath
one leg had been torn off where the tube went in his mouth
he could feel it hanging from his lip
‘n the thought of it almost made him vomit
he was numb from the neck down
and was too exhausted at this point t’ dig himself out of the sand
his whole scheme had been foiled
by the fog that gathered on the inside
of the detailed view holes
that even upon close inspection
appeared to be eyes

Taken from Conjunctions magazine (Library of Congress Number ISSN 0278-2324) 1982, typed by Michael H.

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