Two Poems by Todd Grimson

BOMB 85 Fall 2003
085 Fall 2003 1024X1024


And then the girls, the girls used to steal things like cheese and oil for Daddy’s car and steaks like blackened revolvers—I put the steaksauce in my ear to hear the slaughter.

So you Miss America in a dress you can see through, my stitched-up tongue’s so huge it feels like Kansas. Lucretia trembled as her sister Sadie’s body emerged bulges of flesh out of the background where the ceiling’s falling.

I held the getaway car door open while sisters tumbled out of the past, fell bare legs and wounded soft eyeballs glowing like red moons from lost dead tired sunshine.

This is like codeine cough syrup Sadie told me but it wasn’t.

All these nightclubs filled up with insect warfare. Insect yellow, insect black, insect violence, insect bloopers sped-up just for laughs. I saw a foreleg sliced off in fat black nylon, garter belt flew off while guts scattered in a gust of wind, super close-up sick slick blue and shiny pink—extension cords. Lucretia told me, Blow thy nose, it’s practice when you blow thy brains out everafter.

We fled from the Experience Room and then we saw King Everything who was out late looking for the Next Big Thing, he said Call me a prostitute. You’re a prostitute my sisters smiled said Hey that’s cool, took his penis in their hands and watched it beg and plead and drool—C’mon man, say uncle.

You can kiss the hairless bird it’s not a monster.

Calm, calm, they were everywhere but calm, I was blinded but just, I drove by sense of smell out to the wasteland.

Those girls’ dirty faces bellybuttons tattoos ran smack through dark suburban homes stealing anything that stuck from mummies, pilots and subhumans, stooges, grandmas, salesmen, helpless cripples, engineers, stuntwomen, stuntfamilies and lamsters, during which musical dumb beating interval I prayed to the gaspedal, sniffed and saw a technicolor ranch on Pluto.

All those mistakes jerk red fall dead out onto the mixed-up avenue emotion.

Someone never should have dropped that jar.

Sadie when she stole shit on the bed Lucretia peed on drugs, they stunk and smeary gunk we drove that car away, they talked about their adventures in a made-up language using words like orzoura wub and clutter while Wilson Pickett cursed the day someone was born in sexophonic screams as midnight passed the extraterrestrial street led to the burned-out sun, human garbage all in one shapeshifting ancient big black car on Sunday.

Jesus, have some faith.


I, Osiris

And she said, Oh seer of the East, Osiris, oh noon shadow of the Rocketworld display back in Houston, do you have any transformed poppies next to fear? It was an awkward transmission, ruled by the fazes of the moon, but she soon took off her skirt and then made plastic. I said treat it like it’s dope, make it smile and maybe hope we’ll kill two strangers.

She was all in bandages, like an otter flayed for lunch. Lovely as a burn. Find the whores have sold the store so call their fathers. Fathers fucked them call their moms.

I, Osiris, say Mary bring the sailor in. If he’s toothless blind and weak we’ll give him sucker. Be like a duck, nimble and in my hand. You are jelly, jelly like steel bacteria bone.

The light was yellow and the jelly just kept laughing … .

He was half-assed. The other ass was on his face. And like a flower we tore it off and hurt our eyes down to the music.

If I say I loved him you’ll understand why I had to let them french fry me. I saw Mary grow old young but I, Osiris, stood in evil oil between three hot mirrors. I was salty, steeped in ketchup and served to big dead sharks in tight dresses pink perfume, very saxophone sizzling sky. I hated them but they ate my feet, they snapped my bones. Crisp as a motherfucking jewel, danced on their tastebuds and they threw away my head, which as it rolled it screamed it spun.

I continued in this manner for a very long time, I joined others like myself, it was all I knew nothing like fear.

—Todd Grimson is the author of three novels, Within Normal Limits (Knopf, 1987), Brand New Cherry Flavour (Quartet Books Ltd., 1997), and Stainless (Harper Prism, 1996). He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is working on a fourth novel.

Originally published in

BOMB 85, Fall 2003

Featuring interviews with Sol Lewitt, Vera Lutter and Peter Wollen, Rikki Ducornet and Laura Mullen, Edward St. Aubyn and Patrick McGrath & Maria Aitken, Jon Robin Baitz and Stephen Gaghan, Gina Gershon and Dave Stewart, EL-P and Matthew Shipp, and Suzanne Farrell.

Read the issue
085 Fall 2003 1024X1024