Li Po (+ Russell Jones)

 

Li-

Peace!

Quick question:

I’m trying to get some straight answers from the pension and health fund office and all the voices are so delicate and calm over the phone that nothing gets answered, but someone’s gotta cover a vasectomy before there’s another pregnancy in this beezy. Eight Is Enough, you know what I mean, greasy?

Which reminds me: how much you put aside for taxes? Anything? Or your parents still pay for your accountant? Trick ass—

Also, I’m introducing you to Russell Jones—post-mort liquid sword, calligrapher of the poetic, supporter of the poor and free who I think prefers drink over work, much like yourself loves the wine, the wandering, the alley cat raw dogging. Heard he can do a thousand push ups over the course of a few hours with the right serving of angel dust, so there’s a connection there for sure if you’re up for another week of crawling upriver instead of laying around the porch like a fat fucking caterpillar.

Thought of you both today when the leftover part of a gram found me from folded into its dollar bill beneath my computer. I’m expelling this note, you see, as method to forget about that for another while, until there’s some clandestine moment to share it with some one else’s wife in the bathroom of the next birthday party. Keybumps and crazy pupils in special direction. These things should be ingested properly or not at all, as you know, especially medicine of origin.

Been months now since that last time we administered all the beginnings of disaster with appropriate carelessness, perfect preparation for insult you fail to recall, like everything with you, nice. So once more I refresh, my crony: we began with cold chelas, the room service bucket dropping condensation, the sharp aluminum smell a preface to when you pissed your pants the next day. But by then it had been diluted by so much expensive whiskey. You. All your class act bullshit, trust fund wanderer or street urchin made good, invited to the royal court—that’s not every hobo soups with the emperor, you know. Your connections betray your restless countermotion, away from institution when you want, right back in when you feel. Not all of us have it like that.

That middle of the room table they reserved for us there, dead center of the bar and lounge all the ass and thigh meat in our glazed sight lines as the milk-fed dj spun one out of three good records, two out of three forgettable. And the sisters in velour sweatpants laughing how I dance alone. You scribbling dead homies names in gold flake paint pen on the porcelain dishes, on the glass table, on the linen napkins, on the teacups and saucers—who the fuck was drinking tea at that point after bottles of brown juice? Who but you. And when some uncombed kid recognized you from across the room, plopped down in front of you to introduce himself, at that point your eyes wild from what—the yay? The drink? The music? The scent of moonlit bay? Dirty denim? Paint vapor? What was it that set you off, because you were in motion then.

In the elevator as we crowded in, as you pulled me away from the bouncer—there was a certain satisfaction. The melee was effective, jumped off and seemingly uncontrolled, but perfectly orchestrated. The tumbler ends of a Macallan bottle used like dish cleaner to spirit away the paint from porcelain, from table top, from cups and saucers, not from linen—but mostly all gone and the young porter exaggerating the gallery price of what had just been erased and the table cleared clumsily, forks and knives clattering against tile floor while everyone who so ignored you suddenly moved in to touch your coat as you passed pulling me into the elevator, all of us there descending to the street.

Ah, the street, the car to the Timbuktu suite, the iron laced terrace where all your gifts were thrown into the night—autographed books, poems, photos—worthless and beautiful suddenly like dead birds plummeting, fluttering unconscious until SMACK against the concrete below. And the gold chain you tore from my neck. Why? Because you’re an ass. A drunken miscreant. Because your mother is dead now. And you, ruined by success, guilty of excessive privilege, enfant terrible you. Did I break your pinky finger when you went for my throat? Was it my laughter, no, it was more a warbling cackle and it shook you back to reality, no, it shook you back to your hands at my throat. Whose punch met your ribcage on my behalf? And at that moment who would have hunted me once your body went plummeting over the terrace like those lost books? A featherless Icarus smashed cheek to street.

Instead what? Instead, you made canvas of my abdomen, wrote over my collarbone where your clutch burned as I twisted out of grasp. Firewalk there what we did. Gold flake across my chest, soon covered in black fabric and dropped to Market street 5AM ATM spitting out so many Andrew Jacksons into your palm and me sipping hotel coffee while the shopping cart stopped near Civic Center, pushed by homeless millenials who gladly took dollars for their gram of coke. Into your hands. Entre at the end of our noses there outside the War Memorial where there was no admittance. Instead, celestial flower bed, Saks Fifth paper bag with a fork and a bandanna in it. You under an umbrella at clear dawn crisp sun orange sky and starchild street googling a wiki article I read aloud. A Margrave is a marqui is a marquesa is a marco, a maravilla, a chinese noble, a grandee, a running spear burning arrow, fingertips on fire. And you were happy and I bewildered, this folded dollar bill carrying the night’s dust home with me.

I pass you now to my Dirty. Later for that garden where you likely lay reading this. Put your wine down and look up dear Russell. He’s waiting outside your gate. Once again, you’ve met your match.

Be easy, Leezy.

M.

 

 

— Marco Villalobos

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