Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

Cowboys or JFK

By Colin Kirk

Strobing inkblots upon the houses that host,
running the eye paint in every room
in every town from here to the end posts
of the party scene of impending doom.

I need a mixer on the roof-deck.
Could I get it with cowboys?
Or JFK if you have it?
Jackie O. went to my college
and swept up brain remains;
I went and had my brain pummeled
to a stain
by speaking to them, becoming
too invested in their pain.
In basements in Chevy Chase,
they try to kiss me but
I’m thinking too hard.
Country club patrons running drinks
on the stairs,
and peeling off to the bathroom,
making darkness loud in sweaty pairs.
House parties on Mulholland,
anti-socialites working
rooms of shadowed gogo boys
and daddy’s boys gone murky.
And on a balcony I can see Congress,
and our faces become very close
in the light off the cast-iron dome;
a boy from Bethesda hits me
and now I wanna go home.
The doorman on Lake Shore shoots
looks at the bunch, and in moments
the lake’s breath is another boy’s punch;
the wind is howling with violent
boy-love, shouts;
an intimacy that knocks me out.
And like the women flying like flags
at the bus stop,
I let them pull me parallel to the ground
until the wind breaks, I fall,

They do it to me so well, and,
like the youths at Tessa’s in Manhattan,
we slip into a communal haze
where dining tables are warm towels
on the hooks of date night play-by-plays.
Men, no maybe boys,
the ones my age who wield so much
over me;
boys are the American hypnotic.
It makes me wonder why they do it,
maybe just to faze me,
or turn the world neurotic,
but I think they mean to pull our eyes
in opposite directions,
to disorient us with their lies,
and play us with invites to functions.
They put us in every place,
and open up the skyline with the corners
of their faces.
Events of mass hypnosis from Washington
to L.A. and flashing scenes in people’s
eyes, the size of hotel ashtrays.

Say yes, say no, say moo,
grab another drink, strip off your mesh;
do whatever they say to do;
watching whatever it is they do;
holding the room like they always do;
Man-boy, lover-boy, entrance me,
I’m through.

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