self-portrait with cats, with purple, with stacks of half-read books adorning my desk, with coffee, with mug, with yesterday's mug. self-portrait with guilt, with fear, with thick-banded silver ring, painted toes, and no make-up on my face. self- portrait with twins, with giggles, with sister at last, with epistrophy, with crepescule with nellie, with my favorite things. self-portrait with hard head, with soft light, with raised eyebrow. self- portrait voo-doo, self-portrait hijinks, self-portrait surprise. self-portrait with patience, with political protest, with poetry, with papers to grade. self- portrait as thaumaturgic lass, self-portrait as luna larva, self-portrait as your mama. self-portrait with self at sixteen. self-portrait with shit-kickers, with hip-huggers, with crimson silk, with wild mushroom risotto and a glass of malbec. self- portrait with partial disclosure, self-portrait with half-truths, self-portrait with demi-monde. self- portrait with a night at the beach, with a view overlooking the lake, with cancelled flight. self- portrait with a real future, with a slight chance of sours, with glasses, with cream, with fries, with a way with words, with a propositional phrase.
i hear it jingling in the pockets of the innocent heirs of fundamentally well-meaning transatlantic traders and new world farmers. i see a wad of it stuffed in the jeans of the celebrities whose tracks, films, and reality shows are beloved by fans all across the nation and wherever american culture is exported. i feel it varnishing the walls of my classrooms and my home like a thick coat of paint. they paved the street with it last week. it is transporting, transcendent, the fastest way up and out. many brands of condoms use it as a lubricant, for her pleasure. it works to slide things through congress, too. i heard the military discovered it makes a great explosive, as demonstrated twice in japan for all the world to see. keep an eye on your drink at the club—they’ll slip some of it into your glass when you’re not looking, when your attention is focused on that scantily-clad ass and your head is pounding with the rhythm of the bass. better to get a prescription for it, take it in the recommended doses—and even then there may be side effects, including nausea, dry mouth, depression, anxiety, shortness of breath, insomnia, tremors, and memory loss. it’s an effective decongestant, opening clogged passages into colleges and universities, offices (corporate and political), and professional sports. you can light a fire with it, say, at your neighborhood barbeque, where even the vigilant (the e is silent) may burn the meat to a crisp. vigilance is the best way to demonstrate your innocence, inherited or acquired by other means, by any means necessary.