Obviously

The curtain is kind

of cool. Hitchcock
liked it. Why

not. Great place 

for getting shot
or famous or for 

bleeding back 

behind the iron 
one. The score

diegetic as they

come. Bernard 
Herrmann forever 

human. 

The gowns hanged
in greenroom ligature.

Edith Head never 

dead. Great place
for a nail-bomb.

A cold one.

Watch them watch 
their watches run

out of wick. 

Obviously this opera 
sort of sucks

you in or off

your seat. You
see phony fire 

and roar it too.

More by Ben Doller

Satellite Convulsions

When I bend back to gaze at the satellite convulsions, I
am an aqueduct for twilit rain. Quite literally I stand

in the littoral zone: a lens--no an aqueous humor, my
feet on the land below the high-water mark, my hand

a glazed waver: hello light-purple lights, hello red spots,
you've beaten the stars out tonight but you're struggling with the

atmosphere, ain't ye? Over centuries the river became not
a river: Lethe's end crept together--self-scavenging sea

snake--& the middle filled with water--morphology dubbed it
a lake & now the moon swims in it & the moon orbits it &

the moon tidally tugs on it. The moon is a satellite in a fit
of paroxysm. One minute past, I emptied an aluminum can

of dull opiate to the drains to wash down my antipsychotics
& then Lethe-wards slunk I. There must be this wire shaking

loose in my mind, an unattended firehouse, a spasmodic
filament attempting to cool the baby planet but lacerating

precious gray matter. Thought leaves no vacancy for memory--
I forget & forget the rules, the thirst an auger, rain only whetting

it, I bend & lap some lake up, tongue it, suck the silty mammary
right where a light from the firmament meets it. I keep forgetting

the rules, a Ptolemaniac with stars & suns circling me; I keep
missing my cues, can't arrange the particles moments are made of--

and it's all good!--because when I bend seriously back & peep
at the satellite convulsions I am a sluiceway for night rain. If I love

at least I love aptly, terminally, like a man who loves his dinner until
he's done with it, then settles to the couch to easy pixilated dreams

(bounced off, yes, satellites, & beamed into a pale dish). And still,
even unfettered by history or hope, the world does not seem

shocking--simply something to fly a canvas balloon around, to 
dig a hole in. To climb into. To allow to fill with water, perhaps

it is raining, perhaps you dig below the watertable; it gushes through
the dirt; your bath is drawn & in it are drawn (sputniks & stars) maps

& charts with which to constellate your body. Connect the dots.
A little ladle with four handles--a tiny light strobes in the cup, in hot

convulsions of distance, bleats of temporal ignorance, synapse of morse
but no code, blood but no pulse, the stream but no mouth or source.

Tug

The tug on my arm but soon spread
Perhaps now they could prove me there.

I've been watching the sky closely & for some time,
My hands in it, making crude, beautiful doves.

Sometimes a sprinkler spits
An arc of silver water over me,

Hissing, bisecting. Half of a thing
As much of a thing as ever can be.

If they have to water it, it's not a real field.
It's a yard, connected to a white building.

Once, I was inside a building.
Tooth, your shadow the color of the hour.

                    *

There was a smell of some spice,
I don't know what it was called.
I wanted to take a bath, change my gravity;
Feel my skin loose & leave a ring.
The man said they only had shower stalls. 
Those were the days everyone lived
In fear of a fierce spouse,
Paddling through the steam,
Something in her hand:
Hair-dryer, toaster, leaf-blower,
Plugged-in & zinging.
And you there, stewing in your own 
Sauce, whistling an oldie.

                   *

Deaf by dawn & if dawn comes
Day may break--bellowing
Below thing, be low, sing,
Slinging blows, blowing slang
Songs, bowing. Bring out the big
Amp, vinyl torn, plywood exposed,
I think the tubes are ready, sir,
The dew I flicked on them leapt & left

                    *

Steelsleet, the weather from the recycle tower
Less yellow as it lowers, a film of its tinting
The buildings, tinning the yards with first light.

I've seen the hours of train from above on the bridge,
Each car brimmed with rusty blades, broken bayonets,
Naked bent frames of things. . . .I can't tell. . . . 

Can you smell the crimson? And the cars behind me,
Metal mixed at the proper ratio, careen dying to be there,
Gasoline hemorrhaging, pistons punching themselves out.

The barge gravid with metal took its miles to pass as I stood
On the bank not saluting, thinking now, now what am I going to do.

The first blast of the opening ore-oven decays all decay.
The scraps shine. The smelting starts seamless, top down, bottom up.
Hollowing. Hello, thing. Hell, lathing. Howlingly singing holes.

                    *

So what are you going to be?
--A ghost.
I stole a white sheet from a line.
Leaves were stuck to it, I'll 
Punch some holes in it, I'll
Jump from the balconies
Of bleached buildings

Radio, Radio

In the middle of every field,
obscured from the side by grass
or cornhusks, is a clearing where
she works burying swans alive
into the black earth. She only
buries their bodies, their wings.
She packs the dirt tight around
their noodle necks & they shake
like long eyelashes in a hurricane.
She makes me feed them by hand
twice a day for one full year: grain,
bits of chopped fish. Then she
takes me to the tin toolshed.
Again she shows me the world
inside her silver transistor radio.
She hands me the scythe.

Related Poems

Curtains

Putting up new curtains,
other windows intrude.
As though it is that first winter in Cambridge
when you and I had just moved in.
Now cold borscht alone in a bare kitchen.

What does it mean if I say this years later?

Listen, last night
I am on a crying jag
with my landlord, Mr. Tempesta.
I sneaked in two cats.
He screams, "No pets! No pets!"
I become my Aunt Virginia,
proud but weak in the head.
I remember Anna Magnani.
I throw a few books. I shout.
He wipes his eyes and opens his hands.
OK OK keep the dirty animals
but no nails in the walls.
We cry together.
I am so nervous, he says.

I want to dig you up and say, look,
it's like the time, remember,
when I ran into our living room naked
to get rid of that fire inspector.

See what you miss by being dead?