Year of the Tiger
This new Chinese New Year we were in a film
Holding hands and daring each other
To close our eyes in the surrounding mayhem
On one beautiful hell of a dancefloor
In memory, in black-and-white
Two strangers clutching in a crowd. Like close-ups
By Fellini, the drunk midget and the wounded
Cripple dancing on a cane,
The pit-roasted pig with its pineapple glaze,
Nothing but the excrement
Of blissful minutes, budsmoke, temporary inebriation
The rooftop clamor at last
Falling off the cliffside of a starry abyss
And braceleted Madonna in 1983
Still digitally singing, you must be
My lucky star, cuz you shine on me
Wherever you are—and I can feel it
That splendid nothingness of wine and vicodin
Like someone hypnotized by the fireworks
Of being alive inside an accident
Like this body—
A sickness that feels the same as a cliché.
Let’s get out of here, I say, and kiss you
To celebrate the darkening
Damaged miraculous happiness—
To enter the opening coffin-like fact of each other.
For no reason some night happening to me
Is happening to me. O my lucky fucking
Star, I want to use
Your sweaty machinery. We are infinite
Tonight! We’ll never wake to touch like this again.
About this Poem
"A friend of mine in Venice throws a Chinese New Year party every year in his glass and concrete modernist home paid for by a chair he designed for IKEA, lots of food, music, eccentrics. It's a party, you feel a bit as if it's the last night on earth, but you're happy. Underneath the riotous din is a kind of serious intensity. You're lucky, this pretty young thing is into you, you've got his eye on your eye, and you're not going to waste it. You feel a prelapsarian courage, the whole world is just some beautiful accident you can't get enough of. Let it all fall down into ruin. I mean, why, just why in the hell aren't you already dead? You care, you don't care, you care."
Miguel Murphy is the author of Detainee (Barrow Street Press, 2016).
Date Published: 2013-06-07
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/year-tiger