Charles P. Ries
The clown saints were led into Circus Town by Monstro, the mountainous two-headed, four- armed juggler, who sprayed the sky with orbs of glowing light. Making the earth shake with each of his steps – a sainted alien perhaps? “We love you Lord, O Jesus, praise thy clowns,” came the cry of those giving witness as a transparent mist began to fall. The Circus Town River gazed up as a lover beckoning a new embrace. A gentle breeze washed ashore as a silken sunrise appeared celebrating the arrival of the clowns.
I stood under the cathedral arch of my grandparents’ elm tree and watched, dreaming that I, too, would become a sainted clown some day.
Make them laugh
Make them cry
Make them turn water into wine
Saint Agnes on Stilts
Saint Judith the Fire Eater
Saint Thomas and His Tiny Horse ‘Wee Willie’
Saint Mary the Balloon Bending Contortionist
(The tree burst into flames as the gentle mist continued to fall, the river quivered in this moist embrace.)
The procession stretched on.
Clown saints – outsiders walking into town on a silken thread leading them to the big top.
The fat lady took my ticket as I entered the tent, directing me to the front row. The magnificent Sheba did a triple somersault over the rotating world, bumping her head on the moon and, recovering nicely, landed gently in the outreached arms of the handsome and earnest Samson.
I marveled at the intercession of saints and the wisdom of clowns; the joy found under the big top. I became as transparent as the mist that was falling; light as the air until I too could see life’s roundness.
That moment of time is as clear to me as the face I see sitting before me. As clear as you whose radiance beguiles me, just as those clown saints had done on that day long ago. For it is this image that I have carries in my memory ever since I removed the thorns from around my head and waltzed at midnight with Alice the dancing bear in my canopied bed.
Mend the Seams
The terrain is a copy
of Dali’s art. I stumble
around boulders, sand,
and clocks melting before
my eyes. They are still ticking,
reminding me of how little
time I have left to spread
my wilted wings and puncture
a sky bloated from regret.
The past is a fire burning
and my body is the prey
the world feeds upon. Men
are vultures that flock around
my charred skin. My heart
and vagina, delicacies they peck
at each other for, only to have
them ripped apart and devoured
in thin strips by different sets
Reduced to a pile of bones,
there is more to me
than any predator will ever know.
Beneath the ribcage, the remnants
of a swollen heart continue to
twist and move towards salvation;
a tiny cavern in the sand
where my soul waits patiently
to mend the seams.
as a word is a bit of a stinker
a clone combining Greek and Latin
a hybrid combining cabbage and king
it should have been either
a car smells as exhaustively
by any other moniker
there will be autocathartic ovens
and ipsotumescent flour
all purists will have heeded the cry
get thee to a nunnery
The weather weighted down on all of us –
the corporate suits, December tans –
Her funeral just fifteen minutes,
this the very limit of her allocation.
The Vicar, his hollow voice, electronic
echo – somewhere buried beneath his pulpit
that mucky mag’ – one eye on the clock,
false tight lips.
Only half her family there – some dispute.
Just ten people present, this then, her throng.
Sixty years ago she worked those twelve hour
night-shifts making ammunition for the War effort.
Fifty years ago she laboured in childbirth pushing
new life into an uncertain, fractured world.
I had visited her in the home she was already cold
the radio still switched on, she of the wireless
And as I walked away from the ‘Crowd’ I realised
they didn’t know me and they didn’t even know her.
LIFE BEGINS AT 28
“Everyone loves a circus. It’s like watchin’ midgets fuck.”
–Robbie Lords, lead singer of Robbie Lords and the Painsluts
Onstage, it was a thousand degrees under the lights and smelled like sweat-soaked ass.
“KILL YOURSELF! KILL YOURSELF!” the snarky chant of the wankers rose above the cheers. Ignoring the crowd and the dirty looks from Ash on bass every time he fucked up a chord change, Robbie maneuvered his sweaty hands around the Fender’s fret-board and snarled the final lines of his biggest hit, “Forever 27.”
I won’t get any older, I’ll never see my decline,
There’s nuttin’ worse than a rocker who reaches 29
The suicide chant reached a thunderous apex as the song stumbled to an indifferent conclusion. “This’s fuckin’ bollocks, Robs,” the bare-chested Lem called out from his stool on the drum riser as Robbie paused for a few puffs on a fag. “Fuck you,” Robs responded sullenly, heading toward the mic to end the first show of the ‘Sluts reunion tour with as much dignity as possible.
“Aren’t you worried about having to live down all this guff in five years’ time?” a member of the British press had asked Robs when his famous duet with then twenty-two year-old Australian riot grrl Maggie Allyson had first caught fire. The journalist was referring to the young lovers’ sworn oath to carry out a suicide pact in five years, thereby joining Cobain, Hendrix, and the rest of the 27 Club. Robs and Mags had promised the fans something more tender-hearted than a clichéd onstage suicide. Robs pledged to pump the two of them full of lead while his legendary cock was stuffed up her twat in mid-fuck, live-blogging the whole thing to throw a bone to the Web 2.0 Generation sickos out there.
“If yer askin’ are we scared a wankers like you callin’ us cunts if we pussy out, I been a cunt me ‘ole life, so, no worries there, mate,” Robs had replied flippantly. Punk may have been dead, but it was still a Punk or Be Punk’d state of affairs for the portrait of the artist as a young cunt. Everybody knew if you weren’t smart enough to figure out a way to climb to the top of the dung heap for your fifteen minutes, you were nothing but a wanker. The only downside of Robbie’s brilliant ploy meant that he and Mags would have a mere five years to enjoy wrapping their lips around the erection of celebrity.
It hadn’t all worked out according to Hoyle. Mags had caught Robbie shagging Lindsay Lohan’s little sister after a show in Los Angeles and went to pieces ahead of schedule, checking out thanks to a Valium and Absolut cocktail in a hotel room in Sydney three years too early to allow her access into the club that had made her famous. After his own resulting Britney Spears-ish tailspin, Robs had finally bounced back. But since his twenty-seventh birthday bash during the rehearsals for the ‘Sluts worldwide comeback tour, the press and the fans couldn’t help but speculate about whether he’d be applying for admittance to the exclusive club he’d once promised to join.
“This’s fer alla ya lil’ perverts who luv ass-fuckin’!” Robbie screamed at the thousands of chicks who wanted to suck his big prick and the dudes who wanted to cut it off and feed it to him. He heard the angry shouts turn to applause as the crowd recognized his introduction for “Shitty Mistress,” the band’s new single, the one he’d written for his current girlfriend, the star of the Hollywood remake of the viral video Two Girls One Cup.
Well, we all need someone we can shit on, an’ if ya wanna, you can shit on her…
As the crowd sang along as one on the only ode to coprophagia ever to hit the iTunes top ten, some of the old electricity coursed through Robbie’s veins, like a weak orgasm pumped into a groupie’s hungry mouth after you’d just filled her kid sister’s tight hairless snatch a few minutes earlier. Then, the gig was over and they were being hustled backstage, where they checked out the twats that the Trim Coordinator had scouted from the crowd.
That was how he met Mags, who’d been trim-coordinated out of the audience on the ‘Sluts first tour of Australia. “Gimme the redhead wif the blow-job mouf” were the first words he said to her, or her in general direction, at an after-party at the Melbourne Hilton. “Ya gotta big fuck stick, daddy,” was Mags’s opening line to him, grinning devilishly as she yanked his pants down in one of the suite’s opulent bathrooms. Running his hands through her fire-red curls, Robs told her, “Stick my big stick in yer cakehole,” giggling like he was a little kid back on the shores of West Sussex.
After Mags’s epic cocksucking, he learned she’d already won Australia’s biggest TV sing-a-long competition and wanted to fuck him in order to sing for him, which Robs thought was so adorably retarded he actually pulled a muscle in a laughing jag. During a karaoke performance in which Mags was coaxed out of her bra and panties and into abusing all of her holes with a two-headed dildo Robbie had tossed her during a punk-rock rendition of “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” it was the band’s manager Brice who decided that deep-throating was only one of her oral talents. He’d gotten her signature on a contract while the dildo was still slick with her fluids and talked Robs into writing her some material. The British press dubbed her “Robbie’s Folly” when her albums flopped, though the critics had a thing for a slutty déclassé girl-power sloganeer, which was the third in Mags’s triumvirate of oral skills. “Kids who pay fer records are bloody tossers,” she declared when questioned about why her albums didn’t sell. Her fans were smart enough to fuck the system and illegally download her music, she claimed, though evidence of this was scant. Mags had also coined her other nickname, “Suicide Girl,” playing off her wild child reputation, which led Robbie to scribble out a three-chord rocker about a suicide pact between him and his favorite cumdumpster. That song becoming his defining moment was an unintended irony he embraced with the kind of enthusiasm he’d shown in accepting sex, drugs and rock and roll as his personal savior. Mags, however, began to believe the hype, deciding she and Robs were star-crossed lovers meant for some sort of rock immortality, which was half-right.
“Slut-tastic, mates, really brill.”
On the drive to the hotel in the cramped SUV, Brice was still trying to polish a turd, congratulating the boys on their sluggish opening night performance, likely having anticipated a much greater fiasco or even a real flesh-and-blood riot.
“This’s fuckin’ bollocks, Robs,” Lem repeated for the umpteenth time.
Across from Lem, Ash cackled happily, “Coulda been worse, coulda been a fuckin’ riot.” Perhaps trying to play peacemaker, but more likely than not, he was just snow-blind, bending down to do the last of the neat lines of coke he’d measured out on the bootylicious ass of the naked black girl in his lap.
Next to Ash, Robbie pulled his tongue out of the blow-job hole of some Maggie clone he had jammed against the window and shrugged, “If the tossers wanna pay twenty pounds ta scream bloody murder at us ev’ry night, they’re fuckin’ cunts.”
“You’re a fuckin’ cunt,” Lem hissed back, stewing about having to suffer thanks to Robbie’s hoaxster status. Shoving an anorexic blonde teen off his lap and into Brice’s arms, Lem bent over and licked the last of the coke from the swell of the black girl’s glistening ass-crack. He pulled her onto his lap and started unbuckling his belt.
“I’m takin’ the nigger,” he announced, and was in her cunt by the time Ash called him one.
“Fuck me,” the Maggie clone whispered in Robbie’s ear, rubbing her bald crotch up and down his pants leg as they lay on top of the hotel bed. “Suck it,” he muttered, pushing her head toward his crotch. He closed his eyes and thought of Mags as the groupie got to work. He was quickly disappointed as she couldn’t get much depth on his big prick. What she lacked in technique she made up for in enthusiasm though, giving his balls and asshole a nice tongue-bath before sucking him to climax all over her faintly familiar face. “Thanks, luv,” he said, patting the top of her spiky red curls as he rolled over and drifted off to sleep.
Still half-asleep, Robbie started getting hard again as he felt Mags brushing his fuck stick with her lips, though that was followed by the discomforting impression of getting a blow job while strung up on one of those medieval torture racks before a crowd of onlookers. Opening his eyes, he found himself staring into the blissful face of the Maggie clone. She was riding him cowgirl-style. She’d gagged his mouth with her panties, tied his hands and feet spread-eagled to the bedposts, and had a small revolver pressed to his temple.
“Fuck me,” she whispered to him, bouncing on his massive cock. As she humped away, she gazed down at him with an expression of pure adoration. Grinding the muzzle of the gun into his temple, she grunted louder, “Uhhh, fuck me, Robbie.” Her plan was clear enough. It was time for Robbie to take his place in rock and roll’s greatest all-star line-up. Continuing to stab her tight pussy with his cock mostly out of instinct, Robs craned his neck as far as he could and saw the groupie’s laptop on the dresser live-blogging them on his deathwatch website http://www.robsandmags.com.
Begging for his life live on the Internet seemed like a shitty last will and testament to leave the fans. So instead, he kept reaming out her pussy, hoping she’d been smart enough to angle her camera so the wankers could get a good view of his ten-inch prick sawing in and out of her slit. Maybe she’s just another cunt who’ll pussy out, Robs thought hopefully, in the instant before he spurt-spurted up into her snatch and she pulled the trigger. The bullet entered his skull above the right eye, blowing a hole in the side of his face which sprayed blood and gristle all over the satin sheets as it ricocheted around inside his brain before exiting the back of his head, passing through the pillow, mattress, box-spring and lodging in the floorboard. Then the Maggie Clone stuck the revolver in her mouth and pulled the trigger, killing herself in seconds as the bullet severed her spinal cord and caused a pulmonary embolism.
The paramedics, alerted to the situation by the fanboys who regularly flame the chat rooms of robsandmags.com, broke down the door minutes later. They stabilized Robbie and rushed him to London’s nearby Princess Grace Hospital. The hospital’s brain and spine specialists kept him on the operating table for over thirty-six hours, but the bullet’s circuitous path in and out of Robbie’s skull had caused massive traumatic brain injury. In the midst of their efforts, the doctors abruptly called off all attempts to save Robbie, informing the press the best they could hope to do was to keep him comfortable in the short time he had left. In his brain-dead state, Robbie valiantly clung to life for another 1,981 days while the debate over whether or not to remove his feeding tube was fought out in the courts, the parliament, and the media by various parties who had a claim on his estate, politicians, do-gooder celebrities, and a flock of interested barristers. When he finally passed away from a staph infection as a thirty-two year-old vegetative ex-rocker, Robbie Lords had given the fans of midget-fucking all they could have ever hoped for.
Vampire Newspaper Hiring Writers
As if the editorial desk
needs fanged dentures
or bylines riddled
with speech impediments.
As if paperboys flare
before unleashing hell
on suburban porches.
As if the obituaries
claw their way out, bite
department store models
and hockey players.
As if the Style section
will pronounce black
as the mascot
of homecoming season.
As if we will learn
to take the news
with our throats
The Devil’s Wheel
Translated by Misha Delibash
down an empty highway
returning home from a fundraiser
for “Devil Worshipers and Bikers for the Children of Broken Homes.”
How much steak did I stuff myself with…? not every pricey joint
‘s got that kind of quality meat.
Had ’bout a barrel of beer : falling asleep behind the wheel
… stay in lane, I’m praying.
Why did I have to stuff myself?
I promised not to eat after 6pm…
Where should I emigrate to next?
Russia? Ukraine? Israel? The moon?…
The bikers didn’t like
I tried explaining that
my works are translated
But they didn’t seem to believe that languages
other than English exist.
How’d I prove it to them?
Which language do I perfect?
English? Russian? Ukrainian?
Where did they find such juicy meat?
Where the hell were those misfortunate children from those broken homes?
Was it their meat we were eating?
Who taught these bikers
to make vodka sauce?
puts me to sleep.
tattooed head to toe
enter the stage
“there are old bikers
there are fearless bikers
but there are no old and fearless bikers!”
What am I doing here
Among these fat men
in rough leather?
The devil’s sweethearts
painted like parading Indians
reiterate about asylums, suicide, the devil…
… about death
and how wonderful it is not to fear Death
Then the unfortunate
children of broken homes rave aloud
deliriously > nonsense
Oh, the boys are so cute
and so gay
and the girls all wear mini-skirts.
and the soiled tough men melt with smiles.
someone is honking at me.
Shit! I’m in the opposite lane!
by a pack of my biker poets…
i return quickly into my lane
They saved me, damn it!
I wave to them in gratitude
and am escorted, with all the honors of
a loved culinary poetic superstar
to my doorstep
I hope you boys will live to see my age…
As I enter the lobby,
and, perhaps, if I’m not dreaming
or haven’t died and
do not fear
death after death
fastened to the fat biker boys from behind
the lovely fruits of unfortunate homes…
their curls disappearing in the wind.
Nothing Left of Me
with this hole in my head
this gaping hole
the sun hates
and the rain
is piling up inside
and the rotting fish
attract the ugliest birds
there will be nothing
left of me.