Poems on Sex & LoveManuel Yang
It is with a kiss . . .
It is with a kiss that I initiate this entreaty,
Lest it becomes another broken treaty in my indigenous lust
Without let, rhythm of feverish dissonance, ice of contaminated passion.
Into grace I exit through you, fractured circles of seismic constellation,
Even in this age when mysticism unhinges into a pariah,
I prefer the mystification of your body, monetary sign in inverse crucifixion,
Because, after Mammon ravaged my body, I found purity in this non-exchangeability
Of kiss as a sign imploding the death of value each labor of love must accurse.
Into grace because grace is hell,
and accumulation, so a wise merchant told me, paradise.
I want my sex to do the praiseworthy idleness of the devil's handmaiden.
A thousand days of ascent for a singular descent straight into the abyss,
We storm the strait gate to force the God of Empire to fuel us massacres,
glorious dignities of dying in flight, wings aflame, drenched in the searing whiskey of utopia.
Do you remember Baghdad burning in the ancient scripts that prophesied these bitter furies,
Revelations of decapitated skeletons, maimed eyeless children, and liquidated libraries?
Here gashes into fulminating light
The fragment of the ancient commons against Imperial Rome
John of Patmos left unwritten, smoldering into bitter ashes and reckless blood,
Bestir with a severed finger drawing a line in the sand.
Barbarism of this document called civilization that an Angel of History helped us repeatedly
Only to be betrayed in the last instance by the treachery of ad nauseam imperial resurrections.
The spirit of bloodthirsty, psychotic Messiahs,
Lambs of War to the slaughter of innocent bystanders,
Their disemboweled bodies torched, raped, and
thus civilized in infinite justice, enduring freedom,
Possess us a little more viciously, gas our cunts and souls a little more intensively,
Because no apocalypse was ever committed without the gnarled sign of profit,
whose signified is picked clean, made to disappear without a trace,
and we, the proletarian signified, prefer visible pain to invisible peace.
Empire's treaties are legislatures of "fire and blood" intoning Gloria in Excelsis Deo
That turns a fleeting kiss on the corpse of abstract value into multiple scars of mass stigmata.
Who shall recompose its new theology as ruthlessly drunk excommunicated apostates?
The multitudes are dying and the specter of war is the signifier that dissolves the dystopia of
Our theology rewrites the heaven of Moloch with the infernal signs of crisis that every war
betrays and that we remake.
Kill all Kings and Messiahs, our Judas kisses will unravel the motion of
Capital from within.
Gunning through tremulous avenues and pink crescents of fevered delectation,
how a mole swimming like an absent-minded goldfish in shivering dew of sweat
can obsess an intelligence in search of a world's map
in the softly shivering fist of petals we suck with innocent devotion!
If "penetration" is a word too militarily sterile,
an unsexily brittle high-tech imperial sigh,
for this carnally heterodox investigation
to canonize a moment of boundless embraces
into unacknowledged penile and vaginal sainthoods
that my thoughts, like a desolately committed pilgrim, renounce
as soon as the evanescent afflatus of mutual conflagration dissipates,
then let the word "felicity" break up the comical algebra of your lips inside my anus.
For all true saints laugh, with fiery aches in their bellies, and make peace
with the messy ecology of fleshly reproduction scented in pleasure and luminous frenzy.
They are dialecticians who materialize virtues
from the purity of earthly sins and paradisiacal adorations
into a sweetly tender orgy of hummingbirds' endless kissing,
recasting the historical logic of evolution into coital intensities of spirit.
And because we are no saints but petty criminals trucking in gratuitous ejaculations
and muscular reverberations in the marketplace of unwedded future ghosts,
all the unfinished maps of our orgasms will be printed in the blurring ink
dripping salaciously across the sumptuously mercantile ledgers of erotic accumulation.
The night we shall finally conquer the fetishism of our aimless fucking
with only glistening eyelids, sensual tongues on fire,
and piercing light of utopian memory
is the night we shall truly triumph in the minor death of our senses.
Metaphysical Labor of Sex
Sometimes when you fuck, have you ever wondered,
why do men, women, and other animals labor so?
Grinding loins, palpitating hearts, and aching backs,
to say nothing of the long wait for the wage that sometimes never arrives.
When I fuck you and when you fuck me,
who is the manager, foreman, worker, and where is the promised paid holiday?
The Zen monk Hyakujo declared, "no labor for a day, no food for a day,"
sitting out from the daily repast when his disciplines hid his tools
so the old master would not have to work.
And just as the old master works hard and equally
with the disciples on the monastic fields in common,
impregnating and harvesting crops to consume, shit, and recycle,
these redundant acts of labor, slightly varying in postures and anatomical uses,
force repetition as necessary beauty for us to consume, shit, and recycle.
As we couple, decouple, sink, flow, agitate, and release,
this rhythmic work of no work teaches us the lesson of repetition:
to live this exhaustion of tongue, limbs, and genitalia
as our annihilation in a singular moment.
Obtaining this, the profit margin and collective bargaining of our fucking
disintegrate under the rubble of one sigh, one deeper shift into the hips, one eternity.
Dogmatism and Its Antithesis
Sexual dogmatists say
you should never fuck,
you should only fuck one,
you should fuck as many as possible,
or variations of "should" thereof.
Since adolescence, I've always thought,
how you fuck depends
on the specific season of your life and temperament,
and that, if I could, I'll avoid the dogmatisms,
refusing to take vows of celibacy, fidelity, or promiscuity.
But, as youth flutters into an age palpably conscious
of death as a neither romanticized nor oblivious occasion,
I can no longer take the dogmatic vow of taking no vows.
Instead, I slowly, dimwittedly, trudge toward the anarchist style of Confucius,
who thought, spoke, and acted sincerely
according his particular disciple's needs at the particular moment,
swiftly circumventing all systems and unswervingly maintaining common sense,
even as I vainly fight the invisible vanguard of my senses.
when i look into your eyes,
a coming catastrophe of earth & undiluted sighs,
don't you feel that your eyes sometime see
so much light wounding and slipping its hands
where thought turns into a firmament
of incendiary impulses in electric fusion,
atomic embrace of kiss and intense trembling,
too unstable for our age of machine cathedrals,
crackling, splitting, and spitting into each other's mouth so slowly,
a single second an infinite pause of relentless creation,
our entwined bodies so perversely embryonic,
like a softly bristling olive branch
smeared in a drunk goddess's prayer bled from her lips,
each unholy drop of viscous ferment
sizzling into ashes of our perpetual unbecoming,
even as we lick each other's secret nucleus
with hellish energy and momentously mesmerized lilt
of our obscenely squeezed thighs, breasts, and asses,
this agony of release your tongue draws from me
as if my body were an incantation
of mystery, undying phoenixes, and the second, third, and endless comings,
suffusing your mouth and tracing the geological layers
of our sweltering flesh in translucent motion,
elemental quivers in the soil of you seismic heart and mine,
how we endlessly crisscross and addictively erase
the erotically well-defined borders of this nakedly dangerous terrain
again and again with our hands and lips,
on all fours, panting and perspiring profusely,
blind geographers lost in the labyrinth of nuclear fire without exit.
A Geographer's Dream
Once in a dream I drew the geography of your nakedness,
my lips saturated with the fragrance of almond and lemon.
I drew the estuaries and riverbeds in firm and robust red,
slowly tracing your thighs with a paintbrush
dipped in longitudes of sighs and latitudes of desires.
The wild, iridescent blue of your oceanic eyes penetrated deeply into me
like finely pressed fire of pure, crystalline wine,
the flight of my hands crossing your soft, untarnished equator.
In my feverish intoxication,
I tasted the ghostly, undulating waves of your hair,
my fingers tangled and lost in the dark forest of your night.
Your body yielded light, honey, and infinity as I melted
into the origins of your time,
before ice, creation, and gods of tribes and cities.
The nubile architecture of your hips held
memories and secrets of silence,
silence as shapeless and true as the limitless energy of zero.
And as your gasp and ache shattered my dream,
I now find only the charred remains of my map,
a utopia in ruins, curled in the smoke of a visible apocalypse,
and, underneath, your singed eyelashes and skeletal, leprous hand,
which I tightly grasp like the last note of an unfinished lachrymosa.
I see the sterile expanse of a firebombed desert in your eyes,
almost blind, bleeding like the stains of colorless groan on a torturer's table.
I caress your face, once beatific and indistinguishable from sky,
now deforested with rage and sacrilege of cancers unbound by the tropics,
even as the freshly cut scar on your cheek burns my fingers
in search of purpose and prophecy in this and other stigmata
that now borderline your body like the signatures of countless empires.
I desire you still,
desire you more than ever before,
as I gently touch the varicose veins tattooed on your skin by machines and chemicals,
listen to the broken rhythm of your breath needled with pockmarks of cement and nitroglycerine,
and stare at your ashen, sallow face blistered and emaciated under the rain of harsh acid.
As the gnarled trunks of your body shrivel and slip,
I will pluck the trembling wings of asthmatic birds swirling in your eyes,
inflame their syllables in the ashes of your milk and my blood,
and write on your skin the hieroglyphics of planetary motion
in daubs of quartz and leaves, petals and emeralds,
waiting for a revolution that will turn your gashes and shivers into a prayer,
your bruised and putrefying lips into aboriginal songs of resurrection,
and both of our bodies into a seamless cartography of silence and terrestrial kisses.
Contents copyright © 2005 by Manuel Yang.
Format copyright © 2005 by Cultural Logic, ISSN 1097-3087.
Manuel Yang: Poems on Sex & Love