Listen to Podcast Interview with Grace Cavalieri on The Poet and the Poem

Germs Burns
Majda Gama

Outside the club
                 streetlamps are halos above us
The shadows grottoes
                 where we crouch or stretch
On leather jackets.
                 Bull has a bracelet stamped out
Onto her wrist. I want the trinity;
                 each burn from a man
I burn for. Mike Society
                 is first. I place my palm
In his, his eyes
                 look hesitant don't hesitate
As he lights
                 a cigarette then lowers it
To my wrist.
                 The heat of the cherry
As it nears,
                 singes hair, touches skin
In a precise burn.
                 My hand bucks
Nerve endings jump, even
                 through the liquor
That lubricates them.
                 Respect flares in the eyes
Of the gathered.
                 I take his hand in mine
Light a cigarette;
                 this is forever;
The red-hot eye fades
                 to sour silver within a week.

Kurt Cobain [1994]
Henry Crawford

I came in after midnight
I drove all night to get here
I am shaky
I lit up a cigarette
I got a Coke from the machine
I am reeling with dope
I am feeling the glow behind the dials
I let myself in

[With the lights out, it's less dangerous]

I have no microphone
I sing to myself
I sing in sheets of sharpened glass
I hear the words between my temples
I look out the control booth
I see a city burning in the controls

[Here we are now, entertain us]

I asked my agent
I asked how many more days
I am looking out the moving bus
I stammer in the mirror
I am waking up in strange places
I shared too much
I shared too little
I think "my needs are getting out of hand"

[I feel stupid and contagious]

I've had some bad nights
I've looked out across an empty arena
I've lost my place in the song
I woke up in the Mississippi plains
I walked into a house lit up
I saw Blind Lemon strumming in the kitchen
I saw Muddy staring at me in the hallway

[Here we are now, entertain us]

I am an outsider to myself
I have no senses to come to
I am the inside living without
I'm a voice too hard to hear
I want to be straight [a mulatto]
I want to be drunk [an albino]
I want to show you [a mosquito]
I want to hide you [my libido]
I am empty [yeah]
I am full [yeah]
I'm [denial]