Brandon Downing, p.2

for Katie Degentesh

Ballet pointer? It’s a candle, gripped by a Frau,
Biographical notes made in sweltering hot-tubs,
Empty seat-backdrops, a vacuum for empathy.
“What noble melody, what mysterious stretch-notes?”
Hard-edged in the sweet windshield of poison.
A church exit room laid out in harsh close-ups

When Mama, and girl, glow in the photography
          of Clark,
2 beautiful giants, large, blue in the face.

“Monster.”          (whispered)
“Standing against the Bank, flushed,
The sweet facial.”
“A life music that brushes by,
With the satanic footprints!”


I read his fruity letter,
I wish it upon the Arabs,

“It is so much more disheartening
To have to steal than to be / stolen from.”

Plum innards on morbid mirrors
Drop casual shock into the loft.

The director says, “Now—Cinco—!”
“No hurry up.” “Page ‘Victoria’—”

“Static far corner of the stage,”
“The beautiful rehearser-puker”


Vicky had the gradations. The
Dancers of her generation have
Gashed legs, and penetrated shoulders

“They all danced in its nest!”
It was an atmosphere.
“Please. Do you dig these gashes?”
“I make mine with a candelabra.”
“Apologies to my victorious pages.”
“Good Morning!”


Horizon, naïve, wailing for Julian Kraster,
For the French-Russian and her signet ring.
“Why won’t you engage me? Gesture for me
          to go away?
I can improve television, I could be Seneca.”
“Will coarse salt rain on your gray ass?” “Nuh-uh…”

I will be measured by the margarine of gestures.
By the by, I nudged up my starlet’s face
As she watched the city hover up, N.Y.,
In a hairnet of grassy flame and nonsense,
After we cast upon God the apartment glances


You cannot stagger from it, you cannot
          lie down in your hair—
The spine shaped like a leg.
He has no heart, that smoke.
He crushed me at my desk.
“Yes, master, it is a wee cross.”
Engulfed in the convenient ballet of its era,
But never a real threat to mine.
Not as I sang in French Volcano…          (pop. 170)
Burning my candle with Hans Christian Andersen’s.


The only bummer, about the photographer,
          was his shadowiness:
A crypt where stars surrounded a staircase
And the cool ocean felt like cough medicine,
Like white thistles in a painted town
                              with a royal cop
With wing shoes who gashes me in the face—
I slept with him in a shadow
          in the tent,
Windy stage of praxis in Hell

Playing war between the states
With all the inherent downbeat moxie


Orange candles, blue highlight,
All alone, in the sky set,
Your dirty sweat, your
Cold ice journal, breasty
Foreground of the infernal


I hand the costume to Mr. Food   (gesture)
Caught between mirror and totem (Polynesian).
Both beg, having run away, tarnished, sad.
For the most part, you should be ecstatic we’ve parted,
After dancing for Anton, and his spit sculptures

For all those years & this is how it ends,
A jester scampers past the Samurai of Finland,
Petroleum rasps down stairs black.

Simply pick up the festival symbol like a corpse.
Leaving, you bend your family into your own heap.