DELTA 4: BEFORE DEPARTING FOR LAS POZAS WITH EDWARD JAMES MY SON SCHOOLS ME ON STRETCH ARMSTRONG

Egeria densa clogs sloughs, especially during low water.
Love is a lie the cup tells the coffee for the mouth.
Even the eye can’t deny the parrot behind the self-denying yo-yo.
An empty telephone booth in the middle of the Mojave tells the same story.
Edward, I watched you take a photo
As a self-portrait — image on the surface
Of Optium over William Eggleston Photograph – Untitled
(hotel room with man on bed, Huntsville, AL)
c. 1971. My lover, you know, suspects me of sniffing
Around again. Will you sleep with her? Sliding doors across the bullnose cornered passage
Of my office keep the world at bay.
Edward, you are no Edward, I am using
Edward as a way to talk about our Las Pozas. To feel my way
Into this aeonian psychasthenia you
Call art. Short of lack of consent, right and wrong can’t survive a relationship,
Defined by what we disagree on: tagging people on Facebook not in the picture,
Interrupting tapped conversations
That matter with self-concern, setting the pine
Cone on the 3rd or 4th level of the bookshelf on the East wall,
Sleeping with others. Wearing a World War II gas mask
And playing Fur Elise on the piano is not your only favorite
Past time. I am kind of pissed that Barry Pepper did not become my friend. I cannot
Buy pants anywhere. The gray cover,
Backlit by night, on the hidden vehicle
Is just off the cottage-white of the pavement. The hall follows the wet
Footprints of a long dead Irish wolfhound to a couch
With a large bright red pillow designed by you to look like the lips of Mae West.
How close can one live to the subconscious? My son described to me the inner nature
Of Stretch Armstrong. “Hit him,” he said. “Hard
As stone. Lightly squeeze him,” he said. “He’s mushy.”
He grabbed the feet, I grabbed the hands and we pulled. The body distended.
The inedible taffy resisted us and we paused.
                                                                                  When he let go
The body did not snap back but rather released with reluctance to return to form.
“I know what is inside the body.
A blue goo.” The expression seemed part question.
And I said, “In a way, we are blue goo inside too.” I smiled. He said,
“No dad, we are not blue goo inside, but it would be cool
If we were. Hard when hit. Soft when stretched. Able to flex in so many ways.”
If you are Edward James, then I want to be Betjeman in the story. I do love
The idea of our Tilly Losch
Though who would play her I am not yet quite sure.
Good dads, friends, terrible lovers, we commiserate over the joy
We distill from calculating how many Instagram
Posts have already been forgotten. Together we have built waterfalls
Over alabaster and slate: mimics of the most important and ones from fancy.
Palm tree, garbage can, and some distance
Down the street, a concrete bench at a bus stop:
Long in the past, our dead children remind us there is no god. Fuck Barry
Pepper. The early tangerine morning (or late pink
Evening) casts shadow on the brick wall from the arm of the self-serve car wash.