June/July 1998


a rant/poem by Alan Kaufman

I'm in a relationshit! Hey, it's great!
At night with undying love we ball!
Come morning she falls from bed griping: "Crap! Fuck! Didn't wear the
diaphragm! We both get so depressed that we can't get to work! Just lie all
day with wasted looks, asking each other back and forth: Do you think I'll get
fired for not going in? And of course, the answer is: No way! Not when
you're in a relationshit! Because even though this is our eighth missed day
of work this month (and there's only been eight days so far) and even though
we don't even bother to call in sick, we just don't show, when she asks me if
I think she's pregnant, I lie and say: Hell no! because I've been down this
road before and can already imagine abortion clinic and a right-to-life
picket sign smashed over my head, because there's a demonstration going on,
the nation expressing itself in bedrooms across America, as a right-wing
Freudian cop wacks my knees with a psychic nightstick! OW! while my
girlfriend stabs a priest to death in dreams of the Midwest, yikes! , using a
nail file from her moist, angry purse, and next she's on her back on a table
under hot lights ankles in stirrups, riding her pale horse of loss into
liberation as a pale frog-faced crack fiend unlicensed gynecologist with
wrinkled thumbs from the rodeo burbs scrapes her womb with a tongue depressor
left over from an old Good Humor Bar and I'm fathering back alley murder
because the supreme court got its way! Hey, I'm having a relationshit! I
love her so much! I can't bear to use a condom! Love is a life and death
affair! I'm in it for sex not latex! I like my taste of skin!

And for a permanent washing machine mortgage on the life insurance monthly
premium of our inevitable divorce, we're destroying our souls and ruining our
lives! We've killed off our parents! Fired our bosses! Hurt all our friends
with snarls of Campbell Soup contempt! We're filling up the emptied cans of
ourselves with Microwaveable jealousy bombs that threaten to detonate
hamburger-slaps and French fry shrieks!
Hey , look, we're draining that willpower! We're sinking survival! We're
driving each other nuts with old boyfriends and new girlfriends and lovers we
didn't even know we had, parading them out there lurid before each other on
the burlesque stage of our vanity, pretending that each night we get secret
calls from Chippendale hunks or animated centerfolds, so that we can't even
bear to take a shower scared that the other is on the
bedroom phone with someone hungry for a piece of ass, some Frenchman or
hairstylist who understands, and I can't even soap myself without shutting off
the water and poking my head from the shower curtains to listen and what I
hear is: O.K., after he leaves I'll meet you downstairs in a cafe, and then
we'll come back up here and fuck our brains out!
Even though I'm the only one at home when I'm hearing this!
H E L P!
When was the last time I had
a good wash? Why, I can't remember!
My body stinks!
I don't even brush my teeth
because the loud scrape
of thistled down enamel drowns
her cheating, whisperings on the telephone to lovers
who are all named Uncle Joe, she says
when I ask her, all Uncle Joe, aged 79,
but I don't believe her! because according to her answering machine messages
which I eavesdrop on
while she sleeps, she is having sex
with three different genders of six
different races, including a circus dog
who barks after the beep!
But I'm having that relationshit
no matter what!
I'm in an Ozzie and Harriet
mode of acceptance,
sitting with dick in hand
mumbling through hot tears:
"Oh bitch, I hate your
fucking guts!"
Because I'm a committed kinda person
I tried dating
It sucked
It costs too much money
No one puts out on the first date anymore
and I'm so broke by the second date
that if she agrees to a third date
I'll tie the knot with her
just for the free meal and flop
in a hotel her parents pay for
because when my choice is between
welfare and fetuccini, hey! And
I'm bored with my own life but
the great thing
is that I don't have to live
it anymore
I'll just live hers,
all ready-made with a complete set of new
problems for me to solve
So I'm eating her food
I'm wearing her clothes
and reading her books
and pretty soon I'll be ready
to take up her sex
and she'll take up mine
we'll get ourselves
pets and become the pets
I'll be a Chihuahua
She'll be a hamster
we'll go to the pet store
live there in cages
begging strangers to please
take us home
for use as substitute husbands and wives
and maybe Disney will make a movie about us
called the Sex Addicts
in which we're chasing each other like Tom and Jerry
around the livingroom
with murderous claws and meat cleavers
screaming I love you!
as we blacken our eyes with restraining orders
and annoyed neighbors pound the ceiling and walls
as porcelain smashes and the shattering lamps ignite
the curtains
because we're having a relationshit!
Procreating in the American image
Adams and Eves of Hollywood
New love kids on the unexplored shores
of the nineties
and none gives a fuck if
we're Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum
POW's downed over our own livingroom
our shame- puffy faces stapled
to the television
a little foundling between us to murder
a little inner child to butcher
and we're going to adopt the little dear
right now, and we'll parent it, you'll see
just like we re-parented the little child in us
with Hostess Twinkies and handcuffs and loud smacks
in our condo torture chamber, listening to Bradshaw
on four poster low protein beds of sleep deprivation
and bandaged broken nose coitus
and there's more murdered children filling
up the closet of the national libido, but noone notices,
because this is America, and we're having a relationshit immersed in Jeffrey
Dahmer acid baths and hand saws and people mind their own business in this
country when they hear screams they figure we're in a band or something
with used diaper guitars and bloody MTV
on loud because we're in love
The Nat King Cole misty kind
here we are happy as two kittens in a jar
filled with phermaldehyde
and clawing for air at
the glass as our panicstricken
faces drown

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