Necessary Excoriations, a Collection | The New Engagement

Necessary Excoriations, a Collection

By Steven Cordova

LEFT UNTITLED

I’d write a poem,
& call it “The
Day My Father
Became a Piece    
Of Shit.” It would
Recount a recent
Trip my dad
Made to the mall
With my half-sis
& her three kids;

How dad left them
Saying he had
Some biz to do
In the men’s room;
How then my half-
Sis & the kids
Became concerned
When he never
Reappeared &
his cell phone just
Kept ringing. No
answer. None.

I’d write a poem
Telling you how,
As I heard this
Account, I exclaimed
“What the hell
Was he doing?
Sucking dick or
Getting fucked in
a men’s room stall.”

The poem would tell
How my brother—
Who relayed this
To me via
My half-sister—
Said, “Maybe, be-
Cause when the kids
Finally found him—
In the food court!—
He was covered
From head to toe
In. His. Own. Shit.”

I’d do all this,
Write such a poem
Though some will say
It unkind to
Use an old man
For a cheap laugh,
For catharsis,
To prove a point
I’ve made before
Ad nauseam.

I mean, my dad
Has always been
A piece of shit
Or acted like one
Anyway. But

Even men who
Abuse their spouses,
Abandon their
Sons & hate blacks
Deserve something,
A modicum
Of  sympathy
A touch of pure
Loving kindness.

In that case, I’ll
Just write the poem,
Let someone else
Give it a name.

 

SALON

The successful novelist—
two of his books have been adapted
for the screen!—is pontificating

again, claiming that hetero
versus homo is a dated
binary concept,

one that doesn’t reflect
the more fluid sexual desires
of today’s everyman

& I, seated on the floor—
among his many handsome acolytes!—
their bright heads nodding

like so many pansies
in a fragrant field—
I have to refrain

from raising my hand
during the interminable Q&A,
though all I want to say is

“Hi, my name is
Steven & I’m gay—
Just. Plain. Gay”

 

A PROPOSAL ON THE COLLECTIVE NOUN FOR TWINK

I propose twist as the collective noun for twink.
Tonight, for instance, a twist of twinks,
will take a stroll up 8th. Said twist

will come upon a score of bachelors.
Said score will get its collective panties
all in a bunch over the attractive twist.

Not too much later a sloth of bears
joins the fray & by the crack of dawn,
the twist, the score & the sloth are spent.

A dropping of pigeons, a ruination
of rodents and a yech(!) of cockroaches—
none of whom have the time of day

for the contemplation of collective nouns—
take back Chelsea. The gayborhood
was theirs to begin with.

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