Douglas A. Martin


There was a tradition of the body in soft and relaxing words, in the poets of Black Mountain I was learning in class, and when one writer comes to visit, one who also invested much in the larger picture of the cinema. And then there were those nights I liked walking away, feeling the echo of his legs pressed against mine.



My mother's favorite was Love Story, along with Zeffirelli's one of the doomed couple. She had the records I'd heard and posters even when she was a girl. When moving to the city, I had taken the couch of a girl; Contempt, we went out to, and the back of some books would make me jealous—one I was thinking who'd gotten rewarded for being so unsuccint, petals flying scattered everywhere, and even holding onto a cat. "Nothing changes everything," he'd write to me one night. I lived with the one girl for a while, before it's across from the Projects for me, the "Gardens," as they were christened. The futon in the living room I made mine, holding the head of another young poet—he'd had a dream he looked up his name. He found only it meant he was descended from a line of soldiers, falling asleep to the stroking.



Hiroshima Mon Amour plays on CUNY TV, and he doesn't understand it. The Seventh Seal (which was also referenced in that work from our class): it's a box I see always when there was on Court street Blockbuster, when going there nights when he says he needs to be alone to write. In the Realm of the Senses: They don't carry that, but there was also a Videomania. Other nights he's just having drinks with friends, some of whom I know too. Sunday Bloody Sunday: I stop here, the last thing I think technically as a couple we watched together.



Alice Notley, "Place Myself in New York (Need One More There): "The look of legs walking on film, in the rhythm of/ Traffic signals; the permanence of New York light/ Embedded into the texture of jeans and plaster and red/ Juice, a painting; someone is shouting up from downstairs."


Before it gets too middle of the night, I go into the BAM Rose Cinemas. It gives a certain access to a body, textual. During Warhol's Couch, he'd fall asleep, during a part that makes me feel like I must still love him, I must still want him. Under the heading of "can't sleep," I'd e-mail out: "Maybe you'll peep at me. Just a little squeak. Masturbating doesn't work." And then I'd get up to work on my "Drunk Boat" translation, Irish whiskey pulled on earlier coming to nothing, either.



"Air on the side of caution" was an email exchange he started of how out of the question would a dirty movie be? There were little ways to try to make all the films mean something. Worshipping there quite literally a transference in process of positive flashing. Sitting below a God the Visual, Screen lighted up above and everything coming together then. From Rimbaud, Ted Berrigan wrote: "Where, dyeing all the blue, the maddened flames." Light would take on a different meaning glowing over him lighting up under me, eyes that sparked, spark deep.  (The sea inside made to fire.) But distance is controlled. There's no fear here of getting too close, too irreparably so. Pictures drawled [sic] boys together at that place where you knew where to find them in the future. My once poet soldiering knew who to be disappointed by, because he has criteria set. He knew how to know if anything added up to something, in beginning to look around for likenesses.



One summer, the last, I'd avoid the Projects by housesitting for a teacher, a couple, then a bachelor, a librarian retiring and moving house to an apartment in a place in Chelsea. There with Brian B. together only one night in a real way on a bed that folds down from a wall. When someone wants different things, you can't keep looking at them. Care of me, he'll write to the owner so we can try to get the DVD player to work for us, housesitting in what we are told is sometimes called the "Faggot Fortress." The cat I was there to care for was Ridley, thirteen—old man for a cat.



Who would have ever thought how the great achievement of Warhol's cinema would be so sad? It's how it was going to be, to be restrained there for so long, while people try so desperately to prove how alive: Chelsea Girls. He wrote/typed to me, "Permission is so conscriptive. That's what I come away with." I'd try to respond always in words emphasizing how I wanted a reconnection of our bodies. He wrote in front of a screen, over to where I would be. He wants to apologize for being "tight," "no fun." He wasn't going to ask me to spend the night anymore, though after that endless movie he would ask me if I wanted to come in. Then he writes/types to try to make sure I'd gotten across the city (Brooklyn) safely, after I've left, when the subway doesn't go easily from where he is to where I'd be.



I wouldn't be using any of those words of Duras around him. They said in her how, "It's very late to be lonely." He never got that film. Desire was to have something more among lights and shadow, make something of glut, stretched out over days of images, billboard and beer ads, next time you found yourself looking out the window. Before he got on the bed—whoever's then we would share—he'd tell me about a tradition of maritime city poems, how O'Hara referred to as his rudder his penis. The edge of the bed the boat made words of water, end lines down on pages, once hazarded in a blank field. I kept coming back for more. And had I seen that translating poetry book by the librarian's TV? His place, back in Chelsea for another stay, the bed another mentor had called Murphy.



"Sweeter than sour apples flesh to boys," began Berrigan's "LXX." I go, "More sweet than to children the meat of sour apples," and "plus douce," he'll sum of my approach, a line of translation glozing others, done in love, like comprehending more fully feeling of one on top of the other... He'll type me after how the boy in the movie reminded him of me. The one he meant was the one I see now as the main, the one who talked about perception and touch, salt on skin, and apples on against lips, sweet in lurid colors shot first red then green, I remember.



I'd use for the pining the word "cockle," for a Le Bateau Ivre line. In that state I was from originally, cones littered a front and back yard and would hurt bare feet when rolling underneath. Though these vessels could be taken apart. Things could be made with those seeds they contained. "Youth was knowing before becoming then being/ Interestingly hurt by becoming," Notley wrote in her "Collage."



He wrote (Rimbaud) his poem before leaving his country childhood for the city. Already for some time through letters, there's been a correspondence.  He (Verlaine) was going to let him stay with him, even though there was the wife: the stuff of homosexual legend. Many people knew the story; the poem of drifts spinning like a movement through different mediums, many-headed trajectories.



Walking out the door one morning, with his arm around me seemed a new attenuating of the effect, close but distant. "The dawn arisen like," "exalted as," "exulting like"—a crowd or a flock of doves or host of them, breaking of the day. Don't want too much. (In the morning the two of them crawled out of bed together.) It was what time now in the afternoon where you were. What time now in this particular paragraph.