Saulius Venclovas. Eilėraščiai

Romeo is Bleeding

after Tom Waits

Romero waits patiently in the shadows, as he watches the copper leave his car to take a piss. The pachucos had gathered info on the cop’s routine. An hour ago, he was at Gorda Gorca, stuffing his face with chilaquiles, as he always does. Now, after a long hour of doing nothin’, he’d parked near the La Luna Strip Club, in case of someone easy to nab. A week ago, Romeo’s fellow brother was that catch. Duke had some dope on him and wasn’t the kind to rat. Blow it out your ass, he’d say. Good on him, but unfortunately these are tense and testy times. Don’t matter whose side you’re on. These days, there’s only prey, and the ones to pray you don’t meet.

Duke was found some blocks away, beneath a car, shot like a dog, his knife taken. Of course, no one saw nothin’. But, at the La Luna, there’s always a girl who sees somethin’, and Romeo has a way with women.

Pigs are so entitled these days, they don’t even look for a restroom. Hell, they’ll do it in a back alley, even with a steeple bell in the distance.

Now, it’s dark and raining rivers. Romeo can hear the pig unzip and groan. Romeo can almost taste his meal, on the platter of moonlight. Be sure, the pig can’t hear the Butcher  approaching. At least, not until a step into a puddle gives him away. The pig squeals and turns around. The gun is out,
pointed to the shadows. Romero, unseen, can still easily slip away.

In the back of the ’58 Bel air, the pachucos get jumpy when they hear sirens. Eyes flutter, looking for a place to dispose of the knife. Driving through 18th street, Romeo stays calm in his seat. He laughs as he puts out his cigarette, starts to sing along with the radio:

“… of sand, Duke of Dunes
Catch me if you caaaan,
Soon I will be out of cash
Catch me, Prince of Ash..
Catch me…”

Romeo is bleeding, but nobody can tell.



In the early hour awoken
The beeswax candle is lit
The day draws the flesh from the bone and
The wax from the thin candlewick

Slowly, it melts, the sweet texture
Their heavy church bells draw attention
Your eyes leave your hand, leave the ground
Thus pour their disguise into the sweet, softbitten cloud



A razzle dazzle comes before the fall
The light first blight, then slowly fading out
Of sight, a flame erupting up so tall –
A distant candle wavering, its snout

Now no disquiet shows, for blotted are its moans
No consolation or recourse receive the faint
Reverberations, echoes without warmth have known
Their path across the darkness void of saints

Yet forward they still lead themselves, they tread
With memories of blaze, of fury – calmed
And soothed, and hushed, as infants; bare, abed
Reborn instead of grooming crusted psalms

The silence in-between the note suggests
The touch of feathers beats the blow of zest



Wake up in the morning,
Quest for the potter
Wait! It holds the basilisk
Out the door, meet basketwomen
Who cry: You are my Destino!
In the door
Fish and chips?
Fish and Holmes
Farce, a feather ferry holds
Put the urinal upon the stand
See how many grainy grans
Plunge their Pharisees inside
No more whitemeat
Fleshleft liquor, heartfelt bleed

All we want are yellowboys
And a couple of spankers



The sparrow descends upon an empty plain
Fruits from Eden are ripe yet not quite right
It moves and bows
From the shadows to the meadows

The glass looks at the bone-meat figure
And from it derives pestilence and passion
An answer is given: Do not return
Without love or be shattered

Mums adore their loafy sons, often far too much
Fathers go beyond their daughters, occasionally to much
However, as Dali is choked by his own moustache
Young man cannot love himself too much

For the glass is but petals



Callous and cadaverous
Butchers and demoniacs
Cannibals and firebugs
All acquiesce to me

Oscillating overtone
Outfoxed and ossified
Noisome nosebleed
Nuzzle nevermore, buzz off!

Leonine lethargy
Of a lowborn lordling
To a lukewarm lunatic
Is as listless as leisurewear

Mendacious melancholia
Of melodious such a midwife
Maims the maidenhead:
Marcescent the mirage


Bed rider

A taste of ultraviolence
My leopards, spot on
Like that knifey pain in the back

Rust in veins
Cold told me otherwise
Blood bite warm
Can feel it running to the bag

First thought of something
Then ceased to see
Now lay down in martyr glee



Ember little, dying fire
You forget to leave an amber

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