It must have been a very sick joke
that made those two sculptured-muscle jocks
so cynically snicker as they pissed Pilsner
into the stagnant pond before the entrance
to Kafka’s museum.

Truly, I was a fool not to recognize the Omen
before I was metamorphosed
into a gigantic flasher-like cockroach
dressed in a double-breasted
Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy trench coat
while awaiting my delayed flight from Prague to Paris.


Tangled up in tubes, I suck in intravenous,
while lying upon once-upon-a-time
pure white sheets totally helpless.

A banlieue dude turns the greasy knob,
“Desolé! Jus’ lookin’ for a frien’
Mus’ not be za’ right room…”

The hippo man in the bed next
had just been released for weekend leave from this ward of infectious disease.

My belly, his thighs, are equally bloated
like cannon balls with fuses lit…
Set to explode out one end or the other…


It’s the penultimate
Dr. Seuss-like Catch 22.
Or really, Catch No. 1
& Catch No. 2.

You better be able to do No. 1,
if you can't do No. 2.
Or if you can't do No. 1,
you better do No. 2.

But if there is no way
you can do either 2 or 1:
Better prepare
your tombstone!!!


In waiting forever, I exalt with feigned
bed-ridden praise the hospital’s bacterial
(mis)diagnosis and its sonogram batteries
whose juice fizzles out upon my pregnant belly…

Interns take notes. Scientific curiosity?
Or detailed studies for the penal colony’s autopsy?
The nurse plugs in the catheter spewing hematemesis…
in celebrating my cockroach metamorphosis.


Voyaging to fairy tale land,
radioactive red dye
illumines my innards
after each UroScan and MRI.

I enter a magnetic tunnel
where the aurora borealis
flashes purple haze
in such a strange cacophony…

It’s an ear-piercing symphony
of post-post-modern music
A trio of John Cage, Morton Subotnick,
and Jimi Hendrix…


On the day of the overly
anticipated Apocalypse
my raw guts are served up
onto a sterilized chopping block.
The Doc hones his instruments
for scraping vermicelli
from a giant porcini…
With chisels sharpened
just for spelunking
into that voluminous cavity,
he probes down deep
into raw tartare meat
that not even cannibals
have enough guts to eat.


My consciousness zapped,
all time and space evaporate
in the tense moments
between the cold inhuman ticks
of the medieval blue and gold dial
of that Old Town Hall Clock
that, like a forked twig, divines its way
through the astrological orbits
of the Sun, Moon and Stars
in the Homo Geopoliticus circumvolution
of revanche and counter-revanche…
And now too the contemporary lies
and already forgotten false promises
of global peace and nuclear disarmament…
Those that I had warned the Gorby forum
in that ex-Commie hotel sanatorium…
Historically recurrent time bombs
of Jaurès’ unheeded warnings…


Helpless above, the Saints gawk
in sanctimonious self-pity
over the Apostles’ Walk…
We, the humans below, never know exactly
where, how, and when,
the boney desiccated pricks
of Death and War will stick
their unsuspecting victims…

Wept one fearless survivor
of urology’s latest craze
of unnecessary ablations
that swell with not-always
well-deserved remuneration
after his enhanced interrogation:

“Je suis incontinent.
Je ne bande plus.
Ma femme m’a quitté…
L’urologue m’a massacré!!!1


Encrusted from head to toe
in a full body massage
with black volcanic sludge
and sulfurous vapors steaming,

I awake from the black pall
like a newborn child
with the wild kaleidoscope eyes
of retrograde ejaculation.

No longer a cockroach flasher,
my humanity is redeemed
by an at least partially
substantiated revelation…
There, hooked to my left side
is a bright yellow handbag:
Not exactly Gucci,
Hermes, or even LV.

A work of haute couture,
it changes hues magically
from burgundy to rosé…
then hopefully... Chardonnay…


Routine check-up, lying flat on back,
knees pulled up to the chest,
like a yoga tablet, latex glove
stuck up the bent-over butt…

O! Prostate Prostation!
It’s just a simple, run of the mill,
assembly-line operation
for a deranged dotard’s condition…

So outrageously gloomy and pitiful
Indeed, truly “La-ment-aaa-ble”
that is, if the mind-blowing resection
is not proclaimed “Im-peck-aaa-ble”!!!


In all the multitudinous convulsions
of our bizarre animal/ human evolution
what could be the existential signification
of such a traumatic transurethral operation
that takes place in that very special niche where the most torrid and unrequited love
has so arbitrarily pitched its backpacking tent
in the trenches of Yeats’ guilt-ridden hell-hole
and cosmological gyres of lyrical excrement?


And to summarize this sordid story
what could be a more valid testimony
to the lewd nature of those invisible enzymes
that creep by osmosis ever so furtively
when the prick of Death and War menaces
through dense unsuspecting intestines simultaneously
to defenestrate all who suffer for their Art
after rotting for so many miserable years Lost
in regrettably delusional existential thought
upon their raw flatulent rears and who now curse
four letter words in green day glow graffiti
in obscene silence upon the walls of the WC.

The Moral: If you fervently believe
your plumbing is twenty-four carat gold
that you will never grow flatulent and old
then you really better start re-thinking!

Postscript: butchery in Bourges

French newspaper headlines scream
across the dull glow of my computer screen.
Bedridden I lie in a retrograde trance after surgery
in never-ever-land. It seems that back in January,

another Doc had started his resection
in a foul mood, “with agitated motions.”
He blamed it all on “shitty instruments,”
wailing to the traumatized nurses in lament.

His patient, like me, was totally healthy,
yet succumbed to the same routine surgery.
Lawyers now accuse the Doc of manslaughter:
His patient’s hemorrhaging gone haywire!

1 Translation: “I am incontinent. I can no longer have sex. My wife left me. The urologist massacred me!”.