Blackbox Manifold

Issue 13: James Dufficy

Jim is Dead Sexy

Utterly decimated by a single puff of morning breath,

I’m deaf, dumb, and blind anyway.

(Well, if you’re turned on by somebody …)

Beneath the intellectual veneer,

maybe a croissant -

neither guaranteed.

In perfect alignment

for a statuette

from the arrogant do-gooders

you’ve had all this time?

As I replied,

it’s yours anyway.

With hindsight,

God made the stars

of lust and sleaze.

A little carcinogenic,

sky is above earth.

Does it really matter if they’re true or not?

Jim’ll Fix It

An incipient alcoholic

in one of the very last pews,

I had a penis growing out of my throat.

Like some cheap, fringed suede jacket,

broke a commandment.

The assembled guests were delighted.

If you’ve walked that particular gauntlet,

over the under-ripe berries,

sure, you laugh at the first body …

But you should have seen it then!

Into a white deathmobile

with my mum to visit the shops,

in a block of such density

I inhale less.

Like prunus in full blast

you reach up towards the sky.

I offer you my hand.

Wasn’t being physical enough?

Don’t Mess Around with Jim

Pieces of Parchesi

leaking from their car stereo,

the sound of smacking, squelching lips.

A full-scale invasion

of Manhattan vs. New England clam chowder.

In late Victorian times,

sleeveless, strapless, and backless,

she was cooking meringues

with a pink Dulux manicure.

Amidst the neurotic order

the house was an absolute mess.

Whether you’re blind

with sweet, sublime rhetoric

(which makes even plain people its slave)

or harder than ice cream,

I’d love to vote for you with my chequebook.

Becoming more and more like human skin,   

oblivion sounds like heaven.

Brown Jim Morrison

Beneath a wooden pompadour

he posed for his portrait

in clothes made of lead.

His wide, snaggle-toothed grin,

waving rifles in the air

under those same fucking cherry trees.

(But while practising his putting

he could still raise a cigarette from the dead;

If I had a hammer

and a light dusting of acne,

would you still love me manana?)

And if you look carefully at the movie

(asking for something from nothing)

a shaman speaks up:

—— Like the imperceptible autumn drizzle

on a red-faced, dirty tramp

under the train,

every day is just about killing me.

James Dufficy lives in London and works as a medical editor. His poems have appeared in Ambit, the London Magazine, and Rialto. He is Honorary Secretary of the Whistler Society.