www.agentofchaos.com presents guest poet russell vidrick
RUSSELL VIDRICK - 23 POEMS
fotos by Jim Lang / Smith
You're right God is perfect this fuck up is my
fault. But sometimes a girl dances naked and
someone has to be there to see it. It was all her
fault, Eve I mean, enticing me with candy canes.
I dreamed of her before she was born. I would
close my eyes just to listen for her footsteps. It
was a dream so powerful it crossed into this world.
I had been living in my head so long I could no
longer recognize the truth. But now I know she
is just another numberless angel sent by God to
destroy me. You may be God's beloved but I am
the one who will be forgiven.
I am not Jesus, but don't think that I don't
recognize this crucifixion. If I passed you
some pornography would you still laugh now
that you know all of my secrets? There are some
things one must do alone. I am escaping now
into Byzantine glass windows strange like crystal.
I am a whore I am the holy one. Not the devil, just a
devil. In common cotton clothes. Now all that I want
is clean sheets, redemption and you. I am on trial
now, Saint Michael and ten thousand angels. Just
remember, I have not asked you for a thing and it's
ok to say I gave you nothing. You hurt my
soul; it is my soul that is hurting now. I used to
love you but an apostle, a saint, and a pope all
whispered in my ear that Cupid is really a blind
angel from Hell. I think you know there is no greater joy
than giving freely. When the cross is ready, one
must hang. I am a stone, and heaven is on Mars,
and I am a stone; I feel like a mother fucking stone.
The ashes are gone now from the fire.
Don't speak; your silence is better than
your truth. Your presence is more powerful
than the moon. How could I ever deny
you? Holy men burn when they whisper
your name. Last night I slept on a stone alter;
everywhere the fog was thick. In the dream
your eyes were dead, so I learned to sleep also.
You were a devil, a dog, and a witch; when I
opened my eyes the dream was gone. These
dreams, they lie about you. Does it just keep
going like this day night, night day. I am
remembering now a life, in your house
you tell me that there is no God. I am
not going to tell you how that feels
or doesn't feel. Do I remind you of
someone? I should. I ate stone all of those
years. Perhaps angels bleed also? You
looked so good amongst the art. Your
mere display is most pleasing. I still have
a locket and a piece of your hair. Did you
send the crow and the music to cheer me?
I like the way my car feels at 120 m.p.h.
I feel like Jesus fucking bleeding for a
minute straight. Your screams are easier
heard by someone closer. I cannot save
you. Death is such an ugly thing. I will
spare you the details. When the fog rolls
in and the gaze comes I will tell you about
your journey. This is the sound of your life.
If only you knew what I wanted or I knew
what to say. If only your eyes had not turned
away. Heaven is a homesick sparrow living in my
soul, an angel who speaks to me with wings that
crush. You don't deserve this shit from me. I
will not tell that I have returned. I will not tell
you that I cannot love you.
The ghost of a dead man will never allow this.
I will not be a part of your collection regardless
of the country or century that we fuck. I like
a woman who knows how to take her pleasure,
but before I fail in love once more I would just
like you to know that all of this was anticipated.
I am alone in a room. A bird has begun to sing on
a hill in Medjagore. I can't remember if in the
dream we made love. I have been watching
angels fall for too long. It will take exactly
three seconds for this to happen or not to
happen, but all of this is nothing compared
to your hair. I hardly know myself anymore.
I am sorry I left those lips so empty, but my
confusion was shared. It is true that I own
the world, but I would trade all of this just
to see your naked body. Once I quit eating
for a very long time. The thing that I missed
the most was salt. The thing that I miss the
most now is you.
I could talk to you about eagles or dolphins
but that would be bullshit. I am a poor man.
I have never seen an eagle fly or a dolphin in
the ocean. I will talk to you about something
I know that you have seen like crows or sparrows
fucking. You're much too independent to ever need
me; perhaps I can convince you that I need you.
These are some things that interest me. The
apocalypse, bombed out buildings, cold war
trash in a river or lake, abandonment--anything
abandoned--railroad tracks last used in the early
or mid twentieth century. If I were a devil or a
god these would still be some of my favorite things,
and I would still wish to kneel beside you. It is a
new moon and the sewers of this city are thick with
blood; my love for you is in this blood.
Everything used to mean something. Now it means mostly nothing.
All is lost. Faith lost. The stage lost. Everything that falls is mine.
Humanity is a filthy beast burning on an alter in my kitchen. My
children Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot and his daughters fucking
in a cave. This is my movie. This is my house. This is my new
testament. A pattern on a curtain. A troubling dream the scent
of the last century dead at my feet. Every little thing anticipates
the end, Mars dipping in the night sky, the new moon. When
I invited you in I never invited you to this. The beautiful
androgynous bitch and the whores who will cut their wrists
if they don't get some dick soon. I'm cold from this insanity;
it's bullshit. Poetry, power, chicks. It's bullshit. I made the
moon, wrote my name on it and cursed the light that it shed.
I hear your noise and the sound is coming back for me. I
have a vision of you and your fucked up crooked teeth.
You do not want to know my vision of you and your
beautiful fucked up crooked teeth. My soul is perplexed
and there never was or ever will be enough medicine. It's
not as if I have any illusions about people being decent.
I'm a bit of an asshole myself. I don't complain too much
when someone messes up my check or pizza, but there
are just some things I won't do like pick up a car engine,
watch belly dancers or listen to a really fucked up poem.
You are the only one with anything to lose in these plans
I've made for you. I can't help myself when I leave you, it's
as if I am with a thousand strangers. You would be smart
to turn me away and banish my memory.
A God has no fate except
to be ugly in the eyes
of men. Real estate seems
like a good investment
until the tenants move
in. But forget real estate--
I do not want
to talk about the tenants--
I want to talk about
you. For too long I have
carried the weight
of nothing. The night
has passed and the
day is ours. I am
asking you once again
to be my bride. I
have a necklace of
fish, two boats, and
the scalp of my old
life. You are the
woman who started the
riot in my heart. Finish
what you started in me.
Kiss me when I come.
it all started
with fish, my
fall from grace.
tonight it is
cold, but the lake is calm
and just beyond the shore there are
some men in a boat.
your G-d never gave me
visions. i am
just a sensitive man.
you looked so good in
the candlelight that
i was tempted to
tell you about how i
quit breathing but
you're such a masterful
liar that anything
i could say would be
revealed as bullshit.
time is cruel but
you have made
me happy with
you feed me noodles
and sushi and i
want to tell you
about the moon.
you speak your poems
you speak the word
holy like it were the
wrath of G-d. the
time i spend in
your monastery cures
me of my depression.
perhaps i should write
about other things.
how boring our love
affair must seem.
everyone has been
in love but not
everyone has been
in love with you.
Today in a Tarot card reading
I drew the Empress and the
ten of cups
I thought of you
The fortune teller stated that there is
something we must do together
Even if the virgin were to
appear to me in a vision she
would not be able to tell me what
there is only this
a night bird singing
The beating of hearts
a moment's surrender
then the rustling wind, as the
world begins to slowly consume
us once again.
Once I was pure
and I worshipped at
your alter but it was
a holiness I could not
maintain. When tempted
by desire I sinned.
When there was nothing
to steal I stole from
the silence. You are my
greatest struggle and I
am nothing before you.
Yet however you've
decided to measure these
things it's come down
in my favor. So I am
resurrecting; I am spilling
into clothes and I am
trying to pull you out
of the air with me.
I am alone and I am walking past a Cathedral.
Your scent still lingers. It moves with me
wherever I go. My prayers mean nothing.
I would kiss you and fall into your arms if
you asked me to. Since I know how much
you enjoy it when the cat brings you a dead
mouse, here is a dead bird that I found in the
yard. Your dream about the hundred knives--
was that merely a dream about one hundred
knives? My only wish is to be with you and
all of the angels and all of the saints in heaven.
Hey you, Napoleon boy, eat the apple you insolent
little fuck. In my house I sleep on dirt and wood.
Eat bread and rice. Grow strong and beautiful.
Before I met you, before I quit praying,
I had a conversation with God. When I
whispered your name and I told him how
brilliant you would be, he could not wait for
you to be born, to drink a single note of
And so I've
become jealous of
my Father in the
way that his wives
and his daughters pray.
How I've longed to
enter his house. Now
I ask you to enter
mine. I live with
the dead and praise
his name no longer.
When I watch your
women pray I can
deny them nothing.
I conspire against my
Father in my early
season, take all that
repulses in him. Am I
not the chalice? No even
more I am the sea;
whoever seeks life--take mine--
I give it freely.
They say that when
the pope was to crown
him monarch, Napoleon
took the crown from
the pope's hands and
crowned himself. If
you wish to be
Caesar and rule Europe,
you should at least have
the decency to let the
pope crown you. How
much like a thousand
tiny hands, this rain.
I am broken and
bleeding but I will
never be ugly, mad
in spirit, mad in soul,
mad in mind, knocking at
the mad house door.
This is the
last time I will tell
you that I am lost.
I have remained humble
and walked madly among
my people. I would love
you even if you were
horrid. Even if you were a
simple wooden bowl and not the
It was your song
again, you know, that
woke me in 1963.
I could pass you now
and I would not know
you. But I loved
you once. I have seen
the art of Heaven,
sat and watched the
stars and kept quiet
from afar. There is something
I've wanted to say for
some time. Do you suppose
Johann Sebastian Bach's
Sonata #3 in C
Major for Violin was
created out of mishap?
I'm not the only
one bleeding here in the
year of our Lord, this
common era. Perhaps I
was a little too proud
of your not being able
to understand me. But
thoughts of you and
the sun coming through
the clouds make it
all seem worthwhile
I don't want a comment
on this and I don't
care if you don't think
about it. But hell is just
a place you go to after
coffee with a girl.
Whichever isn't Heaven is Hell.
I've told you all my secrets;
now all I have left is
lies and vain boasting.
I could say it was you I
wrote this poem for before
you were born. But that would
be a half truth and Picasso
used the same line.
You've done nothing
but make me love you.
I've waited an eternity
for you to hear my song.
It's not for your beauty
that I've forgiven you but
because you said Thank You
in spite of it all.
There's just enough water
here to hold back the
fire but for how long
I can't say.
my name is Russell,
I love you,
and I want to take you home.
I'm looking at a picture of that
home right now
if you stay still when the flies
swarm, you will get
You have given
me just enough reason to
want to stay
I have been waiting
I'm so in love with you.
I could have remained a
mystery but it's a new
moon and I've touched your
hair for the first time
and tomorrow it will start
with a kiss and if you
wish it could go further.
I've walked in your
libraries and I've used
your pay phones. You would
be smart to get away
because of all the
words I've wasted with
you just for something
to talk about.
Mary's at the bridge
St. Bridgette's in the middle
Eight of the brightest
angels from the city of
Pilate's on his
knees, and you don't
know me, you don't know
me. But I want you
to have this picture.
Let me make
it perfectly clear
what she said--
Satan is dead
but when God
is asleep he
has an angel named
Igor who's not above
trying to tame
God's creation because
if you tame something
it will always love
you so he cracks
his whip and one
thousand sparrows fall
dead at my feet
and I smell the Earth
and kissing you is
speaking in tongues and
doesn't Igor know that
I own everything and
that it is only coming
back to me and I
am a stranger in
a strange land
and I can no longer
make love and it
amazes me that
anyone can and
I can't breath
but kissing you
is speaking in tongues
and if you were
to hold out the
apple right now I
would take it.
I would be twenty-four the first time you came
to visit, Jesus, want to do me again? Down down
he says to the medicine woman and her four wall
cabin in the city. The girl who started the riot in my
heart when I was twelve. She died but now she lives
again of the auto mile. She says Jesus, Joseph, Mary,
Peter, John, Paul. I say, but I knew that. She whispers
Shhh, brings forth her finger to my nose, says I knew you
in the womb. Jesus want to do me again?
It's fall again and I feel like I'm dead.
Any words for me, Nazarene? You're a
virtuoso, you and your beautiful bloody
cross. They will call your old man anti-
Christ. I knew you both, but now the moon
is small and covered by the clouds. I dream
mostly of strangers but last night you were
God, heaven was Mars, and it was Christmas
on earth. I died unburied in this baptism by
fire. I read strange signs in the sky, each prayer
a planet closer. My hands are weeping and I've
fasted for years, but tonight I dream of Teresa and
chicken. She is beautiful but I become shy in her
knowing that I thought that she was beautiful. In
the fiddler on the roof there is a story that goes if
a man meets a chicken in the road and the man eats
that chicken they are both unhappy. I thought of this
and the taste of bad fish rose in my mouth.
I was drunk in
those days before
the first day, before
masters were fought
over drunk on booze,
drunk on pills,
drunk on powder,
drunk on what I
was about to do.
After several centuries
of thought, my attentions
turned to you. God
wept on the night
you gave yourself
to me, and when
you bowed to me
it was of your own
free will. So many
now do not know
how to act and
you know that I'm
not Jesus but
I've been alive forever
and I have all the
energy of Fuck and
I'm not so old
as to not enjoy
this time with
you and I love
you more tonight
than I have
ever loved you.
Anytime away from
you is too long.
I could treat you
it's not in my
heart to do so.
Today I prayed
to a saint
that I might
on the edge of
this city we
will sit and
sip on tea and
when we talk it
will be glorious.
May all your
and all your
protect you from me.