How To Get Laid

Tell her that sex
always makes you feel lonely
and afraid and afterwards

you usually have to get up and eat a peanut
butter sandwich and watch 

Tell her that when you were
at the Guthrie
you had a half a Ford Grant and a half

a Rockefeller

Tell her that your favorite actress
is Margaret Lockwood

Tell her that you know Gregory

Tell her that the last time you made love for
real it was with
a woman who couldn't get off

unless she was wearing headphoness
to Brian Wilson

Tell her you think you're losing your grip
Tell her you don't know which way to turn
Tell her you're crazy

about the little hairs on her arms

Tell her you're not worth

Tell her you know Sam Shephard 
Tell her you're just lost
Tell her your favorite actress is Veronica Lake

Tell her you've never been to Kilamanjaro

but you have seen
the northern lights over the St. Lawrence and how Quebec

falls straight off into the water

Tell her you are visited by spirits who have no voices
and require
you to read their lips leading

to situations in which
like Warhol
like Nixon like Esther Williams you have often 

but slenderly known yourself

Tell her that Gregory Corso is the only poet of your acquain-
tance (except maybe Bill 
Harmon) that would ever dare to come up with a word 

Like brool

Tell her that Jane Fonda has really strong
hands and once massaged
your back like Hayden wasn't home like you could ask her 


Tell her she can ask you anything
Tell her there are some things you simply can't talk about

Tell her
that Sam Shephard's work is like a 
like a 

like one of these people that lays on the beach too long
at Santa Monica 
and gets loopy from the fumes

Tell her when you lived at Steele Creek your mama had
a terrier name of Sam 
that she used to shove up into the attic every 

night to hunt for rats

Tell her you not only know the man who wrote Tubby
the Tuba but have heard
him play his own composition

Tell her does
she dream in color or black and white

Tell her that when you were at the Chelsea
they gave you the room
where Thomas Wolfe had stayed and you couldn't

write a single line 
the entire time you were there but at least
you got to meet

Gregory Corso who prowled
the halls a lot 
and once borrowed your felt-tip to scribble 

in cursive on the marble steps

Tell her oh God
how it finally happened that you ended up just
like your father

broke and busted in the wilds of Burbank
nowhere to turn not 
an orange grove in sight

fighting with this old woman behind the Kentucky Fried
to decide
which one of you would get the chance to pick

though the leavings in the dumpster

how you got the woman down and tried
to strangle her
smelled her fear felt the loose

flesh under her arms
tasted the spittle trailing down her cheek

how all of a sudden it wasn't an old woman at all

it was Jane Fonda saying 
don't kill me don't we can take turns

Tell her
you knew Allen Tate in the sixties
and Allen Tate's semi-

spick wife who was about a hundred years old
and never failed
to introduce herself as a Yale

Younger Poet

Tell her that your favorite actress in the whole entire world 
is this French woman
that fell in love with a German soldier

in Hiroshima Mon Amour
and when the people in her village found out about it
they cut off

all her hair
and then after the war she was with this Japanese
guy and so she had to tell

the truth didn't she so
she told him everything and the ashes rained
all over them

Tell her to quit
looking at you like that

Tell her
that much as you hate to admit it Jorie Graham
is probably the best poet around 
and a person you lust after day and night 

and once wrote a letter to requesting her autograph 
or one of her bras

Tell her tell her
you have to tell her something:

Tell her 
it's happening it's love at first sight

Tell her you know she feels the same way 
Tell her
you can read her every thought 

but she may as well
get one thing straight: you wouldn't even
let Constance Ockleman

fuck you on a first date

James Lineberger