by Kevin Cahill      The Doors                                                                                       Amid a bust-up of bell-bottoms and police-dogs
and a flashing skink undoing himself in view,                    
the song starts. Keeps in the hand for a minute,                                 
composing itself, wiggling, disbanding into beer.

This is a bunch of banned guys                                                                                           
in a beat-up jalopy
pulling into the back yards and back gardens                          
of Tallahassee, Tuscaloosa, Yeehaw Junction,                               
earning fiddy dollars a show, and crates of hoochy –                         
the daughter in every house bloody-minded with scruples,
slamming a mid-Sixties’ stiffish door     
into their open jamb.                                                      

It is the arriving into town of a public pan     
of crawfish, and soul food, skinfuls                                                       
of snifters, Freudian slips
and skinflicks, escorting a countrywide tantrum                 
into the capsized croon.                                                               

Boy, I mean Jim, jazz underneath him,                                          
kept steady, kept steady,
then turned way up…helping everyone
in the revolution to the slap-and-tickle
rippling from his tuning-fork…
passing through the clack of grasshoppers
and hula-skirts, gathering in every school – maidenhairs
wafted with winds, a transpierced bedsheet
decorated with the Kabbalah.   Fifteen minutes before the end,
the end grasps at its chest,
a chunk of blood                                                 
chucked up on a cop-car, and takes one,            
maybe two turns at saving itself –                          
Waxahachie, Bagdad, Berkeley,                              
Natchez: divots of tumbleweed, and DTs,                
a standing legless and reciting of Eliot
facing the music
with music,
now touching the event
each calamitous song foretold.                                                        Mythically, trillingly,
these chiselled minstrels
step uncertainly from the jaguars                                            
and wildfowl, the trees thronging in attendance,
birds of paradise paying in (or more likely                                      
blagging in through the bathroom window)
the lions with the teeth of women                                             
tearing them up hit by hit –  
these maggots in the bottle of mezcal              
tilted over into the matchsticked mouth
at the other end, gorged and chewed –
their heads spat out into the river
plunging downstream – afloat –still singing.   Hush MoneyWhen I went to the circus
the girl there
dressed like a clown                             smiled
and I went white in my seat.
For no one smiles                                where you live –
no one smiles                      
if you look,                                                 they turn like theatre                                     
into their houses
and only a handkerchiefof fuchsia
someone put on a door                    
beams from this place                                               like a bride.                          
Something so stupid                   
that means so much:                                             like God said
Let there be birds,
and every single personbolloxed and botched,
Let there be soap suds
He said                                        on the cheap car in the sun,                               
like Christmas,
like All Hallows Day,like the Resurrection.                             Exposure‘To turn every It was
into an I wanted it thus,
that alone would I call redemption
–  Friedrich NietzscheThe summer penthouse, the gazebo, the speck of feast-days      
revel on the lens, and relax themselves at last                    
into briers. But the rained-out August –
its perpetual cloud – turns tails
in the Nikon
and becomes a sunbather. Our cameras market us as yachts.                                                             Rottweilers patrol the gulag                     
of our memories – walk
with rococo writers                                   
spinning the memoirs,
the recounting of everything                                     
like nothing we remember:
the phoney, self-deceiving snaps                          
developing in the one-hour,
fiddled like history.                               No, we’re not suggesting we’re accountants,     
but we’re accountants,
cooking the books: though                                                  
the tripod holds, the mirror is true,
and the photograph freezes when at last
we collect ourselves sitting                        
on the shutter – like a flu –                                              
the disinclination we felt,                               
the not wanting to be there at all,     
whoever we are –  wet blankets who                                  
wanted all this – deep down, after the gnashing,                  
all the love we wasted, the joy we felt,
only in ourselves, and to stand here now                                                            
in our inconsolable losses –
stubborn, aloof, hard,                                        
unhappy, selfish, completely redeemed.               About the Author:Kevin Cahill was born in Cork City, Ireland. He has been publishing poems for over ten years, and has been published in Berkeley Poetry Review, The London Magazine, The Stinging Fly, The Lonely Crowd, and Oxford Poetry, among other magazines. He is seeking a publisher for his debut collection.