Escape / Hatch


by Nicholas Rombes

The bleeding edge, Mr. Pynchon, give it
. The way way leads on
to way. Out goes the pilot
I have watched The Passenger
too many times.
Help me
, Kathryn says, help me
decipher the mix-tape code of my desire

There is the gathering of thought
at the edge of thought. The unprocessed junk
traveling up and down the veins. The leftover sun
burning down the playground slides.

Take me to where they killed them, you say, to where
they slit their throats.
That never happened,
I say.
Come into the hot bedroom, I say.  Strip down.
Do me like you mean it. Take out those fake
vampire fangs and do me

You have cut your hair short, Kathryn.
You have pitched all your red dresses
into the red fire, the night sky’s heart beating
so fast a thousand Clonazepam cannot stop it
from bursting
into the sort of rain that, as they say,
washes all the filth away.

You find yourself here, now, before
the Master, a sort of blasphemous desire.
Eight of your fingers are already plugging
the leaks in your mind, while the other two
search for the trigger.

You are at the airport at night, the planes
all suspended in mid-air, the sound of sound
coming off like dead bark. The departure board sputters
comical destinations: Mars, the Large Magellanic Cloud.
You can hear them screaming away, away, into the sort of space
that falls between the words of a poem, the merciful
blankness that exists outside
the tyranny, at last,
of meaning.


About the Author:

Nicholas Rombes, author of Cinema in the Digital Age and A Cultural Dictionary of Punk: 1972-1984, is an English professor in Detroit and also a columnist at The Rumpus. Some of his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Oxford American, The Believer, Exquisite Corpse and other places.