Camille Roy

La Figa E Sacra

“Once we have understood how it develops minute personal failings into public crimes,
then nothing is a minute personal failing. One’s little faults can only be crimes. ”
                                                                                                   (Simone Weil)

sex like an orange lining. sex like tubs. sex like glazing. sex like pan fried. sex like
lettuce crisp. sex like tea. sex like waiting. sex like cotton dyes.

Then Scout snickers as she studies my prospects:

No $ + no audience + anxiety = sin.

I stroke the stack of bills because they are soft
& smell like lanolin: modesty in a stack of tens.
The counterfeiter teaches me Italian for
The Pussy Is Sacred.

(Scout’s not the fiction but
Volumes of violent death
& what is weird
is being inside a pouch
submerged, invisible.
When Scout rejects me I know I will be as if dead...)

(& her religious family stunned into bitterness.)

(So much for hunger that spills!
Or that pain which is a consequence of walking upright.)

(It’s distracting, that thickening
swab of narrative texture. Tearing it up
into this poem....)

Scout’s a scab
of herself. And I desire that character
like a novel!

I show her the rejection letter
             ...We are looking for restraint in the interest of refinement...

Then we’re back to our subject: where we went,
Fields of battle bitterly regarded
as each grain moves from nostril to atmosphere.

I confess my dream: I molested his apartment, where I found one of my scripts,
which D had marked up with a red editor’s pen.
At the end he’d left a scribble, marked ‘just for you’:

             Toil in the fields black as rotted bark, raise an army of rapists, beat the children.
             In the wicked tree of the wicked, you’re my favorite.

Scout thinks his aroma of dangerousness was a consequence
of becoming successful.
In his twenties he was oddly middle-aged (a lump) letting go with
One or the other gulps in the middle of the fight.
Whereas I locate disgust: where it goes, I go

with the dictator’s ambition:  to smash the rules which would judge me
into minute patterns like truths.
Grains begin in the dark pads of flesh.
Today a single new style has come into existence
stressing frank use of metal
a visible articulation of the skeleton.
Resistance gathers yet won’t speak.
Questions are anathema.
Of course the dictator’s big shits intimidate me.

return to SHAMPOO 29