William Corbett – Gerald’s Ava

William Corbett

Gerald’s Ava

Gerald at Sixty-Seven

First, your lungs
And breathing.  Asthma
Colored you gray
Like cigarette ash.
Now your jawbone,
Five posts for five
Implants in five months.
Lucky you to live
By eye and ear,
New Sicilian collages
And Faure, Franck,
Saint-Saens through
The birthday you share
With Cher Maitre Proust.
Sixty-seven!  How pure
Are numbers.  They mean
Nothing like winters
Or summers.  Everyone
Forgets dates but
Remembers Proust abed
Then staring at that
Apple tree in flower.
He had himself driven
To it, nightshirt
Unders his overcoat.
He remembered what
He wanted to see;
He had to look
Hard to see it, bright
World’s wedding dress.
That’s the perfect Proust
Gerald of Battenville,
And you’re perfectly you
Eyes peeled, drawing
Trees leaved and bare
Beside and above
Your shallow Battenkill
Or collaging sexy Ava
In her fuck me mules.
You with fresh teeth
And breath enough
To carry you again
To Palermo and thru!


Gerald’s Ava born
A Tarheel, rusted
Spoon in her mouth.
Ava, walking wet dream
That cleft in her chin!
She hit the daily double:
Frank Sinatra, Mickey Rooney.
No!  Trifecta!  Artie Shaw.


Oh, those ballistic tits!
High school trouser rousers
To fall on them and die!
Near sighted Contessa Ava
Ole’d the ring through our nose
Who wouldn’t let her shit
On his chest and dance in it.


Main Line’s Grace
Grabtown’s Lucy Johnson
Hot for small men
Liked their matinees
The one blonde ice
Her panties on fire
The other Latin tempered
Cheap but not coarse
Out of central casting
To launch 10,000 ships,
The ocean’s roar, jungle drums.
Close to cave door,
Back to pygmy country!



It’s the fan
An insect wing
Her innocence, to act
Sexy vulnerable
Spanish Indian
Ever the Ava
Of our innocent
Imaginings, pure
Unreachable star,
Come hither lips
Parted, small voice
Would Almodovar
Lover of women
Have done with her?

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