before i get started, the

before i get started, the audience
twitching and snorting, nudged
smelling of day old stains–
i wish they’d settle down
collapse their unfolding limbs
enrage their desires into a simple quiescence–
your nihilistic lingerings prevent me
though i wish it were not so
keep me from speaking to the assembled
now i notice the frayed unravelling
the damped and sputtering thoughts
while Horatio shines his lamplit upon me
graying sweat slides away
i’m beached on the lectern
gasping, the mummers getting louder
picture my parchment skin, backlit
the ghoul-light of the projected
daguerrotype saps the color from the hall
holding my hand, just so, fingers sprayed
thin hair on chin, waggling so
feel that lower lip quiver and dance
deep moan rising from deep in the belly
damnable electrics project the flaw
hear it echo, bouncing on the walls