David Meltzer


from AFTER

am amazed at the fluids we produce & mingle with, taste or eject or reject out of our bodies constant manufacture

with my razor I pretend to be a suave scalpel virtuoso but after the first swipe lose it all & cower in black blues of blood pouring unquenchd out of rootsystem tattoos on ghastly paleness of hubris while brilliant splatters of stellar red gush inks your passive naked parted body flesh in flashes of eruption demanding new & crucial forms of attention & devotion

more than junkie trance or frozen food cool abandon

& less than theory yet close to mystery yet mute

unoccupied by academic or streetwise tour guide leading strangers to each red lit window tableaux on narrow cobblestone streets in the circle beyond Chinatown

what is glass or the surface of the appearance imagination conquers

I work my imagination’s engine overtime to include you in those grim tableaux

but when you’re there I’m elsewhere beside you with eyes shut imagining you and waiting for your touch

I never think to ask you if you’re imagining me

what gets you hot to imagine

do you know sometimes I get stuck on a motif I visualize while I’m deep inside your muscled heat pushing myself in and out in erratic rhythms timed to the rerun I’m watching inside & then your finger tips reach under to cup and handle my balls

my hands hold your firm ass cheeks to anchor my probe and jab & jam my prong shaft pushes against your swollen heat-pink clit which gets too intense & you squirm around beneath me to deflect

“fascinate” is to bewitch; from past participle of Latin verb fascinare a derivative of fascinum “witchcraft” & incidentally the Roman phallic deity was Fascinus & penis shaped amulets were hung around children’s necks in ancient times to ward off evil spells

loving the spell I’m in that old black magic of love, your hex shaves my tongue into a hot trowel curled to infold a deep cunt explore am compelled to tip the bunched nerve end bouquet to taste within pubic calligrams slide into mouth grooves sumi-e brush strands sliver in saliva glue

ocean’s heart pumps the deeper & longer my tongue extends inside your rose pink salt slot

fascinated into imagining you as I imagine myself loving you; when did I last sleep with a witch? Decades ago in San Francisco on the ground floor of a high-ceilinged Victorian flat whose walls we painted with ether-based Army surplus khaki paint on a bright brisk cold Fall day with all the windows shut against the chill because we hadn’t gotten the gas turned on

what charm or spell or hex draws sex out from its hiding shields and turns the body head to toe into desire to succumb to fascination’s lure and musk, heads ring with ether wave spirals looping infinitely upward while our genitals open up to engorge and widen; viscous fluids mucous ooze of seed spawn come backed up for fusionary salts released lacquer chakras cores bored with jolts of elevator electricity rocket crash through glass shatter penthouse dome

loving that spell I’m in that old black magic of love, fascinating hex rhythms while love potions wires our nervous systems, extends sex life into a marathon of erotica, exotica, jungle drums night & day & when they stop, pith helmets better scramble out of the jungle as effulgent multicolored tropic birds in formation ascend & form a Yma Sumac choir shattering glass & plexiglass suburban windows

polyrhythmic pulses knot into weave of flank to flank fucking

we smell according to a polite romance novel “frank,” lathered in our fluids in palimpsest of other encounters, it will be hours more before we shower, get scouring pads to work through the topography of sexual abandon with all its liquid & muscular utterances & spasms of coming & becoming

when we’re gone a haze of our encounter will be like cigarette smoke soaking into everything that remains

when I’m here I’m gone as you are gone into inner arcades of image networks taste touch smell which open up moviola phantasms

when I’m here I’m there in reveries of invented memory & imaginal rites of lumpy homely womanly bodies in torn black nylons held up halfheartedly by faded garter belts over cellulite-stippled dough-white meat whose raw red inner gash is unprotected by silk barriers

low wide large breasts with hard dark brown nipples in white cores bruise my mouth, breasts whose inner fold darkness smells sour from inattentiveness

no matter how deep I go I reach only myself, I have no idea who you are, do I have to know you to know you? we give our bodies to ourselves & fuck fiercely while candles melt down, our thrashing shadows shrink on the wall & somebody’s got to unplug & put another CD on or punch to replay the same one, soundtrack is part of embrace’s comfort of remove, gets you/gets me “in the mood” as if we were colossal XXX-rated meat monuments on moviescreens parking my vast veal-pale zeppelin boring into your bat-free neon-red glowing juicy cave vault of vaginal grip

but it was also just being together & stroking & touching, hugging & pressing nakedness against nakedness, leg between leg, cunt’s wet heat, half-mast prick flare flat against your firm ass cheek, weaving, grafting, as if to sleep the same sleep and dream the same dream

which rite’s the right one?
your grimoire on the boudoir table wrapped in black satin with scarlet sigils stitched into its surface, world beat trance ambient pulse CD sounds in the background accompany our shadows thrown on the walls by a forest of candles, bodies filled with fire, root system of nerves channel electricity through inner body topography, rung after rung, smoke snakes out of our fingertips, combustible fucking irreducible to description but seeded in strange words of intoned spells grafted together from many languages, verbal vivisection, verbal autopsy on living bodies as uncoiling completes its upward rush to letters of light

what the fuck does that mean
letters of light?


from BOFF

The ebb of end, his old tool vined with pumping veins, lets it all go into her musclemilking clutch friction. She’s elsewhere; so’s he. Who knows where? Orgasm Braille. Hot grip glisten pink entry, tropic seashell fantasy sworl. Maybe it’s raining. TV hissing snow. Pulled down paper windowshade, light seeping through old gold. Her sour wine smell; saliva cellophane sparkles at the corners of her mouth. Big Ben alarmclock clicks steady on the bedtable next to a thick glass amber ashtray. 4 o’clock in the afternoon. My back hurts from our championship bout. Small clotted snores rattle out of her slightly open mouth. Luke’s tripod still at the foot of the bed and the minicam bent down looking at the dust on the motel-room floor. He’s gone; took the tape to our processor who’ll punch out a bunch of them for our next ad in Swing Shift. We got a good thing going with our amateur videos and next week Luke’s bringing the Duke of Prong, a black bi-she-he freelancer on the circuit, for our first interracial gang bang and triple penetration shoot. (“Hi, I’m Penny and this is Danny, my husband, who likes to watch and is letting me fulfill my fantasy . . . etc.”)

She turns, one leg outstretched, pushes me further off the bed. Dismissed; I’ve done what I could. Her less than firm boobs flop like sacks on either side of her chest as the sheet slides down. Her red-brown hysterectomy scar tips into view. I guess I’m okay wanting to fuck in a dream-like state. We’ve been videoing our sex for so long that part of me is a camera. Fucking her or watching her go down on me, I crane-shot like a fly on the ceiling, zoom into key spots: close-up of her face filled with my meat or slow pan into her spread legs with my dong pushing into her. Am always thinking of production values, want the light even, not that jailbreak bright spotlight where everything else is shadows.

I mean, goddamnit, I’m a fucking connoisseur. Don’t you get sick of those amateur tapes where all you see is some anonymous cock gobbled by some chick, pumping it with her hands, groaning in mock echo of pro XXX soundtracks? What those soundtracks have done to amateur fuck flicks is nobody’s business. You hear babes moan, groan, slurp their chops in between mouthfuls of disinterested anonymous prick, “Uhhmm . . oh yes . . . I want to suck you off and drink your cum and gobble it all down . . . uhm uhm . . . yum . . . mmmm . . .” I’m a fuckin auteur for chrissake. It’s not just hunks of meat flanks pounding up and down; it’s not just blazing light in face of squinting clit-licking guy, drawbridge plank tongue onto her button. I’m interested in production values and we got an editing machine so I can get some kind of sense of rhythm, build up to those climaxes. I want my amateur videos to be the real thing not that fake bullshit of pumped-up demigod hunks and stiff silicone boobed bimbos. Bimbos from limbo, hunks from hell. No, I got a vision; I want the amateurs to be realer than real yet shot with the eye of an artiste. Let’s face it, that’s what I really am.

Every timeEvery time she sits down on the toilet to pee she farts a ripply toot. I’m weird about sounds. I got overactive hearing; I don’t miss a thing. Sometime sounds keeps me up at night. Every little creak and tick and thump and squeak. I can hear through rooms into rooms. Like fucking Superman I got x-ray ears. Walls, floorboards, ceiling, I can zoom into any sound, isolate it, live in it, get hung up about where a sound’s coming from and scout it down. If I want to spook myself I can zero-in to blood moving through my veins, heart pumping and recirculating it through the entire unit. I listen to my bones from the tip of my big toe up through the skeleton and spine discs holding my head up. Eyes shut, listening to my body.

Don’t you get tired of dumb fixed camera-on-tripod shots? Or third-wheel with video-cam getting disco fever moving all over the place as a couple hump and pork away? Fixated camera stuck in real-time work of mama bear giving papa bear big gut head (hair on tongue, pause to pick it off). All you see is her face and hands and boobs working him over; he never moves and only talks off-camera when cum’s coming down the hot beef chute for the money shot. She’s sucking, licking, jerking it, twisting it, lapping the shaft up and down like a popsicle, chewing on his circ spared burning tip, trying all she knows to get him to give up the gob and spritz her face with some kind of fucking blessing or shoot it into her mouth, smear her lips, web her hair with “oh fuck oh shit oh fuck oh shit” he squeals letting it all go and her tongue keeps darting out to get its splat. It’s supposed to be a fucking pleasure not a goddamned job.

“Maybe you should recharge the battery; the red light’s getting dim,” she says. Upgush of plumbing sounds as the toilet spirals its bounty down three stories of tired pipes in an old hotel. Tired ass afternoon or morning or dawn, who the fuck knows? It’s another weekend hotel shoot. We both got day jobs; she’s still checking and bagging for Safeway and me, the genius, works the food booth (popcorn, candybars, soft drinks) at the local Pussycat Theater. I’ve been working my way down in my gig for fifteen years or more and she’s been at her job maybe ten years or more. She looks cute in her uniform but she’s getting on and getting thick around the middle like me and her tits are sagging but still real, a full handful but, fuck it, everybody’s getting older. Time marches on. Marches all over us. And we got a good thing going with our tape business. Make a small profit and cut costs by Xeroxing flyers on the machine at work and I got a deal with a pro who duplicates our tape at cut-rate for free copies and an occasional starring role. It’s underground, under the table, you know what I mean, no year-end tax ream.

“You wanna do something else?” she asks, beginning to straighten out her side of the bed, smooth the wrinkles out of the sheet, fluffs the pillow. “I might not be able to give you head. Got a cold-sore inside my lower lip.” She pulls down her lower lip to show me.

“Shit, I can’t see anything without my glasses. I believe you. How about some rear action. Got the K-Y?”

“Oh, honey, you know it’s not a good idea. My hemorrhoids have been acting up. It’s the weather. “

“Yeah, but some customers get turned on by them.”

“Not me and it hurts, for chrissake.”

“Jiggle the frigging handle, the toilet’s out a whack.”

She goes back into the bathroom.

“Y’know, some guys get turned on by flappy pussy lips too. It’s a weird fucking world out there. Y’know what I mean?”

She doesn’t understand my concept, my vision; sometimes I don’t either, it’s something I see in my mind’s eye, a fuck flick like no other gets inside, outside, around, and down with the action; it’s like fucking poetry in motion, zooms, backs away, pans, cranes, cuts fast, plays with sounds, edits them into a kind of music. Flicks of unglam proles like me and the old lady, not those sleek tweaking semi-pros chewing horse cock boyfriend with expensive haircut and mustache. Not two dorks poling disinterested gumchewing implanted bunny reject. Not murky bad lit static camera out of focus face fuck.

“Why don’t we get dressed and go home? We’ve done okay this weekend,” she says, getting her clothes out of the fake wood cardboard closet with three demented dented hangers. “Remember tomorrow I got to work Nelda’s shift, her kid’s birthday, we gotta get up around seven. Are you listening?”

“Yeah, I hear you but you know I’m thinking, planning new movies.”

“You should’ve been a goddamned artist, the way you see things, plan things. Next weekend, okay? ”

“Yeah, next weekend. I’ll borrow Chuck’s minicam so we can have two of ‘em set up at different angles. Shit, I wish I could lay hands on a tape editing machine. That’s the way to go, to get things really rhythmic.”

Pushing her boobs back into my favorite black bra, something passes through her, I can see it in her eyes.

“What what?”

“Oh I don’t know. The same. You know.”

“Ah we’ll live forever and be real old fuckers.”

“I just don’t want to go before you.”

“Nah, we’ll go together at the same time like in a fucking movie.”

“Oh you,” she says, swiping at me with a black nylon stocking, “you and your movies.”


She goes to this guy, Jerry, an alternative healer, somebody Nelda’s health nut main squeeze Bo swears by. She goes every few weeks when some kind of pain announces itself. No big deal. Hey, is pain ever expected? A back pain or something else’ll seize up her foot or twist an odd spasm contraction in her womb. She’s got a health plan at work. The last time she went to the HMO she lost a day’s pay and the Doctor, a highschool student with a pubicy mustache kids work at, told her it was nothing “functional,” whatever the fuck that means.

Jerry’s okay, an older guy who looks like he likes the bottle, flat florid face with black vein patchy cheeks, overweight, deep rattly smoker’s voice and a pumpkin smile with a lot of silver fillings in his coffee breath mouth. She trusts him. His office smells like Chinatown with all kinds of roots, herbs, chunks of earthy bark and jars stuffed with dried flowers, leaves, whatever, with faded labels in dry ink spelling in Latin or some other dead language. Jars are on a metal floor-to-ceiling bookcase behind a small oak desk he sits behind cluttered with papers, scales, glass vials, books, framed pictures of religious looking people shining light out of their heads or wrapped in spikes of rays, and on a chipped wood base is a small stuffed bird whose tailfeathers fluff out and every so often drop onto the clutter.

They don’t seem to do much. Jerry does his tests. Taps her; pulses her; sometimes harnesses her up to something he calls the om-meter, a trip like something out of old Flash Gordon serials. Jerry wraps a band around her head hooked onto a stand that holds a pendulum circling over an intricately carved face with numbers and signs on it. He sits there watching dials light up when he clicks the switch on and gives the pendulum a push to start it rotating.

She likes Jerry because he listens to what she has to say about how there’s something in her that’s wrong. He reassures her that her body knows more than anyone else about what’s wrong or right. “You remember that time I told you about? I was running a bunch of canned stuff over the bar-code machine and it was is if I was in a tunnel of something, I mean something surrounded me and opened up inside like a small heartbreak and I knew something was wrong.”

She leaves with two white plastic jars of powders in a brown paper bag which she mixes into distilled water three times a day.


Jeff Boner (pronounced Bon-ay) often has back pain so intense his nerves scream needle points of pain light. It’s an electric agony and he never knows when it’ll happen. Like now, rolling out of bed, standing up to stretch. Broken glass at the base of his spine shoots blades into his skeleton, drills unbearable stings of sharp ache into bone marrow. Muscles contract in pain, spasm, seize in momentary paralysis. Sometimes one of his feet folds out and freezes, the ache of it shoots up the back of his legs, stretching and seizing muscles, as he struggles to unbend his foot.

He’s forty-two years old and has been moonlighting in amateur XXX video productions for five years. Maybe it was Mona who got him into it. Maybe Stan. Works an okay job at Big O rotating tires, putting on new ones, filling them with air, all that stuff, while more elite guys do the more mechanical stuff, wear cooler uniforms. But fuck it, ambition’s nowhere. Maybe sometimes nowhere. It’s day job and Boner really lives at night and the weekends. His handle is J.B.; despite all his aches and pains there’s one part of his body that maintains a heroic life. His schlong at ease is, by last measure, thirteen inches long and at attention breaks the ribbon at a foot and a half. It’s full too, not one of those narrow pencil dicks. It’s also a pain in the ass. Weighs him down; needs special jockstraps to pouch it so it doesn’t hang wrong and hurt. His balls are proportionately oversized too so that walking is a problem unless the unit’s properly packed. Did a job for Danny once with a chick whose boobs had been inflated so much it hurt her to stand and to lay; they just hurt, period. Danny was ecstatic; had this concept of sex mammoths fucking their brains out while he kept crawling around on his back on the floor shooting up at us with some kind of home-made fisheye lens so her boobs and his dick looked even more distortedly gigantic while the rest of their bodies looked wrong like paper dolls some kid attached somebody else’s parts to.

Boner’s also worries about a weird psoriatic patch, a spiral around his belly button. Can’t afford to go to a skin doctor so keeps layering over the eruption with flesh-tone acne stuff. You takes your choice: ignore things or magnify them into major life or death events. Boner tends to ignore a lot; his body’s a separate entity from his identity which is somewhere inside an unmapped space he inhabits without exploring.

If you read the signs right you’d think having a horse cock was what bitches want but think again. Even though you see technicolor balloon bimbos all over the place in magazines and flicks and you figure they’re looking for a King Kong schlong to fill em up and keep em happy. Not so. They’re in pain and I’m in pain and sometimes we hurt each other trying to please each other. Doing the amateurs, going on assignment, means you usually don’t have to get involved with feelings; you just do what you do while a guy with a video-cam (or sometimes two) follows you around. Sometimes it’s just you and the woman and a camera on a tripod. Sometimes there’s a husband sitting front row center watching it through the camera eyepiece. Sometimes it’s a flat fee; sometimes it’s a percentage deal; sometimes it’s just for kicks.

Blinding tendon pain and arch seizure. Reaches for a pill from his stash. Health plans suck. You beg doctors for something serious because pain’s serious and they tell you they can’t help you because they don’t want you to become a junkie. I tell them I need the pills because the pain is that bad at times and when you take the fucking pills for what they’re made for you’re not a junkie. But the doctors, always checking the time, scrawl out a script for some high-powered aspirin, which doesn’t do shit but screws up the stomach and shuts down alert brain zones. Boner, J.B., has managed to grub together from guys at work and from guys at Wes & Wanda’s bar a variety pack of Percodin, Demoral, Morphine sulfate, Fentanyl, Vicodin and a cluster of unidentified but guaranteed pain-killers.


“What d’you mean the stuff’s not done?”

“What can I tell you? The master tape got fucked over . . .”

“How the fuck can it get fucked over when you’re supposed to be the fucking expert?”

“Oh, shit, Luke, it wasn’t me, man, what can I say?”

“Danny’s going to be pissed big time.”

“It was this new guy I thought knew his stuff . . .”

“Danny’s going to be really pissed . . .”

“I’ll do -- tell him -- I’ll do the next two runs for free. Well, not for free but for materials, no service charge.”

“We got circulars mailed out and money’s coming in.”

“Oh come on man gimme a break and anyway who’s to know the difference?”

“Hey, our customers know what they want, they remember what they’ve seen, and they’ll know the difference.”

“What can I say?”

“Danny’s gonna be pissed, real pissed.”

“I’ll make it up, tell him.”

“Can I use the phone?”

“Yeah, sure. Local call?”

Luke pushes in the Pussycat number. Danny picks up

after one ring and starts speilingspieling the rap on what’s playing and who’s doing what to who in the live sex show on stage.

“Hey Danny it’s me. They fucked up our last shoot . . .” Holds his hand over the receiver. “Man, you should listen to him. I told you he’d be pissed.”


Luke’s sending over a new guy for a mid-week shoot who calls himself Blue though Luke thinks his name is really James. Who gives a fuck. According to Luke who heard it from other XXXers, Blue is hot stuff. Maybe use Mona if her hemorrhoids are okay; maybe get Nelda too, add a little color to the mix; maybe get the old lady. Make some calls, see what’s up. We only got one night since Blue’s moving onto another gig the next day.

Usually weekends are showtime unless some out-of-town stud or babe can’t make it but can only do a weekday. Rent the hotel room since Danny’s tight with Marvin the manager or do a remote at one of the fucker/fuckees’ houses or apartments. (Once did a diaper video in the sour milk nursery of a tiny tot being babysat by the lady next door whose mother, wrapped in black vinyl, was happily whacking the bad boy pecs of her next door neighbor, a stocky washing machine repairman with hairy arms and an annoying squeak each time he got hit.) Marvin trades room rates for copies of videos and sometimes he jumps into the middle of gang bang videos to get some action and to act. “How was I, man?” he asks after each take.


Blue’s on the Greyhound looking out a window into the asshole of cities the bus drives through. It fuels his fire. The castoff burnt-out shells and husks of discarded goods and services become homes and shrines for nomads and scavengers who live like squirrels and monkeys on the window ledges and garbage cans of civilization. Moves through broken-down downtown streets with boarded-up shops, hock shops, check-cashing shops, booze holes, inconvenience stores, doorways with groups of washed-out leathery looking guys either skinny as Dacchau or stomachs bloated pushing skin out of distended T-shirts, passing around a bottle of Night Train, ladies of the night’s bad turn over the ledge of whatever edge they may have had and now are hard-etched neon faced bruised skin and junkie thin or lushwell spread-out rolls of booze fat circling rentable hips. Lots of noisy bullshitting as the men get drunker; some pass out wherever they land and nobody pays them any attention until they get up and join the others at the trough. Passing through shadows of immense refineries x, factories, decrepit antique Industrial Revolution palaces of brick turned black and iron tubing guts in massed coils weave around cement shells; chimneys puke constant thick rust flumes of toxin into overcast skies saturated with a century of damage.

For Blue it’s always beautiful and fascinating, collapsing TNT imploded old hotels like breathless accordions. Any ruin radiates time-marred beauty; false glory breaks down into truth garbage human rats scuttle through and claim as turf. The struggle’s beautiful; constant and demanding. Unrelenting. Fools think they can retire, check out of the dynamo, bow out of pull and push. Doesn’t work that way. No matter how far away you can afford to go. It’s never far enough. No way out. You can get away with murder but you can’t get away. I’m a ballbusting babbler and philosopher dude; am death’s hooplah PR snakecharmer.


She would’ve been anything other than what she was. Oh she loved him and their life was past learning. Known like a world you can’t escape and love for its order, its boundaries. We’re a rule-bound people even though we never rule.

He’s electric, edgy, you never know what or anything or nothing or whatever and he wants me to know it all. Him and me and mostly me and him.

All my life it was always another him and me and in between it all was eight abortions, a total hysterectomy, and a dead zone they keep plugging up and pumping their stutter into and are gone before I open my eyes. Him and me always want to get it on to get him off.


He woke up and she wasn’t there beside him. It was explainable. She was on the toilet or in her room reading or writing or looking out the window at the birds in the lemon tree. A list of givens out of their life together reassured him it was okay to go back to sleep. NPR radio voices; news rosary loop.

He got out of bed and went from room to room looking for her, but she was gone. No note. No body. Nothing but detailed presence of one who was and is but isn’t where they used to be, where they was.

How do you continue when the road’s closed? These forces of habit they coerce and shape and bend and there you are on your hands and knees on the woven livingroom carpet unable to get up. Crying doesn’t help even when it’s instant. Not crying is like not coming.

Carry on. Carry one? Two?


She, he, they. Whoever. Exposed. Lens fuck tarts. Blameless. Culpable. What’s that? Indeed.

Open his or her package, their basket, bulge, dent, slot or crease. What’s up? Or are you downloading your uprise?

She tongues out, he too. They need to become we. How’s that done? Is it possible? To dream the impossible dream. Blah. His dick base stings from lubricant; her breasts hurt and nipples ache. Inexplicable, she lives a microbal and cosmic drama within a continuum of linked terrors reinforced by alternative and mainstream medicines. Drip drops of Rescue Remedy into her open mouth. Pants at stressed moments; taps her fingertips to her sternum to reactivate her heart. We live, we die, yet together there’s no division even when it’s clear we’re apart. How does this work or unwork? What is it to be ‘together’? No aches or pains; a fusion, a confusion? What happens when the diamond shifts?


It’s food, it’s intake, eating, taking it in, chewing it, swallowing it, allowing rough textures to scrape against trachea; to let sugars tease and insinuate and boil down to acids; the salt taste is trained to demand as the comfort-food oilslick grease the fried stuff is immolated in. Unfinished hunger knows no finale. Death lets it happen when all the feeding systems shut down, one by one, when the stomach get domed and doomed with fluids wept by hungry metastasizing cancers never satisfied.


Conway’s cassette on the boom box in the makeshift green room.

You made love so good to me for so long


Don’t make me go crazy

For I would follow you to the ends of my mind


What the fuck do you mean?

Sonofabtch, I’m bleeding heavy.

Dumbcunt, you knew this was the time for our shoot. Shit, big money’s riding on this.

Fuck off, dumkopf. What fucking money?

Look, babe, I maxed out our cards &, shit, cashed in our IRAs for this flick.

You shithead, I thought we countersigned everything. I thought I had a real say here.

Yeh yeh we did that, yeh babe we did that, but this is business this is art

You fuckin fuckup what the fuck do you know?

I know what’s possible


I don’t know, it’s a thing, you know, a hunch a feeling something that lights up like a fucking twitch


Impossible to replay what’s been played out. They lay on an immensely uncomfortable bed and zigzag into sleep.