1978 Tonight

Eric is wearing
a woman’s shirt,

Della Robia blue
during his monolog

which wanders
through the warrens

of offices, dressing rooms,
revealing a concealed creator

who is only interested
in giving interviews,

(what a dick, but God is so
I know you are, but what am I?)

also John, who is getting
a ridiculous massage

from a tough fake masseur,
in a towel, milking it

like a kid at the dinner table,
pretending it hurts.

There is a long joke
about Tunisia

that never quite
escapes Africa.

Gilda is a parody
of New York’s grrrl

sweaty Rimbaud. It’s all
about her armpit hair

at death’s brink,
mumbled punk credibility,

but she’s more
Joan than Patti,

who wasn’t amused
by demonic repossession.

It came from somewhere
else, Gilda’s tank top

channeled Siouxsie early.
We count the few years

she had left. Dan bleeds
to death as Julia Child,

his cut fingers spray blood
everywhere like a Sylvia poem,

somehow hilarious. The audience
loves it. Some coke jokes

because everyone knows
it oiled the machinery

of the ones who are dead
and living. The news

feels very much the same
from year to year. Kate

yoga-dances on Paul’s piano
in a golden body suit

while singing about a man
with a child in his eyes.

It’s her only appearance
on American television

ever, go directly to her
death. It’s okay,

she didn’t miss it.

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