tory dent





Unfortunately, my love for you continues on like a pilot light.

I hate the relief its status as a survival mechanism provides.

I hate the flicker of interest despite my prescient sense of your failing

the way I would listen to an inaugural address.

I hate perhaps most intensely your use of the word honesty, i.e.

“I’ve always been honest with you, Tory,” as I endlessly unpack

like an abscessed tooth the pathology of your lying, the crumpled newspapers,

prototypes for your mode of truth telling (unbiased and politically correct)

empty themselves out in that they fill up my apartment like a hearth.

In one breath they vanish, the miniature flames of birthday candles.

My birthday wish: I wish I’d never met you

though I should pity a man who ends up like Bud in Splendor in the Grass.

My love has reduced life to a propless stage like an Artaudian stage.

My humiliation fills every criterion for finiteness

as articulated in the theater of cruelty”s manifesto.

The invasive audience erodes like pumice against any afterlife for my desire

the way the ocean divides in a riptide and fights for nothing.

Just one of the superfluous phenomena of nature, unlike the rock cycle

the latter of which if likened to my desire would justify it as profitable

instead of simply a series of actions that percuss

in the echo chamber of my bed at midnight, where the sound extenuates

into a toneless litany of self-admonishment;

unnatural a distortion as in animation where the landscape fleshes out 

a matte primacy that appears both color-blocked and airbrushed like porno:

the real made more bearable by censorship of the real.

Hence, I spit out your memory amidst this Disney world.

Emotive vividness or lack of offsets inordinately the glare of this gesture.

I turned, you smiled with love like a polygraph checked as accurate.

It triggered a history of accuracies and tenderness in those five seconds

before the pain, the possible expertise of lying in order to pass a polygraph

blurs before me in a kind of precognizant recognition like the death instinct.

A veil of black gauze drops automatically overcasting my already overcast eyes.

I maintain my desire in a tour de force of faith, the story of someone

(someone famous, of course) who overcomes great odds at great expense,

as if they had always a clear picture of the outcome before them

the way a cross coheres a pilgrimage;

The deflecting sun only underscores its signification, 

which to my atheism I’m blinded like branded, consumed as if doused with gasoline.

I demonstrate the purity of my motive by setting myself on fire like Jan Palach.