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Today in JOB, Porn Edition

Theuth Resurrected, or The Pornography Shop

They cannot move their heads round because of the fetters,
and they can only look forward, but light comes to them
from fire burning behind them higher up at a distance.
– Plato,
The Republic

Barely dressed in a black thong and demi-bra,
You would’ve liked to have had yourself on film
For the modern romance, the coterie of souls
Thriving in dark rooms, doused in chemicals.
But even the mirror has just enough of a fix
To get you through to mascara’s smeared mix
Of reality which diligent hands will overwhelm.

Neither severe as Titian, nor native as Gauguin,
You pose, smarmy as Rockwell, fake as Nagel —
Not a pin-up but a pin-down, there you are
To open up your own niche in The Theatre,
Getting paid to remain fuckable and breakable.
For you, disappointment and desire are contracted
By the studio to a single, lingering scene.

But there is no dance, no inexorable waiting
Beneath the bough-heavy light of vanity’s moon.
There is only truth and disclosure, grainy
And captured in the touch of digital layering.
“Memories are not enough,” someone would say,
So film is there to gobble up forgetfulness
And resurrect despairing gods in Technicolor fashion.

But film proves content less than discovery’s regret–
Something flashy slips off, something fleshy slips
Away. Then the lights die. The crew wanders from the set.
Dried up in the moment, you are left there
With cold skin and eyes streaked like a clown’s, a diva
Barely dressed in a black thong and demi-bra,
Face to face with memory’s opposite. Pursing your lips,

The scent of cold cream begins to fill the air.

Comments

  1. Matthew Lickona says

    Yeeee-HAW! Been waiting to draw that one out of you!

  2. Quin Finnegan says

    Hey, I don't remember seeing that one …

    But the poem is just great. I like flashy/fleshy and the almost mockingly capitalized "The Theatre".

  3. Matthew,

    I feel….manipulated.

    JOB

  4. Quin,

    Thanks – it's an oldy, of course…

    JOB

  5. Not your best.

  6. Anon.,

    Ackowledged.

    What do you think is my best – of what you've seen?

    It would be good to keep in mind.

    JOB

  7. Jonathan Webb says

    I need to give this one time.

  8. Rufus McCain says

    As usual the sheer word play is astonishing and mind-bending. The music is all there, too.

    The conjunction of fuckable and breakable is the most poignant deployment of the f-word in recent memory.

    I have no idea who Theuth is, but I don't feel I need to go look it up.

    I disagree with Anon. This is up there on the best-of list.

  9. Rufus,

    Thanks for the vote!

    Theuth brings writing to man and in the process partially destroys his ability to remember, according to Socrates in Plato's Phaedrus.

    Also, I'm not actually big on the F-Bomb in lit – but sometimes nothing else will do.

    JOB

  10. Er, I mean in Lit in general – and try not to use it in my attempts at Lit.

    A necessary clarification, just in case anyone was thinking I was being presumptuous!

    JOB

  11. Jonathan Webb says

    You're a niche writer.

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