One Poem Cycle and One Additional

by Finn Harvor

THE FREDDIE SEIDEL CYCLE

LAUREATE’S DEFENCE

Smoothly sincere
I am poetry’s Speer
Doing ballet with the facts.

The judges look stern,
They don’t want to learn
They also had stocks in the camps.

Jeez, we only had slaves
Hell, they sometimes got paid
It’s not like we wanted to kill.

But next to the dock
In a coffin-shaped box
The evidence is solemn and still.

Why then, why then,
In my many play-pens
Did I not learn the value of work?

I guess I didn’t defer
To leave my options deferred,
And left the sweating to jerks.

COIN

Freddie Seidel hated his money
But here’s the thing that’s funny:
He couldn’t just say,
I’m giving it away.

THIS DUCATI

This Ducati
Springs my heart to life
Its hand-made vroom
Perfectly engineers
This road, this room.
And yet when I return
To the mansion at night
I feel the aloneness
That time
Magnified.

CATASTROPHE

I tore my penis
In some cunt’s twat
Infected and
Sore
I thought my future was shot.

Day of the Piggies

I’ve fucked, oh,
I figure 40, 50
million chicks.
Some were serious, some one night stands,
I don’t know —
I stopped counting
At one hundred grand.

*

Laura looks so tan
As she lies on the lawn
I take her hand
And put wee Freddie
Where he truly belongs

But back in the Hampton-crib
Looking for ice,
I notice that Juanita In her outfit
Looks pretty nice.

*

So Laura finds out
And there’s quite a scene.
Can I help it if that afternoon
Freddy was juice-busy
And pumping two broads
Thigh-twixt and between?

But Laura won’t stop
She wants to “talk”
And the tears in her eyes
And the accusation in her voice
Make me want to close the door
And flee
To Melanie, Victoria or Joyce

*

In a world of plenty
The heart becomes harder
Than a hard-on
And sometimes I stop to wonder
Looking at the stiffs on the streets —
Those losers, those salary-men, those boys,
And wonder if they’re not
Lucky somehow
Locked into
One relationship,
One feeling,
Believing
(Why?)
They’ve got no choice.

*

Capitalism has its heart, too…………………………
I think.

And I’d be kidding myself
If I didn’t recognize
That the clinkety-clink
Counts;
After all, a privately-managed account in the hand
Is worth a half-salami
In the bush.

So let’s not kid ourselves:
The power to purchase
Is a turbo-powered aphrodisiac.

*

But why oh why
don’t the dollars convert to sighs
A little more all-warming
Than the little death that the pussy-pig
Involuntarily
Cries?

LOSER

The days became longer, then,
Even though, unlike that loser Sven,
I could get laid by hotties
Only some of whom
I paid.

WHITE WALLS

I experienced something terrible
Something intense
But why maintain,
You know, pretense?
My sufferings were nothing….

*
And yet they were —
Have you ever come to understand
To fully feel,
The infinity of time?
It’s what’s given to rich folk
And artists,
And it teases itself out
Like an afternoon in a gallery
Of punishments.

*

Time on top of time,
The whiteness of it.
The sheer Sahara
Of privilege.
And all the honesty in the world
All the confession,
The explicated hate
And selfishness
And lust
Won’t mitigate that, in the end,
We get what’s real.

STRIP STOCK 1

Calm has returned
To the goldest of streets,
And at lunchtime
When the exchange is half empty
There’s a club
Where the stout men go.

They go for the show
Of the pretty, lean girls
And they drink in their bodies
While nursing tart beer.

And all through the darkness
Of the underlit club
Business boys are glowing
As the girls spread butter
On their tawny brown legs.

The men are alive,
Their arteries burning
Their faces turn orange
As if skin is a stove —
And the girls, so sweetly,
Take each man alone.

There in the booths
The tans just turn darker
And the men in their suits
Feel molten below.

The girls writhe lovely
Their legs topped with squiggly
And the men,
Now fluorescent,
Grunt approval
From down in their guts.

The dances are lengthy
Except when you’re paying
And once all the bucking
Has come to a stop
And green is exchanged
Between golden hands,
The men leave the dark
And are suddenly shocked
To be standing alone
On concrete and sun.
-Finn Harvor

STRIP STOCK 2

Sometime at their desks –
Actually, practically,
All of the time –
The men think of the girls
And then stiffly return
To their spreadsheets and pencils
And billion-headed thoughts.
-Finn Harvor

STRIP STOCK 3

The girls
That whirl
Have their own lives, too.

Once a shift of dancing
Is done in a.m.,
They find that they’re dressed
And the city
Is vacuumed in half.

Some girls take cabs
Some have condos nearby
Some decide to go home
Some shine night desire.

At the booze-cans and parties
That some girls prefer
The mood is uneven
But fucking better than work.

Heineken fridges
Ecstasy drawers
Coke on the table
Snort behind doors.

You party and party
Your skin is alive
You smile with pearls
And the room jiggles with eyes.

Two guys in the kitchen
Are totally cool
Their names are Jon n Dedley
U say, “For real? That’s new.”

The party, the party
Is now in full swing
U tell stories of losers
N fatheads n wads,
The regular customers –
All psychos n slobs.

Your head is a lightbulb
Your brain is a show
That’s all topped with wattage
As Dedley says, “Let’s go.”

Be empty, be empty
At seven a.m.
U did it in the toilet
And r again on the street,
Limbs with small bruises
And stockings
Un
Mend.

-Finn Harvor

From “After”

After, or Brain Times Damage

After my mom took my brother home from the hospital –
the hospital where he was offered a bed
to stop and recuperate
from the cycle of drinking, drinking, drinking –.
After my mom did this,
not once, not twice,
but three times
that were witnessed by my dad and me,
and a few other times
we only heard about –.
After my mom lent him money
over and over.
After she bought him food
which he never ate –
just boozing,
just starving, really –.
And after my mom kept seeing it:
the rotting hummus,
the moldy bread, the shriveled apples,
and bought more food,
kidding herself
(lost in a passionate dream of hope
so hot
that it overheated, over-cooked,
her perceptions of what was real
and what was not),
that all this food was being consumed,
he just drank
more.

And all this was
going on,
I knew something was wrong – as in seriously wrong:
she’d send harsh emails, filled with berserk,
hostile accusations:
that my personality had changed, that there were problems
in my marriage …
and then, just deny
their existence –
say I’d invented the emails –
say they didn’t
exist.

Something was wrong her her –
wrong with her brain.
I knew this,
and told her doctor,
who just denied it,
and, for good measure,
showed her my email
to ensure a
family explosion.
I told another doctor.
He just ran away.
I told a third:
“I think she needs an MRI.”
The doctor smiled: “I disagree.”
I complained about the first doctor
to a panel of doctors.
“He has done everything correctly,”
they decreed.
“We see no need for
further action.”

And after my mom’s financial losses
mounted,
and after my brother, flush with cash, at home
(where my mom said he’d
do best
(“it’s how he’ll recover!”)),
died,
my mom fell
and hit her head.
And there was no scan.
And after my mom
fell
and hit her head a second time,
and after my mom
fell
and hit her head a third time,
there was,
still,
no scan.
“Why didn’t they?” I said to my mom
on the phone about the doctors and technicians
at emerge.
“Oh,” my mom said. “They told me
they don’t do that
anymore.”
And after my mom continued
to make mistakes
and worsened –
and –
fell a fourth time …
this time, not on a street, or in a building lobby,
but alone, at home.
And after, near-paralyzed,
she lay there, undetected,
for two days,
on a floor covered with water
and grime
and paper –
surrounded by the garbage bags she was
“just about to throw out.”
And after it was this – the rotting garbage smell –
that saved her life,
as a neighbour noticed her.

And after 911 came
and bashed down the door,
and after she was taken to emerge
where they finally did a CT.
“The good news is that
there are no significant
abnormalities,” the first doctor smiled.
“Well, there’ve been two strokes
that we can detect,
and substantial shrinkage,”
the second doc said,
which, ahh,
didn’t sound good.
“What kind of strokes?”
“Not major.”
“Mini?”
“No, not mini.”
“Can you scan for mini-strokes on a CT?”
“Up to a point.”
“How about doing an MRI?”
“We don’t think that’s nec –”
“It might be a good idea.”
Professional’s smile: “We’ll have to agree to disagree.”

So, after my mother was transferred
to another ward, where they had geriatric
specialists
(her own GP had been boasting to her
for years
about his own prowess
in geriatrics,
while telling her she was fine,
and showing her any communication
my dad and I had the temerity
to send him,
and riling her,
and shrugging off –
refusing –
grief counseling,
as my brother, starved and liver-failed,
died.
After all this had happened, and after my mom was transferred
from hospital one
to hospital two,
where they had a specialized
geriatrics ward,
and after I mentioned an MRI again,
and after they were at first non-committal,
but then, after a few days,
did that,
the test was done.

And after I phoned the hospital
to hear the results,
I got someone.
“Oh, I’m just a nurse. You have to talk
to a doctor.”
“Where’s a doctor?”
“Oh, they’re all gone
for the day.”

So – after around a week lager –
I got the un-urgent results.
Apart from the two bigger strokes
noted by the CT,
there is
not just
one mini-stroke,
not two,
not five,
not ten,
not fifteen,
not twenty,
not twenty-five,
not thirty,
not thirty-five,
not forty,
not forty-seven,
not forty-nine,
but –
between fifty and a hundred
mini-strokes.
Each one
a little hole
in the circuitry
of my mom’s brain.

“Could this explain
her past behaviour,” I ask this doctor.
“Yes. Yes, there’d be a connection.”
“How far back do the strokes go?”
“They’re old. They build up cumulatively.”
“What causes them?”
“Your mother is borderline diabetic. We think there’s a vascular cause.”
“How is borderline diabetes detected?”
“Well, we can see it in her blood-work.”
The same blood-work her GP had, for years before, been telling her was fine …
while her mania,
and paranoia,
and financial misjudgment,
and enabling
(super-enabling, really)
got worse,
and worse, and more
tragically,
hideously,
catastrophically
worse.

And after the doctors,
and the people at the College of Physicians,
and the Health Professionals Appeals and Review Board,
who were supposed to monitor
and ensure “quality”
were all told
of problems,
everyone replied:
we do not see reason
for any further
action.
They were the experts,
and I,
who knew nothing,
understood nothing,
and did not grasp
the real reasons for my brother’s
plummet,
was reassured
in this way
not once,
not twice,
not five times,
not ten,
not fifteen,
not twenty times,
not twenty-five,
not thirty,
not thirty-five,
not forty,
not forty-seven,
not forty-nine,
but –
but –
fif –
fif –
infinitely.


Finn Harvor is an artist, writer, musician and filmmaker. He lives with his wife in South Korea. He has published in a large number of literary journals, and presented at conferences in Oxford, Liverpool, Bath, Berlin, Dubrovnik, Osaka, Seoul, and Youngju. His artwork and film have
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