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Gilbert Allen

Stanzas in America

With DIRECTV, you can watch, pause, and continue in any room!


The hooker’s bleeding, but she’s still alive—

eyes widening to a saw’s electric shriek,

bikini duct-taped to an operating

table.  Pause.  Let’s stroll into the kitchen


for what the linguist Hayakawa called

“a first-rate piece of dead cow”—filet mignon,

rare, on a fresh baguette—and chew our way

into the bedroom, licking our fingers clean.


Click to continue.  Gloved hands lift the gag

from her smeared lips, then slow down metal teeth

so we can hear her scream.  Till he reminds her

Soundproof room.  This time, we stop the teeth,


yawning into the power bath, to floss

before we try that new peroxide rinse

and resurrect the scene above our tub.

The psychopath’s still waiting, just for us.







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