Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ode to Potato Man

once upon a time
potato men were real, actual men
. . . but that was once upon a time.

profile of a potato man:


(1.) married with children
(2.) middle aged
(3.) at least 20 pounds overweight (who's noticing?)


(4.) lackluster skin
(5.) wears unflattering clothes (who's noticing?)
(6.) rarely makes eye contact
(7.) signs lots of checks
(8.) and, of course, lover less, lover less, God help them,

when a potato man walks into a shopping mall
he has no illusions,
he knows what he's in for,
(like a steer diving into a Brazilian river churning with piranhas).

immediately a garden of goddesses absorbs him,
moving around him, through him,
moving under unconcealing dresses like sexual panthers
serenely indifferent to the dead rabbits of potato men.
buttocks of women in their prime
cupped in saran wrap designer jeans (or is it paint?)
blossom like ripe globes of flesh fruit in Eden's
from which potato men are banished.

cleavage also, of course, abounds in all quadrants,
breasts to make a god cry out,
but never quite,
their nipple secrets before the world and the sky.
coarse words, over the centuries, from all civilizations,
can muddy these waters, but the glory of female nakedness
is a holy place, a sacred place, for all men with souls.

it's amazing how you can die and die and die
without falling on the floor,
without calling attention yourself
or that you're bleeding from orifices
unknown to any surgeon on this planet.

and yet, you keep "running your errands",
putting one foot in front of the other, as they say,
while all the while you're dying in that water torture,
holy way
men always die like dogs without lovers,
without that unique, special, oh so personal woman
who treasures your company, your dignity and spirituality
and who is as swollen and moist with lust for you
as you are for her

who leaps,
over and over and over again,
hand holding with you,
and you only

the paradox of potato men
is their desperate, pitiful charade
that the Holy Grail of loving your lover,
and being loved BY your lover,
has become for them a matter of no consequence.
they have, after all, their tasks de jour,
pants to buy, bills to pay, lawns to mow, and they fold
letters quite evenly before sticking them in envelopes.

thus in sexual concentration camps, like shopping malls
(there's many others)
a potato man keeps his eye on the ball,
and walks dutiful, responsibility walks
on rainbow less, castrated, Platonic journeys.
but SHOULD his eyes wander (naughty, naughty!)
to the cheeks of the woman burgeoning so artfully before him,
he merely shifts his gaze,
nonchalantly announcing to whomever,
no big deal, I've got more IMPORTANT things on MY mind,
gee, I've got some pants to buy, what do you think about that?
why should I be paying attention to the mere ass of a goddess?

this dying game he plays with himself countless times a day!
but why do potato men do this?
I'm not sure you really want to know,
it may break your heart,
but here's the answer anyway.

it's all about not adding insult to injury.
you see, for potato men,
living = dying from THIS injury,
and you just die and die until you're finally, fucking dead!
but IN THE MEANTIME, potato men (at least try to) give themselves
the only gift left in life they CAN give themselves,
which is to act "as if" they're above all this passion business
and placidly detached.

thus, when glimpsing even the coverings
of creatures they used to prowl in
they turn away like mannequins
preoccupied with pencils and erasers.

what else can they do?
roll around the floor, holding in what's left of their guts,
howling to the universe for their (once upon a time) lovers?
who gives a shit?
who's listening?

but here's something worth doing.
find a potato man (trust me, they're everywhere),
but don't look at his clothes,
look into his eyes,
but be warned, that's hard to do, since potato men make a science
of eye contactlessness (so infinite is their shame and loss).
but IF you can get his gaze, and hold it,
what you'll find there see may surprise you,
because there's a REAL man inside that potato man
who's never stopped keeping the faith for a lover.
a man who knows all about passion and abandon
and hand holding in French restaurants and feeling
mountain winds at night and breakfasting on the seashore,
and who will hold in his heart,
and who will hold in his groin,
to very death and beyond death,
the sacredness and human poignancy of what passion can be like

between a man and a woman