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  • The Egyptian Theatre, and: In the Throes of Advanced Study, and: A Postcard from Cucamonga, and: The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, and: Willie Jones, and: My Liberation from Vanity, and: The Sway of One Ocean
  • Scott Coffel (bio)
  • The Egyptian Theatre
  • Scott Coffel

Alone and overcaffeinated in this plush tombbut for a pageant of obtuse and gigantic Dublinersand the beatific face of Gretta Conroy, paralyzedby regret as she listens to an Irish tenor (his voice boxraspy as a crow's) and dreams of poor Michael Furey,who sang for Gretta in the rain then died of consumption.No getting away from or returning Eastto the Temple of Dendur, dredged from the Nile

to sanctify New York, where in love's nameI die a thousand deaths then transmigrate to the D trainhumming "The Brooklyn Bridge," a melody teasingis out of was as ghosts throng the airspace of the living.No getting away from or returning to the sacredcrow of Brooklyn, sacred borough of the dead. [End Page 54]

  • In the Throes of Advanced Study
  • Scott Coffel

In 1970 I penetrated the insular world of the Skelquetons,a tribe whittled down to twenty souls and three acresof black flies deep in the Adirondacks, where the goldenlogos of the inner thigh was reserved for mystics gasping

in the throes of advanced study. Beginners like myselfwere tortured, chiefly by means of sensual deprivation,given nothing of the body but the esoteric growth of hairsouth of a woman's knuckle. One week with the Skelquetons

encompassed years of adolescent anguish. Nothing I didpleased them; they were intemperate judges, brutal horsesof instruction, all my rebellions of thought were crushedand letters of reprimand mailed home to my widowed mother.

It was humiliating and senseless, much like the year 1970itself, with its crew-cut Wagnerians in the White Housescrimmaging for power with a German Jew: year of the deadand paralyzed students, the fog of repellent and war. [End Page 55]

  • A Postcard from Cucamonga
  • Scott Coffel

Nine slides into the catheter rep's dog-and-pony showalienation commences, its radon gas penetratingthe mauve and olive histogram of my retirement fund,an industrial park of assets no safer than safe sex.As my dying brother said, a thousand acquaintancesand not one bastard worth a postcard from Cucamonga.Dear Scotty: I was shanghaied into nonexistenceby a god spouting his Will-to-Power through a blowhole.

From hedging pyrite futures to reading manifestosdull enough to induce Bell's palsy in the unvaccinated,life's a fool's errand, a sequence of erotic pirouettesending in abstinence and frenzies of papal hand-kissing.Tolstoy to Chekhov: I was an indefatigable fornicator.The river mouth is stuffed with foot x-rays. [End Page 56]

  • The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast
  • Scott Coffel

Should my Confessions of an Emu Lover take flight,I'll forgive my enemies in the presence of ten Unitariansthen drive west with Vermeer's milkmaid in a paid-for Volvo.But for now the smoke and fumes of desecration,far from the lewd subtext of our last date,when you groaned through every reel of Killers from Spaceat a coffeehouse within stumbling distance of McSorley's.You vilified everything I valued,from the sludge called Odessa Blend to the space-suitedgorilla in hot pursuit of a walking brassiere advertisement.What dybbuk of weakness hobbled me?Was it the lemur from NYU with his cigarillo and prehensile tail?You were the lithe progeny of Ukrainian swans,your mind and body quickened by stronger forces.

As the house skeleton dimmed the lights,I dreamt of a sequel based on The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast,a page-turner from the 1590s by Giordano Bruno.It was my way of honoring Peter Graves,a Nordic hero set loose in an underworld of bug-eyed primates.It was my way of avoiding the skeleton and his tongue,the rabid dogmatist and his...


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