Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 10 • Summer 2004 • Poetry

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Robert Siek

My finger joints stretch while lifting a car battery.
I bend my knees, carrying the weight from the trunk
of mom's car, like a mover lifting TV sets, recliner chairs,
side tables, popping veins in thick forearms like a character
out of bad gay porn. Blood rushes to my head, morphing
nerve impulses into cyclones of "oh my God"
uprooting all other thoughts, like hundreds
of Midwestern girls named Dorothy
being transported to Oz, a hundred Totos
hiding in baskets inside flying farmer homes.
I consider dropping it, frightened of its heaviness,
of it hitting the ground, imagining its insides bursting out.
My dad is paying for a new battery in the Sears auto store.
The salesman requested that we retrieve the old one.
I questioned this trade-in while walking outside,
waving the car keys and the door locks remote,
recalling the facial features of a mechanic
who passed me on his way to the garage.
He walked like a hustler approaching a john.
His Latino thug expression, thick eyebrows, goatee,
and licked bottom lip signaled scenes of bathroom blowjobs,
glory holes, and slow-motion cum shots on blonde muscle boy
faces. Stall doors swung open in my head as I unlocked the trunk,
visualizing that blue collar Adonis stroking it off, saying "oh my God,"
in a trying-to-catch-his-breath voice, that pre-ejaculation and post-orgasm
shout, like a scream echoing through windswept bedrooms crashing
in unknown worlds, flattening wicked witches, spreading her
insides out. I'm shuffling stiff-legged toward the store,
barely holding on to a 50-pound car battery,
losing my grip with each step,
forgetting how my fingers work,
accepting the numbness of pain,
wishing I was in that garage instead,
paying for a white collar attitude, bent over,
chest on the engine under the propped up hood,
a hot Latino mechanic behind me, tearing off my clothes.

Robert Siek is a poet in New York City. He received his MFA in creative writing in May 1999 from New School University. He has read his work at various locations in New York City, such as the 11th Street Bar, The New School Cafe, Le Bar Bat, The Ear Inn, and Cornelia Street Cafe. His poems have appeared in Swallow Your Pride, Salonika, Bay Windows, Dwan, and The Rogue Scholars Collective. One poem is expected to appear in the 2004 issue of the Columbia Poetry Review. Robert also won the Chapbook Award Series from the New School Writing Program. New School published his chapbook, Clubbed Kid, in spring 2003.

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