the fastest way, he says

is through the front door

through the front door I went and

it ate me, engulfed me, tore out my entrails

spat me on the wall with the horses

and pink women with pink tits and pinker clits

i’m sure they were eaten as well

all is consumed there and all

is consuming


don’t give me blacks

and no women with

their silly salads and light desserts and

you know, their 10 percent insult

but give me hiked skirts and furred flirts

men who have sex in their skulls

bulging pockets and brassieres

give me the ones who strut with

the confidence of consumption

expected to deliver

ridiculous, tom with the tie

toes tapping, penne on his chin

“my baby my baby” and the glowing eyes of the

Ethiopian, Chaka with his exotica

and a speech for battered wives

the Queen with his quarrels and

our quixotic Heroes 

from the Heart of the World

squeezing every breast and bottom

—it’s richly rank, rampant with erotica

and the colors of chaos

a tanqueray martini, black jack,

and the gold margaritas, midori, and mai tai

all swimming in ostrich

feathers and goose grease

angel hair and ass wipe

i told you it swallowed me

i told you the truth about


esmerelda’s stunning ass and

rose’s rambunctious red tresses

anna’s ethereal smile and

the luscious diamond pin in

susan’s admirable nose—she’s the one

with the tinfoil ceiling and the dancer’s legs


Yolanda, who expedites chaos

when she threads not a needle

the mistress of desserts mates with

the master of entrees on the side

and the barkeep – well she’s simply a god-damn

bitch like me

i told you

i have been swallowed—


been swallowed



by kate orland bere
Copyright 1996

NOTE: Remember that in poetry and fiction the “I” is NOT the author. The “I” is the narrator, and narrator is not always in the author’s consciousness. Often, it is merely a frame for narrator’s consciousness.