Wednesday, June 24th, 2009...2:22 pm

ben smith | the spyder and the fly

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The fridge door

opened like a woman’s legs. The weight of my hand pulling the handle rocked the white beast and gently rattled the beer inside.
They tinkled like a wind chime.

I stood there silently at the opening for a few moments. Not really looking for anything. Simply peering, deep into the yellow glow of the abyss, that shone in a room that was essentially pitch black. Taking a few draws of a cigarette, I kneal quietly on the lino floor, allowing the cool air to drop and soak into my socks. I browse the milk cartons and condiments. My breath dangled visibly in the air, choked with both the smoke and frost.

I can hear her slamming around in the bed room. The sound of her bare feet on the floor nearly makes me cry. I imagine her red eyes. I can hear the feet. They are loud and drunk.

The fridge is still in front of me and offers little consolidation to my woe. A six pack of yellow beer glows like the sun is beside it.
They are still and bubble less.
Every thing is cold and empty and dark.

In the bed room something breaks. Something organic.

Looking down at my shirt that is open and filthy is see tuffs of light green grass from rolling around in the earth. My knuckles are softly weeping with pink blood that leaks from the centre of the pale white edges of my skin. The beer calls me even though it knows I’ve had enough. Beer is like a hooker. Like a Muslim.

Taking one of the thin bottles from the case I use my good hand to praise open the lid. My other hand is broken. The first mouth full is wet and not much more of anything else. It makes me think of the first beer I ever had. Which in turn reminds me of the first drink I had tonight.

Its not exactly commonplace but I’m defiantly not shocked that tonight had ended up like this. Drunk and bloodied and broken. And her in the other room breaking things. The tension of the night had finally snapped and the vibrations of the wave were to be rode. Where ever they would find rest and tighten again.

My temper raised more as I thought and remembered. The sound of the band playing moon river makes me feel sick. I vomit a little in my mouth. It tastes hot, like acid, but I push it back down with another mouth full of the yellow beer.

The music still plays in my mind and I can see her hair poking out from over another mans shoulders. Big strong shoulders. In my memory I see this. Sharing these sad songs with the still open fridge and the cold air between us. Her face was in his chest and I could only see her hair as I watched from the bar. I only saw the back of his head as well. Just two tuffs of black hair on top of one pair of shoulders. Small hills of soft Muppets dancing in the centre of the floor. It was a family friends birthday and the room was filled with the well to do and middle class types.

Laughing heads of champagne. Young children running under tables, high heel shoes. My wife dancing with another man in the centre. The heads of hair. One shoulder.

The man who is chatting to me, at the bar, in my memory, is draining my life. But the two heads of hair that croon in the middle of the floor, clog up the drain. I remember finishing my wine. Unnecessary. Inside my head the wine warms my brain, it swims in the piss, backstrokes in beer. The man is still talking loudly to my ear, something about his unimportant life. My eyes rumble as I watch.

My wifes hands crumple the shirt of the man. The man she is dancing with. Her pink fingers dig deeply into the stipes on his shirt. They get lost inside his skin, and on her ring finger, our wedding band simmers dully. It looks rusted. The embrace they share looks warm, in my memory, through wet drunk eyes. A little glint of flesh and the white shine of eyes peaks above the single shoulders and underneath the crown of hair. I remember remembering to order another drink, but I cant really remember clearly. Not behind eyes like this and a mind that’s treading water in whisky and wine and beer and piss.

Now, in the present, not in my mind, I take another sip.

And I close the fridge. I feel sorry for him. The poor whore of a fridge. Filled with light that only spills when its opened. Light that he is that’s obliged to share. The fridge that from the outside is innanament and bleak.

The fridge sits in the kitchen and the kitchen opens onto a porch that is used as an entertaining area. The windows of the kitchen can either show the black night or a reflection of my self, depending on perspective. Depending on the depth of my vision. I stare out side, I have had enough of looking at my self.

Out side in the night, high in the air, is the moon. It looks heavy and empty and cold. Its about three quarters full and the remaining surface is only rimmed with a shimmer of silver and black indifference. compared to its size it is venerable. Like a naked poet. it sits shinning and separate to its environment, open to the world by its freedom. Standing under the heavy pale moon, I take another sip from my beer and unzip my fly. Even though I still need to walk to the bathroom, I unzip my fly in the kitchen. It has something to do with being drunk.

For a short moment before walking to the bathroom I stand alone in the kitchen with my hand on my balls. I fall back into time, into my mind. I remember looking at the man with the chatter in my ear and telling him to stop. He looked so hurt, I remember, like a wounded woman. I remember placing my wine glass ontop of a table in which a little girl and boy where playing hide and seek beneath.

She had a beautiful pink dress on with a ribbon in her hair. The boy was dirty and grubby. They looked like love. I remember the glass falling over and smashing on the floor. Right next to the little lovers beneath, who raised to their feet like soldiers and scampered away like cats. I remember the music still playing but it was unaccompanied by cheer and chatter. I remember seeing a million white pin holes in the dark, like the stars, all glaring at me as I wobbled to the edge of the dance floor. And while every one stares at me, my wife and the man keep dancing.

The kitchen sink, here, back in the present, is in front of me and filled with a couple of empty coffee mugs. Coffee mugs with pictures of pigs on them, caked with crusty brown shit smears at the bottoms. With my hand in my zipper I retrieve my penis and let it hang for a little while. Its shrivelled and cold. I’m swaying a lot. I need to be sick, but I hold it in, its better that way, its what I deserve. Still holding my penis I put a hand on the wall above the sink to steady my self. If I go to bathroom she will see me and then I will get in trouble. Its logical, I tell my self. I tell my self, it makes sense and I convince my drunken self easily. With the guilt gone I realise a warm stream of hot piss into the sink. I feel relieved. It splashes and sloshes in the sink. Half fills one of the standing coffee mugs and sits in a yellowish stagnant pool. The rest trickles down the sink in little lakes or puddles. There is a lot of urine and it is every where. I shake off my dick with a heavy palm and place it back in my pants.

My heavy palms remember the feeling of his hair. Of their hair. Like a crane I remember. Stalking from the carpet of the room onto the lino of the dance floor. With the poken holes of black paper following my drunken feet. The weight of my body pulling me left and right, gravity and wine trying to pull me to the floor. To stop the mess I’m about to make.

I remember seeing my self like a world famous wrestler.

I remember grabbing them by the hair and pulling them both to the floor. I remember closing my eyes real tight and throwing the most wonderful fist straight into the dancing partners face. I remember seeing some one wounded, and blood, and teeth. I felt like I had done my job. My hand still hurt but as the room descended into panic I remember laying on my back. I rolled off my wife who was underneath me. She was winded and panting, like we had just made love. Her partner to my right was simply a mess of hair and blood. I remember laying there, star fished with my lover and enemy. On my back, staring at the lights above, so drunk I could fall asleep right then and there. I remember people screaming and shouting and jutting into the edges of my peripheries.

As I stand in the kitchen, still, I remember these things, in a round about kind of way. I light another cigarette. I lost the other one. It rolls around in between my fingers like a log. My big bony hands are covered in blood. My ambivalent drunken brain slowly trots. The moon is still incredible and white as it swings in the air. I put my bottle of beer on the marble bench top but it slides down and smashes on the floor. Lights fill the living room as gravel moans in the drive way. It’s a cab. I hear the front door slam. I think about stopping her but I don’t.

I remember something else. Something dark and not nice. It makes my stomach growl. As I laid star fished on the floor, I remember seeing a fist full of rings, beached on the dance floor beside my face. A shrunk and elegant and wrinkled hand with beautifully carved rings around the fingers. They sparkled. Like love. I followed the rings, in my memory, from the tips of the finger up to the shoulders. I remember shoulder pads. I remember a bad perm that was matted and twisted into the open wounds of a very white face. White like the moon.
It was my enemy. The dancing head of hair was a woman.

I opened the fridge again. Picked up another beer and walked across the glass that had smashed on the kitchen floor. It looked like diamonds, like salt, like heaven. It crushed and made a beautiful sound under my black loafers. The beer tasted cold in my dry mouth and again I vomited.

I was alone.
There was no one home.
And the most horrible, gut wrenching emptiness, set my stomach cold.

I was alone.

Benjamin Smith send me a couple of days ago his book Air à boire all the way down from Australia. The book cover shows a sort of an giant cat. I love cats, therefore I started reading Air à boire and for my big surprise the book starts with the Jacques Brel song “ne me quitte pas” translated into english. Wow, a cat, then Brel. What comes after? cavity | the cars at the front of dave’s | dont be mad at me for saying this | the holiday tan | bed head (oh, how cute) | your twenty one | get over it cassanova | her popcorn hair | untitled (1) | clean, like a fox, |reprieve, amoment from the glare | untitled (2) | growing into a beautiful flower | lifes a beach | untitled (3) | untitled (4) | party time | sleeping like a vagina | black and white | father and sons | twelve weeks of winter | untitled (5) | god might remember | without | pealing duck | cork sandels | I dont want to dissapoint you | the woman with the wagging finger | the same | no more footsteps | 29 poems in total from a guy I would like to share a couple of six-packs with. Aire à boire is available via and much more on Benjamin Smith can be found on his web page horrorsleazetrasch More Ben Smith poems will be posted on Outlaw Poetry soon.

1 Comment

  • I love the beer and the blood and the viscerality of this piece. It reads like a story and feels like a poem.

    Todd Moore

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