Dorothy and the Wiz Part Two
Back where we used to be, darling.
It’s the same lot only the wrong scene, still shot
In ancient Technicolor stock.
As always you smell of raw animal and soap.
If I were to float above pop star flames as I did long ago
It would not faze you.
Why revisit past tricks?
You always looked wicked in drag, whereas I, out of it,
Really show my age. And you belt
Better lies into a microphone or by text. I say,
Let’s leave as we came, each unaccompanied
This time, nakedly proud and feral
Through shadows bending softly as pubic hair
On a lion’s crotch. Everybody’s gone
With the twisters. Blame it on climate change.
And as I gain altitude and look down on
The now ripped up road,
Those words that set you apart, those tones flying
From your mouth once again
In the sepia key of C major
Won’t reach me: The heart I gave left me heartless.
Hell is Camden with the paparazzi outside your house being rained on. They love shoeless you. They hope for ill-behaved you and they get it: You push back; throw a punch or two. Flashes bite your back again as you forever fall into an ambulance’s maw.
Nothing as full-bodied as the air you give up and we call song.
Come back, I want to yell, throat agleam. How do you talk to the end of the world? Come into mine instead, shimmering, my cobblestoned fantasy that counts you as a muse; where I’ve built a Musée D’Orsay while the splendor of the city climaxes out of one famous tower nightly.
Might I break into the screen and pull you out with that smile you reserve for the microphone. Freeze you, pause you: Younger you minus the beehive, minus the wreck your glowing pipes brought. Before you said, I’m nothing without my hair.
When you were tinny and quivery,
a third of a note.
Little clicks and gasps,
caught between sustain
and infinite sustain.
When you were still
When the curtain in your kitchen
bulged out and deflated,
unable to hold its own gut
without a body.
And without a body
a keen whisper,
of today’s clouds
as they grumble
thick and just
and so ravishing for that.
For Amy Winehouse
[Untitled Elegy for J.]
Let’s get it out of the way; this is
about life, too.
This is about you.
You, prolonged; you, not breathing
on your own, machine assisted. I’m
holding you from across the
This is for you.
I am writing. In one sitting, no
bathroom break allowed.
You are also in the emails I erased
by accident. You,
and the last time I saw you a few
years ago; I cut the visit short. I
erased you on that day, too.
Face it, darling, you were not exactly
easy. (And who is? you’d say and
have a chuckle.)
We love to make our dead laugh.
I’m wishing you awake; had I been
at your bedside
I’d have synced our breathing.
Housed in your head is that desert.
How could you plot your own
You have seen meteors spew their
fulminous messages across the brain-
You have breathed invisible
accidents. You’ve fallen
like milk from above.
I loved you once, didn’t I, former
Spilled then spoiled.
The dead laugh in their high chairs,
children that they are.
Take a last, dazzling breath. Fly.
May the ground gently let go
ContributorGuillermo Filice Castro
Guillermo Filice Castro is the author of the chapbooks Mixtape for a War and Agua, Fuego. An immigrant from Argentina, he now resides in New Jersey with his partner and two cats, Cleopatra and Evita.