Mary belongs to Ted
© 2002 by PJ Nights

We go to the local store in the boonies
to redeem empties for chips and dip -
the proprietress is a bit snooty
(like those national chain stores that pretend
to put the customer first are no threat to her)
and inFORMS us that it isnít Tuesday,
so you can forGET the nickels!

but everyone at the party's so distracted
they never notice we arrive empty handed.
Ted's doing a wine tasting (not any Ted,
Ted BERRIGAN!). He takes a swig of
Waters West, the labelís an ocean scene,
and suddenly he is IN the waves,
waggling the bottle, real surf lapping
the carpet, THIS IS GOOD SHIT!
But something pisses him off, and heís off
to write a thirty page diatribe. We all follow
him across the field to his farmhouse
where I stand and watch him
finish a manuscript in like half an hour.
This guy next to me (I should know his name?)
is busy pawing through kitchen drawers
and cubbyholes and pockets pulling out
poems on scraps of paper that Ted has left around
or given to friends. The manuscript's butterfly-clipped
and left on the table for the publisher; this guy
(THIS GUY?) indiscriminately splits it down the middle
and stuffs in the crumpled, collected pages
saying Ted would hate anything so serious
in his name without a poetic interlude.

So then, us both being children of the puter age,
he takes me downstairs to surf the web -
weird movie on the screen, some not-so-modern-day war
going on around a nekkid guy strung up on a pole.
He must be old or once fat and now starved
because his skin bags around him. The reception's
terrible and my new friend adjusts rabbit ears
on top of the monitor to bring the webcast
from China a bit closer, but he gives up. Besides,
the shooting of a REAL movie is happening
right in the rumpus room - screaming children
running from a swarm of monsters that look more like
amoeboid jelly donuts than anything too scary
(until I see the clip with computer-enhanced
special effects, YOWEE!). The main character,
a slight boy with almond-shaped eyes,
sits at the table with us afterwards in a highchair
so he can see. I smile at him, but am drawn
to the woman presiding over the table as is everyone else, she is
mesmerizing - damn, who IS she?
Someone calls out Mary! and with a start,
I realize itís Mary Magdelene, herself. The boy actor's
making her blush with his intimations
and it dawns on me that he's not a child but a man.
Mary's shushing him, but you can tell
she wants us to hear about them doing it.
I'm flabbergasted and keep mumbling,
How can it be? How can it be? Mary is Tedís.
Mary Magdelene belongs to Ted.

MiPo Print '02