self-portrait as Frank O’Hara
by Jax NTP

after the third carafe of grapefruit vodka
the thick jawline of streetlights clatter
such buttery clarity ― what is forgiveness

but submission defeat mistaken for love
crammed within the mint echoes of small
spaces rancid clementine moldy avocados

i swig mouthfuls of spoilt milk to calm
the bellyful of alcohol ― even if you check
the expiration date on the day of purchase

it doesn’t mean you’ll remember it
it’s pointless to ruin your life over a girl
who’s in love with a meth addict ― but you

can always go back to the store to get a refund
pain provides logic which is bad for you
for some animals the ritual pattern of courtship

is the dance of death the satisfaction of human needs
creates new needs the girl quotes theories of marxism
to refuse my love ― cowardice is the new order of her day

i wear my freudian slips like fancy evening gloves
exploratorium it’s not the anxiety that i am held up
but the anxiety that i am holding her up

i thought her lies would change me
but they didn’t that which corrodes will discolor
i am a whiskey jellyfish certain of uncertainties

each breath intensified by the solitude
of having nothing to look forward to and i savor
the fact that once ― i gave her the chance to ruin me

IMAGE: Portrait of Frank O’Hara by Larry Rivers (1955).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Jax NTP holds an MFA in Creative Writing – Poetry from CSULB. Jax was the former editor-in-chief of RipRap Literary Journal and associate editor of The Fat City Review. Jax has an affinity for jellyfish and polaris and a fetish for miniature succulent terrariums. Visit her at http://jaxntppoet.tumblr.com.