Tenant Patrol (version one)
I live on the ninth floor of a New York City Project
and my guests are vetted. In the lobby they sign a leather bound red book
This signature is the stamp of their Persona
alongside the record of who they stayed with, visit’s duration,
whether it occurred by night or day. If a guest enters
or exits between 9pm to 5am a security man is on duty
and there’s no confrontation. This security man views morality
as intangible. No mind altering answers to unanswerable questions
No integration of rules when unrecognizable games are played
Daylight hours are another story. From 7am to early evening
A ‘Tenant Patrol’ consisting of a dozen or so ‘ORDINARY ‘ tenants,
( we’re talking Chinese Bullies, Mafia Papis, Wanna-a-be-Rabbis,
New England Mother Superiors, ) whose credential is they live
in the building, sit in the lobby, checking who likes what in what positions.
A visit is a psychosis which buckles the duct of the normal, tears a vent.
Knowledge is ascertained by attitudes visitors are not able to get into
how the spidery genital on the stairwell casts its shadow as they sign their name
My guests are varied and when we come together hopefully
it’s shocking. Where there’s shock there’s breath But oftentimes
we discuss food ( in a stew do you use canned broth? )
the latest movie, how it curls around its breadth. Whoever the visitor,
Susan Sontag, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Phillip Roth, Hustling Porn Star,
Keats, ( we are discussing my social life in the reality of dreams )
whoever comes round, after breakfast in a ninth floor one bedroom
of a twenty story building of a New York City Housing project
both I and the guest are huddled in the trenches strategizing
the meeting with the looming patrol, how we’ll muster our defence.
I wish I had the courage of the hooker who stays with this guy
who disclaims her, up on the fourteenth or maybe the tenth. She stays with this guy
and she says she’s his daughter. She isn’t his daughter. She’s a hooker
part truck driver, part Medusa, Queen Mab, who queens the night.
When she comes in with a client the tenant patrol screams,
“ You don’t live here. You don’t have rights.” And she brandishes the finger
and encouraging her client, passes without signing. No feigned humility
disguises the supremacy of her entrance into the elevator ( her flower garden )
where one plus one equals forty two when you appreciate the scent.