Michael Juliani

2012/03/29 Comments Off on Michael Juliani

On the theme of David Lynch

Notes for the Script I’d Write for Lynch

“Golden rose, the color of the dream I had…
It’s only a dream
I’d love to tell somebody about this dream…”

-Jimi Hendrix

I. They say to live as if you’re traveling—
It’s worth sticking around just to see what happens.

II. Toward Dionysus grease hair and worst fear, toward the miracle.
Hitchhiker’s murder. A scalp in the pool. Fast-food car. Same pants every day.
Our splintered protagonist.
Another word: murk (& its confidence).
Cinema returns us to anima:
Motel room sex, vacuum cleaner watching like a dog.
Her skin had the red of the shower water,
the blue cold of pipes and the silver of the screen.
The perfect poet’s luck, like a rattlesnake tamed.

The poets in Los Angeles must
wear boots, their hair like Gogol’s, matted by cheap chlorine, rolling flint with thumbs
to breathe tobacco’s crystals through stiffness.

Notebook aphorisms like:
“Drink from the L.A. River, you grow a tail. The ocean, the intra-uterine salt, no harm there.”

The similes in film stay subconscious, dampening the lens & your heart
in the seats.
I want to make some of them conscious:
“My father is like a dead raven.”

For the film:
“The Poet’s L.A.,” muscle-red & runny:
L.A. of diner eggs and morning beer
L.A. of long hair that doesn’t itch
L.A. of a woman’s breath caught in a handkerchief, waxy cherry
L.A. of stoplights blinking in closed eyes, salsa colors,
trying to sleep with sunspots:
hot breath of the DVD player projecting flashes of Naomi Watts’ psychotic breasts—pulsating the elastic plump
of her panties like a cartoon heart thumping a shirt.

III. At 12 or so Lynch became an Eagle Scout.
I told Mom, “Do you think I have time for that kind of thing right now?”

It’s rare now these days I’m not wired in the jaw,
In yoga they tell me I have rigid ankles.
In yoga I keep my thoughts.
I fist around their salts like I’m breaking a horse.
My plump exhaust-smell “fuck you.”

I’ll leave home someday w/ a palm of wedding rings
to melt down, playground woodchips in my shoes & a water bottle of wine
siphoned from grandpa.
Leave the rooms where the obsidian taste of hairspray stung
the eyes & tongue w/ flush. That L.A. of nude colored bras in suburbs
w/in folds of dove-wing blouses in church, the one-breath high of beauty products
during hugs, the smell of marriage—
Crystalline mothers walking toward me
like sculptures being made. They’d only let me slip away
out of kindness, I suppose.

IV. 21st Century skin: air-conditioned. The wind on the body after the pool.
The buildings decades too old, bondo split open
like eggplant, the color of an angry man’s face.
I drive up Vermont, looking in on storefront iglesia
dug outta the wall by bullhorns, I see cheap pilates
& the Guevara/Hendrix murals “Hate Free Community”—

A little about me: Before I die
I will see Nashville, Austin, N.Y.
& their hieroglyphs, hospitality, foolhardy mania,
thick drainage of every town.

V. Coffee-stained books piled three neat stacks
by the heat vent, your bed dragged & shoved into the closet space,
clothes dipping into the fucking like willows.
“Never heard a man speak like this man before,” you allow to the blender, getting him another warm Blue Moon from the weak fridge.
Your roommate’s cocaine & highball dress slides up her hips when she stands—
“It’s just like a bathing suit, big deal.”
He crosses wind-gray 5 p.m. intersections with the ambulances, hand inside jacket
like warming a pistol w/ his nerves.

VI. Country song I’d write if it rhymed:
“A man came at me with haywire.
I didn’t kill him but I turned him red.
I see him when I press my thumb down on my eyelid in the sun.
The same way a night blacked out is a dream.”

VII.                        The supermarket parking lot,
hard black lava w/ boot imprints, snags of plastic bags tumbleweeded across the dog city.
Buying meat and malt liquor. A lament, this is, for the unpressed. For the insides of televisions.
For a hungover squint in nighttime
making out the glitter of people. Snake charm for blue souls,
the bruises of miracles waiting—another night, another journal,
another set of meals. Talcum torsos.
Igneous needs, aquiline shame.
For days, “Little Wing” plays for headache’s bent tones
& its piles of grating metal keys.
If this weren’t California we’d have a howling moon, that’s what it’d be called you know,
the moon-tongue freeway, azure deaths.
L.A.’s trapped snow rushing the ears like the speed of light, deafening heaven, brain
in dull white, the sky a crunched ice cube wormed.
A young black woman pulls me close at the party, purple beneath her skirt.
“You’re a good dancer.” I don’t believe her. I’m no dull, dumb snake or sad fag.
You know what I mean. You know how that kind of nighttime feels.

VIII. In another unquenched December night
with the chipping white doors closed
on me in my bedroom,
dead mists of the celluloid swerves
my body’s made from floor to bed half-man
for five years,
sloppy on my winter couch
I watched “Mulholland Dr.” with my boots tied together and slung over the pillow like ice skates.

IX. My favorite colors: red, iron gray, silver, L.A. nighttime smog-black
w/ crackling hue, dark blood sunset orange, sour purple, housing project brick & brown,
static, rust.

My favorite Lynch line: “No I want you to fuck it—Shit yes, pour the fucking beer!”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
I’m thinking maybe a family flick at this point, a family of muses:
The Dad a Frank Booth, the Mom his mother,
the baby the Elephant Man, Lynch smoking
his scentless cigarettes w/ palmade face & I could play
the suburban beatnik eldest son stealing everyone’s pills.

X. Rose City—autistic laughter,
syrupy smiles, big noses, no good bars.

I dedicate this to my future wife—
Bonnet, learned & glistening, the woman
we all want—
Dear, this is my journal,
don’t ask anyone else
about my home.

And David—
Try to find something to do with this. All thanks. All apologies.



On the theme of Secret Life

Parking Lot Oil Puddles with Jim Morrison

They talk an alky ramble. Dance

on tables—I’m on my knees,
the patchwork of my jeans grinds
to a bitter white dust in the dirt mix,
hardwood ground.
Highway taillights to
hamburgers. Green signs, wind, rock
& roll music—Giving lookers the finger. Telling the men
on the corner to fuck their mothers.
“Hey you! Short-shorts! Fuck your mother!”
Orange juice, Goldfish, red candle, the used body
of the blender with pink shredded strawberries.
My fingers cringing your waistband
like a grave’s fingers. My fingers turning to bones
where they’re wrapped. Your pants falling to the floor.
Apartment bedroom doors with codes like safes that beep
when you know them. The black oaks and magnolias sway
from where I sit like people speaking in tongues. Ashen Sister Ruth
giving up her vows to stalk the jungle, chest heaving
in a red dress, red lipstick, red ringlets, looking out of breath
for Mr. Dean, whose balls hang down the hair
coming from his shorts, my grandmother’s age as an actor.
Slime ring of a day-old beer can on the table. Used blue razors
rattling the closet ledge,
syringes jammed with hair. Her hand during sleep
paints my belly red.
Her blood pillows. Her mother’s loose-hanging leopard
thong she shows on the couch. Her ass through the string glowing toward
the bathroom like two pieces of toast.
Empty water bottles. My girlfriends sucking
the metals from their thumbs.


Author Biography
Michael Juliani is a poet/writer from Pasadena, California currently living in South Los Angeles as a journalism student at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. He’s a columnist for Neon Tommy. His work has appeared at Thought Catalog and as a guest to The Faster Times. Reach him at juliani@usc.edu. Connect with him at michaeljuliani.wordpress.com.

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