If you know Rebecca Hofrichter of Chicago, you should ask to see her new tattoo. It is an interpretation of an old poem of mine from The Man Suit called "The Center of Worthwhile Things." It was designed by Allie Sider. You should ask her to roll up her sleeves and recite this poem to you from memory while it stares at you. Black Ocean, does this qualify one for a lifetime subscription?
The Center of Worthwhile Things
I found her repeatedly jumping out of a large wooden wedding cake on the cliff overlooking the lake. She said she was obsessed with the idea: the surprise, the male fascination with sudden and bursting femininity, the pink tutu. I was walking away as a drunken avocado from that night’s costume party. I was paper-mache, chicken wire and green paint. It was 2 a.m. and there we were on that cliff: her, the center of a wedding cake, and me, the center of an avocado.
After she helped me out of my costume we sat there on the edge of the cliff, our legs pendulant. The lake was below us. We had nothing to say really. Her cake was on its side, lifeless. My avocado was on its side, a shell torn at the arm holes. When we made love I couldn’t help but think that we were just two passing invalids, both of us representing only the center of worthwhile things. It was easier for me to concentrate on the lake than her body, though they were both dark and looked like desert.
I remember when she tore that pink tutu from her waist as if it were some large production, as if some brass section somewhere, maybe down by the lake, should take notice and salute her suddenly exposed hips. It was a night of being backstage I thought, where nothing held its illusion, where everything was exposed as an actor.