semantikon feature literature
Apr. 2004
Nathan Singer


Nathan Singer is a novelist, playright, composer and performance artist from Cincinnati, Ohio and holds a Masters Degree in creative writing from Antioch College where he also teaches.

His novel, A Prayer for Dawn published by Bleak House Books in 2004 met with great critical succes, his second novel, Chasing the Wolf is available now.

About Artist:

nathan singer, cincinnati, a prayer for dawn, poet, novelist, essayist, teacher, poetry, performance artist, chasing the wolf, musician, composer, audio, ohio

A Communion of Rum Punch

It was early mid-day when Huxley, Woolf, Marlowe, and Ophelia made flesh made new time making love of the old books. On this mid-day we wrote and re-wrote and hung thick lust in the shadows.

It was a Sunday afternoon, but we stayed indoors.
The four of us leaving Seurat in the park alone.
Still fragmented as we were, the closer you’d stand,
the more your vision would blur.
“He loves me,” Ms. Woolf said of Mr. Marlowe.
“And I love you and you love her and she loves us.
We are perfect. We are exalted. We are the new world.
We are the new love.”

We orgied in absurdity/ wallowed in our youth
and grand self-delusion/ we scoffed at the past
and left the future behind/ we flipped Gregor on
his back/ helped the Arab kill Camus/ and left
Godot awaiting our arrival.
I HAVE a new love, Virginia, I said. And she is no
Ophelia. She’s not like us. She’s separate. She’s real.

We are perched too high to don the old masks/
to wear the old chains/ to dance the old steps
to play the old notes/ and exalt the old times
I’m rolling out a fat dime/ and we’re kicking
the new crimes.
“You talk a good game, Aldous, of your new love,” Virginia said.
“But you’re in my bed, and my money’s in your pocket,
and your pocket is way over there.”
Our linguistics are intrinsic. It’s instinctual/
No lumbering cumbersome ho-hum conundrum/
imagination is moist and we lubricate lyrically/
sliding stanzas out and in again/ addicted to the
frictional fictional

“We’ll take turns as your lover. Aldous. Little Ophelia and I. And I’ll
love her like a mother. I’ll feed her and she’ll feed off me.
Desire is a gift and we are mostgifted. Go ahead and
love me–savor new experience.”
If I loved you, Virginia, I’d never be free of the scars
on your veins. You’ve never been refused and
I’ve never had position to refuse. Let us savor the new experience.

On this mid-day, we orgied in absurdity and hung lust thick in the shadows. We mocked all convention and melted as one. Made love of the old books. Made communion of rum punch. Swore devotion forever and then scattered like dreams on the wind.

“In OUR world, she’s Ophelia twirling on the new dawn. Loverproof. Bulletproof. 80 proof.”
In THEIR world, she’s jailbait in the Malibu Dreamhouse.
“In OUR world, he’s dashing as Marlowe. Down with Faust. Cutting a new deal.”
In THEIR world he’s another latchkey virgin feeding from the cathode ray.
“In OUR world, I’m Virginia Woolf making Dickinson in a rowboat. Emily’s taste lingers on my lips.”
In THEIR world, you’re a junkie whore ex-prom queen pseudo-dyke with more regret than wisdom.
“In OUR world, you’re Huxley free from the dying bed. Dosed and all. Smiling like the sunshine. Ready to dance again in the doorways.”
In THEIR world, I’m amped-up gutter trash fresh from the motorcross. Waking on the sidewalk. Having breakfast in the alley.
“Well, that’s done,” said Ms. Woolf of Mr. Marlowe, “He’s not a virgin anymore.”
“I love her, Huxley,” Marlowe whisper’d to me. “And she loves you and you love
Ophelia and Ophelia loves us all. WE are perfect. We are
exalted. We are the new world. We are the new love.”

Ophelia whimpered and whined that
she’s helpless at our mercy/ we are
creators/ she is created/ our whim is her
command/ But she then wrote and re-wrote/
taking power and pen/ and now the Queen
and the Prince float face down in the river
I HAVE a new love, Chris, I whisper’d in kind. And she’s not like us. She’s real.
I don’t love you, and I don’t love Virginia, and I don’t love Ophelia, and I don’t love me.
But I love US. We are a blink, a flash, a moment of passion,
pompous in bless’d ignorance. I swear my devotion and
you three swear your devotion and then we’ll
s c a t t e r
like dreams on the wind.