Arron Shiver

For My Friends Who Are Very Hungry

you’re going to get used to this feeling.
Every day your chest
will stretch a little tighter
and hot
enough to fry an egg;
your glasses steamed and cleaned
and cleaned again,
the same things seen.

You’re going to get used to this feeling
as you wait in rooms along with tidy women
who look down at their feet,
as you return to nothing
and nothing returns to you,
as your mangy fury
spirals through you
as your body is vaccumed
out, a saved bag of winter clothes,
as the days pass
without evidence.

You’re going to get used to this feeling
as you dream about movies
within movies,
of the hunger
of crocodiles before they were boots,
before rabbits were coats,
as those before you hold court.
You, awake with smoky liquors,
a word or two to spirit the ship

You’re going to get used to this feeling
as your arms swell
and your head swells, as you turn down lemon pie,
as you read and read
and read and read of hunger
as bars gets louder
as patrons mumble more,
as you learn to keep your mouth shut,
to avoid parties, to seek your own good opinion.

Equivocation will burn away,
your shining hunger
all that’s left.

Listen when I tell you: You’re going to get used to it.

My Hero

Sam died.
And the horses ran.
And the white sky
met with the white hills
and the horses ran
and Sam is dead.

He said Hollywood
was for teenage idiots
and when he died
we drank Patrón
and read his lines
round the butcher block
in a house that Hollywood built
and sold and bought again,
idiocy feasting on itself;

read his magic
to each other -
Men way out in the deserts,
alone save for the faces of their fathers.
Rock-n-roll girls,
their sanguine smiles,
their haughty tantrums,
a map to the precipice
carved in the grooves of their
gunmetal teeth.

I said everything I remembered:
how he spent time in Taos,
how at Joe’s he used to come
and sit with his fishing buddies,
talking quietly of horses.
How he took my friends
upstairs and fucked them.

How one time after a dance
he pulled Loretta onto his lap
and when she tried to squirm away
he held her there,
his skinny arms wrapped around her middle,
how Carlos came up
and said he would kill him.
How outside, Sam pulled the crazy routine,
yelling and flailing his arms.
“I’ll rip out your eyes and piss in your eye holes!”
“I’ll tear off your head and shit down your neck!”
Carlos laughed
and then they laughed together.

How at a party Gen suggested
we all do Fool for Love together,
and he could play the old man.

“But I’m not the old man, darlin’.
I can’t be.
It’s not possible.
It’s beyond the realm of possibility.”

Tony piped up
he thought it was a good idea.

Sam said: “You know, I admired your father, but
you are a fucking idiot”
The boy prince of St. Cleran’s
said nothing.
Shame. I would have liked
to have seen that fight.

I told them how
he found out I acted and stumbling to
another bar, gave me this advice:
“don’t audition”

Meanwhile, I trussed myself to plaudits,
to love relationships, sacrifice,
crossed many deserts,
faces and faces going back
to the end of them
and at the end of them
Sam died.

Arron Shiver is an actor, director, screenwriter and songwriter born in Baton Rouge Louisiana, and raised in Taos. His work as an actor can be seen in a wide array of film and television projects over the last 20+ years. Most recently, he was the co-writer and lead actor of the multiple-award-winning feature film Cortez (shot in Taos), and is the co-host and co-founder of the underground songwriter night Virgin Ears in Los Angeles. He has performed his work at various venues, but this edition of Taos Journal of Poetry marks his first published work.