WHAT’S ON CABLE

by Alan Feldman


On New York’s channel 35, late at night, Jerry the Tongue Goldstein
is interviewing Lily Fong, a porn star who had sex with 250 men
in groups of five, non-stop, and set a world’s record.

If you don’t believe her, think this is just a big dream she never lived,
there’s actual footage, as if the hundreds of warriors slaughtered by Achilles,
each with a different wound, were caught on video.

She seems smaller with five men around her, her body slight as a child’s—
too preoccupied to be sociable, being bucked from the rear
at maximum heart rate, as though, apart from theirs,

she has her stunt to do, while her mouth is slobbering in anguish, pleasure,
          or panicky regret—
the video can’t tell us—but you know she’s survived it
because she’s here, like a groggy climber of Everest, home now,

and able to remember her own birthday. So many brains in this city,
and through each brain, like a sword, these strange scenes.
Yet the lights blink Walk, and the cars stop, and people walk,

and, in the long tunnel of the subway, there’s the steady beat of clopping feet
without any prophetic voices to interrupt––though who knows what––
in the all-bets-off-world of their heads––might currently be playing.

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