The Work Of Steven J Bernstein

Here is a description of his life (here) these are his words :


  forecast in chrome and plastic. tyrants breathing alloy of slavery, planet hunger,
  versions of jackie o. sherry, sherry baby, won't you come out tonight? and the stars
  whisper like old blood at the edges of the body of night. she stood with one hand on
  the phone for four hours, poised as though only a few seconds had passed. i watched
      her through the crack between the shade and the sill. she waited for other
 important women. come, come, come out tonight. the world suffers for her: the clock
 dribbling saliva. she has eaten chicken pie and bubblegum. for a month the luftwaffe
lived on raisins. same with the french, after the war. jackie o received fresh oranges
   from john kennedy. silly girl. she cannot put down the telephone receiver. she is
  waiting to receive my body of work. she wants to take it in her ear. a mottled flush
   builds under her cheeks. she eats xmas candy while she waits. the telephone rings
     and rings. i am not at home. i am with jackie o. we are eating oranges from the
  president. we are alone on the roof of a park avenue penthouse. picture of marilyn
 monroe in my back pocket molded by heat and sweat to the shape of my buttocks. you
 are gripping the phone smiling, eating candy, crying. i am with important women, now.
i am secretly an important man. hang up the phone. i can't dance with you anymore. go
   to your freezer and get a popsicle. go to your tv. turn on your tv. you will see me
 and jackie o. she will be taking it in the ear, my body of work. in the planetarium. you
 will receive a forecast. i will always be more important than you. you will never be
  important enough. you will never be on the whip-hand end of slavery, never be the
   one to wield hunger against humanity. heaven will never be an extension of your
 body. your body will always belong to someone else. the picture of marilyn monroe
    flutters across the roof, steaming, shaped like me. shaped like my ass. the sky is
 filled with oranges during the war. we eat them. the president is alone in a room. he
   is unimportant. as we eat his oranges the sky grows blacker. the moon ripens and
  turns red. it rots and is swallowed by the darkness. you are still by the phone. it is
    ringing and ringing, dead. sherry, sherry baby, won't you come out tonight? it is
 completely dark. the earth freezes. you put down the receiver and go to the window.
                                   come, come, come out tonight.

                                    IN THE END I WILL FORGET

                                          In the end I will forget
                                         the springs in the carseats
                                           Grandpa on the lawn
                                         dust exploding in the sun
                                          television in fifty-seven
                                                In the end
                                          I will not remember this.
                                                  For me
                                          the moon over the water
                                          will fade into blackness
                                          and only the softening
                                              voices of events
                                         will soak through my night
                                                 like rain
                                         through a brown felt hat.
                                                In the end
                                               it will all be
                                         a wet sponge on my skull,
                                           my hair falling down
                                                 in pieces.
                                         A machine will come along
                                                and rake up
                                        all the whimpers and shouts
                                              that right now
                                            inhabit my memory,
                                       all the laughing and coughing
                                          the weeds biting through
                                            the concrete floor.
                                        In the end I will forget you.
                                                 I'm sorry
                                            to have to say that.
                                         But, I will forget myself,
                                             so don't feel bad.
                                             We will both slip
                                              no longer real
                                          from the libertine grasp
                                           of memory. You who
                                                  I love
                                            I am still so afraid
                                               of losing you
                                              afraid of losing
                                               neither of us
                                         need to worry. Fear holds
                                        my memory erect. You will
                                              always be there
                                         like the stroke of a needle
                                           in the bone. In the end
                                               I will forget
                                               what others
                                                 will read
                                            on the yellow pages
                                         of my skeleton. In the end
                                           there will be no need
                                            for me to remember.

                                           THE MAN UPSTAIRS

                                             The man upstairs
                                           is playing cards, again;
                                            shuffling the cards
                                               on the carpet.
                                                He is alone
                                          drinking grapefruit juice
                                             playing solitaire
                                               once or twice
                                                  a day.

                                         "You are my only friend,"
                                               he said to me
                                              while shaving.
                                            "Oh, that's not true."
                                               "Maybe not,"
                                                  he said.
                                              But, it probably
                                                  is true.

                                                This hand
                                           is not going too well:
                                           he pounds on the floor
                                                 and says,
                                            "What a shit layout."
                                                I can hear
                                            everything he says
                                                 up there,
                                             almost everything
                                                  he does
                                                I can hear.
                                               When he dies,
                                            I will not hear that:
                                            I will hear nothing.
                                           He picks up the cards
                                               off the carpet
                                              and re-shuffles,
                                               then he goes
                                             to the refrigerator
                                              for more juice.
                                             like a gun: that's
                                           the refrigerator door.
                                                  Open it
                                               pour the juice
                                                 close it.
                                            He sits on the carpet
                                            and deals the cards.
                                            He drinks the juice
                                           and studies the layout.

                                          I know the man's habits,
                                           I know how he thinks.
                                         I've been listening to him
                                         go about his daily business
                                              for a long time-
                                              than he realizes.

                                         He has been alone up there
                                             forever, it seems
                                            shuffling the cards
                                             drinking the juice
                                           tickling his own balls.
                                        He pretends to talk to people
                                           but makes no contact.
                                            His eyes are covered
                                            by milky cataracts.
                                                 He talks
                                        right through people's faces
                                             and does not stop
                                                 until he's
                                               out of breath.

                                           "A big zero," he says,
                                            studying the cards.
                                             "A big zero," and
                                               picks them up
                                               off the carpet
                                              without playing.

                                           he's drinking the juice.
                                           He undoes his pants-
                                                the buckle
                                                 the snap
                                                the zipper-
                                          and plays with his dick,
                                           but nothing happens.
                                            He is getting older.
                                           He zips, snaps, buckles
                                                 his pants,
                                                and goes on
                                             drinking the juice.

                                                 I notice
                                           that there is no music
                                                in his life-
                                                 no radio,
                                             He does not drink
                                             and he hardly eats
                                            I see him in the cafe
                                            with a bowl of soup.
                                             A few spoonfuls,
                                                  he pays
                                             and leaves: that's

                                                  My life
                                            is more interesting
                                                 than his:
                                              I can hear him,
                                                but he can't
                                                 hear me.
                                              Other than that,
                                                 I suppose
                                              there isn't much
                                             I sit on the carpet
                                           and shuffle the cards,
                                              open and close
                                              the refrigerator
                                             play with myself
                                                eat dinner
                                                at the cafe.
                                         He lives on the top floor-
                                          there's nothing for him
                                               but bird's feet
                                                 and rain.
                                             He is a bare skull;
                                              I am somewhere
                                              inside the body.
                                                 Under me
                                             there is a vacancy;
                                              there is no-one
                                                down there

               (muderised)  MURDERED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DANCE

                                               I was lonely
                                        my hands holding each other
                                              tight. You think
                                            it is never like that
                                                  for me,
                                                 but it is.
                                         A scorched flower rested
                                              on my forehead,
                                          a bottle of pills rattled
                                         as I walked from one end
                                             of the dance floor
                                               to the other.
                                         You could tell I was sick;
                                              no one wanted
                                             to dance with me,
                                                that night.
                                        But, how long was the night?
                                             And, every dance
                                              went on and on
                                              painfully. Yes,
                                          your happiness was like
                                             a good whipping.
                                           I laid down in a room
                                           full of coats and hats
                                         and umbrellas and took it.
                                          Then, I tore off my head
                                       and stuffed pills in its mouth.
                                             I threw the head
                                            in the waste basket
                                         and walked down the hall
                                             to the mens room.
                                      Even though I didn't have a head,
                                             I was still a man.
                                          Maybe people screamed
                                          and ran into each other
                                        trying to get away from me.
                                           I couldn't see or hear
                                            anything. Blood ran
                                              down my shirt.
                                          Blood, or spit, or sweat.
                                    The dance was meaningless. The head,
                                           having taken its pills,
                                           was all well. The rest
                                          was riddled with disease,
                                       but stumbled on, thoughtlessly.
                                        you were in someone's arms.
                                       Maybe, you hadn't even heard
                                          about the headless man
                                            poking at the doors
                                                in the hall.
                                          He was dressed for love.
                                           I was dressed for love.
                                          It is the same as murder
                                         when I have to dress for it.
                                             My balls crushed
                                         against the edge of a table.
                                       A bowl of punch and ice cubes
                                           splashed all over me.
                                             That's all I know.
                                    My hands touched one another, again,
                                       as though they had never met.
                                              In another room
                                         they were giving me a shot
                                       and tying me to the stretcher.
                                            It is a waste of time
                                            trying to save a man
                                              without a head.
                                     Tomorrow, that part will be found
                                          empty in the coat room
                                              with its flower
                                       and its mouth full of medicine.
                                               All the love
                                            went with the body,
                                          and the body is covered
                                       with punch and blood. In fact,
                                        they have taken the clothes
                                            that I wore for love,
                                        and put them in a bag. Now,
                                                I am naked
                                          and I don't have a head.
                                              I am on the slab
                                           and they are looking.
                                           This one got murdered
                                         in the middle of the dance.

                                   from I Am Secretly An Important Man: