jono tosch2.png

70s Tits

Jono Tosch

 70s Tits


Tits were different in the 70s.
Tits were surrounded by a fog.
Tits could turn squad cars into forests
forests full of gnomes and gnomes full
of small gold purses. Tits could stir your coffee for you.
In the 70s tits had a different shape.
Nowadays tits are shaped like the Eiffel tower
and tourists can ride elevators to their tippy tops
and throw coins at each other
which is not entirely terrible
but I still long for tits in the 70s. 
In the 70s
and even into the bib of the 80s
tits were known as leaves.
Tits could squander all their money 
and wake up in the morning
with more than they squandered.
They could turn water into key lime pie
and forecast the weather—and this
was what tits could do
in their salad days. 
Tits could make mashed potatoes.
They could spin around the room.
They could own and operate pet sitting businesses.
They could double park—it seems
there was nothing tits could not do in the 70s. 

But now it is the year two thousand and twenty
and tits are on the decline. 
They are no longer in the newspapers anymore.
The movie houses are not the same. 
I want to brush up against the modern attitude,
its whole dumb comportment.
Tits have become a kind of travelling sea monkey zoo. 
They have become a barren mud flat.
People throw used aluminum cans onto them.
People are barbaric and contemporary
and their hearts are studded with cigarette butts.
It used to be that you could look through a cardboard tube
at a great set of tits
and feel a wonderful glow.
It was not that long ago that tits had more bounce.
They could organize motorcades.
They could do pretty much anything.
In the 70s tits could balance Earth on one nipple.
What they did with the other nipple
was their secret.  The point is tits
had a lot of power back then.
They could organize entire groups of men
and make them read the best books in the world.

There are times when life is very stressful
and mercury doesn’t behave like mercury
and ponds when you can find them
don’t behave like ponds
but they behave like staples
with all that biting and wiry insouciance
and too much stress when stress is unwanted
and from any tower the view is cloudy
and from any cloud anywhere in the sky
ticklers the size of ghosted motor homes,
small minds and barbeques extending for miles
tremendous lines of people in rain coats
waiting for some brisket
we needn’t dodge or parry
there is some small soup on the stove
and it’s available and hot and there is plenty
and there are air conditioners available for a dollar
so much for the thickness of the air
what I’m saying is hallelujah. 
In the 70s
tits were a kind of eclipse of knowing.
You could read enormous passages to them
and the wisdom they contained would be condensed to quips
and shot directly back to you
like someone flinging an acorn at you
across a room full of silver martini glasses
and magazines about cigars.  This is how I feel about you.
A marvelous admixture of adventure and crass belonging.
Perhaps it would be better if I sneezed
some parachutes are outlandishly colored
some are not.  In any case, I jump for my friends.
High in the buildings where landlords keep their books
honey gets on the crossword puzzles and carrot cake. 
I unloose things when I see fit. 
Now is the jubilee of unloosening.
Pop off your bra I want to see the underworld.
Shady figures do transactions under shady trees.
I tell you this under great stress.  Talking
has always has always been a fear of mine.
I have huge tubas full of air. 
I am afraid that when I blow on one of them
poorly wrapped presents will decorate the smog.
I know this is an indecent fear.
I know that you will think of it
like you think of a bad hot dog
soggy bun, wobbly bench, indelicate casing,
cheap pickle relish—I cannot drown anybody
who does not wish to be drowned. 
Such is not my job. 
My job is to be afraid wherever I go. 
Even when I go to the grocery store for a standard loaf of bread
my job is to quake at the bag. 
My job is to phone distant epochs
when I attempt to transduce your underbelly.   
In this great epoch of complicated tits
I devour on a sick stomach anything
like rubber.

There was a time when tits were jubilant cakes.
and people would pin candles onto them
and arcades would explode onto neat pine barrens.
I was hardly anything at the moment.  I was nothing
and the great, egalitarian tits floated around in the dark cosmos
brushing away the great horseflies of empty space and coldness
darkening the terrible boulders of vacuous coolness
turning refrigerators into freezers and freezers
into small hells with ice clogged wheel chairs
hand brakes all chopped up with broken pieces of frozen pasta
good intentions with potatoes driven through their hearts
and a lot of terrible feelings all bundled together
and not a single, decent, god fearing breast
anywhere, only drugged up clouds and cruelty.
That was how I felt about things back then. 
That was how I understood the world. 
I wanted to take the darkening perimeter
of your dubious affection and blow on it. 
I thought that perhaps by doing that
I could become something with more substance. 
I thought I might become a very large, dominant shoe
with my tongue flopping against clapboard houses. 
I thought things would transduce themselves and go.
I had recently gained the ability to jump between epochs.
One leg of mine was combing out Hammurabi’s beard.
My other leg was assembling a jet aircraft.
There was snow falling into all the empty hats
where great men and women had died along the road.
I served chocolate to my guests and I struck up the band.

Here on this little cardboard wharf
I would play out my dirge. 
It would be a musical with many high and gainful notes.
When the most colorful notes sounded
I would be reminded of the nicest breasts I had ever seen.
I would play the lottery and then
coming up the road in a hand-cart
everything that I had forgotten in my drunkenness
would parade up the narrow tack
and present me with one, neat, spectacular green flower
and it would be a symbol of my dissolvement
and I’d go to sleep on the narrow strip of bed
and I’d wake up beside the ocean
and all the fish would be rifles
and inside every underwater rifle there would be the words
you are decent and kind and mean to everyone
and to all the ghosts that sputter in parking lots
and everywhere and forever this
would be my great homage to tits, 
that tits can do anything and I can do nothing at all.
This is my great undoing. In the 70s
tits could empty your ashtrays for you.
You could count on their clean, quiet footsteps
to guide you through the dark.

Jono Tosch lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. He is a carpenter and a painter.