Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Busy Oak

Here is the street door to where you are not.
The red bricks remain--
together they make a wall, a building, 
The old Busy Oak restaurant and the apartments above it.

Here are the winter cars out in the street, the noisy buses
sending up dust and old leaves, none of them carrying you.
Here are the mailboxes, none of them yours,
no way to fold in a note; here are dark stairs leading up,
but they lead to curt strangers in your place.

I'm not sure I miss you, but I miss being young,
full of desire and hope, uncertainty and kind intentions.
I miss the way your walk made me feel to see it,
something like being drunk in church, naked and faith-struck.

Here is the place I lived to find, then found.
Here is the Busy Oak, turned realtor's office and recruitment center.
The places we love come and go, the young come and go,
it all passes and fades, but something brought me back here

Once more, today, to this place
and you.


for the mini-challenge: people and places.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Deaf Angels

"He's an angel, not a saint." --Michael

Deaf angels aren't much for music.
No matter the beauty of the harp, 
they're oblivious
and bored.

Deaf angels aren't much for prayer.
Unaware of kneeling priests in robes,
lofty Ladies, 
loquacious Lords.

But when you find you cannot speak--
the break too ragged, raw and deep--
Deaf angels come with silent arms
and balm not found in notes nor words.

For Rommy's challenge at Real Toads.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Bloodorange, the Big Boss,
assigned me to report on my own death, 
presenting a ticklish situation, both logistically and ethically. 

Cockrobin, my first journalism professor,
wrote "REPORT the story" on a blackjack and let me have it.
I saw stars indicating the edition with my byline on it, Chickpea, girl reporter.

Now, Bloodorange and I used to be a thing
until he undrowned his wife and family, up from the river, reborn.
I'm a loose end, an extra column, and the new ace of a dying profession.

Bloodorange is as crafty as he is cheap,
with two dicks that duel each other constantly, resulting in
his slightly gassy, somewhat bemused expression, commented on by all.

Concerned for my career, not to mention my mortal flesh,
I went to see Cockrobin, down under L Street where he lives in a funeral urn.
I kissed him by way of interview, and he bade me live just to spite his rival.

Like any good reporter, I wrote what I could long before deadline,
plumbing the morgue for basic bio stuff about myself, all news to me.
Then I composed several endings and demises, stored in a cloud like akashic records. 

Oh how Bloodorange and I used to dance, but now
one of his brats has killed me with a ball peen hammer, emerging from a high cupboard
to bash my brains in. How'd the little darling even get up there?

(Bloodorange hates vernacular, that's why I used it.)

The next afternoon, the newspaper folded,
journalism died, and Bloodorange became a Hindu,
reincarnated, single again, and using my skull for a doorstop at his ashram

Where the ideals are advertising revenue, and survival of the fittest.

for the weekend challenge at Toads: the news.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Review : "Lone Wolf"

Lone WolfLone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Some things about this novel bugged the heck out of me, first among them the seemingly mandatory shifting point of view. Does anyone write single POV anymore? This book changes POV every time there is a new character, doing so well past the mid-point of the book (and even at the end, but that was okay. You'll see.) There were several times when I had to flip back to remind myself who was the narrator of the moment.

Another thing I hated was the silly names. Helen Bedd? There's one chapter where it's Stupid Character Name Jamboree time. I didn't see any point to it, just Picoult amusing herself or something.

However, all of that said, there is a reason why I keep returning to this author even though she makes me nutty sometimes. She is really good at portraying families in crisis. In addition, when she chooses to write about animals, she obviously does her homework first and the result is both fascinating and enlightening. In "Leaving Time" it was elephants; here it's wolves. Luke Warren is a man who leaves his family for two years to go into the wilds of eastern Canada to insinuate himself into a wild wolf pack. What happens there, and what it ultimately means for everyone who loves him, is top drawer stuff. This novel is also about making an end of life decision. Who makes the call, and what guides them?

All in all, I liked the book and do recommend it, but with reservations if, like me, you aren't a fan of continually shifting narration.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 12, 2017

New Banana Town

In Old Mango City,
I wore the thrift shop jacket you like,
and the big shades.

I wore them up, in my hair
as if I were trying out for Queen of the Produce Stalls.
You dissembled, became incorporeal,

And slept with my better nature
behind my back. Remember that tune we liked?
Neither do I. I wish I could.

Here is my black top hat,
and my white gloves. Here is you, appearing again.
Ta-da, I say. You kiss me to make me shut up.

The buses are all out of service
on the road to Old Mango City.
An urchin brought me an orange soda and said it was voodoo.

So, sit here. On the curb with me.
I bet you never knew we were a post card; I mailed us,
addressed to our ghosts, postage due.

Don't be sad. I'm not.
I just always cry at beginnings, arrivals, being here in a new place:
New Banana Town--population you.

for Out Of Standard.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rope 'Round A Heart

Rope 'round a heart
and the bell swings one--
a kiss like that isn't fooling anyone.

Rope 'round a heart
and the bell swings two-
one for the beggar man who watches you.

Three bell, four bell, five bell, six--
Nuns in the alleyway say mox nix

To you and your seven rope,
you and your eight--

Rope 'round a heart
and the gibbet bell prate.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I Got Interviewed.....

....this time not for my poetry (though that's in there, too) but for my hobby. You can find it HERE.