Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mbira Duet

I am in your kitchen,
bigger than a bread box,
formerly sponsored by Gaddafi. 
Come on, 
get up, get up, you lazy sl--iver of early morning moonlight, you.

Look for me.
(I had a key.)
In plain sight, where everyone's eyes go sleepy.
I'm as unstable as rising dough,
follow your lips;
theirs is liturgy in language any fool can understand.

We are the two, the last two
that the local Lothario hasn't fucked. 
You, because you're out of his league--
me, because I am made from African wood that splinters in the dark
and that no sandpaper can smooth. 
The Bantu left their mark on me, as a talisman and ornamental warning.

Have you found me yet?
It's your kitchen, get it together, Princess.
In this bottle over here, the anti-msg
for rendering the over-seasoned tasteless.
Let's start over, just you and me.
Moon Dog and Moon-ette, just two girls who went wrong so many times
we became a brand, with an anthem,

rolling figure 8's together in a math our bodies translate into mbira music.

for Literary Excursions With Kerry at Real Toads. 



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Plague Doctors

What we need
is plague doctors.

Oh, you laughed, in the garden,
during summer,
a bloom hanging from every branch and stem.
You tossed your head back, showing perfect teeth--
the same ones that fall out now
in your sleep and in your tea.

I am not popular.
I admit it, and grow even less so now
for having been correct.
We need plague doctors, and where are they?
Where are the students, the masters, the institutions
that could have turned them out
where caution and courage intersect?

Very well, I'm the girl
for the job, and damn the looks I'll get
from the upscale ladies whose smiles 
are meant to suck the fight from their perceived lessers.
Hear how they cough now,
how their buboes distress them
causing cancellation of their little dinners
in favor of charlatans with vestments and censers.

I am the one.
I am your only hope.
See how winter has taken hold, and the dogs eat
your unburied glassy-eyed girlfriends.
A beak stuffed with spice and roses helps me to endure
the stench of you, and your kiss
as I save you so that you'll owe me
in the spring, or lie blue as the gentians.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Tortoise Shell and Dog Brain

I see everything through
tortoise shell and dog brain--
it's all in an effort at honesty that I'm filling you in up front.

My cheaters might be rose-colored or dark as molasses--
you'll have to decide, based upon
my attitude, subtle cues, and giveaway pratfalls.

Okay, maybe I've been panting after you, like you think.
I'm more tortoise than hare,
so you'd better invite me by degrees after all, 
perhaps by post or 
smoke signals, because once startled I'm gone and it's a job to get me back.

So what d'you think? Never mind.
Ever since I turned seven hundred years old, I'm not as rash
as I used to be. 
Nonetheless, play your cards right and I could be
keen for your bed, hogging it,
living for nothing but to make you happy, Master, but still
prone to wander,
chase my tail,
and act stupid at the drop of a hat. 

by request.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Port Of Call

Hey sailor,
this is the lunch counter
anyone can sit at.

Hey handsome,
buy a girl a soda?
They'll bring one glass, two straws.

Tell me, Lonesome,
why aren't you in the bar? Do the stools there
pitch and yaw?

Too bad, swabbie,
about the girl you left behind.
Do ya miss her? Do I remind you of?

Listen, sugar,
set your sea bag down. Noah knew
--bet you do, too--
that a pigeon is still a dove.

for "escape to the past" at Real Toads


Tuesday, January 3, 2017


You dismiss us;
me and Dolly.
"Run along to your room," you say.
"Stay there...all night. All day."

You think we don't know
that you crawl with every loathsome perversion
of flesh and spirit.
You believe that Dolly and I don't see it.

Fine. We will whisper over our tea set,
cups as delicate as a veneer.
We'll discuss you, you know, and send anonymous notes
to Mrs. Muffington, the police, and in the pockets of strangers' coats.

Dolly says your lungs are weak.
You stumble when you walk. Cough when you speak.
"Hello," we'll say, "Hello, what's this?"
as you lie on the floor we'll give you a kiss.

Dismiss us once more.
Wave your hand airily.
Say, "Go talk to your doll!"

my doll talks to me.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Untitled (Now, Voyager!)

Untitled (Perfect Lovers) by Felix Gonzales-Torrez

At 10:37 a.m.,
I fell in love with you.

This may seem abrupt, 
but I'm an early riser--
four hours was enough
to percolate folie d'amour.

At 11:42 a.m.,
you will fall in love with me.
Until 12:02, I will toy with you
because I can.

At precisely 3 p.m.,
we will be married
in a 58-minute ceremony at L'eglise de Notre Dame.

Later, I will give you exactly two minutes
(until 11:23 p.m.)
to get this dress off me.

Bon chance, voyageur du temps!

for Skyflower Friday at Real Toads.

folie d'amour = madness of love
L'eglise de Notre Dame = Church of Our Lady
Bon chance, voyageur du temps! = good luck, time traveller!



Sunday, December 18, 2016

Emmeline By Wolf Light

Emmeline by wolf light
keeps Christmas in her own way--
mostly by night,
not much by day.

Emmeline in the evergreens
keeps a cookie called the Moon
in her pocket with her lighter
lit-burned sweet and brighter so it seems.

Emmeline in snow-skin
by witch light scratching at the door
to be let be, and be let in
to give you wolf light, nothing more.

mini for the mini-challenge.

sort of a companion piece to "Emmeline By Evening."