Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mercy



Every night, Tristessa howls at the moon.


"Oooooo, Oooooo, Oooo..."

Trailing off like the curling ends of her long black hair.


Her mother is mortified.


The neighbors, annoyed.


Finally, Enrique, the night watchman, takes a walk up the side of the little hill that she has reclaimed from the night and considers her own.


"Senorita, why do you howl?" he asks.


With her back still to him, she lifts her head and replies,


"Oooo, Enrique, it is because no one touches me.

It is because to no one am I the woman without whom there is no light."


Enrique looks down, absently digging the heel of his scuffed brown shoe into the blank dirt.


"You could marry.

Raise a child.

Go shopping.

Sleep each night beside your husband instead of out here in the cold."


She turns and raises her chocolate-brown eyes with their crescent moons to him and replies,


"I would go mad from the confinement.

They would have to call the constabulary to come and put me down."


The night watchman looks up at the sky, rubs the back of his neck with his good honest fingers and admits,

"I've already called them."


He gestures at the little dark houses nearby.

"The waking of dreamers is a serious thing."


Tristessa gives her head an unconscious shake.

Her hair is like a great dark bird folding its wings.


"Ooo, Enrique," she says in her hoarse, mournful, wounded voice.


"Do not be afraid, Senorita."

His voice is kind.

"They are fine men in handsome uniforms,

And the bullets they carry on their belts

Are filled with mercy."


"Oooooooooo,Ooooooooo,Ooooooooooooooooo," comes the heartbroken howling.


With her face turned up to the indifferent sky and her black hair reflecting every star,

She whispers,

"La muerte es la unica misericordia."

_______________________________

Last line: "Death is the only mercy."

Weekend



Saturday was


Roses, heavy with sensual vanity,

The same red as the flush across her breasts, or your blush when she praised you.


It was


A delicious apple sliced with a good silver knife,

And the lazy knowledge of the white china bowl containing its seven sisters.


Sunday is


Cave flowers, grey as an old dusty book,

Falling apart like brittle pages of bad poetry best forgotten.


It is


Bone fruit so dry it shrivels the tongue,

So un-nourishing that each bite brings emptiness, starvation.


It is skull candy, dream-rot, sick-music.

It is all that's left.

____________________

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Constancy



No matter what happens down here on the ground,

The moon and stars take their place above;

And no matter my foolish imperfections,

My heart has always been yours,

My Love.


The ground is frozen tonight,

And clouds cover the moon.

My bed,

So white, like lilies and death;

And your absence,

Everywhere, like some cold god.


Never mind, sweetheart,

The moon will be back, even if my heart should die;

And the stars will shine in a silver multitude,

Even the same as my tears.

______________________

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Park



The cement company shows up at the city's largest park and goes to work.

First, a cement river full of cement goldfish and cement turtles;

Some mistake the river for a sidewalk and drown.

Next, cement pigeons and other birds...

Branches fall everywhere--

Lines are down.

Across the city, cement birds fly out of telephones and crash heavily into framed landscapes which fall from the wall.

At the park, work continues.

Cement children appear, presenting cement bouquets.

Cement adults are charmed.

The sun, also cement now, shines down, strangely cheerful.

Look at the city we have made, say the workmen.

Come and live with us

Among the statues.

______________________

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Whispers



I was just minding my business.

Simple washerwoman, that's me.

How could I have known

Seen

Ducked

What was to be?


Brassy, brassy,

That's you.

With the boardinghouse reach to pick off stuff you see.

Grab off

Sweep off

Their feet little gals like me.


Oh,

I know,

I could holler lemme lemme lemme lemme go!

Could shout it

Scream it

But you'd think I

Didn't mean it.


Now listen, you,

Hear me when I'm talking to you, Ma'am--

When I say stop

Cease

Desist

I'm whispering just as loudly as I can!

________________________________

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Free To A Good Home


At the request of one of my faithful readers, I've decided to post this picture. See if you can guess who it is!


A) Eleanor Roosevelt


B) Mary, Queen of (practical) Scots


C) Angelina Jolie


D) Olive Oyl


or


E) Fireblossom

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rainbow



Red the passion that won't be denied, red the desire, the flame inside for the curve of breasts, for silky hair on soft skin, red the thoughts that deny sleep at night, red the anger of others if they knew, red the wanting her anyway.


Orange the light filtering through a window shade, orange the love you made, orange the exhilaration of a new erotic explorer, set free and invited, pulled close rather than pushed away, orange the words of the song you discovered together, orange like a dawn when you wake up laughing.


Yellow when you finally know you aren't alone and that a whole world is lit up like a stage before you, yellow the irrepressible joy that, yes, this is possible and every girl you see is a possibility if only in your secret heart, yellow the falling in love, yellow the hope, yellow the reality of a sweet flesh world that was there all the time but has now opened up to you like the wings of a butterfly.


Green the full summer sweetness of the love of two women in the lushness of themselves, green love's bird whose colors become a dream of flying, whose feathers catch you in her arms all night, green the shelter of knowing who you are, what you want, and having it, in excess of anything you ever believed possible.


Blue when she's gone, when the bed's too wide and the night's too long, blue when you're alone again and you've forgotten how, blue the water you stare into trying to understand why it ended, blue the too-silent night, blue the heartbroken sky when all the stars are tears.


Indigo when life turns brittle and pasty dry, when you long to call her but never do, indigo when you see her in every crowd, and the ache in your heart has gone beyond blue, indigo when you wonder if anything will ever seem bright again and all the memories only mock you and make dawn seem like some impossible joke, indigo when the world goes on without you.


Violet just before dawn when you remember that all you have bought so dearly in the dark has made you royal, a queen's daughter worthy of another's hand, another chance and most of all made you able to be yourself in any kind of light, you are the rainbow woman, ready for red again, and knowing that all that gorgeous gold of the fairy tale is real, is in you, and will always be there, right next to your heart, for the right woman, or yourself, to find.

____________________________________

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cupcake



A chocolate cupcake joins the army,

But there are problems from the start.


The cupcake has no arms,

And so cannot take bayonet practice--

He is in fact repulsed by the very idea.


"I am a sweet baked treat;

Little children love me,

And I bring cheer to everyone."


The cupcake's sergeant is displeased--

The cupcake's uniform is waxed but not starched;


And to add to his troubles,

He has no mouth with which to cry "Sir! Yes Sir!"


But just when everything looks most bleak,

An army wife says, "Hello, Lonesome."


She looks right and left, but her husband is off doing manly things.


She runs an O.P.I.-painted nail across his little paper ribs, and says


"Come to Mama."


As he is lifted closer to her Max Factored lips,

His little chocolate heart expands with joy.


"Perhaps,"

Thinks the cupcake,

"A military career is not really my destiny."


Shivering with satisfaction, the army wife closes her Covergirl eyes and sighs,

"God bless America!"

______________________

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Snow On Branches



When I'm feeling cold and bare,

She's like snow on branches--

She covers me in soft protection,

Turning what was stark, pretty

Every time I hold out my arms.

_____________________________

Bread On The Bottom



It had been a long day.

Two guys waiting to buy beer were behind me in line,

Having a loud conversation about football.

While I was paying, the bagger put my bread on the bottom--

Harder objects claimed its space,

And though, when I got it home, the loaf still smelled wonderful,

There was no removing the dents each sturdy can and object

Had made.

__________

Thieving Varmint



Oh, you thieving varmint.

You blew into town on the noon stage,

And don't think that I don't know

You're a woman with a past;

Back east, you scandalized the one-room schoolroom

When you wouldn't recite "My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose"

And all that other rote sh*t they tried to cram down your throat.

Oh don't think that I don't know

That there's some poor dumb sodbuster someplace

Wondering where his little woman went.

Don't think that I don't know

That dance-hall girls from Topeka to Santa Fe

Keep your picture tucked in their garters.

I'm well aware

That you keep a few extra aces

Tucked up your sleeve,

And a derringer in your boot.

But what I can't understand

Is why, when I look at anything from Boot Hill to Old Blind Bob

I see your smile instead.

My heart was right here a minute ago

Until I bumped into you,

And now it's scarcer than those quarter horses from the Circle Bar Tee.

Oh, you beautiful blond-haired

Thieving varmint!

_________________

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Window



My window was broken.

The rain came in.

The things on my pantry shelves were ruined--

The sugar

The flour

The salt

And my kitchen grew so quiet and still.


I hadn't the heart to fix it.

I thought, I have somehow invited this rain,

This destruction;

So I became the rain

And wept.


Only my dreams still brought fine aromas

And comforting warmth.

In the dark, a woman said to me,

There is still honey

And peppermint candies,

There is still a morning

Dusted on my skin.


When I opened my eyes,

I put on the morning mist as if it were a silken robe.

I cleaned my stove until it shone,

And then went to lean in my window

Looking for the woman who needs my kiss,

Wants some breakfast,

And knows how to fix broken windows.

________________________________

Glasgow


(Do you believe that you may have lived before, in another body and another time? I wrote this some while back, about a "memory" I had been struck with rather powerfully, in my 20s, and then had it confirmed, even more vividly, under hypnosis many years later.)



I remember this...


Making our mad way through a forest of legs

To see what boomed off the buildings;

The bombast of the drums coming back off the bricks behind us,

The Black Watch with their pipes playing Scotland the Brave

And little us,

Tiny us,

Ragamuffins from no place,

A brother and sister holding hands to keep from being separated by the crowd

As drums beat into our hearts a music so strong and loud that i can feel the pavement-shaking dazzlement of it all

Lifetimes later

In a body that was never even there.

_________________________________

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sin



What strange gospel

Condemns your sons' happiness?

Reviles your daughters' joy?


How sacred the heart

Which partakes but will not share

Because the fare is different?


How righteous the hand

Which sows judgement and exclusion,

Reaping disconnection and the misery of others?


Behold these holy,

And see them for what they are--

Ravening lions

Devouring their own childrens' hearts.

_________________________________

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

English Morning


(I am a day late. Someone waylaid me! Happy Anniversary, my love. This is for you.)


Sometimes I am too much in the world--

My limbs knock together like stones, I am so protected.


Then, time spent with you changes everything--

Every place you touch turns to honey and jasmine.


Because of you, I remember who I am--

Under your touch, and in the light of your love,

Your woman opens,

She flows,

In brilliant soft blooms, she shapes your name before the jealous eyes of Heaven.

___________________

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Sad Demon



A demon is depressed,

Has a headache,

Is reduced to perpetrating mere mischief.


"So many bunion-ridden priests,

Splattering holy water and going on about

The-power-of-Christ-compels-you yadda yadda."


The demon sighs and the hanging plants wither and smoke.

"I knew a succubus once," says our demon,

"That girl's kiss could set your hair on fire."

But the succubus got sick of stealing sleepers' souls

And became a realtor.


"The last job I worked, they didn't even bring in the church,

They called their homeowner's association instead.

'Possession is prohibited within fifty yards of an occupied dwelling,' they said.

What could I do? Those guys work for the big boss."


The demon is depressed,

Has a headache,

Gets a job at the Department of Motor Vehicles.


They give him a rubber stamp that says "application denied."

It is his only joy.

______________________

Fire Doll



You flamed me.

I blow like ashes,

I just can't keep it together anymore.


You were my sun and you

Scorched me, my warmth and you

Torched me...


So how do I write this poem, how do I

Live alone?

Not to worry Sweety,

Darling,

Baby,

It all burns except the bones.

__________________________


Friday, November 7, 2008

Tell Me, Gray Cat



O gray cat,

Often have I sought your wise counsel;

You stink of fish,

You never blink,

And you are happy as a cloud.


Take your heedless head out of that trash can

And tell me what to do now--

It is Ann,

O Ann...

She will not love me.

Stop batting at yellow butterflies long enough to tell me

Why she must be so cruel

And so carelessly beautiful.

Try to keep your eyes open long enough

As you doze on the porch rail,

To tell me why

O why

My heart must break?


She would love you!

She would clap her hands and follow you like a sweet breeze,

Holding out her heart like tea on a tray!


Shall I

Stick my head in the garbage can?

Shall I

Bat at yellow butterflies and then

Doze off as she pours out her heart

As I am doing with you now?


She might throw an old shoe at both of us, you know--

Still, I will set out sweet cream

In the gray dawn each day;

Set it out with my hopes

Til, gray cat,

You steal them away.

_____________________

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Karen's Coffee



When Karen makes coffee,

Mercy.


Just to get into a cup,

There are squabbling scenes

Between beans.


She might add in

Some cinnamon.

Anything else?

She'll never tell.


When Karen makes coffee,

Boy howdy.


Just like it should be,

Karen, Queen

Of morning dreams.

--------------------------------

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dia de Bloglandia






I just wanted to say, that before yesterday, I had very little understanding about what Dia de los Muertos was all about. But thanks to Susanna and Stephanie and all of you who shared your amazing talent, creativity, and memories, I spent most of sunday going from blog to blog being just absolutely dazzled by all that I saw.




Today I found myself already planning to make an ofrendo next year. THANK YOU from my heart, to Susanna and Stephanie for planning this marvelous event, to everyone who paricipated--you each and every one made my life richer--and to everyone who was kind enough to visit Word Garden and say hello.




It seems to me that this Dia de Bloglandia celebration ended up being deeper and more meaningful than anyone ever realized that it would. From the fun of sugar skulls to the color of the marigolds, to the sheer love of the ofrendos, the whole thing meant so much to me.




Love,




--Fireblossom


______________________

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Day Of The Dead



The moon and the stars rise like lilies in the sky,

A white-labeled bottle spills sangria wine,

And I wait for your kiss in the night.


Meet me at the haunted Menger,

Just as in so many summer dreams--

Card players will deal the ace of spades

At the touch of your silver fingers.


You are the shadow on everything I do,

A mantilla of black across shoulders so slight--

I'll be there at the Menger with lilies and wine,

And wait for your kiss in the night.

____________________________________


Dr. Merriweather Addresses His Anatomy Class, November 1st, 1908



Observe the body.


The head like a stone balloon, weighed down with every thought accumulated like storm debris in a pipe, the foreign displaces the native.


The throat like the trunk of a tree, solid, showing only the rings of each expression bitten back and stifled; behold the wooden-ness of silence.


The chest and the shifting molten fire within, a submerged unstable violence counterbalanced by the purpose and order of breath and beat.


The stomach is the repository of all that is taken in, the agreeable and nutritious, the vile and poisonous; all forced together in a confined space like relations at a holiday gathering.


The genitals are like phases of the moon, with tides always at cross purposes: desire, connection, invitation, betrayal and damage--the tide in and the tide out, endlessly.


The legs contain all that we believe, set in bone before we've realized it, holding us up and separating us within ourselves: we split down the middle trying to touch the earth with our one true self.


And the feet at the bottom, collectors of all that we hide and reject and drop into the depths; to stop dancing is to let it all gather like an embolism, rising like an avenging bird through gut, heart and brain, bringing darkness in its wake.


Or madness.


Systems working together largely beyond our will, we are riders in a physical cocoon; but we are not the husk, we are the dreamer in the dark, waiting for some incomprehensible hand to open the jar and let us fly out.

__________________________________