Friday, July 31, 2009

Bell Buoy



It is the movement of the waves

That activates the buoy bells.


It is the action of the years that brings me to this place,

This evening,

This feeling which is familiar and yet difficult to describe

Or to be at peace with.


Living near the harbor,

One cannot escape the impermanence of things--


Love

Beauty

Health

Friends.


The action of the waves and of time,

Will bring sand and starfish

From every distant point.

And yet,

There is still tonight to be gotten through,

And the heartbreaking sound

Of the buoy bells.


________

Friday Flash 55--The Lost Biplane



The lost biplane, piloted by

A doll, flies out of

A cloud and into 1975.

No one responds on the

Radio, and anyway, no one

In the nearest control tower

Speaks doll. The plane comes

Down in a yard and

Is discovered by a small

Girl. There is mail aboard.

It says, "Enjoy your doll."

________

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tales of Shocking True Crime: The Dangerous Doughnut



The dangerous doughnut takes to wearing a fedora and starts a crime syndicate.


"This town belongs to me, see?" says the doughnut.


The doughnut's gun moll is an eclair named Clare.

They get a room at the Ritz and he licks her frosting.

"You're so sweet," purrs Clare.


The dangerous doughnut flattens the notorious Pancake Gang and ices Grapefruit Guido.

Just when it seems that nothing can stop him, a couple of cops come into the doughnut shop.


"Listen fellas," says the dangerous doughnut. "I'm on the square!"

The coppers look at him.

Then at each other.

Then back at the doughnut.

"But you're round," they say.


The dangerous doughnut goes for the tommy gun he keeps under the counter,

But the coppers pull out their pistols and fill him full of holes.

More holes.

Different holes.


As Clare leans over him, crying big custard tears, the dangerous doughnut chokes out his last words.


"You're the cat's pajamas, baby. But remember...this town will eat you up!"


THE END

__________

The Danger With Doughnuts



The danger with doughnuts

Is that they have no heart.


Postulations by pastries

Tend to fall apart.


Memoirs by muffins

Can be a crumby read,


And bagels are so boastful

It gets tiresome indeed.


Butter churns the rumor mill

While jam is always sweet.


Stale stuff may make you ill

As you stagger to the street.


The baker ate and ate and ate

Then he ate some more,


He tried to kiss the pastry chef

But got stuck inside the door!

___________


Monday, July 27, 2009

Tornado Alley


All day it can be

Hot and close,

Still as a dragonfly on a leaf--


But when cool meets hot,

It may create a dangerous rotation.


If there's one house for fifty miles,

The funnel will find it.

Forget the casserole--

Run for your life.


But even as the hail comes down

As if God were an angry girlfriend pitching somebody's stuff out the window,

The storm is a fine and transfixing thing.


When you pull on the door and it won't open,

Neither will it stay closed.


When your hair stands up,

When the world goes tilt,

When you could come out shining like some lucky angel

Or turn up dead in the next county,


Well then you know you've been kissed.

Then you know

This was not to be missed.


And after--

Summertime and the livin' is easy.

The air is clear, and you know

Tornado Alley is a fine place

To fall in love.

__________


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hostas



It is late July, and the time of the summer for hosta flowers.

They seem to be everywhere, their reach exceeding their grasp as their thin stalks hang across the walks

Like the arms of street urchins, too close and too many.


The plants themselves are overfed guests, spreading out like sultans--

What can one say to such as the hostas,

Presumptuous fillers of high summer?


I prefer the black-eyed susans, with their weedy bodies, keeping to the edges and corners

Like girls not asked to dance,

And yet their yellow faces fill me with an easy joy.

If I could, I would sit with them, right there in somebody's garden.

We would wave in whatever breeze there was,

Reminding July that there will be Autumn,

And snarking to the hateful hostas

That their mother

Dresses them

Funny.

_______

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Black Van



It was a summer night.

The man with the barbecue tongs in his hand beckoned.

Everyone there was

Alarmingly successful.

To add to the horror,

There was open talk of golf.

She knew

If she stayed much longer,

She would hear herself making vague future plans with women named Toni.

She knew

If she stayed much longer,

She would find herself flirting with mid-level executives named Bob.


It was then she saw the black van

Slowly trolling among the Beemers and PT Cruisers.

Hooded figures loomed inside.

She kicked off her heels and ran, just as the side panel door slid open.

As one, witnesses described how she had called desperately for help before being pulled inside.


To the cop with his notebook,

Bob expressed several theories in a mellifluous baritone,

Some involving the CIA.

Toni dabbed her eyes and leaned upon the starched blue sleeve of a handsome young officer.


All agreed it had been an abduction.

And then there was barbecue and Heinekens,

Talk of portfolios

And a detective getting amiably smashed in an Adirondack chair the hosts had ordered from L.L.Bean.

__________



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bice And The Blue Cat



I have told the blue cat everything

As I have sat here with buttered toast in the morning.

I have told him how, regardless of newspaper or novel,

Loud conversations at other tables,

Noisy busboys,

Or the aroma of pancakes on a platter passing by in a waitress' hand,

I have not been able to forget

How she says her R's;

I have not been able to stop her hearing

When I have only thought, not spoken.


The blue cat is the only blue cat,

And that is why I ask for his opinion.

He can be had for a kipper,

And yet he is as haughty as a Pharaoh.


I have told the blue cat everything

As his eyes follow pant legs and smooth calves as if they were so many mice.

I have told him that I don't know what to do,

But that when my tea arrives I decline honey, refuse sugar,

Because she likes hers tart.


The blue cat is the only blue cat, and does not speak, but rolls over on his back--

His impossibly angled head says,

Silly silly woman,

There is only one Bice

And there is your answer,

Madam.

______

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Amazing Krezkov


The Amazing Krezkov falls in love with his assistant, a woman named Carlene.

He has found himself captivated by the turn of her shoulders, and the shape of her nose

As he has surrounded these with thrown knives before a dazzled crowd.



The Amazing Krezkov lectures himself in solitary moments in his dressing room, saying,

"You are the magician! Maintain control to maintain the illusion!"

And yet, when he saws Carlene in half,

He realizes with a pang that he loves each half equally.

"I am the magician," he reminds himself, before confessing into a white-gloved hand,

"But Carlene is the magic."



The Amazing Krezkov remembers one night in particular--

He and Carlene, working together perfectly like the two wings of a butterfly,

Bring the house down as she levitates through successive hoops of fire

Lit by the very longing in Krezkov's fingertips.



"That was the night of all nights!" exults the magician, recalling it all with shining eyes and wild gestures.

"The old opera hall shook with applause! Women wept, men shouted, and they brought us back out four times!"



The Amazing Krezkov remembers something else, and darkens like house lights.

"The doves in their cages became ill that night.

Carlene said it was a sign.

We should never have done another show, but we were young, the world was ours,

And so we did."



The very next night, the Amazing Krezkov makes Carlene disappear, and cannot bring her back.

The show closes.

Krezkov is inconsolable.



Weeping, the Amazing Krezkov continues--

"That morning, I had bent all of Carlene's silverware without ever touching it.

The silver spelled out 'I love you' in a semi-circle around her half a grapefruit.

I said, sweetheart, pick a card,

And every card she chose was the ace of hearts."



The Amazing Krezkov looks down at his scuffed brown shoes,

And runs a hand through his thinning hair.

"Carlene had magic enough to bring herself back,

But she never did.

I wonder why?"



The Amazing Krezkov takes up pastry-making and lives by himself above the bakery.

He does not practice magic.

Still, every night at exactly eleven,

He speaks Carlene's name out loud like a spell,

Pauses a moment,

Then says goodnight to his bird,

And turns out the lamp.

_________

Monday, July 20, 2009

Do Not Think



Do not think

That because I am gentle, that I am weak.

Do not think

That because I am not young, that I am not beautiful.

Every year has brought me something precious, as if time were travelers

And I were some expectant Queen.

Do not call me

By anything other than Ma'am, Miss, or my true name I have given myself--

Not if you want to be heard.

Not if you want me to answer.

Do not think

That because you have treated my heart carelessly

That I will stop loving.

Do not think

That because I was not born with wings

That I cannot spread them full across my shoulders--

Protecting those I love,

And showing off every color I have collected at such cost.

Do not think

That I am not woman,

Butterfly,

Angel.

Do not think

That because I am flawed, human, and uncertain,

That I am not a true daughter of the Divine.

To know me is to know a miracle.

Do not think

That I am anything less than that.

_________


Go See

I don't usually do this, but I read another blogger's poem this morning and just loved it, so I am putting a link here.

It is Kay's The Lioness And Her King. Go see. It rocks.

--Fireblossom

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Glass In The Apple



Dear Stupid,

Please stop falling in love with women who can't/won't love you back.

No matter how much she says she cares--

She doesn't.

And anyway,

People love popcorn,

Paper flowers,

Poetry and

Penne pasta

And still throw them away every day.


What made you think you were special?

Well, I know, people believe all sorts of things--

Crop circles,

Jersey devils,

Spirits that come back

And love that lasts.


Oh please, Bo Peep,

Put your faith in something tangible, like

CSI Miami

Your garden

Your kitchen

Your books.

You can learn to love

Reruns

Weeds

Leftovers

Remainders.


Your life is not some fairy tale, so wake the fuck up.

If anyone offers you a smile and some fruit,

Shove her in front of a bus.

It is hope,

And most particularly the hope of love

That is the glass in the apple--

It will carve you to pieces from the inside;

All the more if you believe

In the ridiculous notion

Of someone sweet

And the restorative power of her offered kiss.

__________

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why I Miss Your Voice



No matter what the bible says,

Rocks and stones don't sing.


It is the water rushing over them,

Smoothing every edge,

That makes that soothing sound.

_________

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Burning Rose



It's elemental--

Your roses will do better in earth, water and air

Than in fire.

And yet, our two hands tight together on the stem

Could only make a burning rose;

Its reds remarkable

For all the passion, petals and blood

That flame and bloom can know.


In the end, it wasn't fire that killed the rose, but rather,

Your letting go.

Then a careless word blew the ashes away--

No forgiveness, no sin,

As if it had never burned

As if it had never been.

_________

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pop Tart Award





My dear friend Pheromone Girl has given me the Pop Tart Award, for an addictive storyline, in which one gets to dig up one's favorite posts by one's favorite bloggers! I think it's a GREAT idea and so I am enthusiastically doing the same. here goes:
























Pouty Lips Screaming Me-Me






Scarlet men like mandi (I had the wrong link before! this is the right one. Blame my flu-ridden brain!)














And special mention to my friend T of It matters To Me. You would have been here but my ancient museum-quality computer couldn't handle searching your blog today. It apologizes, and I nominate your entire blog to make up for it. :-)


_________






Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saint Joan Of Arc



Saint Joan of Arc returns from the battlefield.

Inside her armor, she is filthy and bloody.

An arrow has been removed from her shoulder--

It throbs and she is so tired that she would like to lay down in the tall grass and sleep for a week.


Senior commanders, all men, have dismissed her, humored her, and smiled behind their beards at her.

She has broken the siege of Orleans in nine days.

They do not ask her to be a dear and go fetch coffee anymore.


Saints Margaret and Catherine speak to her, as does Michael the Archangel.


When she gets home, she tosses her sword in the back seat of her old Renault with her good arm,

And anticipates that her lover will wash her hair for her, kiss her injured shoulder and whisper, "Never mind. You are my Joan and you are home now."


That's when she sees that someone has spray-painted "dyke" across the driveway.

That's when she sees the ecclesiastics peeking out from behind their curtains all up and down the street, like so many old biddies.


It is the fifteenth century.

Saint Joan of Arc is nineteen years old, and there is a rainbow flag next to her front door.

She has done her duty, given to her by God.

She has saved France from the English.

She has a girlfriend waiting inside, and a wounded shoulder.


She burns.

__________

Friday, July 10, 2009

Relics



I saw the dead

With bones of straw,

Falling from the sky like ashes.

They said, "Our lives have set us on fire,

And the earth demands we come home."


I saw the wounded

Stealing the bones of the innocent

With closed eyes and mouths on fire.

An angel said, "Beware the poverty of the perfect--

Only in blood is the gift contained."


I saw no point

To such high talk.

I said, "I am cold,

And I feel alone."

It was then that I saw Saint John Bosco out walking with his dog,

And arrayed all around him like a cloak

Were the flock that no one wants,

The Children of the Night.

_________

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Detroit, 1931



She was a real classy dame, elegant, the kind who never spits on the floor. She walked in and spotted him. A G-Man in a gray flannel suit and matching fedora. He gave her a wink and a smooth smile, so she crossed the room and said, "Buy a girl a frappucino?" And he did.


Do a 55 and tell the G-Man about it.


Okay okay, he wasn't wearing a flannel suit and fedora, but i did get to meet the G-Man. And I am classy cos I didn't spit on the floor, not even once! The G-Man is a delight. I know. I was there. I also got to meet Lou of Subdural Flow. She's a delight too, and she doesn't spit on the floor either. The woman is elegant. It was a dark and stormy night...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Girl Gunfighter

The girl gunfighter was
The best in the west.
Earp and Holiday always called her "Ma'am",
Tipped their hats,
And hurried past.

The girl gunfighter pulled
Her Stetson low against the sun,
With half a mind to call it out
And shoot it just for fun.

What she did was
Drill a lot of hombres in the hand.
A lot of tough old gunslingers ended up
In the Silver Dollar with fucked up mitts,
Having to have a saloon girl cut their steak for them.

The girl gunslinger would say,
"Hey, catch!" and toss a frog at them
Just to watch them jump;
Then she'd grin around a piece of straw.

The girl gunslinger knew
Annie Oakley, "Little Sure Shot."
Annie put the jingle in her spurs.
Annie put the "yay" in her yippee ki yay.

The girl gunslinger liked
To shoot some dude square in the hand,
And before his Colt dropped to the dust,
She'd wink at Annie and grin.

The girl gunslinger cried
The day that Annie left town with some guy named Frank.
And after that,
She couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.

If whiskey didn't taste so like shit,
She'd have drowned herself in it.
And all those guys with the messed up mitts
Started beating her up with their one good hand.

The girl gunslinger got
Shot full of holes
And filled full of lead
Til she was done and she was dead.

The girl gunslinger is
Buried on Boot Hill,
And though the owl hoots and the coyote howls,
Her spurs are quiet and still.
___________

Monday, July 6, 2009

Occupation:

There is no picture this time because there is no better picture for this poem than the one that partially inspired the poem. It can be found at the very stylish Daryl's blog.

If someone had asked me last week
"Who are you? What do you do?"
I'd have answered both by saying,
"I am a poet,"
And given a playful rustle of my succubus-tinged angel wings.

The world seemed a soft place
Like a loaf of bread
Or a still-warm bed.

But this week,
I am setting all the poems on fire.
I can drop them from my window
One by one like dying stars.

Below, there is a wrought iron gate,
Similarly solid stairs,
A cinder block wall,
And some sort of gravel courtyard.

Poetry,
Even if it is burning,
Will not phase them.

If anyone asks me this week
"Who are you? What do you do?"
I will say,
"I am nobody.
I deliver the mail."
__________

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Girl In Flame



What good is Athena with her bolts

Without the Night to receive her electric touch?

She'd be just another girl.

Just another girl

Walking out the door with her keys in her hand.


Look, I've brought you something.

Only my skin, only my blood that warms it,

Only my heart beating for the sound of your name.


Look, I've brought you the night's darkest hour, and these roses.

They are not red.

Not red!

What they are is

On fire in my hand.


What good is Athena with her bolts

Without the Night to receive her electric touch?

Just another heart, beating for the sound of your name.

Just another girl

In flame.

_____________

12th Street



Have you ever kissed a cat?

They don't like kissing back.


Nine of hearts, Ace of spades,

Never buy what can be made.


Little Sally fair of face

Carries cockle shells and mace

Tic toc

Dickory dock

Thieves will always lack.


In the empty cemetery

See the old apothecary


He likes Jane, he likes Mary,

They think he's the Sugar Fairy.


Pretty girls and crocodiles

Always have a ready smile

Ding dong

Bang the gong

Bless the sleeping child.

________