Saturday, July 31, 2010

Allons Nous

Bertha, the place is burning, burning,
And it's just as well--
You were never happy here.

Come down off the roof, girl.
We will glide across the wet lawn like two foaming new ghosts--
Fresh as morning.

Sugar,
You will not miss
The grim-faced help bringing tainted chicken soup.
You will not miss
All the new wives with their tiresome luggage.
You will not even miss your husband--
He loved his dog better than you.

Madwoman nothin'.
Come, we'll hit the early sales.
Whatever it is,
I will kiss it better.
Whatever it is,
There's an endorphin for that.

Bertha, the place is burning, burning,
And yet the outside air is so sweet--
Dearie, you were never any madder
Or one bit crazier
Than me.
________

for Willow's Magpie 25

________

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Dream Of Starfish

The older I get, the more I admire Mucha's women and Gibson girls.

I want to be them. I do.

I want to wear a hat that takes up half the room,

So nobody can see around me.

I want a long dress with a sash,

Endless thick hair and curves like nobody's business.

I want to be young in a way that I never was--

Give me ten minutes

And I could run the goddam place.



Look at me, I'm a mess.

I grind my teeth and dream of angels.

I dream I'm at work and can't find the addresses;

Hallways go on and on and nothing makes sense.

I dream I am making love with someone, yes, that one I can't have,

And when I wake up, I am like a wave--

I am flowing and spreading;

There are starfish next to my pillow and on my sheets.



I want to catch a trolley car to the flickers.

I want to smoke sitting on the church steps, with my wrists dangling on my knees.

I want to believe that I am good enough, just once.

I want fall to come, I want red leaves on everything;

I want winter to follow and freeze them.

I want to pick out my grave before I die,

I want to dream there,

I want someone to bring asters in the summertime and say, "There she is. The poet."

I want my visitor to wear something vintage.

I want her to look like Evelyn Nesbit;

I want her to be me, the me I never could be.

I want her to look like an angel,

Or a Gibson girl.

I want her to wear starfish earrings.

__________

for One Shot Wednesday

poster art by Alphonse Mucha

Monday, July 26, 2010

A God For Gypsies

Is there a God for gypsies?

Or are there only marks and pigeons,

Red onions and goulash?



If there is a God for gypsies,

She must be wearing stolen boots;

And be able to read the road like tarot cards.



I have seen every star

From every side;

I have been run out of town

In a dozen different languages.



My dog,

He is a scholar.

He understands meat on a bone

As if it were Shakespeare.



And me?

I don't understand a damn thing,

Except that the sun comes up

And the sun goes down.



If there is a God for gypsies,

I wonder if She likes dark-haired women?

I wonder if She knows a potion that will cure my longing.



The days, now,

They are getting shorter.

I wonder where I'll be tomorrow?

I wonder, and I ask the empty sky,

Is there sense in the darkness?

Is there

A God for gypsies?

_________

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eve And Delilah

"Michigan apples are an industry," he said, knotting his tie, and she knew it was true.

She'd seen them, tens of thousands of them, on conveyor belts like extras for a crowd scene in some biblical movie,

Or jammed into crates,

Like juicy red gunslingers locked up in the town jail.



Still,

She thought,

You bite into one, hear the crunch, and let the juice run down your chin.

You slice them and bake them, with cinnamon and love.

You pitch one to your brother and watch him grin as he swings hard--

When apple meets bat,

It's a mess

And it's funny.



"Strength lies in emotional control," he said, but she knew it was bullshit.

Standing behind him, she squirted Barbasol onto his head, and giggled. He looked ridiculous,

Like a macho ice cream cone.

"What?" he demanded.

"Nothin' babe," she replied and started shaving his dome.



Still,

She thought,

You tuck it behind your ear, girly-wise, and they're half yours already.

You let it hang down, you toss it, you let it go messy, and voila,

A slave at your feet.

You curl the ends around your fingers and you,

Well, you...

"Ow," he says.

"Sorry babe."



Eve and Delilah

Meet at the movies, the noon bargain matinee.

They are watching "The Time Traveler's Wife",

And they are sicker than fuck of being blamed for every little thing that goes wrong.

On the screen, there is a pile of abandoned clothes. The main character has gone poof again.

"What if we could disappear like that?" Delilah whispers in Eve's ear, her lips light and soft.



There are white blossoms on the trees lining the drive out of the mall complex.

The top on Delilah's yellow VW is down,

And the day spreads out ahead of them like

Apple guts off a bat,

A movie not yet seen,

Or the glorious, wind-blown, fucked-up 'do of angels

As they fall out of or into Paradise.

_________

Art by the fabulous Alphonse Mucha
_________

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rain!

"Don't let the rain come down

Oh no, don't let the rain come down

Don't let the rain come down,

My roof's got a hole in it and I might drown"

--Serendipity Singers



"When the rain comes, they hide themselves in bed

They might as well be dead

When the rain comes

When the rain comes"

--The Beatles



Here, like many places this summer, we have been having LOTS of very hot steamy weather. And, as many of you know, yours truly earns a crust by carrying the mail. I am that woman wearing the pith helmet, with a dog hanging fashionably off of each shapely leg, shaking her fist at the sky and shouting, "Curse you, sun! Curse you!"

Well, today was another baker, and there I was, a little steamed vegetable wilting in the heat. I was walking around the 'hood in my postal shorts and red tank, having abandoned my diabolically designed, heat-retaining postal uniform shirt. This is strictly against the rules, of course. One must be in full and proper postal costume at all times, but you know how I get with rules. I know they exist, but I am foggy about why, or what they have to do with little old me. 

I had no sooner started my third walking loop, when clouds rolled in and the skies opened. No, I don't mean that J.C. stepped down out of Heaven and gathered all the good people with him, leaving me to turn out the lights. I mean, buckets, torrents, absolute walls of rain started pouring down out of the sky. At first, the drops were actually cold against the skin of my neck and back. It wasn't long before I was practically swimming up the block. And do you know what? It was glorious.

Remember when you were small, and a summer rain would start, and you would run outside just to horse around in it and cool off? I am thinking that, unless you have young kids to be your beard ("I'm just out here with the kids! Honest!"), the only way a grown woman of a certain age can wander around the neighborhood in a rainstorm, grinning like a fool, without being taken away by the police or hospital orderlies, is to be a mail lady.

Uncomplicated joy. Kids know all about it. I remembered it today. I had it today.  Oh yeah. *dances* How ya like me now? Uh huh! Yes, I got soaked. And I loved every second of it. Now, if it had been 45 degrees and blustery, then that's another matter. But it was 92 degrees and raining cats and dogs (gatos y perros? was that it, Ily? or did I just say "cats and alarm clocks" or something? Ha!) and it was just as nice as a free popsicle.

Rain, I don't mind. As the Beatles sang, the weather's fine. :-)

____________

 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coyote Dreams

Would you trust the moon?

She is said to bring

Both madness

And balance;

All women are tied to her.



Would you believe me

And would you stay here

If I told you I am a skinwalker,

Daughter of the witchery way?

See, in the tousled blankets,

My wolf skin,

My coyote,

And even the owl of Athena;

I must wear them first, to become them.



Would you trust the moon?

Would you let her speak to you, through the skylight?

Would you believe me

If I said I loved you?

Would you think it was just more shape-shifting trickery,

Or would you kiss me and say,

"Silly, beautiful woman"?



See, outside in the darkness,

Owl flies.

Coyote dreams.

______

for magpie 24

______

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Charcoal Portrait

You should have been a nurse--

It was what you wanted to be, but

Your father said he didn't want his daughter emptying other people's bedpans, and that was that.

Ever the good girl,

You hated teaching, but you did it.

You hated housework, but you did it, beating the bejesus out of your Eureka, against the moldings and corners.

Maybe you hated your late-life baby,

The damaged one,

The one trailing doctors and prognoses behind like smoke from a broken engine.

What will the neighbors think?

Oh, not about her.

About you?



What to do with this devil child?

Why, kill her, of course.

But slowly,

Privately.

She's got the soul of your straying husband,

With all of his useless, impractical, damnable angels in her blood.

Questions are a fine place to start.

Why was this in your room?

Why was this in your pocket?

Where were you?

Who were you with?

They don't seem like they're going anywhere.

Why did you lie?

Why are you ugly?

Why do you hide things?

Why don't you even try?

Don't you want to drive a nice car some day?

Live in a nice house?

oh, how I want

more beer, more gin, more dope,

anything,

to make it so I can no longer hear you....



So wasn't it a bitch--

Wasn't it maddening for a respectable proper sledge hammer like you,

When your little bent nail

Wouldn't break?



I remember standing at the bottom of the front stairs,

Watching my soon to be departed father banging on the bathroom door, shouting,

"They're going to pump your stomach,

And you're not going to like it."

Then came the weeks when I lived with the neighbors next door,

And when you came back,

Christmas morning of that year you gave me a hug--

The first one I ever remember from you--

And I thought,

You're kidding, right?

You've got to be fucking kidding.



It has been many years since.

I drank for ten.

I married badly, and then not quite so badly.

I raised a son.

I came out.

You got Jesus, and your money saved me from sinking more than once.

And through it all,

It was:

Remember the tv you lost?

Remember the thank you note you never sent?

Remember that clumsy thing you said when you were 15,

or 20,

Or 45?



Oh mama dear,

It has taken all of these years,

But one of us,

Oh yes, one of us

Will finally die of this.

_________

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Girl Who Dreamt Of Polar Bears

The girl who dreamt of polar bears

Always wore a black scarf, black gloves, soft black boots,

And a coat the color of a doe in winter.

In the frozen, brittle hours of night,

She invited them to meet her in the dream-time,

As if they might walk right in through her front door

Like guests for tea.



Will you purse your lips, look away, clear your throat

When I tell you that is almost exactly what they did?



With the sun barely higher in the sky than a lacrosse ball,

And bound to fall as fast,

She walked down to the Dairy Queen, and as she walked,

One,

Then two,

Then several

White bears began to follow her.

Polar bears have no natural enemies, and fear nothing.

They can tip a snowcat over as if it were a toy, and

Nom nom nom, no more driver.



Today,

This day,

The hockey boys didn't shout at her, didn't make rude invitations;

They just stopped on their skates and stared, as the puck slipped unnoticed past fat Jimmy Flynn.



On she walked, bears all around her.

The constable, with his rifle hanging by its strap over his good wide shoulder,

Simply stood there,

Like he'd never seen Girl With Polar Bears before.

Maggie Two Crows turned to him and said, "Dat's some white girl," and smiled as if she were little again and helping her mama make fry bread.



The girl who dreamt of polar bears arrived at Dairy Queen and stomped her boots.

The bears stood or sat, the breath from their big black noses making them look like locomotives.

The girl said to the boy inside,

"The bears are mothers of things known without teaching.

They got paws bigger than my head.

Gimme a cheeseburger and a hot chocolate.

Some for the bears too, eh?"



That is the story of the girl who dreamt of polar bears.

Her mama said she weren't no good,

But the bears liked her.

The bears told her about the Great Medicine Wheel.

She told them about Mats Sundin, famous captain of the Tronna Maple Leafs.

Anyway,

Makes a pretty good story, yeah? Damn right it do.

__________

for One Shot Wednesday

photo: Jennifer Connelly
__________

Plotters

Plotters steal all the coffee.

One morning,

America awakes to find it gone,

Then sits collectively staring at its empty mug,

As at a photo of a lover who has packed and departed.

Stunned, bewildered faces reflect in toasters and iphones across the land.



At Starbuck's, smiling baristas suggest tea,

And are left beaten and groaning in a pool of their own Darjeeling.



Industry collapses.

People simply stay in bed, listless, past caring.



The plotters' leader speaks:

"I fear that all we have done is to keep a sleeping giant asleep."

Her followers give her funny looks.

Some tilt their heads like dogs.

A list of demands arrives at the offices of People magazine.

* Remove all reality shows from the air, except for "Man Vs. Food"

* Equal pay for equal work for women

* 1 tub of Breyer's chocolate ice cream

* A date for the leader of the plotters with a certain famous female rock star



Fireblossom is arrested while blogging.

"How'd ya know it was me?"

Grim-faced FBI agents don't answer.

A judge is rousted out of bed (at 3 in the afternoon) and FB is arraigned.

The coffee is found in an E-Z Storage facility down the street,

Where she has rented every space.

The proprietor shrugs. "How could I have known?" he pleads, ankle-deep in grounds.



The rock star is interviewed.

"In-fuckin-credible," she says, shaking her trademark dark hair.

Another blogger visits FB in jail.

"You're such a dumbass," she says agreeably, and FB makes a wry face.

"I brought you some coffee."

Plots are plots, but friendship is forever.



Early morning gridlock returns.

America is saved.

That night,

As if God had ordained it,

A new reality show comes on.

"FB In Jail."

It bombs.
_________

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Cat And The Woman

(written originally for Holland's book)

The cat said--

"Love me love me love me love me"

"I am soft."

"I am beautiful."

I can be yours, and no other's."



The woman said,

Nonsense.

You are hard.

You are gaudy.

Above all, you would be faithless.



The cat said--

"I am hungry."

"I am lonely."

"See me, how pitiful I am, and how much I need you."



The woman said,

I am out of tuna fish.

You shed.

I have no time for you, so scat!



The cat said--

Very well, then. I will go. You are a heartless woman and I will find someone else,

Who wants me,

Who'll feed me,

And who will see and cherish my beauty, grace, and soul.

My new Mistress will be the envy of all!



"No! Stay!" cried the woman, too late,

And wept.

____________

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Can Haz Coffee Break? (dedicated to all my friends who are moms)

Mama Year was trying to get some stuff done, but nooOOooo.

May jumped as July set off another firecracker behind her.

"Make him stop it, Mama!" she cried, and then went back to posing in front of the mirror, in her colorful new spring outfits.



January sat in a corner, trying to read a book. "Make them all stop it. I've read this same line ten times."

September and October were squabbling.

"You always wreck all my stuff!" yelped September.

"Oh so what? It's all so last season anyway," countered October with a dismissive wave of her hand.



"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue," sang June, making all her plans.

"Oh please," sneered February. "You'd think no one ever jumped the broomstick without you."

"You're just jealous because you're short and dull," replied June in a superior tone.

February looked hurt, then said, "But people say I have a good heart," and spread her valentines out in front of her.

March came blowing through like a whirlwind, scattering the cards.

"Mama!" shrieked February.

"Not now," called Mama Year.



"Stop hogging everything!" November warned December. "Stay on your own side, you crazy shopaholic!"

"What's the matter, Piggy? Scared I'll ask you to share that turkey and stuffing? If you love turkey so much, why don't you marry it? Huh? Huh?"



April added to the cacophony by crying loudly.

"Cry baby, cry baby," taunted August. "Why don't you come outside and do something?"

"I'm going to send you all outside in about a minute," warned Mama Year. "Where's my Tylenol?"

"Send them now," groused January.

Mama Year shot a look and said, "I brought you into this world, child, and--"

"I can take you out of it," mimicked December with an eye roll. 



"That's it! Everybody out!"

They all knew, when Mama Year used that tone of voice, they'd better listen,

And so they all trooped out, except January,

Who was so quiet that she remained unnoticed in the window seat,

Smiling to herself,

All wrapped up in her book.

_________

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Creatures Of The Sea

I was lonely, so I decided to get something to eat.

Restaurant awnings leaned out all along the street,

Like New Orleans whores...

And I,

I was a dainty and soft-spoken sailor, twirling my parasol in their midst.

They said, "Girl,

You don't fool us."



Being a poet is an odd thing.

One must mix stars with mud--

In a hotel room,

In the bathtub,

Wherever one happens to be.

This is why we are cousins to bootleggers,

And this is why our heads often feel as if they might explode,

Causing us to insist on silence.



In a deli on Cherry Road, near Catalpa Street,

I found Rod McKuen behind the counter, wearing a white apron and surrounded by fluttering women.

I was so surprised that I gave a start,

And my blade du jour, a silver double-edged knife made in Paris,

Fell out of my bible,

Where it had been nestled in the book of James.

It clattered to the floor,

And the women went quiet, some with their hands to their lips.

Rod McKuen stopped making a pastrami on Russian black, and looked up.

"I thought you were dead," I said.

His laughter was like a great fish jumping out of a lake,

And there I was,

A dull brown Selkie amid all the Mermaids.



So far, I have spoken about

Isolation, illegalities, seafaring, and hidden hungers.

It is prose, you'll say,

And that is when my little French souvenir comes home to my hand.

Shedding my seal skin, I emerge as a human woman, a Selkie, water dripping from every perfect limb.

The Mermaids fade back gently, like waves from a sunset beach.

Rod McKuen places a finished sandwich on a plate, wipes his large skilled hands on a clean towel, and melts us all with an easy, casual smile.

In that moment,

I could kiss him and never think of doing anything else.



But I have a class to teach.



In one smooth motion, I deliver my lesson like a love letter into a mailbox,

Up to its hilt in your heart, your guts, all that keeps you standing and breathing.

That is poetry.

That is how it should feel.

The best poetry is always beautiful, and always fatal.



Then I am dull and brown again.

Rod McKuen says, "What would you like, Miss?"

I have always liked him.

I lower my eyes and say, "Black forest ham and baby Swiss on baguette, please."

He turns to his work and, ever the gentleman, says nothing

Though I know he has noticed

My face with its

Creeping

Pink

Blush.

_______

Friday, July 16, 2010

Beeville Love Story

Isn't my girl beautiful
In her white dress
Stepping out of Mass?

She's beautiful, and can change her own oil...
So beautiful
The sun shines out her ass.

Here, we have
Three traffic signals
Four diners
Seven churches
And just one of my girl.

Kiss the cross.
Meetcha by the tracks.
My girl,
So beautiful.

_____________

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fire

I dreamed that I was drunk and 23--

You were there with me,

Wearing old jeans and a ponytail.



We had wrecked the fucking car--

Driven it into a tree, far down a side road.

You had said, "Trust me, my plans never fail."



We walked away

As the forest went up;

Your smooth tanned arms glowed with red and yellow

And I had no idea what to say.



You turned around, lazy and high,

And I

Stumbled into your sure embrace.

I was bleeding.

You said, "Aw, sugar," in a voice both sweet and mocking,

And tenderly kissed my face.



The woods were on fire,

All we had left was whiskey,

And I knew my love was hopeless, and that I'd never see you again.

It burned, you know.

All of it.

It burned going down.

_________

done in response to prompt  magpie 23

School For Minstrels

The minstrel sat in the street, singing love songs--

Lies flew out of his mouth like blackbirds;

A beautiful onyx rain.



When I woke up that morning,

Luxury seemed a birthright.

Far away, tired soldiers marched with bibles, tobacco, and my picture tucked away in their packs

As if I could care.

The sun rose.

I leant in the stone window and ate a peach.



The minstrel roamed the cobblestones, singing songs of glorious battle--

I threw a shoe at him,

But half way down, it grew wings and perched on his shoulder,

White as a lily.



The ghosts that evening strutted like grandees--

Clouds lounged in my bed.

Plotters lurked outside my door,

Shivs hanging from their robes like crosses.



I had the minstrel killed, brought in, and served up as supper--

I picked at my food.

I said, "I want a woman,"

The way one might say, "I want the devil to shine my shoes."

My family paused, mouths stuffed full,

Then threw me out.



Now I sit in the street before dawn, singing love songs--

I don't believe a word of any of them;

I have nothing.

I am scorned by all.

But I wait well into the afternoon for a particular chambermaid I fancy to pass by...



She always carries a single ripe peach in the pocket of her apron.

I must have it,

And despite my lack of faith, and my absurd feckless history,

I am wiser now than I ever was before,

And am quite prepared to humble myself.

Indeed,

I am ready and eager

To beg.

_________

photo: Swati

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oh Gawd, Not Another One!

I've been a poet for a while now. I've also, incredibly, had a girlfriend or two. Hey, even a blind mail lady finds the door slot once in a while. So, predictably, I have written them poems. I've noticed that there is an identifiable and consistent pattern to their reactions, over time. So, let me throw on my white lab coat and ask Test Question #1. See if you can guess which of the following statements is more likely to be true:

Statement Number One: "Meet my significant other of thirty years, my darling and one and only (insert name), who is also a poet."

or

Statement Number Two: "Meet (insert name), the poet (or musician, or artist, or actress) I met last week."

If you chose Statement #1, that's wonderful. Have a happy life in your candy-coated fairyland. If you chose Statement Number Two, your feet are firmly planted in reality. Oh cheer up. I've written a list for you. Lane 1, no waiting. Here it is:

Fireblossom's Progression of Reactions From Women Receiving Doggerel Poetry Written By Me, Over Time

Poem #1) Omg!!! WOW! You wrote this for me? Omg. You are too sweet for words. I'm honored, truly. No one has ever written anything for me before! I'm going to keep this forever. MMmmmmmwahhhhhhhh!

Poem #3) My god you are brilliant. This is amazing. Thank you! I love you, Fireblossom!

Poem #6) Another one? For me? Omg. What are you doing? As always, I love it. Thank you. Really.

Poem #10) Wow. Thanks.

Poem #13) I'll read it when I get a chance. I promise. I love them. Gotta run!

Poem 15) Are you sure you gave it to me? I don't remember, I must be going crazy. I'll look for it. If you gave it to me, I'm sure it's here somewhere. 

Poem 16) *sigh* You really write a lot of poems.

Poem 17) I showed it to my friend Sue, and she thought it was really good. We're, um, just friends.

Poem 18) Hi, this is Jane. I can't come to the phone right now, so leave a message at the beep. Bye!

Poem 20) Undeliverable as addressed. Addressee unknown.

5 years later, at a social gathering) Omg. You! Are you still writing that stuff, poems, or whatever? I think you gave me a few of them. Wow, so, (voice going flat) are you still just...writing poems, or...  (voice enthusiastic again) Oh hey! Come over here. I want you to meet my husband! He's an engineer!

__________

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

November Love Song

I had a blue-eyed love--
In the heart of winter, we'd meet;
Crystal snow spread across our bed,
And river ice beneath.
I'm reminded by the cold and leaden sky--
My blue-eyed love and I.

I had a green-eyed love--
In the heart of summer we'd meet;
Lilies spread across our bed,
And drowning depths beneath.
I'm reminded by unforgiving July--
My green-eyed love and I.

I had a black-eyed love--
In the heart of autumn, we'd meet;
Windblown leaves spread across our bed,
And only the earth beneath.
Cruel the desire that lives nor dies--
My black-eyed love and I.
___________

for One Shot Wednesday.
___________

Danny's, Home For Wayward Girls

More Savanna, because Sara asked for it. More Danny's because everybody asked for it. :-)

Savanna walks into Danny's Coffee Shop.

She is wearing a long skirt and boots.

She is thin.



"What is she, about twelve?" says Chloe to Denise the waitress. "Maybe you better card her."

"It's a coffee shop, you dipshit," chirps Denise.

God, the other waitress, hurries by.

"Behold! It is Yahweh, the great I Am!" Chloe announces, smirking. Denise chuckles.

"Oh cut it out you guys," says God, tilting her chin up and giving them both her best bite-me smile.

Denise goes over to Savanna.



"Hi hun. Been here before?"

"Sure, lots of times." She's never been within ten miles of the place.

She orders a small mocha. It's all she has the money for.



The Queen Of The Vampires, sitting at a nearby booth, shape-shifts into a black panther and gracefully hops down to go investigate the newbie,

But the Dark-Haired Chick catches her tail in her hand and brings her up short.

The QOTV whirls around, all gleaming white fangs and slashing claws,

But the Dark-Haired Chick just goes, "Pffft!" and goes back to her coffee.

Everybody knows,

The DHC can do anything she wants to the QOTV and the QOTV will let her.



For a second, Savanna's eyes are as big as gypsy moons before she recovers herself and remembers to act cool.

"That your cat?" she asks the Dark-Haired Chick.

The QOTV is sulkily shredding the booth and making a mess of it.

"Never saw her before," answers the DHC, dryly.



God comes over and talks to Savanna for a minute and then comes back with two sandwiches and a jumbo latte.

"I can pay," says Savanna.

"I know, sugar, but first time customers get this. It's a promotion." God is lying her head off. They never do this.



As God walks back by her, Chloe says, "Be careful, Mother Teresa. That one's got a knife in her boot."

"I know. I know everything."

"I roe ebryting," mocks Chloe, unhappily. "Nobody likes a know-it-all!"

"Nobody doesn't like me," counters God, brightly.



"That's Sara Lee," calls the Succubus from her corner table where she is reading the daily advice column through dark glasses.

"What?" they all ask.

The Succubus lowers her shades. "Sara Lee. It's 'nobody doesn't like Sara Lee.' Duh."



The QOTV is leaving deep grooves in the table with her claws. This seems to please her.

Savanna has one sandwich left, but not for long.

Danny walks in.

"Hi Danny!" they all sing.

"Hi girls," he growls contentedly.

Every day is a good day at Danny's Coffee Shop in Norman.

Today is no exception.

____________

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Savanna

I'm Savanna.
I live right up these steps.
This is a sycamore.
That's a mulberry.
Sycamores are too big, messy, not really pretty.
I carved my name into the wood--
S-A-V-A-N-N-A,
With a good sharp knife.

I'm Savanna.
I like night, and summer, best.
I have a cat, and I can tell
You're not from anyplace around here.
Would you like to kiss me?
I didn't mean right now.
I have given up painting my nails,
Or trying to be sweet.
I spell my name Savanna--
No "h".
That's right.

I'm Savanna.
Does anybody know you're here?
I like long skirts, and boots, all seasons.
Listen,
When a girl tells you she loves you,
It can be tricky.
This tree is a locust.
I don't live up these stairs.
Summer is too long and hot,
And I don't intend to let you kiss me.
My name isn't Savanna,
But...
I told the truth about the knife.
_______

Tightrope

For every hour spent performing wickedness,

I need an hour to think about what I've done

And savor it.



Little birds can fill a long wire,

But eventually, that wire runs on, alone.



This solitary creature loves nothing as she loves your name.

Your silence.

Your distance.

You are the thing that will not open, but might,

And so my nails, and my mood, are often jagged.



For every hour spent performing wickedness,

Take a minute for the one who loves the wicked-doer

And savor her.



Little attentions can buy long devotion,

But eventually, that devotion needs more.



Stay away just one day too long,

Judge it wrong,

And you'll find out how much I love my solitude--

Not more than you, my dear,

But more than waiting.
___________

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Manifestation

Like a ghost,
I had lost touch with my own body.

At night, I
Turned off the lights and
Simply disappeared.

Enter Madeleine,
The sensitive,
Fingertips playing Ouija across my skin,
Her lips such a sweet mnemonic.

In the morning,
The spirit (and such)
Is satisfied;
Haunting is now the thing forgotten--
I walk the earth once again,
A flesh and blood woman.
_________

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pink Coral

I had worn a white tank

But was not an angel

(not hardly)

Or a cloud

(though I can drift far from terra firma).



I was simply in a hurry

And it was handy.



My windows are small

And recessed.

They let in just enough street and moon light

To make out general shapes--

My bed.

My chair.

My flower vases.



You lay with your head against my chest, your bare back to the room, and I said,

"This is the desk where I write my poems.

These are my books,

And this is where I sit dreaming, afternoons, when I am free."



You heard none of this because you had fallen asleep.

You left a pink coral lipstick stain on my shirt,

In the spot you had both blemished and blessed,

Just there,

A little above my heart.

__________

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Queen Of Catalpa Street

She walks down the street like she owns the place,

Like she could just walk up to any house and say, "baby...go" and they'd have to move out,

To Coldwater, or Bad Axe,

Just because she said so,

And just because she makes you want to bend to her will.

She walks down the street kinda arrogant and strong, like she just put a hotel on Boardwalk and she's gonna win...

You know it.

She knows it.

She swings her arms all casual, like she's used to holding women;

She wears jeans, hiking boots, a red flannel shirt and mittens,

And her long straight dark hair flows out behind her like a beautiful lackey,

As if she were The Queen Of Catalpa Street.



She's on her way to Blockbuster or 7-11,

Or her older, married, female lover's house,

Where they will sweep the shit out from under the Christmas tree and make love.

Afterward, Jen,

or Anne,

or Steph,

Or whatever her name is, will sigh at her back as she lets herself out, and it will take her half an hour to find baby Jesus again and

Set him in the bed of the toy train's coal car without thinking.



She is on her way to Blockbuster or 7-11;

I am on my way to The Coffee Beanery in my car with the rainbow sticker on the back,

But I wish I was with her,

In her hotel on Boardwalk,

With my fingers spread on the soft flannel at the small of her back,

Later to unlace her hiking boots with my teeth,

From my knees,

Because she is so butchy

And beautiful,



And she walks down the street like she owns the place,

Like she still has some lucky woman's taste on her lips,

Like she could toss her hair, the Queen Of Catalpa Street,

Glance over at my car and say,

Lady,

Get ready to beg so pretty,

Because, really,

It's you

Who needs

The ride.

_________

(Christmas Eve, 2006. Revised 7/7/10)

_________

one shot wednesday

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Room Service

I brought you breakfast on a tray.

It lifted its head and its narrow, evil tongue flicked in and out.

It's leathery foot dangled off the silver edge,

And a lemon wedge fell.



"What is this?" you said.

"Shay, what the fuck is this?"

I said,

"It is love given and received.

It is something to do while waiting for Judgement to scorch its way through the atmosphere,

Like a needle into skin."

I sat on the edge of the bed,

Picked up your hand and kissed each finger,

Finding them redolent of me, moreso than my own bones.



I went on:

"It is foul,

It is poison.

It is me paying you back in kind."

But you were already gone,

And I was only talking to myself.

___________

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Wasn't Looking, But There You Were

I wasn't looking, but there you were,
Such a sexy dream
Looking for someone,
Searching for someone
Who hadn't heard
Oh, Sweetheart,
Who hadn't heard your shit before.

I wasn't looking, but still you came,
Such a sweet talker
Looking for someone,
Searching for a country fool
Who hadn't heard
Oh, Sugar,
Every lame and empty line before.

You and me in a beautiful pea green boat,
Is this love?
Is this some kind of joke?
I'm not laughing.
Do you see me laughing?
Oh, wait,
You are. (I'm such a bloody bore.)

I wasn't looking, but there you were,
Searching for some simple rube
To leave hypnotized and stupid.
Oh, Honey,
It's me
It's me
It's obviously me.
___________

A Lover's Apology

Tell me, Darling,

Despite the pain,

Before you

Leave with what's-her-name,

How did we

Come to this?

How did we

Come to this?



Last night--

So bittersweet;

Champagne

Between your feet...

I loved you,

Yes I loved you still

As you were so gracefully

Being ill...



Our three weeks together

Will live forever

Inside my heart.



Tell me, Darling,

Despite the tears,

And the ruin

Of both of our careers,

How did we

Come to this?

How did we

Come to this?



Tell me, Sweetheart,

Before you go

Honey, please

I've got to know

Did you love me?

Do you love me still?

Or would you rather

Cut me dead where I stand?



Our three weeks together

Will live forever

Inside my heart

Like a sado-masochistic Disneyland;

I'm sorry

I'm so truly sorry

It's come to this.
_________

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July Love Song

"Baby," you say,

As we sail around Saginaw Bay,

"I am as constant as that black shit all over the beach

I'm always within reach

And I'll always be loving you just this very way."



Oh baby,

When your lips are moving

What it's doing to me

Oh sugar,

When your lips

~such lips!~

Are moving,

Things are clearer to me

When your lips are moving

That's how I know you're lying.



You say, "Honeybun,"

As you shoplift a pack of gum,

"I am as constant as this always-open convenience store

You'll always want more

And I'll always be here to give you some..."



But baby,

When your lips are moving

It's like Heaven to me

Oh Pookie,

When your lips

~those lips!~

Are moving,

Truth gets nearer to me

When your lips are moving

That's how I know you're lying.



"Snookums," you say,

As we're navigating by the stars,

"I am as constant as the patient voice on the voicemail of your mind

You will always have my heart

And we'll always be happy just the way we are."



But Princess,

When your lips are moving,

It's enchanting to me

Oh sweetie,

When your lips

~such lips!~

Are moving,

You're even dearer to me

When your lips are moving

That's how I know you're lying.

______

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cocoanut Farm

The bitchy hen lays black eggs--

Even the fox won't touch them.

The bitchy hen has it in for both the farmer and the rooster--

And when one of her nasty black eggs cracks open,

An impenetrable night is born.

The rooster begins to lose purpose, as the lightless hours go on and on;

The farmer sleeps for a week.



The bitchy hen's mood improves, and when the sun finally bursts, all at once, into the sky

(as if it had been being held back by colossal, fire-retardant rubber bands),

She lays a black-and-white egg.

It turns out not to be an egg at all, but rather, an unusually spherical calf,

Whose legs and head have not yet arrived in the mail.



So it goes at Cocoanut Farm, which is actually a ginormous boat,

Or, perhaps, some sort of unmoored island with a barn on it.



Stay for breakfast.

We're having eggs.

Stay for dinner.

We're having chicken.

Stay, stay and meet our Queen,

The chattiest cow

You've ever seen.

(painted green).

Don't worry,

You'll see.

_________

Clearly, my once-considerable talent has hit rock bottom with this, lol.

_________

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fireblossom, Chosen By God, Unleashes Super Powers

Twin, Twin. Have you fallen on your head or something? This morning I awoke to find that my beloved Twin, Riot Kitty, had gotten on her blog and spouted something about Wonder Woman needing to cover up. Has she completely taken leave of her senses? Or is this simply part of the heterosexual agenda? You know, Twin, I've been prepared to overlook that about you, even though it's not what God wants, and yes, I do speak for God. She said to me, "Shay, sugar, deal with these earthlings for me, won't you? I've got mah jong!"

If Wonder Woman starts wearing some awful green pantsuit from K Mart, where does it all end?

Zatanna in a snuggie?

Batwoman (who is now a lesbian, by the way, pleasing God) in a bhurka?

Red Sonja (Ily???) in sensible shoes?

I don't think that I can bear it, and so I am taking it upon myself to save Zatanna, at least. (picture courtesy of the amazing Mrs. Mars, though I think it looks suspiciously like Mama Zen. Maybe not.) 

Won't someone save Wonder Woman?

And Batwoman, too?

Remember, some fashion mistakes can never be undone or outlived. Twin, please remember, a generation of little girls needs role models. It's Zatanna or Greta Van Susteren. Need I say more?

______________