Saturday, October 30, 2010

Re-animator

Here are two poems which I originally wrote in 2007. I have given them both a reworking tonight in my lab-or-a-tory. Bwahahaha, they live!

SHORE LEAVE

A chorus line dancer's leg comes off mid-kick,
And sails above the crowd like a dolphin.

"The ceiling is the sea!" cry the patrons,
Who go down in the briny.

And this is why
The corncob captain sees dancing skeletons
When the rum island sirens
Call him to their keeping
To loll broken in the shallows
No more to play his hornpipe
In the morning.


THE SKELETON DANCE

Let us knock our bones together--
A few good smart smacks;
A Morse code of gibberish--
A fleshless, heartless, cretin's dance.

Graceless ghouls in an ecstasy of idiocy--
Paresis-ridden pinheads wondering what it means;
We haunt ourselves stupid in the Skeleton Dance
Of our eternal, imbecilic, self-imposed Halloween.

_________

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Science Report, by Shay Caroline

Clouds do not have bones,
And so live in the sky.

If they fall,
They will not break anything,
And when they fall we call it
Rain.

After
The
Rain,
They cannot find their bodies again,
And so they
Disappear.

Blue skies do not have clouds.
Clouds do not have bones.
That is all I have to say.

_____

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Deus Ex Machina

The Halloween suicide walks out along the flag pole

In resale shop black shoes.

There is a kitten named Giuseppe Verdi riding in the pocket of her smock,

And his big yellow eyes say,

"Please reconsider.

Think of all the tuna fish I would miss.

Think of Tanya,

Across town, serving lattes to strangers,

With your heart folded carefully and kept with her car keys and her fabulous accent."



But the Halloween suicide falls like the notes of an adagio,

Giving first one graceful foot to the empty air,

And then the other.

Her smock spreads out

Like bat wings

And she and Giuseppe Verdi float through the nippy October sky like two leaves connected at the stem.

"Tra-la," she sings,

As they arc this way, then that.

Clearly, they ride in the palm of a Divine Hand.



They come down softly on the patio of a chain coffee bar.

Inside, Tanya looks up from counting her tips and smiles.

No opera heroine ever looked more beautiful.

Later, petting both aviatrix and kitten, she says,

"Don't you know you can never leave as long as I own your heart?

I am your deus ex machina;

I will always cushion your fall and welcome you back to my arms."

The Halloween suicide begins to cry, big fat tears melting into Giuseppe Verdi's black fur.

"Why are you so good to me? I'm a mess," the flyer says, looking up. "What's in it for you, Magoo?"

Tanya laughs and kisses her.

"I love you for your magic,

For your ever-broken heart,

And because you need me, like Giuseppe Verdi needs you."

The kitten rumbles under her hand,

And she knows that it must be true.

_______

for One Shot Wednesday Week 17

Deus ex machina (god from the machine) is a term describing the sudden appearance of an unexpected way out of a difficult situation

Monday, October 25, 2010

The True Life Adventures Of The Pleasant Lady


Lambs, several of you know what I do for a living. I skulk about on people's front porches, going through their things. Sent by the government, I go where I will, leaving behind documents of the most personal nature. I know your name. I know your dog's name.



Yes, I am the mail lady.


So, imagine this scene from last Saturday: I am walking along the street in my blue postal pants with the darker blue piping up the side, black walking shoes, a blue postal sweater, a blue postal vest with reflective red and white stripes on it as well as the postal logo on the chest, and to top it all off, a postal chapeau, also complete with postal logo. I am walking toward that large white truck with the blue and red stripe and the postal web address printed on the side. To get to it, I have to walk right past a conspicuous blue postal collection box. A lady in an SUV watches me as I get closer. She speaks. I cannot hear. I get closer. She speaks again.


"Are you the mail lady?" she asks.


Why no. I'm a fucking astronaut. NASA just asked me to drop off a few letters while re-entering the Earth's atmosphere before landing on your street. Have a moon rock.


"Yes, ma'am" I say. Because I am the Pleasant Lady. Have a wonderful day. And do something about your hair, it's hideous. Bye now.


Send your questions on a postcard to The Pleasant Lady. The Pleasant Lady regrets that she cannot answer every inquiry personally. No, the Pleasant Lady does not know your sister's boy John who works for Fed-Ex in Arizona. Yes, it is hot enough/cold enough for the Pleasant Lady today. The Pleasant Lady regrets that she does not know where your letter from Aunt Minnie is. The Pleasant Lady realizes that Your Old Carrier was better than the Pleasant Lady and that you wish you had them back. The Pleasant Lady invites you to call the post office and tell them the Pleasant Lady hasn't done anything but sit there eating her lunch for the past twenty minutes. Now she's reading a book. No, the Pleasant Lady cannot check to see if she forgot your magazine somewhere in her truck. No, the Pleasant Lady is not trying to "set some sort of record" for being late. See you tomorrow. See you next week. Unless I'm on vacation again.


(signed)


The Pleasant Lady


_________


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coal Black

Coal Black and the thirteen dwarves move to Middleville. Coal Black plays electric guitar and sings in a band called Poison Apple. The thirteen dwarves are boyfriends/roadies, as interchangeable as Legos. She doesn't really need roadies, since the furthest the band ever travels is to Sludge Lake to play Bob's Grocery and Fairgrounds. The "fairgrounds" are a scrubby field with a broken tilt-a-whirl sitting in it. The cars have had an accident, they all sag to one side in a tangle, because the tilt-a-whirl isn't level. However, it inspired Coal Black to write "Smoking Pile-Up Of Love." It goes like this:

yeah baby, I'm fucked up behind your wheel
one hand over my eye
we're all gonna die
pretty soon we'll be together in the twisted steel
yeah baby
dig it

It does not chart. At any given time, there are two or three of the elves strewn about Coal Black's place. One crashed on her couch, with an exposed spring leaving a dent in his cheek, one playing Mutant Rage 12 on the Playstation, and eating Taco Bell for breakfast, and another standing in the pastel green kitchen, saying, "Wow baby, you don't look as fat lately. Can I borrow some money?"

This inspires Coal Black to write "(Men Are The) Toxic Sludge Of Love", which goes like this:

yeah baby, we're fucked up in love's glow
our love will soon be dead
I'm growin' another head
pretty soon we'll be together and I'll be your ho
yeah baby
dig it

This one does not chart, either, but gains a cult following among rad-core kids. They wear civil defense sign tee shirts and use make up to turn their faces green and melted. When they go in Bob's Grocery, the normals stare. The rad-core kids object to this, and say "What are you looking at?", but because of all the junk on their faces, it comes out as gibberish and they have an unfortunate tendency to drool. They complain in a amateur video interview that no one takes them seriously.

Meanwhile, Coal Black has used the proceeds from "Toxic Sludge Of Love" to buy a new ankh. She kicks out the elves and takes up with a waitress from The Egg Explodes, a diner run by old hippies from California. Everything they serve includes avocados. They are a meatless, dairyless, cruelty-free enterprise. They do a surprisingly good business, and use the profits to support eco-candidates, but their only electee so far is Myrus Bump, who is supposed to catch dogs and drives a little truck with wire mesh cages in the back. Once, he put a Republican opponent inside one of them, the only time it had ever been used. He doesn't know it, but now the opponent suffers from a debilitating restraint fetish. However, when he asks his wife to lash him to the pew at First Baptist, there is a scandal and his career is ruined.

While all of this excitement is going on, the waitress has had a salutary effect on Coal Black. She has given up heroin and contents herself with Hershey's Special Dark syrup, straight from the container. She pronounces it "primo stuff" before sinking back on the springs of the sofa with an elaborate and truly sensuous sigh. The waitress strokes her hair and idly watches tv. When she recovers her senses, Coal Black writes one more song. it goes:

yeah baby, I'm messed up on your kisses and stuff
you're so incredibly semi-sweet
all I wanna do is rinse and repeat
and if I couldn't eatcha, I'd find a way to huff
yeah baby
dig it

The song rockets to #1. Coal Black gets out of bed and poses in front of the mirror, which has been on the floor for at least six months. She asks the waitress, whose name is Cindi, "is my ass not spectacular?" Cindi says, around a mouthful of apple, "You are a true Goddess, baby."

They live happily ever after.
_____________

for magpie 37

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lace



My room has lace curtains;

The neighbor's yard light creates an illusion on the opposite wall,

Making it look like a curtained window, too,

Though it is only wood and plaster and fleeting patterns of light.


I have been dreaming that I was in Paris, with you;

Your skin as smooth as cafe au lait,

And yours still the most perfect thighs my shadowed room has ever seen.


We went out, sometimes, in this dream, to the Eiffel Tower,

And "La Vie En Rose" played constantly;

All of that may be cliche,

But your French accent was still killer,

Just as it always really was.


In this dream, I still thought I was pretty,

And I was going to wear red for you;

I was holding something slight and silky when you let me know

That, for all that I am

And for all that I am not,

You were going to go.


I woke up to the faux lace on my wall,

And knew that those words weren't really yours,

Weren't really anything you would ever have said to me,

Because you're both too distant and too kind;

And yet, still,

Though I seemed to be looking at a dim curtained window,

I knew, just like I knew then,

That I couldn't pass through it,

To Paris,

Or to anyplace,

As long as I am wide awake and so many miles and years away from you;

The only place I can get to from here, is tomorrow,

And that has nothing whatever to do with you,

Except maybe some cafe au lait

In the mug I filled for you

When you were here and it sat forgotten

Through kisses that belonged to a different life.

___________

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Profile



Mrs. Upscale sends her little witchlet to Business Pre-School,

Where she quickly flunks out.

A little boy in a blazer snickers;

The witchlet's mouth turns down like a stitched toy cat's.

She makes his feet webbed,

Then burns down the building.

She has to say she's sorry;

She isn't, but the lying makes her happy.


__________


a friday 55 for G Man

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Bells

Listen to the bells.

When they ring

In the early darkness,

They bring the snow.



I curl my bare toes around the top of the cold wrought iron railing

That circles the balcony

High above the headlights in the street

And the lovers on the sidewalk.



I am not young

And I never was beautiful,

But in my heart I carry the divine spark

And damned foolishness.



Spreading my arms as if I had wings,

I teeter in the shifting, chilly breeze.

I am losing the feeling in my feet.

I breathe in,

Breathe out.

I wave one arm, as if hailing one of the little taxis down below;

The sleeve of my red kimono makes me into a blooming rose...

I smell sweet,

I am temporary,

Barely here at all.



In my heart I carry the divine spark

And such damned foolishness--

The snow is pretty, all of it falling, earth-bound.

Hear the sound of the beautiful hollow shells and the strikers they need;

That's love, or something like it...

Listen to the bells.

_______

for One Stop Poetry

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bride



I was white dough--

Eating off vacant plates,

Writing little notes on edgeless paper,

Wearing a bridal dress in the indefinite glare of afternoons at home,

Marrying the empty air.


Time ran down my back.

I was a dim bird in a wire cage

Hung from a silly, flat, make-believe moon.


You think you are as common as kudzu,

As ashes in a fireplace,

As spirits in transit, thick in the startled air of foggy dawn.


No.


From the moment I saw candle flame reflected in a drop of water running down your bare arm to your wrist,

I have been dying of a fever.

In a sharp delicious burn, I talk the most vulgar rot--

Devils blush.

Whores laugh and encircle me, their Queen.

Doctors renounce their calling, becoming peddlers;

Priests go blessedly silent at last.

They all know

To get out of the way of this thing,

But I,

I

Bloom within it

Like a saint in the licking flames.


Other desires were foxfire.

Now,

My fingers go up like dry trees whenever I think of touching you,

And I think of nothing else.

My hair is dark smoke,

I come out of my skin, I spread.

I have to kiss you.


I am your bride in a black dress,

I never stay home,

My appetite is obscene,

I write everything in my own warm blood--

Don't leave me this way.

Kiss me now,

Kiss me hard;

I can beg or demand,

But kiss me--

Then you will see how my gratitude burns

In the sanctified sin of the sweet-grace moment

Just before the satisfied sigh of dawn.

_________

picture: Amy Lee

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Still



A cat was running

Faster than a dog was chasing

Quicker than the earth was turning

And I was standing still


Round earth,

Orange cat,

Spotted dog,

Chasing through the early morning chill.


Five-pointed leaf

Four corners far

Three beating hearts

Two fading stars


A cat was watching

A dog's nose sniffing

The earth kept turning

And I was standing still.


_________

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fritter Shack

There's a half door
On the back
Of the shack where I make
Corn dogs
Fritters
And all such like as that,
But I'm thinking on
When you come on
And make her take three steps back
Then bend low down
And bow to the crowd
While your hand strokes the deep brown side of her neck...

You are a barrel racer
And I am a taster
Of all that comes back bubbling golden,
And they love us
Each in our own way
Until it is time for closing.
You know that
When you wear that
Pearl snap shirt half open
I can't half think
On nothing but the
Sweet
Skin
At the base of your throat,
And oh,
Oh,
Baby,
Come on in my fritter shack
Make me take
Three steps back;
You know, when you look at me like that
My heart already has
One knee to the ground;
And when you trace your fingers around my ear,
I'm desperate to feel your palm
Alongside my throat
I almost disappear
Like smoke
For sheer desire and want of you, my darling girl.

For a few moments,
We lean together,
Then we're gone like blazes,
Hell for leather
Barrel racers,
Confection makers,
Two as one
Gone hot in the half light of the
After-closing
Melting gorgeous
Setting summer sun.

_________

for magpie 36

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Rainy Day, And What Happened That Night

It has been raining all day in Norman.

Night comes,

And though the drops have stopped,

Everything is damp and smooth

Like fingers through shampoo.



Chloe is outside on the sidewalk in front of Danny's Coffee Shop.

She is thinking of absolutely nothing,

Just watching the cars go by,

When something lands on her head like a sudden mandatory hat from hell.

"What the...!?!"

She shakes her head as if her raised hands held tiny hurricanes.



A little tabby cat jumps to the pavement.

She looks up.

Chloe looks back,

And they are both as cool as a couple of card players.

Chloe says at last,

"You little sneak."

The Queen Of The Vampires (for that is, of course, who the cat really is) replies with unblinking green eyes that say,

My client is innocent.



It has been raining all day in Norman.

The Queen Of The Vampires felt small and so became an eeny cat

And hid on the supports underneath the awning where it was dry.

Chloe came out,

And her blonde head looked inviting, like a manger.

The Vampire Queen dropped,

Like a shrimpy space capsule from the sixties, coming home.



When she grabbed onto Chloe's dome,

She meant,

"I am lonely today.

Love me

Love me

Love me."

But it came out more like Kamikaze Cat From Outer Space.



Still, Chloe says,

"You rotten little sneak,"

And picks her up off the sidewalk, scratching behind her ears and under her chin.

"It'll be all right," says Danny's resident serial killer and multiple felon.

Then she carries her inside,

Where it is bright,

And familiar,

And filled with the mixed aromas of good coffee

And October on the drying jackets

In booths and hung on the backs of chairs.

___________

scribbled for One Shot Wednesday

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Favorite Movies Ever

As is well known, FB has never had an original thought in her life, and so today's post is blatantly ripped off from a tribute to the wonderful Willow, our bloggy movie maven. Blogger does not wish to allow me to load images, and so I apologise for the text-only nature of this list. Still, I hope it will be interesting!

MY FAVORITE SILENTS

"The Kid" with Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan. The little tramp finds himself caring for adorable waif Coogan. The Rube Goldberg contraptions Charlie invents to help him are hilarious, and all goes well until someone tries to take the kid away. In true silent movie melodramatic fashion, Charlie saves the day. I cry every time.

"Beyond The Rocks" with Gloria Swanson and Rudolf Valentino. This was the only time these two silent icons appeared on screen together. The film was thought lost for many years, before a copy was unearthed and restored, including a magnificent new sound track which makes the film.  I wasn't honestly expecting much, but it blew me away.

OLDIES BUT GOODIES

"Portrait of Jenny" with Jennifer Jones. A struggling artist whose work lacks passion meets the mysterious Jenny, who inspires him. Taken from the Robert Nathan novel, this is both a magical love story and a chance to see fantastic views of old New York.

"Sunset Boulevard" with Gloria Swanson and William Holden. You know this one. Down on his luck Holden ends up in a strange relationship with faded movie queen Swanson. She's ready for her close-up, Mr. Demille!

"Strangers When We Meet" with Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak. From the early 60s, this is the story of two married people, an architect and a housewife (Novak. What a housewife! Raawwrrrrrrrr!) who have a bittersweet affair. I just adore it. A bonus is seeing Walter Matthau as a real slime bucket of a neighbor.

CHICK FLICKS

"The Bridges of Madison County" with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. A National Geographic photographer comes to Iowa to photograph covered bridges, and asks directions from housewife Streep, whose family is away at the state fair. Soon, it's true but impossible love. If you don't cry at the stop light scene near the end, you haven't got a heart.

"Spitfire Grill" with Ellen Burstyn. Percy Talbot is just out of prison, and gets a job at the Spitfire Grill, owned by Burstyn. She slowly wins everyone over except one man, who is determined to undo her. The Maine setting is nice. Ayup.

"Steel Magnolias" with Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Tom Skerrit and many others. Southern wit and perseverance at its best. You really will laugh and cry.

"The Four Seasons" with Alan Alda and Carol Burnett. Couples who have been friends for years traverse the seasons of their lives, in this sometimes hilarious, sometimes very touching film from the 80s. The Vivaldi music is wonderful, too.

DICK FLICKS (yes, even little femcentric me has one movie in this category!)

"Get Carter" with Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine. In this remake of the earlier Caine vehicle, Stallone is a legbreaker who comes home for his brother's funeral. He thinks things are not quite right and unravels a world of trouble. What I love most about this is how he treats his niece. He listens to her and sticks up for her when she needs him. The boy who drugged her and took advantage takes a fast trip off a balcony. As it should be.

DRAMAS

"Pleasantville" with Toby McGuire and Reese Witherspoon. A brother and sister are magically transported into the black and white 1950's tv show world of Pleasantville. What begins as a delightfully imaginative lark, ends up being a moving story with a deeper message. Great 50s music, too!

"Ordinary People" with Donald Sutherland, Timothy Hutton and Mary Tyler Moore. The disintegration from within of a family. From the Judith Guest best seller. Directed by Robert Redford.

"Jacob's Ladder" with Tim Robbins and Elizabeth Pena. Postal worker Robbins is with Pena, but keeps dreaming he is still with his ex-wife and his dead son is still alive. Soon, reality and illusion become hard to distinguish, as he seems to be being pursued by demons...or are they government agents? A real brain twister.

"Witness" with Kelly McGillis and Harrison Ford. You know this one. Philadelphia detective Ford has a murder on his hands, but the only witness is a little Amish boy. Pssst, Harrison....in real life, Kelly likes girls. Just thought I'd let ya know. Hehehehe.

"The Crying Game" with Stephen Rea and Jaye Davidson. IRA terrorists kidnap a British soldier from a fair. Knowing he is probably going to die, the soldier asks soft-hearted Rea to go see his girlfriend after it is all over. He does, and she's a beauty, but a beauty with a secret.

COMEDIES

"The Producers" with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. Looking for a sure fire flop as part of a scheme, Mostel and Wilder produce the wildly offensive "Springtime For Hitler." Guess what? It doesn't flop.

"Ruthless People" with Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, and Helen Slater. Devito's plans to poison his wife are made moot when hare-brained kidnappers snatch her instead. They keep threatening to kill her, and he keeps gleefully urging them to do so. But when Midler and her kidnappers become friends, the tables turn.

"Better Off Dead" with the usual 80s cast. Dumped by the girl he is obsessed with, Our Hero tries several ways to kill himself and they all fail, rather hilariously. Then a pretty French exchange students appears on the scene, and maybe things don't look so bad after all.

HORROR

"The Shining" with Jack Nicholson. Heeeeeeere's Johnny!

"Session 9" with David Caruso. A team of hazmat contractors has a week to clear the asbestos out of the abandoned Danvers State Mental Hospital. As they all gradually feel the effects of the creepy place (the actual hospital was used), one worker becomes obsessed with tapes of sessions between a murderess/patient and her doctor. When he gets to Session 9, it gets messy.

"Dead Birds" with...nobody anybody knows, lol. A band of confederate deserters (and one very comely gal) rob a bank and then hole up in what turns out to be a very cursed farm house. Watch it on a rainy night.

FOREIGN

"Love Me If You Dare" (Jeux D'enfants). This French movie follows a boy and a girl who start a game of dares in childhood which escalates through adulthood into something out of control. Turns the romance genre on its ear. The French understand l'amour fou, or "crazy love."

"Talk To Her" A Spanish movie in which two men love two women who are in comas. Directed by Pedro Almodovar, this is wayyyyyyyyyy better than it sounds, exploring the nature of love itself.

"Ma Vie En Rose" A French film in which a little boy assumes he will grow up to be a woman and marry his best friend. This, of course, makes everyone around him crazy. He wants nothing more than to live in "Le Monde du Pam" or Pam's World, a tv show presided over by a very feminine, very beautiful lady. Will he make it? You'll have to watch "My Life In Pink" to find out.

"Breaker Morant" An Australian film based on actual events during the Boer War. Three soldiers are put on trial on trumped up charges of war crimes, as a political strategem to try to end the war.

"Picnic At Hanging Rock" Another Aussie film, it is about a group of private school girls at the turn of the last century who go on a Valentime's Day picnic to Hanging Rock, from which some never return, including the beautiful Miranda. What happened? Well....not anything you think. 

HISTORICAL

"Last of The Mohicans" with Daniel Day Lewis and Maddy Stowe. From the Cooper classic. Lewis and Stowe find love in the dangerous wilds of early America. Gorgeous cinematography and a very romantic plot. Action too.

LESBIAN

"When Night Is Falling" A professor at a religious college falls in love with a circus performer who shoots her phone number through her window tied to an arrow. Add a very charming dog and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and this is my second favorite movie, ever. (After Love Me If You Dare)

"Lost And Delirious" Sort of "Dead Poets Society" for girls. A fierce and heartbreaking love story.

"D.E.B.S." with Jordana Brewster. A total guilty pleasure. A Charlie's Angels style group of schoolgirls go up against Lucy Diamond, criminal mastermind. But then their leader and Lucy fall for each other. Lucy (Jordana) is soooooooooooooooooo swoon-inducing. Oh my. *fans self*

OTHER

"A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)" with Jude Law. A robot boy is invented who can love, and is adopted by a couple whose real son is in a coma. Saying a sequence of words activates this boy's love, and after that happens, the real son miraculously wakes up. Now what? Now a long long search for his destiny and for the love he was quite literally created for.

"Mulholland Drive" I warn you, you'll watch this the first time and go "Huh???" But if you have the patience to watch it again, this very twisted tale of Hollywood, and the difference between what is wished for and what is, is one of the greatest movies ever made.

"Northfork" with James Woods and Peter Coyote. It is 1955 and the little town of Northfork is about to be covered in water, after the building of a new dam. Full of weird and endearing people, angels and oddballs, this one is one of a kind.

CHILDREN'S

"A Little Princess" (1990s remake) Sarah Crewe's father leaves for WWI and leaves her at a boarding school. When he goes missing, the cruel headmistress makes her life miserable. But an Indian servant from next door, and her own belief in herself ("ALL girls are princesses!") see her through to a remarkable conclusion.

There you have them. My favorite movies, ever. :-)

________

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lone Star

There's a road
A two-lane blacktop
From Delaur Boulevard
To the smash-up at the end

Rolling down it on a summer night
The only car on the road;
If I still drank, I would hold the bottle out the window
Under warm stars whose light is just a memory,
Close my eyes and
Hold my arm straight out

Til the wind catches that bottle

And it sings

Like a spiritual.
_____________

(2006)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ashes, Jasmine, and Molasses

A witch fell in love with the Autumn,

And with her rich golden-brown skin.

The witch longed to place her lips to it,

And trace runes there with her tongue

Like an apple and its stem

Falling on perfect Earth.



Autumn called the witch from her dreams at night--

Her nail gliding along her hip in bed,

Like an old iron hook on a porch door.

There is power in orange moons,

And weakness, oh glorious weakness,

In love.



The witch, at this time, had a job at the post office,

But she couldn't resist gathering up gas bills, catalogs, shopping circulars,

And burning them at midnight.

She collected the ashes, adding jasmine and molasses

Until, with a snap of her wrist and the right words,

They became love letters.

The Autumn received them

And smiled without a word.



The Autumn shook her thick brown hair,

And leaves filled gutters, streets, and fading gardens

Like straw fills an effigy.

Crows gathered on her shoulders and she cooed to them, as if they were her babies,

Each so black,

So peculiar

And so faithless.



Autumn knows that her beauty is as one with her dying

And the witch, her admirer,

Dies too, for love of her.

But yet, they remain

In everything that is paired--

Like two posts of a rail fence, two cats in a driveway, two forks of the same stream,

They kiss and part,

Then,

Come together again

In the night

In the dark

In the Fall

Like twin spirits satisfied at last,

They run together,

Whole.

______

for magpie 35

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Froward Child

froward, adj. not easily controlled; willful; contrary.

The froward child

Was taken to church every Sunday.

There,

In the pew,

With her sharp stick voodoo dolls

She played.



You will never be nothin'

So says Mama.

Nobody gonna like you 'less I pay 'em to,

Says Mama and she brooks no sass.



The froward child

Found a mangey rib-striped dog in the street.

She give it a donut.

Just like that, they tight as ticks.

That dog

Never like Mama,

Growl down deep,

Park itself on the rag rug and when she put down her bible and raise her broom,

He show rows of white teeth

And his scorn.



The froward child say,

C'mon, sugar,

And the dog up and rise,

Ready to follow her through hell or hailstorm.

Mama say,

When that child go to prison one day,

That animal prolly follow her through the gate.



One day,

The dog die,

And the froward child

Cry til it damn near kill her.

She would like to gone with him if she could.



The froward child

Don't believe in nothing you can hold in your hand.

She believe in

Spirits and magic,

Omens, fate,

And floods across the land.

She say,

I live in a hollow tree

And cover myself with the midnight.



The froward child

Is a woman now,

Got gray at the root

But, by sorcery, look young as tomorrow morning.

She got a new dog

And feed 'im steak;

Then she grind the beef bones

And blow the dust of them up, off her palm,

Bringing the Winter.



Mama say,

She die out there,

With that creature she love so much.

Mama say,

It prolly eat her when she do,

And then I say

I told you so.



But Mama don't know.

Mama don't know her ass from next Tuesday,

And neither do her preacher nor her doctor nor her sons that be the same as her.

When the froward child freeze,

When her heart slow down in the snow, like a fire burning out,

It the dog what drag her back,

Wrap his self around her

And love her enough she keep breathin'

Til Mama die

And the Spring arrive

With mad flowers growing wild all directions

From the fields and in her eyes.

______

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Women Who Rock



Sweet readers of mine, I am still lame, so here is a short post to tide you over. I want to shout out to my friend La Belette Rouge, who is celebrating her third Blogaversary! Go visit her, she is extremely elegant and, well, she's my friend and that's it and that's all, so scat and go see her already lol.

I also want to express my breathless, swooning admiration for my friend who boldly kicked the butts of the crooked car repair place that tried to gyp her. When the smelling salts revive me, I will tell you how cool I think that is! I can't say which friend this is, cos, well, I haven't asked permission to do so. You know me, all about rules to the bitter end.

Hehehehehe.

And lastly, a superfluous bonus picture of Joan Jett, because it's my blog and I can!

xoxox

FB
______

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fast Food (For Belle)



Dear readers: your friendly neighborhood poet has managed to mess up her left shoulder. Typing is mucho ouchie. So plz forgive me if I put up a re-post. This poem was written in 2006, and posted here in May 2008. It received big fat zero comments. Do over!

Fast Food (For Belle)


We fucked in your Hummer
In the Burger King lot.

Two orgasms you had
In the H2
In the Burger King lot.


I said,
"You sound so tuff when you cum"

There in the H2
In the Burger King lot.


You ran a finger under my nose,
And said, "Talk about having it your way!"

And we laughed like fools
In your H2
In the Burger King lot


(just a little bit south
of Heaven)

_________

Monday, October 4, 2010

Justice



The rhino is renowned for his horn, and is often a target of poachers.

They haunt the jazz clubs, acting all normal, when in fact,

Their minds crawl with evil.



The rhino wears a pork pie hat and a thin black tie.

He plays "Poor Butterfly" and everybody cries.

He plays standards and experimental pieces;

The work of the masters and his own compositions.

His eyes are like cotton balls behind his dark glasses,

And he never met anything fried that he didn't like.



To save him from poachers, the city council has him placed behind a moat in the zoo, expecting that he will eat hay, swat flies with his absurd little tail,

And crap great mountains of rhino shit on the hard-packed bare dirt of his enclosure.

His friend the lesbian sneaks in at night and lies on her back on top of a big fake boulder, smoking a cigarette.

"You're an artist." She gestures with a sweep of her arm, as if she were Cleopatra idly sending a million sailors off to some stupid foreign war.

"What's all this supposed to be? Where is your horn?"

He has it,

But he cannot play it.

He is too sad even for "Lush Life" or "Am I Blue."



Days go by.

The month ends.

She smuggles him a file inside of a lopsided birthday cake.

It is a useless gesture, but a pretty one, and kind.

Finally, there is a full moon.

She describes it to him.

He takes up his horn and plays "That Old Black Magic."



If it were up to her, the poachers would be hung by their heels over a teeming colony of porcupines.

If it were up to her, the rhino could shed his skin as if he were just a ginormous old baked potato,

And his steaming white fluffy soul would fly straight up into Heaven.

If it were up to her, she would meet her Princess Charming tomorrow,

And the rhino,

In resplendent angel robes,

Would play at their wedding, held in some hip club in the quarter.



Instead, she beats out a rhythm on the outside bars with the useless file,

And pretends it is church bells;

Dreams it is Lady Justice, kicking off her shoes, picking up her skirts,

And setting the floor on fire

With moves like she

Never had before.

_________

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday, Bookstore Cafe



Sunday morning,

I bought a blueberry muffin and a book;

The book I set aside.



The slant of light through the big windows

Reminded me of you, and again I found myself mourning;

I always feed my mourning.



My muffin is a sweet golden brown, uneven and pleasing to the touch,

Like your arms with the delicate hairs up and down them,

And, sometimes, the little rising bumps.



I cannot trust my vision,

And so I peel the fluted paper by feel, as I did when undressing you

With fingertips like cirrus clouds.



I have never been able to resist

Sweetness flecked with blue...

I have never been able to allay

My tenderness or my hunger...for you.



Even though I know

The thorn in my heart is not the muffin in my hand,

I seek it there.

Berries plucked too early are tart--

And yet I savor them,

Holding them on my tongue as I held you in perfect moments--

When vivid life coursed up through your body

Like your fingers through my hair.



A little girl says,

"Mommy, that lady is crying."

But I am only finishing my blueberry muffin,

Kissing its soft heart

Even as I devour it

With an appetite I hadn't known I still possessed.

_______

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Crows



I wasn't with who I was supposed to be with.

I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing,

Those hated things.



I was with you,

The forbidden friend;

And it is useless to tell a crow to stop flying

In mid-sky.



We had snuck inside somebody's garage,

And you, Your Ladyship, you said,

"Look at all this shit!"

Lamps, hammocks, car parts,

Lawn chairs, steamer trunks,

And our hearts

Beating fast with the happiness of minor crimes.



You, Highness, marveled at a ginormous spider web,

Then did claw hands at me.

"Eet ees flyink spiders!" you said,

And we laughed even as we shushed each other.



I laced my fingers through yours, and for a moment in the dusty wonderful gloom of that place,

We flew together in each other's eyes.

Then, you were shoving a few shiny silver tools into your jeans pockets,

And we were off,

One hour closer to a thrashing,

And to the day when we would make our own rules,

And choose our own company to keep.

________

Friday, October 1, 2010

Safe Harbor






You said, "Look at the
Moon."
I said, "The sky shakes me,
I long for stillness."

You said, "Shhh, mental case.
Kiss me."
I did, and felt the tides.

Pretty sea wives linger, watching.
I cannot.
I am always drowning.

I have soft starfish hands.
You are anemone,
Not poison, but
Life and
Safe harbor.

_______