Wednesday, August 31, 2011

12 Mile Road

Up a steep dirt drive
Atop a small hill
Above a busy four lane road,

Stood a brown house
Amidst bare trees
Heavy-barked and old.

Empty mailbox.
Empty window frames.
Rusted door lock.

I always wondered,
Did someone write to say,
"I'm coming home"?

Did someone cry,
Kiss the letter,
Take the good china down?

Were they young?
Was the feather bed soft?
Did she say, "I'm three months on"?

Why did they leave?
Where did they go?
I'll never know.

The hill is empty.
There's just the moon.
The house is gone.


_____

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Candi McIntosh And The Tiger





Candi McIntosh is swallowed by a tiger.
Now, she can compose herself and think what to do
Without his snow and caramel face turning her to goo.

He is the same tiger
Who used to get in trouble for catching the birds off Mrs. Densmore's feeder,
Taking Tweety,
The feeder,
The branch it hung from,
And some of the siding off the house in the effort.


But his parents had hauled their childlessness behind them
For too long,
Like a house trailer filled with bowling balls.
How could they scold him?
In the end,
He received chocolates, not chastisement, for his crimes.

In high school,
He excelled at debate--
A remarkable thing for one who could not speak!
And yet,
Who would argue with him?
Who could mistake his meaning
When faced with his warm breath,
His rough tongue,
Or his basso profundo contented sighs?

Candi McIntosh never had a chance.
From the moment she saw him,
She wished to be the stars
So that when he moved silently across the sky at night,
His great soft paws
With all of their implied and restrained power,
Would touch her at every step.

Still,
The wedding was marred
By his insistence upon marking all the pews
And by his repeated lunging at the minister,
So that the vows were delayed
And disrupted
Again and again.

Now, after seven years together,
And so may beefsteaks and band-aids between them,
He has swallowed her.
Curled inside of him,
If her phone is ringing somewhere, she can't get to it;
If someone has rung the doorbell,
She can't come.
In the darkness of him,
She is eclipsed.

It is always true, however,
That a woman has her ways.
No matter what he may believe,
Or how sure and complacent he may have become,
She can stroke him
Or stagger him
As she chooses,
From within,
And there is nothing he can do about it now
But to tread softly
And--a little confused--
Sit center ring
To await his Mistress's command.


_____


for dverse OLN 7

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blue Jenna


Jenna loves to watch you dance.
She thinks you're
Curved easy
Like the ends of vines,
The vines she would love to stay twined inside of
If she could.


Jenna thinks there's just you in the room.
She thinks you're
Sexy and silver
And singular as the moon,
The moon she would love to lie in the light of
If she could.


Jenna is crazy
And sees what she wants to see;
She sees what you cannot see in yourself
Blind as blind can be.


Jenna loves to wait for you
In the moonlit vine leaf bower
Where moon and vine
Like love and time
Curl cold and soft around her.


______

Ask Mittens The Cat Your Metaphysical Questions

There are things which are known,
Clear,
Predictable and provable--
A carton of milk left out on the counter
In the sun from the streaky window
For a week
While its owner pores over ancient religious texts
Or surfs porn
In an access of unnatural zeal,
Will roil with unspeakable rot
And spoilage to turn one's skin gray.

Such is the rational world.

Enter "Mittens" the psychic cat.
Mittens knows
In the morning
That Fat Henry from downstairs will have a coronary
In front of Wheel Of Fortune
That evening,
But she refuses to say.

The things Mittens sees
And the things Mittens is privy to,
Make God look like a piker
Viewing smoke in a darkened room
Through the keyhole.

Then there is the benighted general run of humanity.

They know only what is spoon fed to them
By pomaded newsmen,
The terrors instilled in them
By hovering, neurotic parents,
And the odd fact picked up
From graphic novels
Found accordioned at the filthy kiosk where the number ten bus pauses
To consume them whole.

Turn to Mittens the psychic cat.

Is your life a blue diamond
In a rose bloom
In a beautiful woman's hand?
Is your heart
A hawk through the smashed window
Of the two car garage of time?
Mittens knows,
But Mittens will never say.

Tough shit, Princess.

Truth is a black ink riddle
Written on a crow's wing
By a blind man.
You could break your fingers and your neck
Trying to read that braille
On the fly.
Leave it to Mittens
Whose eyes are designed for the lunacy of night.


_____


for dverse poetics

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Damned

The damned arrive on a repainted school bus
At a shabby seaside hotel advertising "reasonable rates."

We are here, a few of us, for what we've done.
Most are here for what they have failed to do. 
One man is here just for boring the living fuck out of everybody for decades.

The doors to our rooms each have one hundred knobs;
Only one works.
We go as numb as candidates, trying them all.

Here, are the 72 virgins the terrorists covet.
Stiff and blank as shirt cardboards, they are here for being dull, too.

For my own peculiar torture, there is the crack whore next door.
She can go smokin' through ten men or ten dollars in nothing flat,
And looks exactly like a messed-up 17-year-old version of my greatest love.
She does not bother to wash her hair, which would be glorious,
And I do not bother to hide my desire, despite her revolted scorn.

There are Christians here.
They are made to listen to the Bee Gees disco era hits 24/7,
And the noise of their suffering keeps us all awake every night.

And me?
I am here because of my hate.
I hate 
I hate
I hate
Every man who ever touched you, or touches you still,
Because,
Waste offends me.
Women, well,
We are tarantulas, aren't we, godawful scheming banshees,
But I can fault no one for even the wildest sins
Begun with our kisses
And laughable promises.

It's you, of course,
I love with the last thorn fresh cutting of my heart.
Come to the beach.
Put the crack whore in her place.
Press your body and your impossible lips to mine.
Let the Hotel Of The Damned melt like whipping cream
In the foaming gray-green
Surf of a seaweed dream.


______
 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Excelsior

"Melvin? I ran into our old neighbors today. They asked about you."

"Huh? Oh. Fine."

They have a new Escalade. You know, the Suburu is making that weird pinging noise again. Tom said he could get us a deal on--"

"Tom's a prick. Laurie's a slut."

"Melvin!"

(shrug)

"You know what, Melvin?"

(mumbling) "For god's sake..."

"I feel like some Twizzlers."

"Try the store."

"Well....I was hoping you'd go get some for me."

"Fuck that."

"Melvin!"

"What? Are your legs broken?"

"Do you even love me anymore, Mel?"

"Yeah. Wow, look at that dunk."

(sigh) "When we got married, all my friends were so jealous. I was marrying an astronaut!"

"Why don't you go to the store?"

"It's too far."

"It is not. I went to the freaking moon for chrissakes. You can go to the store."

"Well I don't trust the Suburu, and you won't let me take the Rover."

"So walk. It's good exercise." 

"Like you would know. C'mon, I want some Twizzlers. Be my knight in shining armor and get me some."

"What?"

"Goddamit, Melvin."

"The 7-11 is right around the corner. It's one small step for--"

"I swear to God, Melvin...don't say it."

_______

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happier Blue

When the seasons change
When the summer ends
In shades of soft pink and pale blue on white,
I think of the peasant blouse you wore
That made you look like a gypsy flag
Or a table cloth
Or a warm roll folded in a napkin.


What I remember most
When August leaves me stupid with daylight,
Is how easily it slipped off
Like a soul in an upward breeze.
Burberry Ice was your fragrance,
Motorcycle grease your marker,
And oh how alike
Can be a small snarl or a knowing laugh.


Summer got old a long time ago,
And these things that used to thrill, I've done a million times.
If it isn't forbidden,
If it isn't dying,
Then as the autumn comes on, I have my books and my Coke with lime.
Still, I look for you by the roadside,
Covered with dust,
Offended,
On your way some place,
Happier Blue, patroness of the disappearing morning.


_______


Forgive me, Rita, for borrowing your moniker. I think it suits any gypsy, don't you?

 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shoot The Ballerina

When the revolution came,
Katya was in mid-air.
Her partner was so taken with the sight of the soldiers in their uniforms,
That he forgot himself
Like Jesus' luggage,
And forgot Katya as well.

She came down from the spinning embrace of God,
Not into her partner's strong hands,
But behind the blankness of his back
As he smiled at a cavalryman.
She fell like a sputnik
To the hard stage
And the monkey within
Howled Tchaikovsky flawlessly.

This is where they shoot me,
She thought, amazed.
My leg is broken
Just like the performance,
Just like the dynasty,
Or the regime.
This is where they shoot me
Quick and clean behind one pitch-perfect ear.

But the cavalryman lay dead
At the hands of the second violinist,
Who,
In fierce regret,
Shook him like a puppet to revive him
That he might rejoin the violence and stupidity of the moment.

Like an equine saint, came the cavalryman's horse.
She grabbed a stirrup,
And he plunged magnificently over each row of seats
As if they were river stones or fence rails.
Again,
Katya was launched Heavenward;
Her lips at his velvet ear whispered,
Tonight, we both escape the glue factory!

This time, when she came down,
It was on his back
On the cobbled street outside,
And they went like hell,
Like anything,
Like that,
Til the moon disappeared, a fresh-healed bone.
_______

for dverse OLN #6

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Paris, Au Revoir

Oh, Honey,
I'm so tired of being angry.
That rosy flush
You loved so much,
It was just the outward radiance
Of the cauldron I carried,
Ruining my heart from within
Like bloody steak.

But never mind.
I can see that I'm
Upsetting you with my vulgar talk.
You have always loved me better
In a wicker chair on the veranda--
My Japanese fan,
The pillars of the little railing,
And my fingers
All the same harmless white.

Hush, Sweetheart.
I like this, just us two
So quiet, like monsters of the deep, slumbering.
Why did we scold and chatter so,
And why did we go so long never knowing
This opium peace in silence?
Let me hold your hand--
I will kiss it softly,
And I know you will never raise it to me again.

See my bags?
My favorite dancing slippers,
My books?
They have waited with the patience of saints.
But shhh,
Darling,
If seeing them set carefully near the door upsets you,
Just close your eyes,
Pretend it is our wedding night.
We're in love,
And the red stain on the bedding
Looks just like Jesus.

I'm sorry, My Heart,
I must go.
No, I won't be back this time
With my sad smile and sigh,
And my prescriptions
Like small officious doctors themselves.
In anticipation of this moment,
I have made our oak floors shine--
You will have your own image for company
As you always have.
I never want to think of you alone, when I have gone,
So I leave you the ring you gave me
Set carefully on your lapel
Like a butterfly that will stay forever
Where its perch is peaceful,
Sane
And still.
_______


for dverse poetics

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wild Mulberry

A mulberry tree appeared
One summer
Where I hadn't planned that one should be.

I cut it down
Without a thought.

The next summer,
It returned, but I hadn't the heart
To cut it again while it stood green and fine,

So I sawed it at its base
In the autumn.

A third time, my mulberry returned;
At last, I fell in love,
And that is the only sharpness I let near.

I tend her now with deep and careful sweetness
Born of my mistakes become a prayer.


_______

Friday, August 19, 2011

Shadow

This is dedicated to my friend, who missed me. You are more precious to me than you know.

Shadow

No one ever could teach me anything;
No more than
You'd try to teach stitchery to a squirrel.

Still, some things settle in anyway,
Like soap scent into a favorite shirt,

So that suddenly,
There I am riding with the sun at my back
And I see her,
My long-haired shadow--
The one I call
Pretty Girl.


________
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thank You

I just wanted to say, THANK YOU, all of you who so kindly commented yesterday. Honestly, I was bowled over. I never expected that, though my two closest bloggy buds did, and regarded clueless me with, I think, a little bit of toldja-so eye rolling. I want all of you to know that you really helped me feel better. So, again, thank you.

I will be back with my poems. I just don't know when. Right now I need to right the ship without thinking about creating, too, although I will continue to update my Objets D'art blog. Nothing stops its fictional author, Babs.

Again, thank you to all of you.

Shay

Monday, August 15, 2011

End Of The Road (At Least For Now)

Things are not going so well here in the land of Danny's Coffee Shop. Though this blog is the thing I love best in all the world (after Bosco), I find that I have no desire to write any more poems. Basically, I would like to sleep for about three years. So, I may feel better tomorrow, or not at all, I really don't know.


FB

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hail the V!

The reluctance of media to say certain words has been discussed in this space before, and as always, I say hail to the V! That's va jay jay, bay bay. Take me back to old Vagina. Oops, I said it, didn't I? Do I never tire of compromising conservative Christian values?

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Ruff You!

Mishka can say "I love you!"



And she can say Nooooooo!





Ha!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

French Form

Have you considered using the French form for this?

It's good, but
Audio media could take it to the next level.

Digital video might kick it up even more.
I could show you how.

Here on the beach where we pair off and roll in the shallows like shipwrecked rabbits,
Here where the bonfire is heaped with shit we liberated from the Monet exhibit at the Whitty,
Her head looks good on a stick
Good on a stick
Good on a stick.

It's a weird stoned kind of semaphore when we wave her around like so...
North,
South,
East,
West,
Fly the head, feed strays the rest.

Oh, little corndog, this is our French form,
Learnt in Nawlins,
And brought up the river in gris-gris bags
By us no-accounts,
Us hags.

Look down, sweet honey with the wooden neck...
We could show you how.
_______ 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cat Angel

As London burns,
Forming a new,
Darker,
Smokier,
More temporary London high in the night sky,

Cat Angel sees.

As men struggle,
Economies fail,
And even the weather turns hateful and relentless,

Cat Angel is there.

The thing is,
Cat Angel couldn't care,
And her unblinking stare
Remains untroubled.

She knows,
That London is better burned,
And that men
Will never learn
Anything.

So I sing of Cat Angel's glory,
And of how she is as white, and as beautiful,
As Chantilly--

Cat Angel sees.
Cat Angel is there.
Cat Angel cares.

Ha. No.
Not really.
________

for dverse

Silents, Please



It might seem strange for a gal who is all about words to have a fascination for the old silent era actresses. But I do, I love them. 

After all, what were they? They were storytellers. They came to a brand new medium, usually from difficult backgrounds, and made it their own. Because the "flickers" were new, there were no traditions, no rules, no customs set in stone. It was wide open and nobody knew just how it ought to be done. 

At first, all the shots were long, as if seen by an audience sitting in a theater. After all, so many of the people making early motion pictures came from vaudeville backgrounds. But when the camera came close, that was when these women cut loose and made moviegoers fall in love with them.

In a silent medium, it did no good to be subtle. The expressions, the gestures, the emotions, were all big and bold. I love that! Further, the movies were seen as hopelessly low brow in the early days, and so the story lines tended to be populist and sentimental. Fine with me!

Of course, it hardly even needs saying that these gals were beautiful, and I think their old-timey dresses, hats and hair are all as charming as the day is long. But don't be fooled. These were some tough cookies. Mary Pickford was a shrewd businesswoman, and it was Mabel Normand who fought to get a second chance for first-time fizzler Charlie Chaplin.

So, I love them. Maybe you will, too. Enjoy the video!
___ 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Reverend Jim

Reverend Jim snaps, and drowns JoAnne Pfister in the baptismal font
on Easter Sunday
right in front of the entire congregation.

No cookies in the social hall for Jim this time.

In his years on the run,
the ruined Reverend learns some hard truths--
that women lie their heads off,
that RC Cola tastes like shit, especially the diet,
and that cats, though beautiful,
worship only tuna fish, and meet in terrible cabals on the sly.

You doubt these things?
Then, how wonderful
that you have not suffered.


For a time, he lives in a trailer park with a waitress
who has seven Persians and tells him she is the 
reincarnation of Saint Joan of Arc.


Her refrigerator has so many magnets on the door,
it looks like the uniform of a South American military officer,
a deranged puppet ordering crackdowns...
Inside, it is full to bursting with cans of RC diet cola.


"I love you, Jimmy," says the waitress,
leaving him a generous tip after acrobatic sex one night.
"I'll never leave you,"
but her bags are already packed and hidden behind the cinder blocks outside.


Alone,
hunted,
steeped in sin like the devil's tea bag,
Reverend Jim flees the trailer as he fled the church so long ago.


His hair grows long,
and he moves ever further into the surrounding wilderness.
In the weird intermittent flashes of a lightning storm,
he asks for God's pardon.


She washes him clean with the rain,
whispers in his ear to come home,
poor sinner,
come home...
But at the last minute,
a dove falls neck-bitten and dead at his feet.

He hears,
very faintly,
the sound of a tiny bell,
and when he bites his knuckles, the rain drops taste
metallic and awful.


Reverend Jim decides to stay where he is,
miserable and ridden with fever dreams of the woman he killed.
He has kept one large cross through all the heartbreak,
and uses it it as a hammer
to build his tree house,
because the damned must be resourceful
and make the best use of whatever is at hand.


_____





Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nothing

Take this nothing,
Carefully collected from the inside of rings
And the spaces between the spokes of your gypsy wagon.

Line up this nothing,
Make it make sense;
Alphabetize it,
Set it under different arches, at different times of day.

Nothing fills the Rue de Rien--
I become a shadow,
Reaching through myself, amazed.

Nothing in your hands when I waited by myself.
Nothing on your lips when I listened unto death.
Throw open all the doors,
Let the horseman pass--
Take back this gift of nothing, dear,
And shove it up your ass.
_____


for dverse

 

Mercy Me/ Gibsom Street

Two videos I thought were really good. From the global,

HERE  (sorry, I couldn't embed it)

To the personal...



Happy Sunday.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Flawed

It turns out Heaven is not wheelchair accessible--
Got to keep the feebs out, and I'm
In a double bind for being queer.

Oh, if only I'd not stood high on the steps of the parking structure,
Arms spread,
Blathering about being the queen of the world;
No devil ever fell faster,
And I wasn't even sorry about fucking up that guy's Beemer.

My Love, My Love,
Where have you gone?
Are there ramps there,
And is your hair
Still the most glorious thing in the world?

In my ardor, I doze off,
And dream that I am perched in the window of the Barbie bedroom I coveted as a child--
I am so temporarily beautiful that the sun alters its arc to be closer to me,
And my legs are magnificent, whole and strong.

See?
In the window glass?
My face.
My real face.

I reach my hands around, every finger ringed and jewelled,
And tap on the far side of the pane--
Let me in, Heaven.
Let me in, My Love.
Oh, pretty girl with the perfect face, so remotely familiar--
Let me in,
I beg you.

_____

For the record, I am not disabled, but I did grow up with a facial disfigurement. They say that the facially disfigured are the only ones who look in the mirror and do not see themselves.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Superfluous Raccoons!

I love raccoons! I have several toy ones scattered around my house, and Bosco has one too. I think I like that they are smart and clean and steal stuff.

I didn't write a new poem since Monday. So sue me! Here are superfluous raccoons instead!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lace Ladder

Lay out a cardinal feather,
a blonde stone,
a ripe orange,
a sulfur-tipped match,
a jar of deep blue pigment,
and a new cake of lavender soap. 

When helpless before wickedness,
smell good,
wear silver crescent earrings,
and get straight to the heart of it. 

Use the lace ladder
to rise like sandalwood smoke;
use the velvet pouch
to hold back a trick and a trifle. 

If she loves you,
the wooden gate will swing open by itself under cool stars.
If she desires you,
the clematis will open its blooms before dawn. 

When helpless before wickedness,
do all of this,
smile like a sly saint,
and give wickedness what she wants.
_____

for dverse poetry

The Fall of Ra

The sun god Ra lives quietly on a pension
In a bungalow in Redford, Michigan.
He makes some Sanka,
And begins to reminisce again... 

"I was big in the land of the burning sand,"
He announces to the cat.
"A deity of some distinction!" Then he waves a hand.
"But you wouldn't remember that." 

Egyptians are in short supply
On pretty East Blackberry Drive.
Ra wears crocs and takes the paper,
Saving the crossword puzzle for later.

A tin sun blazes, never sinking lower,
On the side of the shed where he keeps his mower.
Once, he sneered as pharaohs bowed,
But all that is gone--
"Hey you kids! Off my lawn!"
(He says through the window, and not very loud.)

__________

for Magpie 76