Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Happy Place

The New Year arrives at My Happy Place late in the afternoon
By postal motorboat.
We pick it from the splinters and debris in the churning surf,
And carry it up to the house;
"Welcome to My Happy Place," we tell it,
But it only stares fixedly, as if dead.

We put The New Year to bed in one of the guest rooms,
After taking away its shoe laces and belt.
At My Happy Place, we are always at the ready for visitors--
We keep soft restraints in a drawer,
And kindly old Doctor Bubo looks in, though we are never sure that he really understands
Us,
Our guests,
Or My Happy Place at all.

At twelve, The New Year steps out into the night
Near the cupola.
It uses its torn bed sheets to communicate by semaphore
With various monsters and suicides
Out in the deep.
We want to release a flock of doves from the lawn of My Happy Place,
But all that we have is a dead pigeon;
We toss it up into the gale, and it seems to fly for a moment
--noble creature!--
Before thumping listlessly against the bricks and then the ground.

Welcome, New Year, to My Happy Place!
Be mindful of our pitched and slippery roof;
Hold that rose firmly between your teeth,
While stretching out your arms like an aeroplane.
They say that
Birth and Death are less different than the same,
And that all the doors at My Happy Place
Open as easily outward
As in.
____


Happy New Year's, my second least favorite holiday after Independence Day.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Rx

Dr. Figg's wife attacked him with a caduceus--
Dr. Pennington gave him apple cider to counteract moral rot, and tincture of opium for the pain;
Soon Dr. Figg recovered, though he gave up his practice and spent long days sitting in his garden,
Tying sailor's knots.

Dr. Andrews championed luck, even in the most extreme cases--
He instructed his nurse to fold four leaf clovers into the charts of his patients;
Within a week, the files were in perfect order,
Because all of the subjects had died, though it has to be said,
None expired by accident or misadventure.

Dr. Hanley was a student of the four humors--
At night, in his office, he studied black and yellow bile, until it drove him to despair;
Paliative treatments became his specialty,
And in furtherance of this policy, he left revolvers on the examining table pillows,
And bullets in a nearby emesis basin.

In time, Dr. Andrews gave up practice and became a clergyman--
Dr. Hanley an undertaker.
"What ever became of Dr. Figg?" one asked the other at graveside one afternoon;
Unknown to them, he had adopted a life at sea,
Drinking no salt water,
And husbanding a wedge of lime
Below decks,
Next to his harpoon and an ivory comb with a pastoral scene carved into the handle.
_____

This began as a comment I made yesterday at somebody's blog. I decided to expand it here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Woman With The Cat Face

The woman with the cat face made a wish
And all the sparrows turned to fish.

The sky produced them at her command
Stacked like kippers upon her hand.

The woman with the cat tail switched it once
And paving stones turned to hot cross buns.

The woman with the cat tail switched it twice
And made Catholic bishops out of five field mice.

The woman with the cat heart had a beau
Set him on a gibbet and swung him low.

The woman with the cat heart clapped her hands
And made his coffin out of watering cans.
______

composed in the journal Hedgewitch gave me, for Gay Cannon's form for all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Sarah Winchester Mystery House

I want to meet my love at the Sarah Winchester Mystery House
Deep in the ripe plum fruit
Of a dark purple evening.

I want her to french me into another world,
Half way up a stairway to nowhere.
I want her hands in my hair;
I want her to ride my thigh like a bareback Indian.

I want to fall through a wall onto prairie grass.
I want my love in soft leather and buckskin,
And handy with a rifle.

If I could have these things,
I would open a door onto thin air--
I would turn around, half out of the Sarah Winchester Mystery House,
And smile at her

With one leg dangling behind me in the darkness,
And the other called, as if by seance,
To wrap itself around the slender small of her back
Like a summoned spirit.
_____

for She To Whom I Am Slavishly Devoted

The Ballad Of The Black Swan

I called the swans,
but they were lazy from being loved by the Winter.
They lay everywhere,
wings spread and still across the dull world
like protective mothers doting over an indifferent, implacable child.

From that day, I hated the swans.

In my emptiness, I prayed that Goddess would send me a weapon;
stupid with cold, at first I thought it was the night that had turned my dreams black,
but it was your arriving kiss,
and I fell in love with Fire.

As a sign of my devotion to you,
I grew my red hair long, to my waist,
overnight.
The violence of your love sent my name into hiding,
but the delight of your rough endearments
made the sun rise,
crimson and punishing,
out of the screams I offered you like candy.

That day, I went to murder the swans' darling.

There are glass children, and there are wooden children.
The glass children I recognize as our own, My Love.
You made me pour out
the grating, useless sand of my desert past--
it was your bright, sudden kiss
that made our babies beautiful,
reflecting the white and silver
like they were born to it.

The swans' child was wooden,
a more clever and wicked devil than I had counted on.
My Love, My Love,
what could I do?
When I stood over her, her many mothers melted away,
--the cowards!--
leaving her alone and at my mercy.
She stirred.
She met my hand, the hand that has loved you,
with a bouquet of burning flowers.
She placed them on her mothers' graves.
She placed them in my hair.
She placed them everywhere, all the way up to our secret aerie.

My hard sweetheart,
do not hate me, your Black Swan. I am the creature who will be devoted to you forever.
And, my adored one,
do not hate this child;
she bears my true name, and I have brought her home to stay.
_____

linked to Kenia's Wednesday Challenge

Monday, December 26, 2011

When I Think Of You, It Brings These Lines

by request

When I think of you, it brings the night
Because
Blackbirds gather under my skin,
Millions of them,
Each feather a craving, unstill and restless until
Your touch calls them and they
Black the sky
With their dark joy.

When I think of you, it brings the fire
Because
Small suns gather under my skin,
Millions of them,
Each the lit center of a swirling want, until
Your kiss frees them and they
Bright the sky
With their full desire.

When I think of you,
It is shadow and light--
It is everything--
It is all that one who loves you can (gladly) endure.
_____ 

The Constancy Of The Moon

Christmas bells rang my head--
to,
fro,
or maybe it was just the Colt 45.

The moon used to cradle me in her curve while I slept--
she always whispered,
"Little girl,
take this silver dollar
and buy a ticket home to me."

Texas Jim rang my head--
to,
fro,
or maybe it was just the December wind.

I would leave here, head south,
if only I could stand up.

The moon used to cradle me in her curve while I slept--
she always whispered,
"Little girl,
take this silver dollar
and buy a ticket home to me."

Christmas bells ring my head--
to,
fro,
echoing in the alley between the churches--
I would come to Jesus
sure enough,
if only I could stand up.
_____

for Real Toads OLM

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Elegance!

Darlings, the spirits have the day off today, lazy things!

And so, I invite you to visit the lady for whom holiday elegance never takes a day off, my satiric alter ego, Babs St. Argent at Objets D'art. You can find her HERE, but wait!

Babs has thoughtfully sent over her driver, RRRRRamon, with the Rolls, to take you! Merry Christmas, everyone. 
______

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Insatiable Sin Eater

There is not enough Ecstasy,
crack,
crank,
horse,
smack,
booze,

Not enough cutting,
starving,
bingeing,
purging,
burning,

Not enough cleaning,
cooking,
dusting,
decorating,
hostessing,

Not enough sleeping,
avoiding,
forgetting,
denying,

Not enough cars,
houses,
jobs,
promotions,

Not enough failure
not enough
failure
not
enough
failure,

Not enough men,
women,
fetishes,
perversions,
degradrations,
ten year old whores in Bangkok brothels,

Not enough fake smiles,
not enough
bullshit 
bullshit 
bullshit,

Not enough self-hatred,
self-loathing,
self-abnegation,
self-obliteration,

Not enough honors,
kudos,
compliments,
conquests,

Not enough shame
not enough
shame
not
enough
shame,

Not enough killing,
soul-twisting,
mindfucking
unholiness

to do what a little human warmth could have done
when we were wide-eyed and open
and asking for it.
_____


for A Word With Laurie at Real Toads

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Calm Bird/ Haiku Poetry For A Wednesday Evening

consider the calm bird
assuming a steady pose
flap your wings, stupid

always seek stillness
goldfish swim, then are at rest
koi pond is frozen

nature provides much
receive nourishment from earth
use three second rule

angry mount fuji
flows faster than man can run
where are the fucking keys?

to coax bonsai tree
trim wisely and use soft ties
hammer not so good


sun rises then sets
industrious zen master
with your wife long time

sick like hell of rice
same thing morning noon and night
fuck you, uncle ben

______

Monday, December 19, 2011

Word Garden's 1,000th Post!

The woman with the camera was getting exactly nowhere. She was standing inside Danny's Coffee Shop, trying to get a good shot of the Queen Of The Vampires, but every picture just showed wall, tables, coffee cups. No QOTV. She gave her camera a little shake, then smacked her forehead.

"Vampire," said Daryl with an eye roll. "No mirrors. No pictures. What was I thinking?"

The QOTV smirked as only a Vampire Queen in black panther form can, and went on shredding another booth. 

"Chica, hold still, I want to draw you!" Scarlet's always drawing someone.

Over by the counter, the waitresses God and Denise were chattering with Chloe--the resident serial killer and multiple felon--and The Succubus.

"I've got Mama Zen's," said Denise.

"Chick's hot!" sighed Chloe. "Hey," she said, turning to the Succubus, "you ever get into her dreams?"

"Nope," replied the Succubus, her eyes hidden behind big dark glasses. "I can't get past the buffalo blanket and the dog."

Chloe put on a mock pout. "Poooor Suk-oo-buss!"

"Oh shut the fuck up," muttered the Succubus mildly. It was morning, and she was feeling mellow after a long night of stealing souls.

Meanwhile, the kitten Giuseppe Verdi was rolling around on a tabletop with Stripey, a customer's cat, much to the amusement of Savanna, the teenage runaway.

The Succubus moved smoothly across the room, after perfunctorily flipping off Chloe, and sat down dramatically at a table next to a woman wearing nearly identical sunglasses. "Sara...you're so diviiiiiiiiiiiiine!" They looked like twins.

Behind them, a woman was leaning out of the doorway, screeching at some kids. "Get off my sidewalk!" She turned around and sat back down. "I'm never going to finish this poem!"

"What is it about?" Chloe asked Hedgewitch, for it was none other. 

"Well...it's about an incubus who shows up on a brush hog and seduces a girl who has three heads and twelve arms. Here, read it..."

Chloe read it as the denizens of Danny's swirled around her.

"Do you think it's too sweetsy cutesy? I could put some bats in it..."

Chloe shook her head. "It's perfect."

"Are you sure my mother in law will be turned into a toad?" asked Lolamouse anxiously, peering into the pouch she'd just been given by Denise. 

"She's as good as green."

Just then, a streaking black blur flew through the air and into a booth. It was the QOTV, who had just spotted the Dark Haired Chick. She landed with a happy thump and toppled them both over backwards where they disappeared into the seat. 

"Get offa me, you crazy spaz!" said the DHC, but she was laughing.

"Shhh! Everybody!" It was Chloe. She had moved over by the window, which had been designed by Ellen, and was intent upon something out in the street. "Silent treatment!"

The little bell over the door rang and the mail lady walked in. You could hear a pin drop. Nobody looked up.

"Wow, what's wrong with you guys?" she asked as she dumped a bunch of crap on the counter. "Here's your mail!"

The Succubus blew a smoke ring. Chloe examined a fingernail. God and Denise filled the napkin holders without looking up. 

"Okay then...er...bye!" But before she could get out the door, everybody yelled, 

"Happy one thousandth post, Shay!!!!"

"Aw shucks, you guys!"

Then a single voice rose above the others. 

"My Redbook! It finally came!"

Who knows what wonders may occur at Danny's Coffee Shop in the next one thousand posts???

999 and counting/ Merry Christmas from Shay

Dear Readers,

I'm a little bit early, but you know how I get about rules. And so, Merry Christmas to all of you, and thank you sincerely for visiting my Word Garden and for reading what I create. I wish each and every one of you love and warmth in this, the holiday season.

The Word Garden Complaint Department, open every third Tuesday of even numbered months, from 3 a.m. until 3:15 a.m., has received a small complaint. I'm all over it! The complaint was this: Reader X would like me to step out from behind the curtain more often, show myself, dish a little.

Okay.

I deliver the mail. I'm tall (5'-11"). I wrote poetry between the ages of 18 and 26, then took a twenty year break before taking up the Bic again in 2006. I collect stuffed raccoons and coyotes. I also like Coke bears. I am currently spending huge gobs of my spare time watching dvd's of the old Mary Tyler Moore show. "Mister Grant!" lol. I can make almost anyone laugh, except my mother. I spoil my dog, Bosco, rotten. I am prone to moods.

But, back to Christmas. I was raised a Christian, but am emphatically not one anymore. Something about being bludgeoned with it and told I'm going to Hell for who I am and who I love. Take that stuff and stick it.

And yet...from the vivid dream I had in my twenties, about being visited by a beautiful angel and shown Heaven (so that I would know there was something more), to the prayer that did what no other power could do, which was to to allow me to stay sober for one more day (which has now grown to 26 years), God, or Goddess as I prefer to think of Her, has been a constant in my life.

And so, in this season of Christmas, I share this video with you. It does things to me. Maybe you will like it too. Then, please come back Tuesday for a special 1,000th Word Garden post. I just wish I had the faintest idea what to do for that!

Peace,

Shay Caroline

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Let's Dialogue

I knew I should be quiet,
But my mouth went on talking without me
And, oh, the things it said.

I didn't know your eyes could go big like that--
2 little shocked stars undressing.
And when your jaw drops and you squint,
I see a locomotive coming down the tracks--
I'm gonna have to think of something
Think of something fast.

I know I should be careful,
But two idle hands can get so bored
And oh, the stuff they pull.

I didn't know a thing could go up like that--
Just from a little drug store lighter.
And when you're really angry and you go so silent,
I know you're gonna kick my ass--
I'm gonna need a really convincing little tap dance
Aren't I, baby?
Wait a second, baby.
Oh sweet Jesus in a pinafore,
I'm gonna need it fast.
_____
art by Eugenio Recuenco (thanks, Kerry!)

This poem was the first one written in my new journal, a gift from the peerless Hedgewitch O' The Wilds. Thank you, dear! I do love it! (journal shown below)
_____

And, a little music to go with the poem...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Come And Get It

Come and get it.
I will pull bones from myself and bang a dirge on the hollows.
Why the face?
You have broken them so many times, they snap out easy.
Come and get it.
Come and get it while it's hot,
On fire with the word.
Come and dig its glowing little happy ass right out of the slag heap.

I made a centerpiece.
It's still fighting, but only a little.
Talk to it.
Tell it that shit you always told me.
Sock it right in the kisser,
Then it will shut up.
It's still moving,
You're not trying.

Come and smile until nobody can stand it anymore.
Bake someone happy.
Shove them right into the brick oven of your love.
Frost them.
Fuck them seven ways to Sunday.
Come and get it,
I don't want it.
Kiss it and call it Charley, just get it the hell out of here.

Come and get yourself.
Take yourself home with you.
Be very happy with yourself,
And leave the rest of us stuffed in our vases,
Bloomless and thorny,
But still talking,
If only to curse you in this and every other language
Ever spoken in extremity by the damned.
______

Friday, December 16, 2011

Girl Next Door

She said she wasn't the girl next door,
but she was.
She said she had both hands on the wheel,
and she did,
but the wheel stayed still while the car went road sky road sky road sky stop.

She said she never kissed a woman,
but she had.
She said she had both feet on the ground,
and she did,
but she stayed still while her heart went swerve right swerve left swerve right crash.
_____

written for Marian's music prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nocturne

Where do you go
When you are sleeping?
While I am watching?
I want to know.

Who is the you
Just beneath your skin?
Behind your closed eyes?
The one concealed within?

I want to know,
And so I stay close by...
As you breathe untroubled and slow...
Yours the breath, mine the sigh.
_____
for Gay Cannon's Form For All

 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Quasimodo

Dear Quasimodo,

It's me, of course. Who else do you know who does things as old fashioned as writing a letter? But I thought that you might welcome one, and besides, even if I were standing right in front of you, you wouldn't hear a word I say, now would you dear? I say that in every sense of the phrase, and in the most loving way. 

I wish I could be there when some stuffy Abbott or whoever hands you this, with the scripty-girly handwriting on it. Let's give them something to talk about! I know you'd like that song...it breaks my heart that you can't hear music, apart from your beloved bells. But never mind. How are the bells?!? I'm telling you, Q, if everyone had something they loved and love to do, as you do, the world would be a better place. And a lot louder, yikes! When you swing on the bell ropes, your face lights right up, did you know that? You are truly a man in his element. It's a beautiful thing.

So, tell me...what about this Gypsy girl you have been telling me about? Esmeralda, that's a pretty name, and to hear you tell it, she's all that and a bag of fireworks. Have you talked to her? Or are you just worshiping her from afar? I'm glad that you are feeling these things for someone. I am. But I fret about you, too, dear heart.

There are no secrets between us. I am your friend. Wild horses couldn't change that. And so, Mr. Bell Ringer Sir, will you forgive me if I say a few things? Do you promise not to be angry, or sulk, or think that I don't care for you? You can be a pistol, sometimes. Don't bother to deny! See now, how well I know you? 

I know, of course, about how you were left on the cathedral stairs as an infant. It is a terrible thing, a haunting thing, to believe that one was not wanted. Oh, Q, how often have I wished that I could just somehow reach inside of you and fix that. You do bring out the Mother Hen in me. And, too, I know that you believe you are ugly. Q! If you could see yourself with my eyes, you would know beyond any shadow of a doubt that you are not. Will you believe me? I have never lied to you, have I? You are not ugly. Would I hang out with you, and write you letters all the way from America, if you were ugly? I think not!

Think about this, please: who has God chosen to be closest to Him, up in the magnificent bell tower of the most glorious cathedral in the world? You, Magoo! Who sees to it that His voice never goes silent? Again, you my dear. And as I have already said, the joy you bring to what you do, is the most beautiful devotion He could ever receive. He knows that. He sees. He loves you, sugar pea. Me, too.

That is why I am concerned about this Gypsy beauty of yours. I hate to give away trade secrets, but I have to break it to you...not all girls are as fabulous as your faithful letter writer here. Yes, true. She doesn't know you the way that I do. She may be all about a handsome face and a noble white steed. What I'm saying, Q, is that I don't want you to be hurt. Would it be all right if I follow behind at twenty paces, just to make sure this gal is on the up and up? I'm teasing now, but in a way, I really wish I could.

You see, dear Q, I know how you are. Just the way you love your bells with your whole beautiful, faithful, glorious, simple heart, you'll do the same with this girl, whether she has earned that kind of love or not. All I'm saying is, don't get carried away with your bad self, dude. Take it slow. See what she's about. If she is as wonderful as you think she is, she'll see what I see. And if she doesn't, then...well, you'll still have me. You'll always have me. 


xox


Sally


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cindy & The Unfortunate Birthday Cake

Cindy did for the birthday cake.
Damn the thing anyway,
As if enough Bisquick and bullshit could 
Make her husband keep his dipstick where it belongs,
And keep her kids from going wrong,
And make everything as orderly as the numbered pages of a Redbook magazine,
Lined up flush and sequential,
Not loonbat crazy in the middle of the afternoon.

Cindy did for the birthday cake
With a ginormous honking big knife
Longer than a mother in law's memory,
And someone's got to answer for that,
For the gashes in the easy to clean table cloth
And the fucked up frosting
And anything and everything that Cindy faked since forever,
Like interest and orgasms and staying sober until five.

Cindy did for the birthday cake,
And it felt hella good.
____

for the dverse Tuesday night cattle call

my 300th Word Garden post of 2011 

Wheels

The woman who broke her heart had red hair
And blue eyes--
A sunset over deep water.
With her head tilted back, she believed,
As the bloom believes in the bee--
She did not, could not, see it coming.

Feeling herself destroyed,
She became a woman of the earth, as the quiet ones
In graveyards are--
A bus station bohemian,
Far down the road ahead of any memory,
Alone, disappearing.

That is where she met the man,
Who counted out his life in silver blades--
She thought she could stand to be with him,
Since she wouldn't really care,
And so,
Then and there she poured herself into his emptiness
Like a jar of smoke.

Each night he sent the knives at her--
They seemed to come out of his bright white cuff, like bones,
As she turned on the target wheel.
Each night in front of a popcorn crowd,
He built a skeleton around her from fifty paces
And she became its face and heart beat.

"Do you love me?" he demanded sourly
In the small hours after a show,
And when she said "no", the next night he missed,
Twice, and cut her.
She knew that to stay meant being carved,
A bar of soap vanishing to satisfy his anger.

The buses are comforting in their way,
But now, back on the Greyhound highway,
She finds her vision empty;
Blank as tomorrow, without the flying knives,
Without anyone's body to be heart for,
Without her red-haired love with the deep water eyes.
___

picture by Metin Demiralay