Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Abnormal Gods

I see you sitting, smoking
with the abnormal gods from the neighborhood.
They are stone wheels grinding canary eggs
to make the blank pale bread of late summer;
while you, Peachy Cream, rock those jeans like a loaf of song.

I used to hang with them, too, you know.
I was the spit and image of hot July;
I offered them headlights from my hand,
and brought them lime juice all the way from Morocco.
The fuckers,
they never even glanced up.

Here is what will happen,
when the gray-shaken sky spills the deluge down J Street--
there will be a hum you'll feel
right through the golden soles of your wedges,
and you'll find yourself fluent before those muttering arthritic antiques
with the Camel packs in their sleeves.

A roll of your hips will dislodge the abnormal gods,
and I will sleep well tonight
on the soft yellow feathers
that fall
from the impossible feast of that victory.
_______

for Thursday Melting. I had to use these words: hum, muttering, juice, spit, abnormal, smoking, fluent, grind, shaken and blank.

A little Emmylou, to go with. *swoon swoon swoon*

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Medieval

There's no need to go all medieval on my ass.
No need to fetch out your thumbscrews if my hemline's a little high.

Suit yourself, summon your churchman, he's a fine one.
He's fit to burst, and all I've got to say is that a tonsure and Latin texts
Never made any girl give it up.

Yes, I was at the May fair.
My little son ran ahead of me, laughing at the stilt walkers
And the fire eaters.

Later, I held him by the hand,
Until he begged to be carried. When I settled him against my hip,
He was as hot as a dying star.

I ran home, calling to my husband to bring water,
But he was already dead upon the straw bed,
And my other darling did the same under a red moon that night.

Heave your battle axe and split this stone--
Inside, you will find my heart,
For all the good it will ever do you.

I have been with a thousand men,
Including your churchman, who I made pay me double.
You, I'll do for free, just to give you the French disease.

There's no need to go all medieval on my ass.
I am already damned for all time, not because I've whored,
But because I loved.
_______

for Real Toads photo challenge, featuring the fab Mama Zen. The photograph is hers.

E Z Off

Sylvia Plath's spirit spoke to me
as if she were the
god damn Oracle Of The Oven.

Sylvia say,
"Oh, girl,
give it up.
You think this world gonna change?
You think the rain gonna stop half way down the sky
to save your fuckin' 'do?"

She say,
"Do what I do.
Pretend it's a workout show.
Crawl in like this,
and breathe in deep and slow."

So I say,
"Who is Sylvia,
what is she,
that all our swains commend her?
What kind of half-assed soul was she
that a kitchen appliance should end her?"

I say,
my Love, she leave me last on her list.
Not feelin' loved,
it sucks dead donkey lips,
but
still...

Damned if I'm gonna snuff it here
with chicken grease in my hair.
Damned if Pete the repairman say,
"It don't work because
there's a damn dead girl in there."

Anyways,
something good might happen any time.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Oh look, that made me laugh.
_______

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pretty

I used to want to be pretty, like a Mucha girl--
Got the Lancome landfill to prove it.
But now,
I just don't care--
I'm as nasty as a shut-off notice;
I don't even try.
I don't care if you look, and go blind.

I used to want to be somebody's Star, their Number One--
But now that shit is done.
I'm as lonesome as a broken step--
Don't even try,
Because I definitely bite, hard and deep,
And for little cause.
I'm the un-Mucha girl--
Part rage, part grief, all claws.
______



for Fireblossom Friday "Much(a) The Artistic" at Real Toads.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crusade

It was during the blackout,
In the time of the plague.
I came back to our apartment, leading my exhausted horse,
The cross on my chest dotted with sprays of blood
Like funeral flowers.

You never understood,
When I spoke of slaughter.
Yes, you let me tremble, bare-skinned, in your arms, in the dark,
My heart the very last thing unsheathed;
But I think you still pictured the dead, if you pictured them at all,
Laid straight and pretty in fragrant new rosewood coffins
Unmarred, like asparagus stalks upon a plate.
In your version, they do not lurch,
Cradling their guts in their hands,
Grown men, dying, calling for their mothers.

It was during the scaly week,
The interminable seven days without you,
That hopelessness seeped into me, like poison through a corrupted membrane.
I am your prickly girl, laying my dented helmet
On the counter at the 7-11, embarrassing you.
Haunting the kitchen, I touched my fingers to your copper pots,
So emblematic of the order, the care, the warmth that is you, baby.
I wept. I did.
Then, I lit smudge sticks to banish myself
From this good place where I no longer belong.

In war, in the smoky mornings,
We would sift through the dead and maimed, taking their coins, their shoes,
Anything we could use and carry.
In the dawn, riding slowly along the freeway ramp east of town, with the rising sun behind us,
Our horses' hooves made a jarring racket,
And we shocked the early commuters with our taken scalps
And the heads of our enemies on skewers.

Over time, I know, Love,
That I have become foreign and hard.
Your friends hate me, they say I smell like a stable;
They exchange looks and discuss the white scar
That runs jagged through my short-shorn hair.
So, bless you for coming back,
Like undeserved, untenable salvation.
You hold my head as the television drones, now that the power is back
And the plague has gone.
You kiss my scar as if you were a mother
And I were good, and worthy, and beautiful.
_____

for Monday Melting #14. I had to use these words: tremble, prickly, lurch, asparagus, blackout, copper, scaly, smudge, skewer, sift, membrane and slaughter. Also linked to dverse open link #41.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Moon At Sunrise

Let her, if you have any heart--
Let her stay by the window;
Such a small sky, and her time so short.

Do you love her?
Still? Like this?
And, do you love me,
Your round glass girl, dying for the coffee, dying for the dark?

Nothing is more constant,
or more inconstant
than the Sky.
"Come," it says.
Then, when the Earth turns, it is like wine in a tipped glass;
It spills, spreads, forgets.

Go chase down the dawn, Sir Knight.
She and I will fade here, demurely, like spinsters;
But come back tonight,
Find us together in a way you can never understand--
Resurgent,
Savage,
and once again
Bright.
_____

And, one more from Mexican Moon...

 

 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Senora, See

Senora, see

how the rain on your window

cannot hold, and falls.

Such clarity breaks the heart;

and the dark iron soul of the Earth

calls the tiny drops

as if it were a dragon, and they, angels.



Senora, see

how I ramble, and tell stories,

all of them impossible and absurd.

When the sky clears, the stars will come out;

the street will shine, but we will be melancholy

knowing, as we do, that the shining is the rain

calling to its sisters above,

forever lost, without wings,

like us.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Steal This Book

Light-fingered nuns...
they probably exist.

Me, I am faux-wicked;
and maybe, that's my worst failing.

I found a book,
somebody else's book.

They had got up,
not left the country...

But this was my book--
I know because it spoke to me,

And my heart, well my heart
wanted it, and knew it, and walked away with it.

I read it like a thief,
or saint;

At least, no thief or saint
Ever loved her blessing any better.

This book, it had the words
that were meant for me, I swear it.

It had the spell I was born for,
and that no bell, book or candle could ever conjure...

But the book, it also had
someone else's name in it, and address,

Some place where there must have been
an empty space on the shelf,

All the while that I held it.
In the end, I mailed it back,

To someone I don't even know,
Who may cherish it truly, or not at all.

It wasn't my book, but it wrapped around my soul,
and so I call it "my" book, even though it never was.
_________

for Mary's movie prompt at Real Toads.

"Strangers When We Meet" is about Maggie, played by Kim Novak. She and Kirk Douglas' character have an affair. The movie poster, above, makes it look very urban and sophisticated, but in fact, he is an architect and she is a suburban mom. I discovered it accidentally a couple of years ago on cable. It became one of those movies I love, and I cry every time I watch it.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Darkness

The desert sun, trailing crimson, gold, and coral like a dying exotic,
Curled itself within your sweating gin glass;

When your red-taloned fingers closed around it, the bird turned black,
And darkness spread itself, proud, merciless.

Do you think you are the only light?
A star in the indigo, the devil's darling?

All right. You are the only...brightness. It isn't the same thing--
And every flame breeds smoke, its shadow.

I curl back to you, always, darling.
I come, thick with what we created together,

To devote myself to you forever;
To hold you, and choke you with my kiss.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Black Cat/ Nobody's Woman

As my dear friend Hedgewitch sometimes does, I have decided to post both the original, much different version of this poem, and then follow it with the reworked and final version. 

 THE BLACK CAT

I asked the black cat
and the black cat told me true
how the half moon cracked the window's edge
and how it was, with you.

Tea in the painted cup
frost upon the mat
never let the half moon in
or listen to a cat.
_______

 NOBODY'S WOMAN

I am nobody's woman.
I dreamt that I knelt at night to the water's edge,
A falling leaf to the dark-eyed deep;
A girl again,
Running her hand through the blue future.

I woke, and got up,
Wrapping myself in the wings of a million dark birds.
Who was there, after all,
To kiss the color of the cardinal
Onto my skin like brightness to a candle?

I am nobody's woman,
And because rain has warped the gate,
I cannot close it;
I cannot stop the stars from wheeling,
Nor my tears from wandering out among them.

In the night,
Risen from sleep as from a bath gone to chill,
I make muffins in my tiny kitchen
For the comfort of their aroma
And to try to lure the moon to my open window.
I long to lay my head easy
Where curve meets silence
And die there, content.

My pride is hurt, and I realize how I must seem,
When only a black tom
Seeks the yellow light and its sill stained with blackberries;
He knows I wanted a woman,
Like calling like,
But he is kind enough not to call me ridiculous.
Here I am, no longer young,
But still filled with the same sharp need...
I am a rain of useless poems--
I am the sand, with the tide receding--
I am nobody's woman.
_____ 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Gypsy Bones

Round the Gypsy wheel
Round the loaf,
Silver the Magyar ring
Wooden the simple cross.

Scorned, my love, for Gypsy blood
Stolen, the heart or the horse,
Sweet, the will to love so bold
Bitter, bitter, the loss.
_____
top picture is Joanna Pacula. bottom picture is by Susie Clevenger. for Real Toads photo challenge.

Bosco says...

...it's my birthday today! I'm 9 !


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Do My Exciting Prompt!

Do my exciting prompt!
Drop what you're doing--
Drop the kid, he's ugly anyhow.
Drop the job, ditch the boyfriend.
Come back early from your stupid vacation, 
DO MY EXCITING PROMPT!

Let's do MY prompt, not YOUR prompt.
Yours is meh, mine is wow,
cos mine is mine.
See?
Try to keep up!

This is going to be so cool!
First, learn Albanian.
Get secret clearance.
Join the Order of The Camellia. 
Sell your house.
Shave one side of your head.
Go like this.
No, like THIS.

Don't forget rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules rules and etc.
It's easy!
Get a degree in my prompt.
Take out a student loan.
Sell your ass on the quad, 
Do whatever it takes!
Do my exciting prompt!

Partner up.
Pony up.
Just do it!
It's sort of like Zenga and sort of like being hit on the head.
It's like falling out of an airplane.
It's sort of like having sex with an alien.
It's sort of like being audited.
It's MY IDEA!
Do my exciting prompt!

It's MY turn!
When is it your turn?
Later!
Maybe!
Maybe never!
I don't have time.
I don't slum.
I don't join.
Do my prompt!
Do it
Do it
Do it
Do it
Do it!!!!!!!!!!

I'll be able to tell if you don't.
_________

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Medical Minute

A friend of mine (I won't mention MAMA ZEN by name) has a bellyache. I think she got it one of two ways; either from deep seated guilt over teasing me about haiku, or from reading my moronic poetry!

In either case, I cannot let a friend suffer without remedy. And so I offer this free video medical advice that I found on youtube.

Monday, April 9, 2012

National Summary Execution Month

Bernard begins to find NaSumExMo burdensome.
Oh, it was fun at first--
the camaraderie, 
the challenge,
the attention!
from reporters and police.

But now,
NaSumExMo seems like a mistake.

His girlfriend, Ashley, does not understand.
"I was talking," she complains.
"I was trying to tell you about something,
and you just keep fucking with that guillotine
and those god damn melons!"

She leaves him.
Her fragrance fades, replaced by the smell of gun oil.

Bernard finds that he has a blemish
on his cheek.
He frowns at it in the mirror, while shaving,
and would turn it if he had not made
this stupid commitment.

"Show me the thing that cannot become a commonplace,"
whines Bernard.
There are days when there really is no deserving miscreant,
and he goes about his business out of duty
rather than joy.

Blam!
So what?
Why did he think this would be worthwhile,
or fun?

"Kill me," he begs another participant.
Ennui has left him unhinged.

Ashley finds him, rocking like a defective in an alley,
twirling his hair,
mumbling.

"Come on, Bernie," she coaxes, softly.
She leads him home,
to the old couch with the floral sheet spread over it,
and the cats.
She heats some chicken noodle for him,
as if he were seven years old and 
home with a cold.

Later, in bed,
She kisses his chapped, razor-nicked face,
and asks,
"Sooo...what are we going to say, if they ask you again,
next month?"

"No..." he replies, eventually, in a vacant monotone.
She kisses him again,
happy to take him back.

"That's right, baby."
And it is.

_______

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Poem

The Easter egg which was not found
contained a letter from the hen who laid it,
saying, "Fuck your kids.
What about mine?"

The Easter Bunny was obliged to take tranquilizers
due to having rabbit ears
in a vulgar world.

At sea,
crossing the international date line,
the Christ was imposed upon to rise twice,
delaying the breakfast buffet.

I have lifted who I used to be
carefully
from a hat box high on a rack in my basement.
I loved you. I did;
but even when I stretched my arms up,
I couldn't pretend that floor was sky.

The Easter egg which was not found,
weathers the summer as best it can.
I now keep the letter
tucked inside my pretty, unworn hat,
while the hen and I
cultivate our special friendship.

We like primary colors,
not pastels;
and we watch, always,
for ships and their Aldis lamps
flashing light, dark, light, dark,
as if to tell of the one who went overboard
and his long, thirsty walk home.
_______


Friday, April 6, 2012

Miss January

Miss January leaves her
summer heart
in her boho bag
on the fucking credenza
in the corporate apartment,
and so she has to make do.

At Philippe's,
she is the coldshock girl
at the VIP party
with the killer kiss
and the sweet side shave.

Sleet is the new sincere,
blue the new red,
freeze-blistered the new happy;
kick the bum,
be the face,
don't forget the swag.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Justin Verlander Vs. The Wendigo

Once upon a time, there was a winter place, shaped like a hand, called Michigan. In this place, the people lived in ice caves, and ate icicles. Not only were they very hungry and cold, but they were beset by wolves, bears, and an enormous, terrifying, foul-smelling monster called The Wendigo.

The Wendigo loved to torment the people, sending blasts of frigid air into their tiny caves, and carrying off their children, who were never seen again. Whenever a warm day would come--a thing that only happened in July or August--and a little struggling green shoot would appear, peeking up out of the frosty ground, The Wendigo would stomp up and down on it until it was nothing but broken bits. These The Wendigo would put in its mouth and blow out again as ashes, which would darken the sky and block the sun.

The people were in despair. Then came a strange sound from the east. A man appeared. Some said he came from Virginia. He and The Wendigo stood facing each other across the frozen wastes. 

"I will eat you!" bellowed The Wendigo. "I will eat you and spit out your bones!"

The man reached back and uprooted a huge evergreen and threw it at The Wendigo. It went straight through its rotten black heart, and The Wendigo staggered and screeched. 

Then the man picked up a black bear and threw it into the sky; it went up a mile in the air, then came down directly on The Wendigo's fugly head. The Wendigo howled and cried like a giant evil baby.

Finally, the man grabbed the sun from the horizon, reared back, and sent it speeding through the air so fast that it left a fire trail like a comet. It hit The Wendigo smack between its beady little eyes and knocked him out. The sun bounced off The Wendigo, back into the sky, where it burned brightly and brought a warm, bright Spring.

The people came out of their ice caves and had a festival in honor of the amazing man who had saved them. 

"What is your name?" they asked the stranger.

"Justin Verlander," he said. So they built him a ballpark and named it Comerica Park, and assembled a baseball team and called it the Detroit Tigers. In this place, with his new friends, Justin Verlander could spend entire summers vanquishing foes with his mighty right arm, as the people cheered.

Everyone prospered after that, except the Wendigo, who had a nervous breakdown and developed numerous tics and phobias. Even babies frightened it half to death. Nerds chased it up and down the streets of town, and little old ladies beat it up.

"Hooray!" said everybody, and they all lived happily ever after.
_______

for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Need

by Fireblossom and Coal Black

I have a need,
And you can't trifle with genuine desire.

Mama say,
Watch y'self...
Keep sweets til moonrise,
And give all snakes the back side of the shovel.

Be judicious.
Say things plain.
Be the same girl, come shine, come rain.

I have a need,
And a mug I love awful;
Can't break it,
Can't let it run dry.

Dontcha see,
My girl is the warm-side round
And the sweet inside it...

She don't even hafta try;
She come by moonlight, bring a fine desire.
_____

art by Karen Davis 

Break The Sugar Stick

Break the sugar stick,
Spice the thorn;
Split the night bloom
Two, then four.

Your kiss is the cat with the blood-bird held--
Your promise is the Gypsy with the well-oiled wheel;
Press me, honey, to the walls of the well,
Where the brick-water sweats and the rot-fruits peel.

Sewer flowers vased
On the table by the bed;
Six red hens
On the white sheets, dead.

Break the sugar stick,
Spice the thorn;
Love me for a little,
Then never any more.
______

this one is your fault, Brendan. you got me thinking about the undead.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chloe Goes Wrong (Again!)

It is Sunday at Danny's Coffee Shop.
Chloe, the multiple felon with the killer shoes, is trying to drag a large inert something in from the sidewalk,
And not having a whole lot of success.

There is a woman standing outside the door of Danny's Coffee Shop,
Wearing a head scarf, a black dress, and a crucifix.
(The crucifix is not the ironic kind favored by the young and stoned.)

"Hola, chica," says Chloe, looking up at the woman,
"Help me get this inside!"
She blows her blonde hair out of her eyes and waits, tapping a foot.

The woman looks down at the something, and turns away, slowly, regally,
Without saying a word,
But her posture says very clearly, "No way, Toots."

Chloe's mouth drops open.
"Well fuck ya and feed ya fish heads then, I'll do it myself!"
She resumes her Sisyphean labors.

Oops.

Before she knows it, God the waitress has come outside and is dragging Chloe by the ear into the shop.

"Ow ow ow ow ow ow owwwwwwwwwwww!" yelps the serial murderess.

"Do you know who that is? Out there?"
Chloe looks both hard done by and cowed. "No...?"
"That is the blessed Saint Creola. Be nice. She's one of mine."
"Yes ma'am."
At 24, it is the first time Chloe, the fugitive from justice, has ever said this,
Even when she has been before judges.
But dude, it's God.

Her ear bright red, Chloe starts back toward the door, but on her way,
She smacks the Succubus's newspaper and gives Savanna the teenage runaway's chair a good kick.
"Off your butts, lazy sluts, come and help me."
They do. 
Savanna brings the knife that's inside her boot, just in case.

Together, they wrangle the something into a chair, where it sits slumped and still.
The Succubus lowers her dark glasses and gives Chloe a look that asks,
"Wtf?'
Chloe chirps, "It's Charles Bukowski!" the way a six year old might boast about finding a nickel.

"He sucks," say the Succubus, Savanna, God and Saint Creola in unison.
"And he's dead," adds Denise the waitress.
"And he stinks." So say them all, but he always did.

They prop him up in his chair and leave him.
He does not order anything, or speak, or (thank Goddess) write any poetry;
And yet, after a while, a drove of male customers of a certain age come and sit with him,
Starry eyed.

"They're like teenybop girls with Justin Bieber," remarks the Succubus,
Looking as if she had just swallowed a lemon.
One of the men at Bukowski's table asks for an autograph. He thinks "Buk" is Mickey Mantle. 
"Sign it Number 7!" he says hopefully, and guides his hero's hand to a pen, but sadly,
The hand falls off and tumbles onto the floor.

"Janitorial!" calls Savanna. She can be a smart ass.

Just then, the little bell over the door jangles,
And in walk the Queen Of The Vampires and the Dark-Haired Chick.
They are hanging all over each other. It's lovely.

"What's this?" asks the QOTV, staring at the something which is apparently holding a salon in the corner of Danny's.
"It's Charles Bukowski," says Chloe, already sounding bored with her toy.
"Eww," say all the regulars.

The Dark Haired Chick grabs their usual booth, and the QOTV slides in beside her.
She starts to tear at the booth out of habit, then realizes she is not in panther form this morning. 
Then she looks sheepish.

"Write me a poem, baby," she asks the Dark-Haired Chick.
Out comes a pen.
Out come some napkins from the holder.
She writes she writes she writes she writes, then stops;
The napkins burst into flame and black smoke rises from them.

"God, you're good," says the QOTV.
The Dark-Haired Chick smiles like a Cheshire cat.
There is a thud from across the room.
Charles Bukowski has fallen over!
"You did him in, babe," says the QOTV.

Never mess with a Scorpio. Especially not *the* Scorpio.

The girls drag the fallen something out back to the dumpster, 
And get rid of him along with yesterday's bagels.
"See ya, Chuckie!" says Chloe, and struts back across the parking lot.

She adjusts well to life's vagaries.
_____

bottom photo of Danny's Coffee Shop by Daryl Edelstein!