Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Review: "Oklahoma Poems and Their Poets"

Oklahoma Poems... and Their PoetsOklahoma Poems... and Their Poets by Stephen Dunn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is an interesting poetic look at Oklahoma through the words of some pretty distinguished poets who either live there or have written about it. The book is divided into three sections, People, Places, and Odds & Ends. It also includes author bios in the back of the book. Some of the best poems are these:

"Flinn, On The Bus" by my old San Antonio friend Naomi Shihab Nye, about a prisoner who has been released on 9/11, and doesn't know what everybody else knows has happened;

Abigail Keenan's "Pictures Of Pioneer Women" with this sharp closing: "Look, they peer fiercely forward, as we look carefully back."

"My Grandfather And His Eggs" by Lauren Camp, about aging and loss.

Stephen Dunn's "Oklahoma City", about the Murrah federal building bombing. Goodreads credits Dunn as the author of the book entire, but he isn't; he is a contributor of this one poem, only. Oklahoma poet laureate Nathan Brown is the editor.

N. Scott Momaday's "The Land", Tony Mares' "El Reno" and Kelli Simpson's "Dog Days" all evoke a strong sense of place.

But, to me, the standout poem of the whole book is "World's Tallest Hill" by Lauren Zuniga. Her short, sharp portraits of people and the hill that is one foot shy of being a mountain stole the show, for me.

This book is full of Pulitzer winners, state laureates, you name it, but it is unpretentious and fun to read. I recommend it.



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Congratulations to Mama Zen, for her poem "Dog Days" being published in this book. Some poets are just cooler than all the rest! 




Thursday, May 29, 2014

Chanel and Shibboleth

You held a grapefruit in one hand
and a knife in the other,
the morning you called down a coffee ground curse
in my kitchen, off the bedroom, in blackberry June.

Mousers know, as crows do,
that an unmade bed in the afternoon 
is sweet green thick as an ivy vine,
a tangle of moon drawn out before the sun is even gone.

You knew, standing there with your summer robe open,
your eyes dreamy-closed,
and the grapefruit in your hand,
what you could do to me, 
and how to kitty the solstice whichever way you chose.

Now, it is always night, always summer,
and blackbirds do your bidding at every blue hour;
I can kiss someone else until my lips are bruised,
but the pot is cold, the kitchen is empty,
and the robe hangs itself for trying, but 

can't
bring you back
no matter that I promise it Chanel and shibboleth,
pretty as a calico cat.
______

Izy at Real Toads says, write about a curse, so I have. 

Fun fact: calico cats are nearly always female.

 
 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Review: "The Things We Do For Love"

The Things We Do for LoveThe Things We Do for Love by Kristin Hannah

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Kristin Hannah may be the most uneven novelist I have ever read. At her best, she's fantastic, but one never knows which way the wind is going to blow. The Winter Garden started out okay and then the second half was stunning, amazing, unforgettable. Night Road started out fantastic, but the second half was so grim that I found it hard to stick with it because it hurt my heart. Firefly Lane started out really well and then devolved into a trite Lifetime Movie, complete with someone nobly dying of something. So, when I picked up The Things We Do For Love, I wasn't sure what I would be getting into.

For me, this was a beautiful, satisfying, marvelous book that instantly became one of my all-time favorite novels. It never flagged; it was nothing but wonderful from start to finish. It's chicklit, but I happen to like good chicklit. Lauren Ribido is a seventeen year old girl from the wrong side of the tracks, whose mother is good for little else but drinking and hooking up with a series of losers. Nonetheless, Lauren is a good kid who works hard and gets a scholarship to a good school. She's making something of herself, but there's a hollow place inside her that won't leave her alone. Enter Angie DeSaria Malone, a good heart who has tried everything to have a child, but it just never has worked out for her, taking a big emotional toll and ruining her marriage to Conlan Malone. She comes home to West End to manage the DeSaria family restaurant, and to try to get her bearings. Lauren and Angie's paths cross, and each has something to offer that the other desperately needs. When Lauren's football hero boyfriend gets her pregnant, a lot of dreams--as well as old heartaches--hang in the balance.

I can't even say how much I loved this book.





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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Exercises In Logic

A thing can come from the sky and not be a bird.
For example,
the Great Siberian Fireball of 1908 came from the sky,
but was demonstrably larger than any common songbird.
It did not build nests,
but rather,
leveled all the trees in which nests might have been built.
Therefore, the Great Siberian Fireball was either
a) not a bird, or
b) a very stupid or careless bird, of tremendous size.

Art requires patience, but patience does not necessarily result in art.
Some things can be delayed, and still be attended to in good time--
the permafrost,
little villages,
this reporter...
won't we all still surely be here?
Meanwhile,
the morning is uncommonly bright,
that sable looks fetching on you, 
and the secret police have continued to document our love.

When you took so long to get here, I had my doubts, I confess.
I had my bags packed and was half way out onto the tarmac,
but their report is filed and they are pleased.
How do I know this?
Why, honey,
a little birdy told me.
 
________

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sock Monkey Consults the Ouija

The past is one thing--
it's always the same old quicksand,
but hold still, and enough suns will dry you loose.

On the other hand,
Sock Monkey has been moving up for years.
He never gave a big green shit who he had to screw in order to rise.
But now?
He's just hanging on.
The thing about the future is, that it's so uncertain.
Try the dart board.
Check out the Ouija.
Ex-Mrs. Sock Monkey cleaned him out,
took the kids,
the cash,
the floor beneath his soft round feet.

A lot of things can be overcome,
but some suck the soul right out of anybody.
Wood veneer crushes initiative.
Bad wallpaper encourages self-harm.
Ugly armchairs send anybody to the madhouse.

Behold, Sock Monkey,
suspended like a cartoon character, cliffside, with branch.
If he lets go, he lands on the desk of Edwin Albert Peach, CPA,
his future forfeit, himself, a debit never to be recouped.
So, Mister Monkey,
go wild,
ask the Ouija a question.
You'll have to let go, to touch the planchette,
but c'mon, make a leap of faith.
You are a monkey, after all.

See the future revealed.
YES
we have no
bananas.
NO
you'll never get her back--
Mrs. Monkey.
Day-oh
Day-ay-ay-oh.
Day, de light, and you'll never go home.
_____

for Mag 221. This whole scene, with its dreary browns and defeated decor, screamed 1970s divorced dad pad.

 


 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Delirium

I was raving again, wasn't I?
Look at the face on ya, it must have been choice.
I never used to have these fevers,
not until I slept with Lady Liberty, back in France,
with her tablet propped like a painting against the plaster wall.
Oh, I was yearning to breathe free,
and to be in the arms
of a very tall woman;
She had copper-colored hair then,
and had never seen America.
I took my clothes off, lay back on the hotel bed and said,
"Here it is, babe."

Now look, I may not be in a position to give advice here,
but you should smile more.
Even once would be nice, because
you're making me nervous wondering what I said.
I used to drink, yanno,
no ladylike sips either.
I could tip a bottle back and lose whole nights down the rabbit hole.
Goddess only knows what I mighta done, those times,
and I'm glad I can't remember it all.
Mercy comes in all varieties.
One bird-bright morning, I decided I didn't want to die,
and so I swore off, but Jay came and did the heavy lifting.
I been Catholic ever since.

I slept with a woman once who kissed the crucifix 
that I used to wear on a pretty chain around my throat.
Every word I spoke was holy,
and my love was holy,
and I received her like Heaven does the saints.
Lookit me now, hoo boy.
Restrained for my own protection,
coming out with Goddess-knows-what in my delirium.
I knew a woman once who could fix cars,
she had dark hair and blessed fingers.
If only I could lie on her lift right now, and let her tinker with me;
I just know I'd feel better.
But, noOoooo, here I am with you instead.

I think I know what I must have said,
just by the starch in your bedside manner.
It wouldn't be the first time;
it wouldn't even be the first time sober.
Cranked up with fever, I bet I said,
"Love me, babe, like I love you.
I can make ya happy,
forever true."
Before the day is out,
and despite what y'all say to the customers,
I bet I'll be a funny story in the staff room.
I just wanna know,
is this a Catholic hospital?
I'd feel forgiven if it is.
A girl can't be a priest, but she can be a saint,
so, in certain things, I have aimed high.

Long after that French encounter,
after the fevers began,
I took up poetry
and got kicked out of seventeen countries.
Me and Emma Lazarus ended up here,
as tempest-tossed as they come.
After a while, my third-hand Renault broke down,
before I even got out of New York,
but I met the chick mechanic because of it.
Even a blind squirrel finds a diamond sometimes,
and when, wearing nothing but my silver cross,
I looked out of the window of her walk-up,
I saw Lady Liberty and I'll admit, it gave me a sweet satisfaction
to see her out there in the harbor holding her torch
and turning green.
_______
 
Photograph by Margaret Bednar, from her post of January 21st, 2012.  I have written this poem for, and linked to, her Play It Again Toads #5, at Real Toads.

 
 
 
 

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Forgotten Birds

Forget birds.
All they want to do is sing, anyway.

Draw flowers out by lizard's tongue;
leave them language pooling in their blooms
with a hundred words,
a thousand subtle shades
of one feeling, a pollen of blue starvation.

Don't walk on the wet grass.
It will pack the earth, stunt the roots,
and then you will have to take the same worn path every day
until screaming seems normal,
and the sun comes out like a gaudy so-what.

Some asshole called me "sir" today.
Don't set prickly lettuce in a tourist trap coffee cup on my table
and call it anything but what it is--
weed and kitsch.
Do you know what this is, this skin-trapped life, this leggy vine going on?
And where is the gardener?
Lazy absent bastard.

I have a second-floor window box
five steps from my bed, if I still bothered to get up.
Every morning, the sun rises out of it,
facing east as it does,
a cemetery of little plastic sticks, evidence of the ghosts of myself.

Forget summer.
I wish it were winter, cold and dark as a banshee's hair in the wind.
Forget that stooge, hope,
forget her face and your garden homage to her;
forget spring's vacant creeping stupidity,
forget May.

And forget birds--
they only want to sing anyway. 
______

for Marian's music challenge at Real Toads, today featuring Jonatha Brooke.

 

 

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Second Garden

In the Second Garden, the poison vine
as thin as a thought, as long as a doubt,
the devil's darling, nocturne saturnine.

The hangman's weaver bird slips in, slips out,
creating lace of loss, brocade of dark,
as thin as a thought, as long as a doubt.

By second moon, burn the bloom, climb the bark;
a slender creeper who kills by embrace,
creating lace of loss, brocade of dark.

Dream by the lily pond, drown in the race;
the high-shown face is mere mask for the root,
a slender climber who kills by embrace.

Here find bloom for the blind, song for the mute;
black-gone fruit is the dark garden's heart.
The high-shown face is mere mask for the root.

The snake's second skin is fine seed to start
in the Second Garden, the poison vine.
Black-gone fruit is the dark garden's heart;
the devil's darling, nocturne saturnine.
______

A Terzanelle for Real Toads form challenge. Curse you, Kerry O'Connor!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

From A Jar

From a jar
I came,
invented.

I sit demurely
on a table
between beakers.

See my delicate wrists,
my breasts,
my smile.

From his visions,
my conjuror
drew me.

Into many more
of his making,
he imagines me.

For now I will bide,
breathe,
smile.

He imagines that I am pleased.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Wicked Chuck and Stilt Laura

Wicked Chuck, the Christian taxidermist, is in love with Stilt Laura, but she doesn't care. Cramming filler into yet another fishing trophy, Chuck wonders if Stilt Laura can read the serial numbers on airplanes as they pass overhead. The pilots must nearly crash their planes, he thinks, at being noticed by such a beauty as her.

Stilt Laura is smudging her friend's rec room, walking around with the burning sage, driving out negativity and also her friend's husband, who says the sage smells like marijuana. Stilt Laura has to duck under the archway on her way into the living room, where she recites some pantheist nonsense in hopes of rescuing her friend from angry spirits, and also, perhaps, to land in bed with her while her husband is at the muffler shop. He doesn't need a muffler, but he likes to hang out there. By chance, it is right next door to Wicked Chuck's Christian Taxidermy.

When her friend Stilt Laura kisses her, Gina is surprised, but not. She saw it coming, saw that train coming on in to the station, saw the bunting and heard the band, but kind of hoped it would hit a switch track or something. When Stilt Laura sighs and kisses her again, Gina steps back, makes a joke, picks up The Holy Bible and smashes a fly with it, then is bothered by the gross little splotch on her end table which she can't clean up right away because of the look on Stilt Laura's face, which can probably be seen by Russian satellites in space. She is crushed, and Gina feels bad. Stilt Laura had obviously been screwing up her courage for weeks, to do this, to take a chance, and if you fall you fall. The problem is, Gina would rather kiss Wicked Chuck, the Christian taxidermist, preferably not while he is working on some poor dead critter, but still, kisses sound great, if they came from him, not from another woman, and not from her husband, for the love of God.

Wicked Chuck sighs and sets his taxidermy aside. Stilt Laura will never love him, he knows this. He is just a bug, to her Statue Of Liberty. Stilt Laura turns around in Gina's living room, hesitates for a moment, trembling, and then walks out quickly, gets in her car, and promptly runs over a small winged cherub carrying an archery set. I couple of minutes later, Gina pulls up behind her in her silver Saab. She'd been worried about her and followed her, and now, she sees the awful mishap.

Gina and Stilt Laura walk in to Wicked Chuck's Christian taxidermy with the cherub held limply in Stilt Laura's long arms. Gina asks Chuck if he can help them. She's all damsel in distress-ing it, because guys eat that stuff up. Chuck isn't looking at her, though, he's looking at Stilt Laura, who is looking at the door, where Mr. Gina has just walked over from the muffler shop. "What the fuck?" they all say at once. This question is at the heart of all religion, art, romance, and even taxidermy, and yet, broken hearts remain, everywhere, and there is little to be done about it. 
_______  

 with apologies to Jean Paul Sartre.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Catholic

Archbishop Vigneron of Detroit declares
that people who support gay marriage should not present themselves for holy communion.

Look, altar boys come and go,
and what's the big deal about a few stray Nazis carrying suitcases
with stickers for sunny Italy and sweet, safe South America?
They gave us head,
or the odd work of art;
can't a few trivial matters be overlooked?

But you two, saying you're in love,
get the fuck out of here,

and send in Fritz
with a young friend to take my mind off such abominations.
_____

I confess I blew the word limit for Mama Zen's Words Count at Real Toads. I hope she will absolve me.
 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Review: "The Wonder Spot"

The Wonder SpotThe Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Melissa Bank writes wonderful secondary characters. Unfortunately, her narrator here, Sophie Applebaum, is about as engaging as watching a traffic signal all day long. The book is divided into vignettes that take us through twenty-five years of Sophie's life, in hit-and-miss fashion, from age twelve to pushing forty. It starts out well enough, with Sophie being obliged to attend her ballerina cousin's bat mitzvah. Young Sophie has a sharp sense of humor, and the descriptions of her family are well observed and entertaining. The trouble is, that's pretty much it for the humor, though goodness knows she keeps trying for the funny line.

Sophie is knee deep in the sort of ironic, hipper-than-thou, clever turns of phrase that are perhaps meant to be witty, but I wondered what it was that made her think she was somehow inherently better than everyone around her, with the possible exception of the very pretty and the very skinny. Nobody in her family, her work environment, or her dating life is spared. Everyone is found lacking in some way or other, and so she needn't connect with anyone, at least not to any degree of depth. Sophie is hurt and angry at her maternal grandmother for finding fault with everyone and everything, but the only thing to choose between the two of them is that her grandmother does it with a sharp tongue, while Sophie uses faux clever quips and unkind, but amusingly phrased, observations.

In the course of the book, Sophie drifts from job to job, never investing herself in any of them, and often bolting as soon as any real demands are placed upon her. At times, she turns down work she needs simply because it isn't hip enough for her, never mind that she's camping out with one or the other of her brothers or living at home again with her mother, and even with her other grandmother. Such circumstances would make most people feel humbled, but not Sophie. She never seems to get it that all the targets of her uncharitable judgements are living more successfully than she is.

The holy grail of Sophie's life is to find "The One", the man who will make everything all right by transforming her life and setting her on the road to Happy Ever After, martini glass in hand. She goes through a whole laundry list of boyfriends, and follows the same pattern with each one: she's attracted, then begins almost immediately envisioning her happy life with the boyfriend du jour, but then there is a challenge or a speed bump, or he just doesn't keep exciting her quite so much, and she starts distancing herself until it's over. Rinse and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. It doesn't seem to me that Sophie even really sees these men for who they are, but only as potential vehicles for her vague hopes and dreams of rescue and magical transformation.

She just annoyed me, with her refusal to take responsibility for herself, to ever learn from her life or her mistakes, or to show much heart at all, ever. For all her ability to home in on people's foibles and quirks--and in so doing, reducing people to their unflattering details--Sophie shows almost no genuine heart at all through the entire book. People, to her, seem to exist only as fodder for her shallow internal monologue, to which she subjects the reader for more than three hundred pages.

I expect that there are probably a great many young women like Sophie; self-absorbed, directionless, unremarkable girls waiting against all logic for their pumpkins to turn into chariots. The thing is, that kind of girl is just not enough to build a novel around. If you'd still like to read "The Wonder Spot", there's a free copy in my trash can; offer good until collection day.



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Monday, May 12, 2014

There Is Rain

There is rain
just outside the doorway.
There are stairs
just inside it, where I sit.

There is a door
up the steps, behind me.
It is open, and just inside it
are my books, my bed, your bracelet on the stand.

There is rain, and the sound of rain, 
outside my downstairs doorway.
There are hurrying strangers and taxis going by.
It is wet, but it isn't cold.

I have been watching
carefully, the street just outside my doorway.
I have been thinking of the way you say certain words;
especially the way you speak my name.

If you come,
my door will be open, the stairway behind me clear.
There will be coffee, and the smell of coffee.
Your boots will paint themselves in rain all the way up.
______


 
 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

ringmistress

Nobody told me it was Cirque de Soleil in here.
When I was five,
every time I closed my eyes,
colors, creatures, patterns, movement.

Mama, you saw the vacuum cleaner,
or me staring out the window.
I saw my head exploding behind my eyelids.

All any adult ever told me was
pay attention
apply yourself
stop daydreaming and listen.

To what?
To the ghost-man nobody else seems to know about?
He followed me halfway up the stairs.
He chased me out of the basement.
He lived next to the water softener,
but could also come upstairs.

To the voices I hear when I'm tired?
Men, women, chattering away in snatches about nothing.
Or, to you?
To my brother?
I soak up your anger, your confusion, your frustration,
till I can't tell what is mine and what isn't.
"Why are sitting in here by yourself?"
Jesus Christ.

There is a difference between a trained tiger and one that's loose.
Nobody told me it was Ringling Brothers in here,
or that it isn't the same for everyone.
I grew up a little stunned, overwhelmed, spinning in the storm.
Now I call down the thunder,
and people say, "I want to spend an hour inside your head."

No you don't. 
The circus is permanently in town,
the gate is open,
and while they are used to me, and willing to perform,
my tigers don't know you,
and I can't be responsible for what they might do to a noob.


_______

for mag #219


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sorrydolls

The sorrydolls are sorry that the novel you are reading sucks so largely.
Each irritated sigh as you turn the pages pierces them 
and makes them wish to bind themselves to the unsatisfying storyline,
so that they might close themselves and give you back blankness.
They can't though--
they just sit there, face down in the laundry basket,
as sorry as undone chores.

The sorrydolls are sorry that the marinated chicken was disappointing.
You said nothing, but they could tell
by the way you chewed so slowly,
and concentrated on the buttered roll instead.
The sorrydolls aren't hungry, they never are--
they are stuffed sick with empty.

Out by the curb,
propped inside the trash can,
the sorrydolls sit in the dark with the chicken bones and the greasy foil.
They will not tell anyone that you can't cook for shit;
not a whisper, even to the trash collectors.
Such discretion would be laudable, if you gave a damn what they say, or to whom.

The sorrydolls keep coming back to you, like bad pennies,
slipping themselves through the piggy bank slot of your life,
like dull, thrifty relatives.
Dead despots, writhing in hell,
aren't sorry, despite the mountain of skulls at their feet.
Sorrydolls would do them no good,
but you, YOU! So much to be sorry for,
here,
somewhere.
_______

Image: "sorrydolls" by Susie McMahon. Written for Real Toads mini-challenge.




Friday, May 9, 2014

Bucket & Brush

After God dashed Himself against the world,
those looking for Him were fooled.

"Seraphine, why haven't you made the tea?"
"Seraphine, get busy on the floors."
Seraphine, take up your bucket and brush,
on your knees, facing backward on the second stair,
seeing wild blooms in the harsh lye soap.

After God dashed himself against the world,
He became as tiny as a seed.

See Seraphine, the lunatic, kneeling in awe before the Virgin,
filled with gratitude for her materials--
the Resurrection in candle wax and sheep's blood.
"Seraphine, when you're done in the kitchen...
the hallway...
the upstairs..."
"Seraphine, when you're done...."

All night, on the hard boards of her room,
knees shrieking, back locked up, shoulders cramping,
Seraphine paints with brush and fingertip
the natural visions she sees.
At these times, her smile is drawn by the Divine.
"Seraphine is a mooncalf, a loon, a half-wit."
In the morning, on an hour's dream-soaked sleep,
she returns to her drudgery.

After God dashed Himself against the world,
He rode in the cuffs and pockets of the ones He chose,
as humble and unseen as a grain of salt.
"There's Seraphine, talking to the trees."
"Seraphine, stop that singing!"
"As mad as seven cats, that one."

After God dashed Himself against the world,
He sent his Saints to speak to Saint Joan.
She heard, and led an army against the English.
She saw a king crowned.
Every French schoolchild knows her name,
but she was just an illiterate village girl.

The proper,
the practical,
the privileged and the pretenders
gather in pews on Sunday in Senlis.
They fill the basket and recite the familiar words,
speaking uninflected to Someone not evidently there.

Seraphine took up her bucket and brush
as Joan did her sword.

In the face of every flower,
every leaf,
every bright miraculous fruit,
see the recreated face of God, in Holy magnificence.
See the drudge, the madwoman, the painter,
her face lit up,
singing to nobody anyone can see,
out of her mind,
and filled with a beautiful unwavering faith as simple as seed and bloom.
_______

for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads: the art of Seraphine de Senlis. The painting at top is hers.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Famous

Stevens becomes famous.
This fact leaves me a little bit cross-eyed with wonder,
as I have known him all of my life and he has always just been Stevens.

Stevens did not enter this mortal coil riding a golden chariot.
He did not emerge from the sea, fully-formed.
He did not used to say things like "mortal coil",
but now he does,
and he's got me saying them, too.

Listen, he used to bury his army men in the sandbox,
using a yellow plastic bulldozer.
He used a space alien figure for the preacher.
Waggling the alien in his hand, he would make it say,
"Private Pumpkin is dead. Blah-dee-la, church stuff, amen."
He would mash down the grave with a flat stone,
giving it a few whacks for good measure.

Then he would dig up Pvt. Pumpkin, toss him in the air,
and hit him into the neighbor's yard with a baseball bat.
"I'm Kirk Gibson!" he would crow,
but he was just Stevens.
Now he is famous.

In those days, my favorite thing was my horse ranch set.
If I ignored Stevens in favor of feeding my ponies grass from the lawn,
he would grab one of them and make loud noises,
so that the pony sounded horribly flatulent.
This could go on for some time,
until we were both laughing.

Today, Stevens sends a car to pick me up.
I was hoping the chauffeur would be female, 
wearing a snappy uniform and cap, but nooOOooo.
It is some silent Asian guy.
There is a wet bar in the back.
I don't drink.
I make one of Stevens's old fart noises, long and drawn out.
The driver's eyes flick back, just for a moment,
and I give him my best what-are-YOU-looking at? stare.
We non-famous must do what we can,
in order to avoid total invisibility.

I have worn heels, hose, a faux fur and a pillbox hat.
Yes, I am propping myself up.
It's a nice retro look; the more like his mother I am,
the more he'll hate it.
He'll give me some cut-offs and a tee shirt of his wife's to put on,
and we'll play Jenga for half the afternoon,
until the CNN interviewer rings
and Stevens has to take the call.

Maybe I should have married some corporate hotshot
and cranked out some kids.
I'd have a club membership,
and a fucking race horse.
Instead, I'm an available boho lesbian poet chick
with two books that never sell, 
and an extensive collection of stuffed toy raccoons.

Fear me, World.
I am a little cursor blinking hopefully on the screen of life.
Sitting there in Stevens's wife's weekend clothes,
I wonder what it would be like to matter,
to be famous,
to burn brightly, if briefly, upon this mortal coil.

Right then, Stevens comes back,
and he sits on the ottoman in front of me.
He takes my hands in his,
and his look says that he has read my mind,
seen my melancholy,
heard the lowdown blues of my dinky little heart.
He makes a long, operatic farting noise,
and then I am laughing
and telling him
that he was born for fame, 
as surely as Kirk Gibson, or the Transformers,
and he kisses the top of my head with his famous lips.
_______