Sunday, September 28, 2014

Clutch

In the clutch,
a stone--
dense as a widow's heart.

The stone
is an un-bird,
cursed nonetheless with a damned restlessness.

Birthed 
through the bottom of the nest,
it takes the whole thing down,

spiraling 
end over disintegrating end
like the Creation Wheel gone graveyard.

Sister murderer,
brother destroyer,
be born into dirt, burrow and grow blinder.

Mother was stoic
and tossed a rose without a tear,
but went home with a hawk in her hair.

She tore at it,
banging her head and rocking to get rid of it,
sitting alone in the hallway to the kitchen, screeching.

Ah well,
this stone is like all the rest,
inside her, a clutch, cracking, then demanding everything--

bald, sightless
helpless boiling monsters
with their black holes open, perversely alive, impossible to satisfy.
_______

for Play it Again at Real Toads. I used Ella's visualization prompt. I saw a hawk with its wings spread.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So Still, My Love

So still, My Love,
but even so,
you seem to me to be in motion.

So still, My Love,
but in the way of a springing-off point
when the runner has passed by.

I will always love you,
and will always be the mother you need,
as long as (whatever it is that is me) exists.

So, still my love,
no matter these passages,
I love you and send my soul in the easy draft behind you,

my constant runner,
my only heart,
my adored and beautiful boy.
______

 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

So long, best friend

In the summer of 2003, I brought home a four month old puppy and named him Bosco. He quickly became the reigning star around here for the next eleven years. However, diabetes has robbed him of his sight, and now of the circulation in his back leg. Tomorrow I will go with him to the vet to say goodbye. I am heartbroken, and shall miss him more than I can express. It is awfully hard to let him go.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Travel Story For Girls

One had a boyfriend,
but never found Howland Island.
The other was an odd duck
looking for mermaids after every rainstorm.

One was Catholic,
the other Lutheran.
Both believed in female clergy
wearing Roman collars, and red hair long.

One lived at home,
the other in a flat where the gulls glide.
When they kissed the first time,
whole flocks moved in circles, like stars.

One liked Anna Ternheim,
the other, Eva Dahlgren.
When they made love the first time,
it was like piloting through easy clouds.

That May it rained every day for a week.
Water landings are dicey things;
Selkies find their buried skins and go back home,
forgetting they were ever human at all.

One moved away,
but the other stayed and wrote swells of storm-blue poems
about transformed women 
wearing Roman collars, and their red hair long.
_______

for Magpie Tales #238, and for Bjorn Rudberg's mini-challenge at Real Toads.

I've featured the this song once before on my blog, but it is so hard to find, and so cool, that I'm featuring it again. Plus, it fits the poem perfectly. Anna Ternheim is a Swedish singer who performs in English. 


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Revenge

Her man didn't understand
about the ghosts she said she heard.
The knocks, the noises,
the whispering voices--
impossible. Absurd.

Her man didn't believe in anything
he couldn't hold in his hand.
Such a feckless
show-me skeptic--
such a fucking man.

What was the thing that scared the children,
made them leave their room?
A creaking beam,
a childish dream?
Or maybe, just the moon!

At the stairs he declared there was nothing there,
then was pushed from the back.
He split his head,
now he's dead--
that's just a natural fact. 
_____

for Kerry's "Superstition or Science?" challenge at Real Toads

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Abra


"Abra was ready ere I called her name;
and though I called another, Abra came."


When I was little,
the dog and I followed my father into the woods.
He was enchanted,
and he allowed me to become enchanted in turn.

The smell of wet leaves sweetly drugged me.
Black-bark trees lean across every dream I have ever had since,
like middle-aged women toweling their hair after a bath;
you look at them, witchy naked and year-rich,
and they don't blink, don't cover themselves,
they just let you decide
within yourself, girl,
whether their dark eyes have that family pull you'll know is yours to get lost in.

My father was like a 30's gangster car
if it were full of books and papers, radios and a gun moll.
He was from Schenectady, New York,
and his mother had been a local beauty to be reckoned with.
This is the daddy I like to recall--
stepping over a mossy log,
telling the dog and me about a black bear he once saw--
my atheist father in the woods, in love with God.

Here in Michigan, in the autumn,
the vines that wrap themselves around the oaks and silver maples
show themselves, 
wearing shawls with colors for the first time distinct 
from those of their lovers.
I feel it, every September,
this restless longing of a northern heart caught in an ice stream's spell
of wolf and weather, fox and freeze.
My father told me the story of the wolverines,
gone from these woods a hundred years;
loping angel-devils, my sisters,
carrying in their coats a memory I have stayed behind to find.
______

the two lines in italics are from a 1718 poem by Mathew Prior, and are also quoted in John Steinbeck's "East of Eden".

for the Real Toads mini-challenge: "September Sky". It is 41 degrees here this morning.


 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hi-yo, Fido!

I absolutely LOVE this ad! Apparently, it was run during the last Super Bore, er, I meant Super Bowl, but since I don't watch it, I hadn't seen the ad. 


I love this one, too...

 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

under the eiffel tower

under the eiffel tower,
a young woman
whose father was someone famous
a young woman
who had done pretty much nothing herself
gave her kiss
to a lover who had been this, and done that,
on both sides of the camera
with everybody
who was anybody
before she was born.

imagine
the throw away line
that turns to gold and saves the shoot.
imagine
the plum part
dropping into her lap just like that,
first thing in the morning
and in french.
______

 

 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Girl Sphynx

She doesn't know,
and I would never let on.

Didn't I tell you?
I stopped wearing my rainbow jewelry to work.
I act so straight
that I can't even bend to sit down.

So there's this woman.
She has no idea.

She's warmer than a San Antonio tiled roof.
She smiles whenever she sees me,
but she's just nice to everybody.
She's got a husband, if I forgot to belabor the obvious.

I like to make her laugh.
She's cuter than sunflowers in June when she does.

God can she rock that orange tee shirt,
or any of those summer sweaters she's got.
She has gray eyes
and a heart shaped face.

I never let on.
I'm a riddle, a Sphynx, an aviatrix under the radar.

Yesterday she was kidding me the way she does.
She winked,
and I wavered mid-air, but
I never blushed, I swear.
_______

for Izy's Out of Standard challenge at Real Toads: lies not well enough told.

image: Cristina Scabbia 

 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Research Scientist Dr. Humboldt-Flynn Is Denied Fame Because Of A Buffoon Rotating Through Her Lab

(dedicated to Dolly)

Abraham Lincoln 
opens
his eyes,
surprised
to be 
alive
once again.

"How is your headache?"
asks Dr. Humboldt-Flynn.
"What do you remember?
Can you move your little finger?
What sort of mood
are you
in?"

Then Ashburn,
the intern,
fucks with the environment,
resulting in
a full arrest
in Lincoln's chest,
and his own employment.
_______

a 55 for MZ and the G Man, wherever he is.

 
 

Guadalupe

Guadalupe wears her red cape in the rain;
her black hair makes her appear to be on fire.
The sky is like an ether cloth, trying to put her out.
The sun is a coward, a pendejo
a grandee in Granada, a gardener in New Braunfels,
haunting the hotel from inside the linen closets.

Lupe goes to Danny's, but always drops her coffee mug.
It's a starry constellation on the floor.
"Ay, chica, you're such a spaz," say her friends.
Inside her is a howl. It paces from rib to rib, getting closer to her throat.
She has noticed that she no longer has hands.
Short gray fur, pads, the urge to run--
she has these at the end of her arms, her rope, her patience.

Last night, she dreamed that a gaucho rolled the moon across a stage
as if it were a lariat.
His horse snorted and stamped at the ground at the mere scent of her,
and then,
in the weird way of dreams,
the gaucho became Caligula, and he spoke to her urgently.
"I ordered my legions to march against the sea.
When they failed, I required that my soldiers collect shells in their helmets,
like little girls.
In the end, I turned into a porcupine, killed with quills delivered by my enemies."

Guadalupe's friends are blathering on about lip gloss.
Lupe sees that the Succubus and the Queen of the Vampires are sitting on one side of the door,
and that Chloe and God are sitting on the other,
like Nixons in a bowling alley.
Lupe winks at Savanna the teenage runaway,
and just like that, they are over the tables and out the door,
converting the split,
a silver blur in new moonlight, running hell for Sunday into indigo night.
________

for Marian's music prompt. Will the wolf survive? One of my favorite songs. 

When visiting New Braunfels, Texas, try the Prince Solms Inn. It is haunted by the spirit of a jilted bride.

Nixons.

See? 

  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

eff you?

This would so be me.



But it's Laurel Coppock, whom you may recognize from her Toyota commercials. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Red-Haired Jane

Red haired jane
smells like fresh cut grass
and the black behind the moon;

if you're on your way to red haired jane,
come soon
come soon.

Red haired jane 
knows every nested branch
and how beds and plans get disarranged;

red haired jane knows leaving light and calling jay,
then the rain.
then the rain.

 

 

Book Review: "Hate List"

Hate ListHate List by Jennifer Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This young adult novel about a girl whose boyfriend commits a school shooting is an entertaining read, but uneven. It starts out well, and Brown's writing is highly readable. The narrator, Valerie, is believable and the descriptions of the shooting itself are well done. I could feel the confusion and terror, especially on the part of Valerie, who had no idea of what was coming.

She's caught in a strange limbo afterwards. The "hate list" was her idea, a list of people and things that she and her boyfriend Nick couldn't stand. Is she a perpetrator or a victim herself? At this point in the book, I couldn't put it down. Then the problems started mounting up. (warning, spoilers on the way)

First, there is Nick's dark friend Jeremy, who seems to have influenced him, and who, in fact, drops him off at school the day of the shooting. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop about Jeremy, but he completely disappears from the story at that point, and is never mentioned again. Then there is the art supply store owner Bea, who seems to know Valerie, even calling her by name, but we never find out how she knew. Plus, she is so airy-fairy that I half expected her to pull out a wand and some magic dust. Just the right person at just the right time, and discovered totally by accident! Wow! Really?

The secondary characters are well enough drawn, if they would keep their mouths shut. The dialogue is pretty weak. However, I did like that the boyfriend is shown as being a mix of good and bad, reading Shakespeare and capable of sweetness, then committing something monstrous. Valerie's parents aren't likeable at all, but I found them to be believable, at least the weak, hand-wringing mother. The dad was awfully harsh, but some people are. Also, the adults at the school didn't seem real to me. Call this the YA Fiction Syndrome, in which adults are robo-dolts who spout cliches and miss the important stuff entirely while fixating on eat-your-peas.

At its best, this novel had me itching to return to it any time I got interrupted. I mostly loved the first three hundred pages, but the last hundred were a letdown. Everything slows down when it should be paying off, and story threads and problems that have been ongoing from the start are neatly tied up in a page or so. Dad's a heartless sonofabitch who always cuts you off at the knees? No prob, a glance his way at graduation lets you know that all will be well in time. Oh Valerie, you simple bumpkin. At least she doesn't just take off without a plan at the end. Oh wait. She does.

Half-heartedly recommended, kinda sorta. Or, just dig up a copy of Judith Guest's "Ordinary People" and read that instead. 



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