Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fire Blossom

flame from friction--
i'm the backdraft baby from the oven mother.

she kept painting herself pot belly black--
i was born pink as a sea shell,
but the contact left me red--

red haired,
red tempered,
a real red headed stepchild struck sharply in the dark.

little marvel that you, dear later love, followed my smoky scent,
and, talons artfully crossed behind your back, declared me bright.

mommyless me,
furious turning-to-ashes me,
set your creative curses in my ear like diamonds,
and said, ah, my head is become a jewel.

like every pigeon of a huckster/devil/killer,
i thought it all came from you.

i was a bird looking with one eye through my heat-cracked varnish,
and oh how i sang for what i saw.

now i'm older,
my ledge is full of bones.
it looks like dance when i move around up here.

what i finally learned,
after loving you,
leaving you,
figuring you out,

is that the darkness in you that looked like home to me,
was just the product of my own burn.
i'm the light, motherfucker,
and you are only

headlights
sweeping, filling, blinding for a pitchman's moment--
and then gone, not even dark,
just non-existent like you were before i ever lit up your smile.
________ 

 for Susie's challenge at Real Toads



Friday, October 24, 2014

Mulier Loquitur Mortuis

Winter is coming,
like ice jammed into an envelope, 
mailed sharp to the heart of your flabby complacency.

Oh, I'm sorry, dear.
I know how you hate talk of the slaughter
which necessarily precedes your roast of beef on its platter.

Still,
something just hit the window
hard enough to dent the lead and crack the old glass.

Rev'rend on his black horse rode,
passage marked with one red rose;
He found Esther, Esther cried,
one red rose by the waterside.

Get out of bed.
It's time we talked.
Don't you find me appealing anymore, with red in my hair?

The ostler had a fine shovel,
and my last thought was of nothing in particular.
Now learn, at my insistence, the value of doing a job yourself.

You look gray,
as if all your blood had turned to smoke.
Listen to you sputtering, ridiculous, invoking your cotton-eared god.

Rev'rend on your errand rode.
Esther cried and Esther chose.
Gospel came surprisingly
in bloom and thorn blood-picked by me.
_______

for grapeling's word list at Real Toads. I used "smoke", "winter" and "slaughter".

 

Book Review: "A Grown-Up Kind Of Pretty"

A Grown-Up Kind of PrettyA Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is the third of Joshilyn Jackson's novels that I have read, following "The Girl Who Stopped Swimming" and "Backseat Saints." Slipping into the world of Jackson's southern women is a little like spending time at Petticoat Junction, if everyone were appealingly disturbed and a whole lot more real.

In "A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty", 45 year old "Big" Slocumb knows it's going to be one of those years. She knows this because every fifteen years, her world goes tilt. When she was fifteen, she became pregnant with her daughter Liza, who she calls "Little". The chilly reaction of the Baptist congregation she grew up with gives her a lifelong attitude about them. She always likes there to be more humans than Baptists in a room.

Fifteen years later, Liza herself becomes pregnant--by a boy working the carny, or so she says--and then, shortly after giving birth to her own daughter, she takes off for parts unknown. Two years later, she returns home to Big, strung out and carrying her daughter Mosey Slocumb on her hip.


When Liza suffers a stroke during a lame luau at the Baptist (of course!) church, Big decides it is time to cut down Liza's beloved back yard willow tree--into which she has pressed her yearly recovery pins--in order to put in a swimming pool for Liza's rehab from the stroke. Little does she know the series of events this will set in motion when a tiny set of bones is found buried there.

I loved all three women who tell this story--Big, Liza and Mosey--and as usual with Jackson's characters, they become unforgettable. This author has a real knack for creating offbeat but believable scenarios that are as original as they are entertaining. Throw in side characters like Melissa, Liza's blond debutante druggie best friend, and Roger, Mosey's Spock-like brainiac (and lovestruck) nerd pal, as well as a cool mystery storyline, and this novel has it all. Five stars.



View all my reviews

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Friend !

Meet the new lady of the house....Skittles!









News You Can Use !

Darlings. Enough with Fireblossom and her tiresome, incomprehensible poetry. It's time to come visit ME, Babs St. Argent, over at Objets D'Art blog, and learn the REAL TRUTH about Ebola! Appropriate attire, refreshments, swag.

click HERE. (I'll know, if you don't.)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Nydia

Nydia
It was a dark and stormy night, and I,
pale as a sugar moon,
stepped my inviolate and ivory self out into it.

All the ashes flicked 
from all the cigarettes ever smoked 
by every cabaret singer who ever was,
are small-town stuff
compared to Vesuvius' great burning wave arriving
at out tender bare feet
and above our perfectly sculpted, stupid upturned faces.

My name is Nydia--
I am both blind as a bat and deaf as a white cat,
despite any contrary impression I may have given

All those times we lounged,
and I seemed to listen raptly
to your cocky prating,
my lord and master, purchaser of all my various blooms--

Here I stand in the ignited whirlwind,
with my porcelain fingers wrapped around some random staff,
such that you fly to me in a jealous rage.

In a thousand years, when they find us,
cooked in close embrace,
they will say,
"Behold the low one,
who, by this high one, was owned."

It will be so cute, how you'll think it's obvious
what they mean.
_______

For Artistic Interpretations With Margaret.

 Nydia, the blind flower seller, was a popular character from the 1834 novel "Last Days of Pompeii" by English playwright and novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton.  Rogers depicted her wandering through the wreckage of Pompeii as the erupting volcano Mount Vesuvius destroys the city.  Her staff and acute sense of hearing guide her around the destruction.  Nydia, a slave, listens intently for the voice of her aristocratic master with whom she has fallen in love. 

Bulwer-Lytton is infamous for having penned the line "It was a dark and stormy night"



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Immunity

"I love too hard, my friends sometimes say"
--Can I Get A Witness, written by Holland, Dozier and Holland

For a while there, I kissed every snake in the basket.
Such pretties,
So persuasive,
every time they catch a girl like me
searching for lost sheep beneath their tree.

I got a reputation--
not like you think.
People thought I did it for love,
or did it for Jesus, letting those vipers crawl all over me;
but I did it for the thrill.
I did it for me.

I never knew there was a real devil,
and she bit me sick deep.
The wound went white, my blood dire thick,
my life-light low; but I had babies at home
so I refused to die and refused to sleep--
you should have heard that bitch-wicked devil thing shriek.

Now I'm home, my babies grown;
looking just like I used to, when I had that strut and those careless ways.
I walk around,
I shuck and jive,
but I just can't let you close, babe, even though I would have loved ya
back when I was alive.
________

Isadora Gruye says write about a zombie apocalypse.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Love Letter From Cassie

Your pound-of-flesh-an-hour Methodist lawyer
argued inevitable discovery
while you sat looking poleaxed and lopsided--
not at all the old Pooky Bear I used to know.

Even without the medium,
(he argued)
my tawdry lesbian affair with some chick on the next street
would have been found out.

I was hoping you wouldn't notice
when I signed the pre-nup "Eleanor Roosevelt,"
and you didn't.
Why start noticing shit now?

In the old days, I could have burned the house down;
could have run a marijuana farm in the barn,
under those lights, I forget what they call them.
Now, one little kiss and it's see you in court.

Look, if you want to fight dirty,
if you want to hurt each other, listen to this:
my girlfriend got me pregnant,
and it isn't yours.

I think this judge is rude,
having me removed like that.
At least I get to watch tv,
though it only seems to get this one retarded courtroom show.

On our wedding night,
when you texted your undying love,
you forgot to Mirandize me
before I said all that other stuff.

It's all fruit of the poison tree,
you and me.
Sorry if I ruined your life,
but we're done here,

and they're releasing me on my own recalcitrance.
Try to move on, Poopsie Pie,
though really,
after me, it's gonna be all downhill from here.
______ 


 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Certainty

Certainty is the Santa Claus of the simple--
an Easter Bunny hiding eggs in the lives and lawns of the lazy--
a bunch of bullshit the nearest Bo Peep could disabuse you of.

The only certainty is that, if you have a heart beat, 
some orange-vested fuck will take aim at it.
The only certainty is that, if you're dream-deep in a delicious mystery,
some jackass will hook his thumbs in his suspenders and start mansplaining.

That is how I ended up out here,
up to my ankles in last year's leaves,
red-haired and savage under a beggar's moon,
giving it up to wolves and wolverines and cranking out cubs in my fragrant den.

I never dreamed of this when I showed up,
teeth brushed and blunted,
at Bryn Mawr orientation.
I smiled and backbit like all the rest,
chucking out manners and affectations like candies from a float.

I never imagined it even after I broke a nail,
totaled the Saab, experimented with heterosexuality,
and ended up in a therapist's office for three weeks.
Here is the problem with her: 

From her mouth came all this junk about healing;
never a word about ouanga bags or magic spells,
no menstrual blood in the herbal tea,
no haint blue spirit possessing her at odd moments.

But I was talking about certainty.
I tried to establish it. I did.
I dragged her ribby husk out into the barrens and waited for the crows.
I wore every talisman bought from every trade show in nine counties,
and kept her head in a jar of Four Thieves Vinegar all winter,

but still, it snowed when it would,
and my own body ached or hungered when it would,
while nothing was ever certain--nor was it meant to be.

So here is what I did.
I hung a mojo hand from an oak branch
and put my trust in br'er badger, the ultimate archetypal hoodoo doctor. 
He doesn't give a shit about certainty, he only wants to eat and fuck and fight.
I was his girl friday,
and the she-skunk's go-to gal as she went quietly through the nights,
taking each exactly as it was given.

Then I went along the creek path,
through the blackberry vines
and down to the Old Road.

I took the back way and slipped silently around the water well.
Just as the sun came up,
I jimmied your door, the one painted blue 
on the back of the white clapboard house where you sleep beneath quilt and care.

I bribed your dogs,
and crossed myself as I passed the candles and icons in the narrow hall.
Were you surprised to see me?
I'm not the girl I used to be, and thank Goddess for that.

I kissed you in the barest gray dawn light,
flinting the flame and praying for the prairie breeze you keep in your sigh.
We turned, like the skies changing dark to light to dark again
until you were on top and I was an aspen shaking with the old magic.

That  is certainty.
The only kind there is.
_______  
    
 written to include words from a list kindly provided by a cloaked figure.