Sunday, November 30, 2014

Devils

There are devils--
never doubt it.

They are in the details,
and they lounge on the brass cross-piece at the foot of your bed
all through your decumbiture.

Decarnate devils fuck with your read outs
and your precious little decastich.
This little devil screwed the meter.
This little devil scotched the poem.
This little devil cried we we we 
will goose you at your desk
at our will
and all the way home.

Here's your désobligeante 
with a devil on the box beneath the moon.
Here's your digitorium
with a devil to call the tune.

Forget what you've been fed
about doromanic deities.
All there is is devils,
all over,
all in,
all red.

Die now. Why not?
The devil gonna getcha anyway.
Maybe tomorrow.
More likely today.

But what about redemptive grace?
What about angels?
Oh, grow up.
To shelter?
To save?
The devil you say.

_____

thanks to march debzati for some devilishly darling D Words.

decarnate      denied or deprived of physical bodily form
decastich      ten-line poem 

decumbiture      the time spent by an invalid in bed 
désobligeante      carriage for one passenger 
doromania      obsession with giving gifts
digitorium      silent piano for practicing

 
 

 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The King of November

Turn up the collar of your coat, King of November,
and keep talking. Coffee fresh from the pot couldn't warm me any better,
or make my cat eyes betray me and follow any more closely.

This is not my usual haunt. I do most of my waiting
high in the sharp black branches, stuck on a thorn and seeming to sing.
If I go silent now, Majesty, please don't mistake my mood as so many always have.

Would the world end, if I brought my kiss out from shadows
where I have stored it against claw-cut strangers and foggy, distracted loves?
It would at least stop me from talking, this once, eh Highness?

King of November, ruler of a random moment,
turn up the collar of your coat, and by your leave, I will curl myself there,
smaller than usual, an ornament of warmth and pretty utility,

maybe even content, too, until the next breeze arrives
to remind me of my penchant for Queens
and the sweet impossible joy that cats can never claim.
_______

for Get Listed, with grapeling


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Skittles, Wonder Puppy At Large !

Hey! What did you wake me up for, Mom?

Ooh, fun, time for me to go outside and survey my realm!

Here's my tree. I have to make sure that no one steals it!

Okay, back inside to keep on eye on my mom. 


Linked to Camera Critters!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Younger Woman

I want to be a younger woman in a former time,
working in a clock shop,
living upstairs with my nine-lived cat.

As a baby, I was dusted with shine from the moon,
refracted through my window at a different angle for every dream.
Mama said, dreams are nonsense
and life is mostly duty and a difficult business.

I want slender wrists and a silver watch;
hips as round as the bend in a river stream,
and my hat piled high with blooms and feathers.

Mama's half dead now, not remembering what she said five minutes ago.
I say, "Mama, look at the moon, changeless, ever the cool Mistress
of outward sky and inward seas."
At last, mama doesn't contradict me. She has forgotten how.

I want to be a younger woman in a former time,
wearing deep blue dresses flared at the shoulder and cinched at the waist,
with white lace at every edge.

"Pussycat," I will ask, in the night quiet above the clock shop,
"What do you suppose we were, when we were older?"
Her attention will stay on the skylight, and the moon beyond, 

as if there were no answer there;
or as if there were, and what foolish girl could fail to see it?
______

for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads: "Youth & Age"



Monday, November 17, 2014

Black & White

Few things in life
are black and white--

so they say.

There is a small world, hidden and spinning,
that I call my heart.

It has days,
nights.
Black,
white.

Oh what I wouldn't give to see your trusting smile one more time.

I have a new friend,
and she's a gem--

better behaved than you ever were, at that age--

but I can't help this rocking with my arms around myself, sometimes.
Black,
white,
and this silly mama crying

because you are gone and I don't know how to be in this world without you.
______



Sunday, November 16, 2014

The World According To Madame Zygansky

Madame Zygansky put ideas in our heads--
that much is true.

But to say that she turned us into what we became,
is to say that one woman can feather the crows,
toss them into the sky,
and turn day into night, like a parlor trick.

Investigators,
keen-eyed sirs,
wearing ties that your wives switched out this morning
in replacement of your own unfortunate choices--
question us,
fall in love with us,
betray those wives.

Solve nothing.

We were girls born as a lesson in biology,
mailed by our mothers to Madame Zygansky's doorstep,
aeropost, naturally.

Arriving as witless nightjars, we underwent a lustration
inside our tiny birdskulls.
Madame Zygansky sent books into our brains like secret police,
and music through us to denounce the gray futures
escaped with every second spent under her tutelage.

Dance with us, detectives.
If you keep your little notepads tucked between your palms and ours,
you may still be able to keep our faces--
and the sound of wing beats--
out of your dreams tonight.
Otherwise, in the morning, you will have to report and jail yourselves,
fondling the bombs we gave you as the trains take you away.

Madame Zygansky put ideas into our heads,
cobalt blue on ivory white, with a few flecks of black.

If she turned us into what we became, we bless her for it--
Only a Gypsy knows how to feather the crows
and toss them into the sky,
her flock alive and aloft, with all directions open.
_______

for Kerry's mini-challenge, and dedicated to teachers everywhere.
 

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fearless Journeys Into Foreign Lands

In my 20s, I loved the newsstand.
Neatly stacked out-of-town editions might have been
pillows for my future lovers, just arrived, or
stepping stones across a river, never the same one twice.

Daddy would have been proud, seeing my devotion
to the early street, the Sunday supplement and the sports final. 
All of my poems, then, were papier-mâché,
and I wrote them around the crumbs from French bread,
and between bottles of Milwaukee beer.

These days, I have become a homebody,
but when I press my face to your skin, 
I always smell newsprint along with shea butter and lavender.
Part of the pleasure in loving another woman is the feeling of being on home ground,
as easy as raiding your own kitchen in the dark.

Still, love is always a fearless journey into foreign lands.
Even though I practice a daily discipline of advice columns and horoscopes,
having learned the language of you the way a novitiate learns about faith;
and even though I find home in your hair, your eyes, your voice,
you will always be feathered with a thousand pages that I somehow missed.  

So, here goes:
down the hatch, take that turn, trust that guide.
I love you,
fearlessly,
and always in the manner of front page news.
______    
          

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Come To Me

Come, though I have no claim on you,
and you have none on me.
The first wet snow arrives tenuous as a schoolgirl's crush,
and yet, there it is, on every edge of the still unfallen leaves.

Along the rail fence, and in the saucers of the flower pots,
pale and perfect as stationery just bought,
is the signature and sign of what you are to me.
Everything that was there before, remains, but changed in spirit, subtly.

There is no way to explain the ineffable,
or my simple wholehearted pleasure at what is given and become--
Just promise me that you understand,
and that, one more time, you'll come.
_____

for Grace's mini-challenge at Real Toads.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Meat

The Meat Monkeys boomed death into my mother.
No more warm,
no more milk,
no more rough tongue.

They put the hard ring around my neck,
and pushed me behind the strange gray grass that cannot bend.
The Meat Monkeys taught me useless things:
Jump through a hoop.
Sit on a perch like a bird.
Go here, do that, learn some monkeytalk.

Whip. Chair. Hungry.
At night, I dream of forests full of loose dinner.
Here comes my Meat Monkey, strutting.
Meet my claws, teeth, anger.

Learn some tigertalk.
______

a circus tale for Mama Zen in 89 words.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Book Review: "Manson"

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles MansonManson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Having read the same author's "Go Down Together", about the lives of Bonnie & Clyde, I knew that Jeff Guinn can write, and he doesn't disappoint here, either.

This book goes all the way back, and reveals the truth about Manson's childhood, which was bad, but not nearly as bad as he would claim later that it was. He seems to have been a bad seed from the start. By taking the reader step by step and year by year, Guinn shows how Manson's patterns start early and only continue to get worse and more destructive through his lifetime.

I think everybody must wonder how he managed to exert such total control over his "Family" that they would kill for him. Guinn shows, follower by follower, how this happened, and what the horrifying results were. Searching out young people, mostly women, who were "bent, but not broken", he used a combination of pop psychology, LSD, and sex to break them down and then rebuild them as true believers.

As someone observes near the end of the book, nobody who came close to Charlie--including such disparate people as Dennis Wilson, Gerald Ford and Manson's own mother--came out undamaged. Recommended. 



View all my reviews

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Peasant Face

I have the broad peasant face,
plain as pie,
that seems only to lack babushka and shawl.
Such a woman as me should live a hundred miles from Kiev,
looking up, seeing
sun, then moon,
sun, then moon,
a million times and then some.

Who is the white angel, the blonde daughter of a czar,
who whispers in my good ear?
And who is the dark angel, the changeling from a doorstep,
who whispers in my other, as I dream?

I have the broad peasant face,
plain as pie,
that seems to close like a cardboard suitcase.
Such a woman as me might sleep a hundred miles past her stop,
all the while seeing
sun, then moon,
sun, then moon,
a million times in fascination.
______