Monday, December 28, 2015

Songbird

Out of a jewelry box--
in summer--
came a soul.

Creating a body from candle wax,
and fashioning feathers from locust leaves,

it said itself a songbird.

From the hand of the Boho Goddess--
in plenitude--
came night, bouzouki stars, pendant suns.

Little songbird, no bigger than a breath--
how empty the world--

and the wooden box
of my heart suspended--

when you're gone.
_____

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review: A Life


 It's a little slow to get going, honestly. The early dialogue is impossible without subtitles, and little happens with the plot; it's mostly some kind of study on basic bodily functions. Not sure what the director was going for here, and the plot device of "parents" and their largely inexplicable attachment to this character is perplexing and not entirely believable.


After a while, the character begins to do more, but its dialogue becomes peppered with "like" and "whatever" to the point of irritation. Much of the action in this segment takes place in a large building full of similarly odd characters divided into groups of twenty-five or thirty, who don't seem to be enjoying being there very much. Is it a prison movie? Not sure.

Then, in a cinematic master stroke, the director shows us this character becoming more and more like the "parents" from the beginning of the film. Despite some fairly predictable rom/com scenes and an improvement in costume, the statement that's made about circularity and fate more than offsets the feeling that we've seen all this before. 

Finally, this film borrows heavily from improvisational theater and European sensibilities as the character falls into decrepitude and foolishness. The dialogue once again becomes rambling and incoherent, and even the character no longer recognizes the rest of the cast, so how is the viewer to make any sense of it? 

In sum, I can't recommend this. While it has moments that seem to promise something, on the whole it is a mishmash, with a frustratingly ambiguous message. Two stars.

Bon Vivant/ Exis Ten, 2015, maximum distribution. Rated R, length 60-90 years. Stars Jennifer Connolly, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dwayne Johnson, Miley Cyrus, and features Sandra Bullock as a bag of stale candy. Rated 23% at Rotten Tomatoes.
______

For Play It Again Toads. I used "review". 

 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty's real name was Veronica and she was doing just fine,
wearing silver bangles and selling crafts and woodwork and stuff
from her shop on the corner of Cool and Funky.

Then this prince kisses her
like maybe he was running for office
cos he kept saying "baby...baby!"
despite the fact that she was 23 and curvy as a mountain road.

Well, after that she just couldn't stay awake.
She'd sway between the displays, knocking stuff over and mumbling.
The prince kept calling, 
but that just made her worse--
she curled up in the window and made the cat run the store.

Pretty soon her voice mail filled up.
"Ronnie? It's mom. Are you okay?"
She wasn't. Never had a kiss bored a woman so thoroughly.
The cat tried to help by jumping on her,
and dropping toys on her face, but nothing could stir her.

Then one day, Ronnie's friend Chloe,
the serial killer from the coffee shop next door, stopped in.
"Oh fudge," she said as she took in the conked out chica.
So she went next door and got the Succubus, 
and together they each took an arm across their shoulder
and dragged the bored babe over to Danny's. 

God the waitress took one look and put on a fresh pot.
Ronnie's cat came strolling in the open door and sat down licking its paw,
knowing that everything would be all right now.
Later, deep in conversation with the kitten Giuseppe Verdi,
he revealed what had happened.
God, who speaks Cat, heard the whole thing.

Wouldn't you know, just at that moment,
here comes the prince, flashing his pearly whites,
but he barely had time to duck before a hail of napkin dispensers came his way.
The Queen of the Vampires, in black panther form, leaped
and bowled over old Princey, then dragged him out the door with her teeth.
Chloe the serial killer stood in the front window,
smirking and waggling a sign that read,
"Danny's reserves the right to refuse service to anyone."

Anyway, I'm happy to say that the Danny's girls
were able to bring Ronnie back from the edge.
They sure are hip, ain't they?

So, Merry Christmas from God and Denise (waitresses), The Queen of the Vampires, the Succubus, Chloe, The Dark-Haired Chick, Savanna the Teenage Runaway, the kitten Giuseppe Verdi, and everyone at Danny's Coffee Shop!
_______

For Get Listed at Real Toads. I used "corner", "edge" and "sleep(ing)".

Image: Christina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil.

 
 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Artifice

Tell me I'm beautiful,
and that you could fall in love with me.
I'm a pretty billboard splashed with promises--
be the slant-boards holding me up.

She broke my heart--
I'm a big empty box full of shards.
Don't shake me, just let me be a star that doesn't move--
I do give some light, if you do all the work.

Sir Knight, I admire you truly--
broad shoulders do something to a girl, even me.
I like the careful knot of your tie, your cologne,
your starched shirt, your smile.

I'll make you laugh and feel good,
all without risking anything, because I won't feel more than fondness.
Then, just when you think we really have something,
I'll be gone, caught up by some woman

Like a kite in the wind, and as fragile.
______

For mag # 299. 

 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Weary World

The hippie-looking guy and his knocked-up girlfriend
wanted free stuff.

What do I look like? Obama?

Figures their type would show up here,
no cash, no plastic, just big eyes and oooh, can we stay here?

I called the cops.

This country used to BE something.
Now, why bother getting married, why not drop some brats anyway?

He said his name was "Joe." Ha!

And "Mary." Smith, no doubt. Get outta here, will ya?
Free room! Must think they're God's own special pair or something.

Christ in a sidecar.

So anyway, the cops told me they found 'em in the petting zoo--
they musta broke in, all bedded down with the cows 'n' goats 'n' shit.

Pet THIS, motherfuckers.

Hey look, the cop came back to shake my hand.
He said they'd been joined by some hinky Arab-looking fucks.

Right now they're searching the barns and hay for bombs.

I don't believe in abortion, but mark my words,
that kid's got no chance, when it comes, raised by those two.

Yep, the little bastard'll be nothing but trouble.

Probably be a vagrant, no girlfriend if ya catch my drift,
shooting his mouth off. It's all part of the war on good Christians like us.
_____
 
For Karin's Christmas challenge at Real Toads. She asked that we use two words from a carol or Christmas song. My title comes from a line in "O Holy Night": 

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels' voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine o night
O night divine


 
 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Stock, Celery, Carrots

For the soup--
stock, celery, carrots.
What of the egg, the seed, your hand in mine
last winter, or the one before?

The chicken, the garden, the blackberry summer
never knew what hit them--
Look now and you won't find a damn thing.

I stir stock, celery, carrots--
the pot steams my windows til I'm blind.

Still, I go through the motions, because that's the expected thing.
I don't even feel the bowls in my hand--
I have no appetite at all, and yet I am the Mistress of Delicious Things

Consumed by others and praised
until they set their wet spoons down to stain the cloth.
_______

A bitchy little number for Kerry's challenge about time, at Real Toads.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Catholic Girl On The Loose

Sans shoes,
sans pants,
I am Joan
saving France.

Behold my pennant, my purpose, Saint Margaret and Saint Cat;
bold as bread made from molasses, unshorn hair as plain and black.

Bonjour English
A bientot--
teach you Francais
when I grow.
_____

Ten lines for Kerry's micro-challenge at Real Toads.

Image: "The Flag" by Thomas Cooper Gotch, 1910.

"A bientot" = "see you soon"

 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Rose

What a pretty pram, my dear, so fey and queer and quiet--
Emptiness so elegant I feel compelled to buy it

And fill it full of roses, dear, their heads cut clean and slanted
At each stem like diadems of royalty recanted.

I'll roll them 'neath a crescent moon, my dear to soothe your sorrow--
To plant again by Gypsy men I'll hire for gold tomorrow.
______ 

For Kerry's micro-poetry challenge at Real Toads.

This is the first poem written in my gorgeous new journal given to me by Hedgewitch. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Love & I

Here is your church,
the one you threw us out of, my love and I--
with its pews like boxes
holding captive monkeys forbidden the fez.

Organ grinder, 
create a distraction while we rob, my love and I,
this financial institution with its tellers
become oracles inspired by vapors and pride.

On the beach, 
discarded gods half-heartedly deal tired goddesses--
they use their umbrellas for bicycle wheels,
spinning like starfish back to the sea.

My love and I,
we are dual queens in the card game of time,
clocks and mattress ticking
the only clouds we allow, fiats from the feathers of talking birds.

What does it mean,
you'll ask between mouthfuls
of the stew we serve from peat bog and nightmare--
what does it mean? It means-- go back to your church; die there.

Have chattered your benediction from the primate pulpit
while my love and I spend your money
with Cpl. Jesus in a sidecar
down some sunny, narrow street you'll never find.
__________

 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

2 Reasons

There are two reasons why I love you,
one why I don't.

1. The things you say. You're a silver-tongued devil, such a testament talker.

2. The sight of you spills me, inside of myself. I overbalance, warmly.

And the other?

1. Someone killed us both, but we got up again, hipsway walkers--

One proud, one guilty.
_______ 

A flash 55 for the cauldron of the fearsome and powerfully magical Hedgewitch at Real Toads.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Buy Curious

Your heart is held in a rose's petals--
a ghost holds the past in an empty room;
You ask me to speak what the cards reveal--
your life laid out in pasteboard cartoons.

Go home.
Ask someone to smack you, hard.
Or stay, but it's gonna cost you, sister,
to move my hand from the back of the card.
_____

For Words Count with Mama Zen.

 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Between Angels and Elephants

Between angels and elephants,
sparrows atop the tent poles
and tigers on two-foot stools,

is the acrobat.
Not bird, nor magician,
she starts in sawdust,
but circuses have ladders.

Every act involves a first time
and a thousandth.
Smell the blood and popcorn;
believe it matters what you do--

the merest sparrow is one part angel;
women and tigers...two.
_____

Exactly sixty words for Mama Zen's "Words Count."

Image: "Circus Girl Smokes While Rehearsing Her Stunts", Nina Leen 1949. 

The picture made me think of the film Wings Of Desire ("Der Himmel Uber Berlin") in which two angels wander post-war Berlin. One of them falls in love with a circus trapeze artist, and wishes to become mortal so that they can be together. Because of copyright restrictions, I can't post the trailer on the blog, and so I provide a link HERE. It will open in a new window, so you don't have to leave this page in order to view it.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

My Cat Child

My cat child
brings order where there was none.
Let's not talk about the walnut shell of my womb,
empty birthplace of dust.
Let's talk about my cat child, proud with powers, handy with struts.

Now, listen--
I have forgotten all about you.
I've heard that I was in love once, but who knows?
Show me the evidence; I'll yawn elaborately, and my cat child will agree
that such stuff is dull in the extreme.
Dead fish, on the other hand, become more riveting every minute.

You would not have understood my cat child.
At least, that's my foggy instinct about it.
You would have objected to the damage, the piss and the fleas.
The rumor is, cats were royal once,
and I need the reflected glory and the chance to sleep during the day.

Right now, my cat child is away.
She is hungry for mice, songbirds, or someone's leg.
Me, I don't eat anymore, can't recall why I ever did--
I remember nothing, value nothing, aspire to nothing. 

But once,
The feel of my mouth closing gently over the curve of your soft lower lip
seemed such an urgent thing,
like warm waves for mermaids,
a place I would do anything to get to.
Yes once,
the sight of your dark hair sent warm honey over my heart,
my belly,
my sex, 
and everywhere, my love, from my skin to the stars.

Now, though,
I have forgotten all that.
What were we talking about? I have no idea.
Now there is only the glare of afternoon
and the magnificence of my cat child who has given me nine lives--
none of them worth a damn,
all as dead in the mouth as a finch with a broken neck.
_______         
     

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Wait

Waiting is important--
it gives clocks something to do.
Besides, why be in a hurry for the doctor to walk in,
delivering bad news like dark babies
who stare like cats and talk early but only to curse and mumble?

Oh cheer up, you'll say.
Just wait. Things will get better.
The French will quit smoking and forgive Hitler.
That shit in the fancy jar really will make you younger.
"Bro Country" will disappear from the charts,
and the Kardashians will kill themselves.

Waiting is, after all, an action--
it is "why not?" when the "why" has been seized and sold for taxes.
Each day, more fodder for the faithful:
Good morning, please vacate the premises within 30 days.
Good afternoon, it's over between us and I'm already with someone new.
Good night, you're dying but no one will be there to meet you--
they've all joined the jihad on the other side.

Wait instantly with new technology.
Clocks, doctors, lovers, true believers, all irrelevant and shown the gate.
You're next. Just wait.
_______

for Bjorn's challenge at Real Toads: "Waiting For Something Good....Or Not." 
 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

One Does Not Simply Walk In

Dread is a useful emotion--
it's nature's way of telling you something's wrong.

As the rodent considers the feline at the mouth of the burrow,
as the passenger considers the drunken buffoon sliding behind the wheel,
I consider your stupid bedside radio
playing your unbearable soporific radio station,
and dread of the next thirty years overtakes me.

It is then that I know that I-eye-eye
will not always
love you-OOOOooooooo.

However, one does not simply walk in,
turn one's delicate bangled wrist sideways,
and start blasting as you lay in bed dreaming of the stupid shit that fills your head.

One must endure the outings at your suggestion,
the lame, candy-cute destinations you choose for us,
eating away my free hours like a virulent, if wholesome, cancer.

I thought loving another woman would be better.
I thought there would be good sex (there was),
that my life would be free and fine and full,
and that it would rain ten dollar bills every afternoon at four.

I know now, that no sanity-saving modicum of happiness
will ever slip through the customs house of your insecurity,
the labor camp of your unreasoning jealousy,
or the passive-aggressive pogrom of your thoroughly fucked up personality.

One does not simply walk in and slosh an accelerant pell-mell.
One does not, then, offer you a light for the very last time,
gallant butch to the end.

But if one is lucky, very lucky,
one simply wakes up, and the offending clock radio isn't there.
YOU aren't there, and the dread slowly ebbs away,
giving way to gratitude and an intoxicating elation.

See how happy you have made me, how ever long it took?
One does not simply accept such bounty as one's due.
To do so would be to dishonor the Goddess who, in Her mercy,
gave me the great boon and gift

of your absence.
______

For my Fireblossom Friday challenge at Real Toads--"Dread".

 
"A circus of horrors, yeah that's what you are"--John Fred and his Playboy Band

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lost Birds

Lost birds, soft as smoke
fly above a dry burning land--
they don't stop to rest in bare black trees--
lost birds come straight to your hand.

Lady gentle as the touch of death,
so beautiful, like a lost bird's song--
they sing, so sure you're their homeward star--
but they're wrong, those birds, lost and wrong.

Lost bird finds out when you stroke its wing--
lost bird lost Heaven, lost everything.

I've seen how you make fruit from flower
and leave a stem curling brown on the branch--
I've seen how you look at the ripening rows--
and the barbs on the fence where the night birds catch.

Lost birds come all the way from Mexico
caught in crosswinds east then south--
all just to bring you a Spanish song
from a lost bird's throat to your calico's mouth.

Lost birds lose whatever they bring--
lose sky, lose Heaven, lose everything. 
______

for magpie #295.



Saturday, November 21, 2015

Michigan Apple Pie

This morning, there was
a cup and a quarter of flour, with its nubbly surface reminding me
of the old-fashioned patterned white bedspread in our room.

There were
ten tablespoons of cold butter, such a sweet yellow,
like November sun above the newly bare trees outside our kitchen.

Funny how a twelve-inch circle of dough
can fit into a nine inch pie pan, by rolling and unfurling it
with the pin. Did you know how your smile captivated me, and still does?

I like a lattice top--
there is an art to weaving the strips one over the other,
inviting and concealing, both. I say "I love you" every day, then hold my peace.

Right now, I can smell the apples
in the oven, and some still in the green bowl I always use,
sliced and ready, but too many. Still, I'm in no hurry to put them away.

Tonight, there will be pie--
you will have seconds, then smile and say how full you are.
That is your favorite moment, but as I rinse dishes before coming to bed,

I'll be thinking of morning, and how the kitchen was clean, quiet and ready.
_______

For Play It Again Toads #23. I used Bjorn's "Time Travel" challenge, which asks for a poem using past, present and future tenses. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Stars and Such

I'm tired of the mudmouthed,
with their venom lips--
wasp's nests on neck stalks, talking all day.

There must still be a place on earth
where a woman can do nothing and do it marvelously--
I want to wear clothes so soft they make birds jealous.
I want to sleep during daylight, in turquoise silence.
I want you, wordlessly, like always.

In that place, I could amaze with the impossible,
saying exactly what I need, simply and at last.
There, the moon would rise--
a hidden spring matching my pulse points;
turning to stars and such, I would be

Brilliant, beautiful, but with warm bare skin you could touch.
______

For "The Heart's Desire" at Real Toads.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

In The Time Of Dinosaurs

In the time of dinosaurs,
we were happy.

In the nights of silent spinning planets,
you could reach for my hand,
and it was there.

Since then, the sun has risen a thousand million times,
and has set as many, 
less one.

Now they have discovered
that monsters are more than bones--
we knew
that they were birds all along.

This afternoon, a comet will come, in all its rarity--
then a cloud.

Who knows what happens after that?
But, until then, 
before I turn to dust,

Here is a sound I call a song
in a language we called ours.
_____ 

By Morning, Disaster; By Afternoon, Despair

What the fucking hell is this?
Another dunning, a fresh demand?
Passed like poison from the hand
of the postman, Satan's accomplice?

What's this annoying stupid shit?
Disguised to look as if it matters?
Faux certified, in official patterns
denoting nothing, largely writ?

Begone, hateful courier in blue!
With your clanking keys on a pocket chain!
With writhing form and crawling brain,
daring to stamp it "postage due!"

Sure as pestilence, slow as a snail!
Stuffing my slot with each babbling ad--
driving me nervous, driving me mad!
Curse you, eagle who bird-bombs the mail!
_____


Mailed in, for Susie's challenge at Real Toads. She asks us for the real thoughts behind the faces in John Millais's portraits.

Historical note: Up until the early 1950s, there were two mail deliveries each day, morning mail and afternoon mail, hence the title.