Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cassandra

With barbs through my swollen lips,
I told huge lies
about an angel.

With a cracked skull, I said every wicked thought I had,
to the wind,
to the wind.

The angel warned every neighbor and cousin about my evil.
She wept,
and swept her reptile tail discreetly out of sight.

I ran, such an ugly girl that the sun turned away,
and the clouds
abandoned white for shroudy gray.

No one believed anything I said--
not the stupid, swaying trees,
not the flimsy hollow-boned birds,
not the thin air I spread my screams into.

No one, until I found her in the crack-glassed mirror,
spit on by Apollo,
disregarded and accurate--

Cassandra.
_____

for Ella 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Venus de Milo

Venus de Milo couldn't get that gig as a railroad switchman--
I fucked the foreman for it, and oh,
the thundering crashes I cause when my mood starts to falter.

Vene, honey, hand me that lantern, won't you?
Diogenes left it here when he caught the Tulsa Queen last night.
He said he'd be back for it, but he lies like a rug.
I said, Vene--
oh, shit, sorry. Haha. 
"Take my arms; I never use them." Got to love Lady Day.

Every night, after the first responders have gone,
I review my work, and find
that I am unkind,
uncharitable,
homicidal and terrible.
Oh, Vene, let me lay my poor head on your breast.
(Try and stop me! Ha!)
I don't want to be this way for the rest of my life.

Here, you can have all the covers,
I want to be naked, as a sign of purity and renewal.
Pray with me, Vene.
Fold your hands and--oh fuck a duck, you're hopeless, girl.
Glorious God,
Hear me, though I am your most unworthy servant.
Make me nicer.

Vene, here comes Casey Jones.
Drivin' that train, high on cocaine.
Watch me bring him in soft as a mail sack full of feathers.
It's the new me. Hold my hand, Vene!
Oh, for the love of Mike.

Did you see that? My hand just reached out and switched the lights.
All by itself! It wasn't me!
Casey Jones you'd better watch your speed.
_______

For Mag 291. Image by Daniel Murtagh. Quoted lyrics from "All Of Me" by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons and the Grateful Dead's "Casey Jones" by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter.








Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My Consultant

My Consultant says you suck and that I was right all along.
Oh gosh,
I really like My Consultant.

When you are talking, knotting together all of your opinions
into a rope ladder to nowhere,
My Consultant jabbers pleasantly in my ear, thank God.

At Area 51,
My Consultant was there.
In the Bonnie & Clyde death car,
My Consultant was there,
in the chamber of his heart, in the untouched beauty of her hair.

What? What?
Are you still talking? I'm sorry.
My Consultant is telling me about how to get rid of aphids.

You may think I'm nuts.
You may think a lot of things, and blab about each one until Jesus pukes.
Kiss my ass and watch it pass, I'm on my way to sweeter things.

If there's anything else,
go to the house where we first met, curl up as small as you can get,
and take it up with My Defender,
My Cat-Faced Commander from Outer Space. 

Accept her mercy.
Be humble, my froward shithead. 
Be silent and receive her grace.
________

Image at top is Cristina Scabbia.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall

If you're going to fall for me,
do it just as the sun is going down,
or not at all.

I've always needed someone to kick the chocks back in under my wheels,
and to reach up and stop the propeller.
Otherwise, the sky calls me with its own backassward gravity;

My hair stands straight up, 
all the blood rushes to my head,
and the next time you see me, there I am, crossing in front of the moon.

If you're going to fall for me,
feel me up, fill my ear with all the things you imagine that I am,
wait until the last leaf falls. 

Then, up to our haunches in October snow,
I will kiss you the same way I kissed the woman I really loved;
the one who wore red flannel, raised ravens, and was nothing like you.

If you're going to fall for me,
whoever you are, do it on Halloween.
Brain me with a shovel,

Or else I'll be running down the center of the airstrip at dawn,
a gas can in one hand, passport in the other,
taking off in Le Corbeau, my arms in the air,

Singing "Mon amour est folle comme la lune,"
and as red --oh! as soft-- as my hair.
______

For Karin's "Falling Into Lines" mini-challenge at Real Toads. 

"Le Courbeau" = The Raven

"Mon amour est folle comme la lune" = "My love is as crazy as the moon"

Confidential to Buddha Moskowitz: Is this more like it? *grin*

 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Long Distance

They keep paging Mr. de la Cruz to the red courtesy phone in the lobby.
He can't come downstairs.
For that matter, he can't come, not anymore, ever;
Mr. de la Cruz is dead.

I'm in a fix.
One minute, holding his smartphone in one hand,
and messing with my boob with the other,
he was handing Mrs. de la Cruz the usual pile of bullcrap.
I love you, I miss you, I'm stuck here in Detroit.

About an hour later, after taking a blue pill,
Mr. de la Cruz blew a tire.
His face got all weird and he started sounding wheezy;
then he died, right there in the hotel bed.
No more being a cheaty bastard.
No more being my business friend.
He won't sit up, gasp, start laughing, and say, "That was close!"
He can't move.
He can't open Windows.
He can't do anything, ever again.

So who the hell wants him on the freaking courtesy phone?
They keep repeating the page.
Who does he know in Detroit?
Eminem? Kid Rock? Aretha Franklin?
I think he only knows me, and Jim, the manager of the escort service.
Jim would tell me to get dressed and book it on out of here.
So I do.

On my way out, leaving Mr. de la Cruz cooling off with the sheets,
I hear the page again. Curiosity killed the cat. 
Mee-owr, I think to myself, and head for the courtesy phone in the lobby.
It's this old red dial phone. 
I stick my gum on the little stand and pick up the receiver.
"Yeah? Uh....this is Mrs. de la Cruz."

Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like
if I had married some cheaty fuck and dropped a few kids.
I would have loved him, missed him, 
been sorry he got stuck in Detroit all by himself.
I actually start welling up thinking about it.

It's Aphrodite on the other end of the line.
She's talking about love, desire, beauty and longing,
but Mr. de la Cruz is dead upstairs,
Jim will have some other date for me to meet,
and though Aph means well and seems really nice,
I'm getting antsy
and it's all Greek to me.
______

for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads.

In honor of Martin de la Cruz, an Aztec healer; the Martin de la Cruz award is given for excellence in the field of medicinal herbs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Entre Nous, George....

George Tooker self portrait
Oh, don't look so stunned,
as if God had unfriended you.
Just keep tying your sweater arms around your shoulders like that,
and the right man will come through.

Now let's talk about your barber.
Either grow it out or shave, but not this.
You're more Paris than Parris Island, and that fivehead, oh my.
So wrong. So remiss.

Get that shell. It's for you!
It's Clara Bow calling, she wants her lips back.
Here's a drapery, wrap it around that tree trunk as an ascot.
You're welcome. 
My lips are sealed;
I'm the very soul of tact.
_______ 

For mag 289.

 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Lillesden

Sure, we've let a few things go, but
the moon got in our brains through the skylight
and try as we might, everything seemed silver
and possible
and dreamy creamy to us, while all you had to say was,

"Girls, girls, girls," in that clotted voice of yours.

Now, we will do what we will,
as slowly as lunar transit,
and glacially as math comprehension
when there are madflowers in the spring,
outside the ruptured panes
of mind and custom.

Girls, girls girls,
that's what we are, or were, at least,
now lazing with roses in our teeth
and all the time in the world to
receive and revive
our lovers driven to insensibility

by the clock-stopped way
we do them when the dawn is postponed,
attendance dispensed with
and the Ouija board stuck between YES and NO
like a stutterer who can't speak and so sings
like a hypnagogic hallucination of

Girls,  girls.   girls.
 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Satisfaction

I'd like to borrow your senses,
sight and smell.
What is coffee, or a kiss
by the time you're done with it?

My darling hyena, short of ass but blessed in jaw,
it's hard to tell what sex you are,
except for your feminine tendency
to make docile grass-eaters think they ran right into your maw.

Oh how we laughed over that, until, honey,
you noticed I have no spots, but brought the pride on every side.
_____

"Curiosity killed the cat. Satisfaction brought her back."

For Kerry's mini-challenge at Real Toads.

Image from weheartit.com
 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Memento

You gave me a lock of your hair,
and said--

Well, I can't recall. Something about love.

From the lock of hair,
a head

began to grow, but with lips no one could kiss.

The gray skin, the eye askew, the wild black hair,
half dead--

it spoke in the night and told me you don't care.

Your body is sweet, but the head is there
when you are not,

and honest. Oh, the things you kept from me!
and so much
it has to say.
______

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review: "Fin & Lady"

Fin & LadyFin & Lady by Cathleen Schine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


There is a pretty good short story here. Unfortunately, it's a novel. In 1996, I read a book by this author called "The Love Letter." I loved it. This one, not so much.

Eleven year old Fin, having lost both parents, goes to live with his charismatic, beautiful, but capricious and flighty half sister Lady in Greenwich Village in 1964. A lot of reviewers didn't like Lady, but I did, despite her flaws. Lady keeps a trio of male admirers strung along for years as Fin grows into a teenager. One wonders why they stick around for so long, or why Lady keeps tossing them crumbs. Two hundred pages of it is just way too much.

A big problem I had with the book is the mystery narrator. One doesn't find out until way near the end of the novel who this narrator is, and it annoyed me so much, I went to the spoilers at Goodreads to find out ahead of time. Stupid device, in my opinion, to have the story told at a remove by some unidentified speaker who occasionally intrudes with "Fin told me later" or such like.

The end of the novel IS kind of sweet (for the most part), but isn't worth plodding through the rest of the book to get there. If I could give this two and a half stars, I would. It isn't awful, but the fact that it took me nearly a month to make myself finish this short book speaks for itself. The characters are sort of interesting, but not interesting enough. Read "The Love Letter" instead.



View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Black Walnut

The moon shows through the filigree
of my black walnut tree's
branches.

All summer, the boastful sun 
kept after her, one
day into the next,

And though she did not love him,
she needed him. She thinned
by degrees.

The moon paints my black walnut tree silver
where the thick green of her
is gone.

The sun comes less and less, bored
with his conquest;
the moon stays, but is mad, 

And my walnut tree lays her beauty down
upon the earth cold and brown,
indifferent as a grave.
__________

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Incident In Little Egypt

After the crash--
so bashful, nothing to say
with your proud head
in the windshield that way.

I told you not to let Cerberus drive--
there are cats everywhere
on the center line 
with their nine lives.

I am made of cream; you of dust--
Who's queen now?
Me, alive, nonplussed,
switch-tailed, not sorry much.
______ 

For Flash 55 at Real Toads, with inspiration from "Oh, Fortuna".