Friday, September 22, 2017

I'm Sorry. (You're Sorry What?) I'm Sorry, Mrs. Pinocchio.

Jenny wrote a poem
and it sucked hard.
I helped her with it,
until one of us died.

Jenny's mom
was a bitch about it, and got mad.
I said, have you read this?
I dare you.

Beautiful, so beautiful, she said.
Cash me outside, you know it blows.
Open the window,
your nose'll grow.
_______
for Flash 55 at my BFF's.  

Monday, September 18, 2017

How I Know

Mrs. Capgras isn't Mrs. Capgras.
Whoever she really is, she's very clever, right down to 
parading around the neigborhood with the young Capgras children.
I confronted her.
"You can't fool me," I said, 
and the nerve of her,
the brass, 
she wouldn't drop the pretense.
Pretty soon the children were crying and she and I were 
clutching and kicking
biting and screaming
right there at the entrance to the park. 

The police were called, of course.
Idiot neighbors,
credulous biddies,
believed her that she was Mrs. Capgras.
Off she went, pretending upset,
gushing crocodile tears as she herded those kids back up the street.
She--whoever she was--kept looking back over her shoulder 
with her flushed, 
fake Mrs. Capgras face. 
She even fooled the police, who scoffed at me
as if I were insisting that the earth is flat,
when all I did was to state the obvious fact--
Mrs Capgras isn't Mrs. Capgras.

My nerves are so frayed,
so jangled,
it really is a trial to be put through all of this,
fresh on the heels of Mr. Fregoli's machinations yesterday.
He conspired--yes he did--with every jane and johnny in the development
to leave me a nervous wreck,
and a laughingstock.
Everyone I met yesterday was wearing a Mr. Fregoli face,
talking Mr. Fregoli talk,
and plotting evil against me.
I wasn't fooled for a moment, but what a position it put me in! 
"Poor Samantha, she's gone quite crackers."

And now you.
You're in league with them, don't bother to deny it.
You Capgras, you Fregoli, you second-rate duplicate!
You changed, right after you bashed my head in
with the wooden bread keeper that used to sit on your counter.
I had said some things.
I had been angry, and hurt, and I said some unfortunate things.
I said them, and you cold cocked me
and began recruiting your doubles.
You, my girl, can be cold and dark and distant,
and fracture something of mine every blue moon,
but this is not you, 
whether anyone wants to hear the truth or not.
This is not you--
my heart would know.
________ 

for Fireblossom Friday "The Distorted Lens."

Process notes: Capgras delusion is a condition in which the sufferer believes that people around them are false dulpicates of who they seem to be. Fregoli delusion is a state in which the person believes that everyone they see is one particular person in disguise. Both can be the result of a head injury. Finally, domestic violence between female couples is an under-reported crime, and not uncommon.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Power

"The scientists say
It will all wash away
But we don't believe any more
Cause we've got our recruits
And our green mohair suits
So please show your I.D. At the door."--"Sin City" by Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons

Power only lasts a minute,
like lion piss on the trunk of a tree
keen on the next rain.

Girl, you're somebody's Venus,
but not everyone's;
while you give some fool your smile and make another one wait hope and suffer,
here I am, up from a trap-door Hell, denying you mine. 

Zebra have nightmares of being chased,
when they dare sleep at all.
All are destroyers to the ant, even a bumbling child.

See the sun, the same one that burns
the cat, the commander, 
the egg shell CEO and that cunt on the corner,
rising above them all.

Feel your own roar shaking the earth itself.
Dig it, but remember,
the legions with their whips and cages and clocks
have a circus to make you the foil of
in a Rome you've not imagined--more real than this desert you terrify today.
_________ 

for the mini-challenge at Real Toads: "Juice."

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ice Cream Walk

You never know how it's going to go.
Early evening, book aside, tv on,
dog asleep and smiling,

I went all zen over the ice cream tub.
Too much for one time, but 
not enough left for later.
It's like someone in your bed asleep-- a familiar sweetness
that disappoints unannounced.

There's someone else,
or you're someone else from who they thought.
The door closes, the tv blathers on,
the dog goes or stays, the book marker is lost.
Better have all the caramel cookie dough now.

So I couldn't sleep, after.
After what? 
After any of it.
It made my stomach hurt, so I put the dog on his leash
and took a turn around the neighborhood in the dark.
He was hot on the trail of something--
I know the feeling.

The further we went, the less sure I felt.
It seemed like a good idea at the time--how often have I said that?
Passing the light manufacturing strip
with its trailer offices and loading docks,
an acorn fell on a tin roof like an angry word.
The street lights were impassive.
I walked faster--no objection from the dog.

Here we are, I said, home in sight.
Crossing the tot park, my dog searched for nightcats,
I watched for pervs or stoned teenagers
on the swings,
in the shadows. 
Three houses up, lights on inside--
We're waiting for us, in there,
our other selves who go shhh shhh shhh
like I've heard that mothers do, when things go wrong in the night.
_______

for Sanaa's "Of Muse & Me" at Real Toads.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Ever The Lady--A Shameful Confession

It is difficult, being ever the lady,
as I strive to be.

If my dog jerks the leash while I am
-very daintily--
raiding the local book kiosk,
it requires enormous restraint to say,
"My goodness!" and stay on my feet as if I'd taken years of ballet.

Besides,
~the shame!~
I've never read Jane Austen.
_____

for Friday 55 at Verse Escape.

Image at top: Naomi Watts 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Have A Chair

Have a chair.
Have a seat.
No, not that one!
Over there,
out in the street.

Let's talk.
Let's chat.
Yes, right here, why not?
In the cross walk.
You down with that?

Never mind the traffic never mind the cursing drivers, never mind your
clueless mansplaining poor fucker of a husband, never mind any of that for now.

Let's diss.
Let's discuss.
You'll feel better, trust me.
Start with this:
Start with us. 

Have another coffee, my treat.
Have a good sharp stick in the eye.
Have at it, girly-Q--
Say it neat.
You know why?

Because, darling,
cherub,
bitch of the century,
yesterday's news,

I need the chair for somebody else. 
______

for Quickly. "Chair."

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Remember Me To Julian

Remember me to Julian McNickelbaker,
the high-wire equestrian from Trash Dump, Wisconsin.
If you're ever in Trash Dump,
having landed via sea plane with a load of 

Supplies in the middle of a hundred-year flood,
make sure to look for Julian.
Check his trailer at the mobile home park.
(Ask Judy, at the rental office, which one is Julian's.)
Scout out Super Burger and Sunview Lanes,
where I once beat him at bowling 154-132.

Stand for a moment inside the post office,
and check the photograph I gave you against those on the wall. 
And, of course, go out to the horse boarder,
and look there--look around--look up!
If you brought an apple, toss it as high as you can.

Julian McNickelbaker was the foremost high-wire equestrian
in the southern Wisconsin division for seven years running.
You should have seen the "wires" we used,
which were actually a weave of tungsten, New England hemp, and local sod.
You could have walked an African elephant out there,
with bowling balls in a bag on his back. 

I said--while balancing on one foot, 50 feet in the air, on horseback,
in front of a crowd of almost two thousand--
"I love you, Julian McNickelbaker," and I did, at that moment.
But later, he was angry, disappointed, 
and I wanted a drink rather badly but was 10 years sober,
and too proud to have to face anybody after.

I left that night, on a Greyhound bus,headed to Racine.
I didn't see a horse again for days, just cows,
and I stayed right on the ground like skittish schoolgirl. 
For years after, I suffered from vertigo and impetigo,
slept with no one and read about ten thousand trash novels.
But Racine boasts many splendors.

Tiring, at last, of Petrifying Springs Park,
I made my way to Wind Point Lighthouse.
It has a light bulb inside a Fresnel lens, placed there by angels
or the Parks Department or some other soul weary of shadows.
The keeper, who does not operate the light (it's automated),
and is there mostly to foil graffiti artists,

Approached me and confiscated my can of spray paint.
She could see that I was having a "moment."
"Do you want to go bowling?" she asked me. 
Gosh, it had been a long time.
"Yes. I'd like that," I said. I stopped staring at my shoes then,
tilted my head back and gawped, 
all the way up the spiral stairs to the top of the light.
_________

 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Nickel & Rose

I would go to Mass, if I could be alone there
to love the dim light, the flowers,
and place a nickel in the plate, when the nickel is all I have.

We hang on our crosses,
hang around after death,
hang our hopes on a rose stem that bends and vanishes.

Here is a rose.
Here is a coin.
Here I am, tiny in this vast space.

I would go to Mass, if you would come with me.
If you would whisper to me that's it's all true,
and does not die--
the dogs I've had, 
the women I've loved,
and the men, too.

"Peace be with you."
"And also with you."
I think,
peace is overrated;
give me a dream about a nun's kiss
and a sacred heart that stays, like a nickel in a rose bower.
_____

139 words (so sue me) for Magaly's "Dearest Book, I Wrote You A Poem."

The book I wrote for is Robert Girardi's novel "Madeleine's Ghost."

Image at top: Maud Feely, 1910.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Peacocks

All that morning, peacocks.
Later that afternoon,
the first yellow leaves, and tea from a tin.
On my bed, peacocks.
On my lawn, the same.
Inside these lines, peacocks. Inside my skin, the hen.

Late in the evening, peacocks.
On towards dawn, 
my book, my dog, and solitude.
Outside,
peacocks.
Inside my skin, the hen.
______

A flash 55 for my BFF Hedgewitch, and for Mr. Kick-Ass himself, Galen.

 
 
 

Monday, September 4, 2017

All Afternoon

All afternoon in my flower garden--
wolves, imps, children, heavy equipment.
I wore gloves.
I had a trowel and a shotgun. 
A bushel basket.
Tarot cards.

All afternoon, clouds traversed the sky,
reminding me of childhood days in Singapore.
Here are things which can change in an instant:
weather,
a steady heart beat,
the four walls around you.

All afternoon I'd had the urge
to shove my gloved hand down the throat of the earth
to draw out the devil's vocabulary.
Don't be stupid--
you know, the one that badgers speak,
the one that drowns anyone listening--
Drip.
Drip.
Damn.

All afternoon I slaved like a grave digger,
my straw hat gone, 
incubi dancing on the handle of my shovel.
I got a letter from the city, saying
cease and desist.
I got a letter from the Diocese,
saying I'd been excommunicated, along with the postman.
I got a letter from you
and it didn't say a god damned thing.

All afternoon I wondered why I opened it,
why I ever cared,
and whether I could use my 'do rag to flag the bombers
and sic them on your stupid paper house
with you in it.
I would like to stand on the rubble afterward, a martinet with round spectacles,
a cup of tea, 
and not a crumb of love left, 
but oh, one hell of a sense of righteous fury.
_______