Sunday, December 30, 2018

Apology

I been sittin here tryna write slang f'Bee-orn.
It's hard, I do'think I USE any slang. 
In Michigan everybody just talks normal, yanno?
I mean, I been thinkin and thinkin.
I had a pop and a glassa melk and it dinnit help.
A nour later, my dog came in.
I said, "Jeet? D'I feedja?" he said no.
So I goddup and feddim and now I'm backa tryna write.
Wen I lived in Texas, they toleme i haddan accent--
that's crazy, THEY had the accent. 
Livinin Michigan is great cos if ya get lost ya just hold up yer hand and point and say "I live right here."
Course there's Yoopers and stuff, but they can use their other hand.
I can't b'lieve I cooden write something.
I'm really gonna have t'take a long look in the meer at myself.
Sorry, Bjorn! If y'ever come to Michigan, I'll make it up to ya.
I can show ya Ford's and Greenfeel Village, and my ciddy, but I cooden write what yawannid.

Ope, almosfergot...this's for Clockwork Ornge at Thamaginary Garden.
______

I searched a page about Michiganisms before writing this, and was howling with laughter at all the stuff i have said all my life and never realized was a Michiganism until today. For those who need it, here's some translations:

pop=carbonated soda
melk=milk
jeet=did you eat?
D'I=did I
tole=told
Yoopers=people from the upper peninula
meer=mirror
Ford's=Ford Motor Company. 
Greenfeel Village=Greenfield Village & Henry Ford Museum
ciddy=city
yawannid=you wanted
ope=Michigan for "oops" or 'excuse me"

 

Friday, December 28, 2018

Budget-Tel Hell

We were too stoned to get home, so
we checked into the local Budget-Tel, room 13.
The guy was pissed we woke him up
and he gave us a crappy room with a tv with a busted screen.

My old man said I made him mad like always,
and swung the towel bar at me so I called my friend
Dotty to come get high with us cos the stupid fuck might really kill me
once he finds out I took 20 dollars from the glove box in his pickup truck.

Well, Dotty came and dumbass didn't want to give her any dope
but I kicked his shin and told him not to be such a dickhead for once
and he slugged me but not too hard while Dotty went in his pocket for the bag.
How does a guy like me--says dumbass--end up in a Budget-tel with you two cunts?

I got right and was wondering crazy shit like would the bedspread burn
and I held my lighter to it but it only smoked a little bit. 
Dotty said Jesus what an ugly picture but when dumbass threw the lamp at my head
it smashed the frame and Dotty said it's an improvement. What ugly shit!

I fell asleep but dumbass kicked me off the bed and said where's my twenty?
so I bit his leg and he yelled and lost his balance and fell through the fucking window
so somebody called the cops and Dotty booked and there I was
high as fuck and under arrest at the stupid Budget-Tel, now ain't that just my luck?
________

for Artistic Impressions With Margaret--Alcohol Inks




 

 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Pack

I was there, at your childhood Christmas,
crouched behind the tree, my striped backside against the wall.
You missed one gift because I had it in my mouth--
we have always shared everything.

I was there, the first time you made love,
denting the corner of the bed with my weight,
the breath from my nostrils sliding your hair across your eyes.
I was there in the morning,
and there a week later, pacing and turning circles as you cried.

I was there, with a chicken in my mouth
in the sacristy as you said your vows.
I was there at the end of the table with the cousins
that night, yawning wide while you danced.
I was curled silently in the back seat when you drove away.

I have been there, at your job,
at reunions and funerals and vacations and hospitals.
We have always shared everything.
I am there because my chest breathes air, 
my heart moves blood-- 
I want my life just as much as you want yours.

When the man comes, with his gun or his scythe,
I will be there.
He will hang us up by our heels and say, "Well now. Lookit you,"
and we will be still forevermore.
Until then, I am with you, with one eye cast down
on the dirt trail in the night,
and the other cast up
on the impossible wheeling stars. 
______

For Fireblossom Friday



 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

For You

This is for you, 
who never saw me at all.
This is for you, ladling out poisonous "forgiveness"
when I had done no crime.
This is for you, distraught
that "no in OUR family" had ever been like me.
(Don't bet on it.)
This is for you, with the fiction of me in your head,
who never existed anyplace else.
This is for you, who would rather I suffer for a life time
so that you can feel "comfortable."

This is for you, the friends who reached out
when I was scared,
when I was sad,
when I was not at my best,
when I really needed it. 
This is for you, who shared your own stories 
so that I would know I was not alone.
This is for you, who loved me before, and loved me after.
This is for you, who have never known me any other way.
This is for you, watching me,
as I once watched others
for their joy
for their beauty
for their fierce belief in their own lights.

And this is for me, God's own girl,
arriving back where I began,
at peace in the passing illusion of my own skin.
_________

for this.



Sunday, December 2, 2018

Brenda Lee

Why is Brenda Lee so sad
crouching inside the juke box in her bullet bra? 
Does time fit together like black and white checkered flooring,
and is Brenda Lee blue over a past life she cannot alter?

I would kiss Brenda Lee if she were not imprisoned 
by the black edges
of phonograph records. 

I would kiss her, though I am not the boy she longs for,  
or a boy at all,
and I would give her the Coca-Cola clock
right off the wall as a cure for longing.

Why is Brenda Lee so sad?
If I could, I would gather photographs of fine days gone by,
arrange them in a photo mailer,
and address them to Brenda Lee,
inside the Wurlitzer,
Future, USA.
_______

for Camera FLASH! at Real Toads.

 
 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Two Mugs / A Dollar Each

There were/ two pretty mugs for a dollar each.
I had a truck full of mail/ outside,
a sick dog/ at home
a full day/ ahead
and a heart weighted/ by a gf's silence.

I bought them/ both
and they became/ favorites.
Every morning for years/ one chosen
and filled/ first thing.

One broke last winter/ doing dishes
and the other, in carelessness/ this morning.
My time is / my own,
my new dog is/ healthy and strong,
and "choose me or lose me"/ is good advice. 

There was a continuous line/ of so many days
leading back/ to two pretty mugs, a dollar each.
A me who I used to be/ bought them both that day--
but I can't bring them back/ or now remember
who that woman was. 
_______

129 words for "mono no aware" at Real Toads.

 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A House, In November

Wednesday, there are wind chimes in the Asian pear tree.

Thursday, a woodpecker visits the white walnut.
We watch the woodpecker; hear the chimes.

Saturday, it snows on the red leaves of the Asian pear tree.
Sunday, the woodpecker finds the feeder empty, and the chair.
Tuesday, the walk is thick with red on white--the chimes are silver.



Monday, November 5, 2018

Fermi LeBouche

Fermi LeBouche killed his wife. 
It was done thus:
"Here's what I think..."
"What you have to understand is..."
"So I told them..."

Neighbors noticed she seemed unhappy.
Then tormented.
Then dead.

One look at her lying there, bleeding from her ears
was all the gendarmes needed.
Fermi was arrested, tried and sentenced to the guillotine. 

"Monster!" cried the crowd.
Down came the awful blade. 
Someone grabbed Fermi's head from the basket.
"In my opinion...."
"Let me tell you something..."
"What you don't understand is..."

Fermi LeBouche's head kept talking.
It criticized the executioner's methods.
It held itself blameless for the death of Mrs. LeBouche.
It told a series of very tired old jokes and laughed itself giddy.

Month after month, his head kept talking.
"Why, in my day..."
"That reminds me of the time I..."
"If you want to know what I think..."
Finally, a soldier returning from the wars was riding on a wagon 
with Fermi LeBouche's endlessly loquacious noggin.
On and on, opinion after opinion,
story after story,
unsought advice after unsought advice.

They say that Fermi's last words were
"You can't kill Fermi LeBouche with that little thing..." 
but though he never admitted it,
he was badly mistaken.
________

for Camera FLASH!

 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Walnut Leaves, In Their Terror

The walnut leaves fall in groups,
In fear of
Zacky Peanut, who brooks no nonsense
And is ferocious (but fair.)

Into their bags they go,
Silent siblings to the sticks
Also lately fallen.

She who has a dog
Need never fear walnut leaves
For he is a Good Boi
And always at the ready.
_____

for Real Toads.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Fascination

I defer in all things to the gray cat
perched on the porch rail as the sun goes down.
His disinterest is my fascination.

The moon slipping from the sky is another fascination
of mine, and too, I think, of the gray cat
though he is silent as he shakes himself and jumps down.

You are the one I can't forget, like a book I can't put down
written by a stranger untouched by my fascination 
with stories, with you, with the moon and the gray cat.

The gray cat pounces down on shadows; I watch in fascination. 
_____

a tritina for fussy little forms with Marian.

this poem is an homage of sorts for one of my favorite poems--"untitled" by Carl Rickert, which appeared in the September 1973 issue of The Speakeasy Culture. 

With some trepidation, I am adding Carl's poem here because it is impossible to find and should be read widely, imo. I have tried to search him out to get permission, but after 45 years it's impossible. Carl, if you see this and object, let me know and i will remove it. Again i stress that the following is a poem by CARL RICKERT, not me, but my poem at top is an homage to it and its ideas about gray cats.





"Untitled" by Carl Rickert

No one at all that night
saw the moon drop from the sky,
save myself
and a gray cat walking by,
looking
perhaps,
for another gray cat,
looking
for something,
looking,
maybe,
for me,
because I am the master of the gray cat,
and life,
my life,
the cat's life,
your life,
maybe,
if you give it to me,
and the gray cat,
The gray cat helps me make my decisions,
decisions on life,
my life and your life,
if that's your desire,
The gray cat has no sense of responsibility,
seeks only pleasure
and other gray cats,
at night,
or in the day
if it has that feeling,
but I seek his answer,
perhaps because of that lack of responsibility,
I have that,
you know,
responsibility,
for the gray cat,
and you,
if you would like,
my life would change,
and yours,
and the gray cat's,
but chances
are born in the moon we watched,
until last night,
when it dropped from the sky,
and only I was the witness,
for the gray cat
upon questioning,
saw little
save another gray cat,
or the hope of seeing another gray cat,
so you'll have to take my word,
and the fact
that the moon no longer appears,
and that despite the change in my life
I still want you,
waiting of course
to see what the gray cat will say.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pheasant Therapist Is Cray Cray

Here I am, the answer to all your dreams.
But please, 
stay out in the waiting room;
when the light is on, I am in session.

Preen
preen preen
preen.
Okay, I'm not in session, I'm preening.
The last client left vermin in my feathers,
diminished their shine,
and brought that scary gun.

Pheasants are known for healing, and luck in love.
I'm a pheasant shore nuff. 
Okay, come in.
I'm right here
hiding behind the waste basket. 
Look into my goofy birdy eyes--
yep, you're pretty screwed up.

Let's see what we can do.
Yap yap yap
yap. 
I think what you really want is to eat me;
that could be fatal or fine.
You're a mess but cute. 
I think we made a lot of progress today, even with me creeping around the desk and along the walls. 

Ready?
FOOM flap flap flap FOOM!
Noisy right?
A girl's got to make an entrance. 
You gonna make a move now, or what?
Here I stand, trying again, feathered and fantastic
if not terrifically bright. 
_______ 

for Unfairy Tales at Real Toads. 

According to folklore, pheasants are harbingers of love and good luck, as well as being healers. The only time I ever encountered a pheasant, it absolutely exploded out of a bush, making a tremendous racket that scared me half to death. Perhaps it went on to establish a thriving practice offering talk therapy, tarot astrology, and interpretive dance. It could've.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

About Athena

She's a headache, father. 
You know it better than any.
And what about that bird she insists upon having?
It swoops down from the top of the chiffarobe
whenever I walk in carrying laundry. 

Oh, I talk to her.
She just gets out those everlasting scales and stands there
without saying a word.
The owl twists its neck and gapes too.
It's unnerving.

I went through her closet
--looking for drugs!--
and there, at the bottom of a tube of tennis balls,
I found a lightning bolt.
What do you suppose she's doing with that

Finally, I went through her dresser.
The owl started pacing on the chiff like a constable.
Athena walked in just as I found them--
"Will you be snooping...er, staying for lunch, Mother?"
--six dead rats laid all in a row
like a diamond necklace.
_________

for Poets United Midweek Motif--Owls


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Squirrel People

Squirrel people, weird mutants
crouch on rainy branches
cursing me,
cursing themselves.
"We can scale any obstacle, crack any shell,
but we can't open your fucking front door." 

Me,  I am smug,
reading by the fucking fireside,
my dozy comfort a finger at my arboreal lessers.
"Fuck you!" they say.
They are quick, resentful, sodden.
______

A 55 for Kerry.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Realtor Said

The realtor said, "We must climb in through the open window,"
and heaved herself over the sill. 
I turned her brochure into a glider, and entered by air.

I said, "I am made of meat and bank accounts."
A talking cheetah on the living room veldt said,
"The place is haunted. 
There is a crucifix in my mouth--
you'll have to crawl in after it."

The realtor said, "We can conference with the other world."
I said, "In the ether or the air."
The cheetah was silent, and her yellow eyes were suns.

Well, girl, I bought it.
The realtor demanded that I paint with pastels.
The cheetah demanded to share my bed.
They both revealed you as the ghost.
I said,
"Tongues should be rough,
living space spiritual (secured by contract),
and love supernatural, locally acquired, ascendant, and wild."
_______

for The Sunday Muse #22.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Here

Here are the blue walls of the blue bedroom
of the Cape Cod cottage by the blue sea--
here is the blue handle of a blue broom
on the floor of the penitentiary.
Here are blue fish in a blue basket
to clean and fry on a blue afternoon--
here is the blue face in a blue casket
and the blue of the ocean and the moon.

Lapis this lonely feeling, slate the sky
Carolina the soft chime on the air--
peacock the pride, azure the things that die;
admiral the clock that takes me unaware--
sapphire this sense of the heavy, the high,
and this indigo poem, like foxfire there.
______

For the mini-challenge at Real Toads.

It's been brought to my attention that the following song is sung by Katie Malua, not Amy Winehouse. 


 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Wind

The wind is blowing
(I have skin, like anybody else.)
The sky is moving
(I have one face, the sky has many.)
I live,
I die.
(Sun, rain, crickets touch my skin.)
 The wind hurries on.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Book Review : "Everything Trump Touches Dies"

Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President EverEverything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever by Rick    Wilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


In this book, Rick Wilson takes a clear-eyed, passionate, merciless look at the current President and his sycophants. Right down the line, from Trump himself to his boosters and apologists from clueless Jared to crazed Alex Jones, Wilson takes dead aim and skewers them, exposing their incompetence, idiocy, and pretensions in the process.

This isn't, however, just a hit man conducting his work-a-day business. This is an author who believes in what conservatism has always been, and points out both the contrast with what it has become, and outlines the way back or the way to perdition.

I laughed out loud many times while reading this; it is both serious and genuinely funny. It's a pie in the face of the puffed-up and a steel pipe to the kneecaps of the dangerous, the bigoted and the fake. Very highly recommended.



View all my reviews

Saturday, August 11, 2018

In A Room-Box

In a room-box with unmade bed, you bloomed
(in time, ajar)
In a room-box with night-sign light, you bloomed
(a venom star)
On the wall, shadow of your swaying head
(crepuscular)
Your odd gift of what is shown, then vanished,
In after-image of gorgeous damage. 
_______ 

for Fussy Little Forms--cavatina.

Friday, August 10, 2018

untitled 55

Sound isn't what you think.
Your boot soles flat on the wooden floor
is how your feet make fools of your ears.

"Forever" is the froth
offered up by every stranger I have loved.
I turn to it like a bloom,
but fissures up my back 
is how time finds the fool in the room.
______

A 55 for Kerry.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Maureen

Maureen tied summer to her wrist with a shoelace--
now the sun rises and sets in her sleeves.
Maureen left home at age 8, became a nun, quit, joined the army.
Now she wears her hair loose, 
knows the algebra of your every word before you sigh it.

Maureen talks to the Holsteins in the pasture,
contemplates the squares of the fields as seen from the air in planes
taken from high school geometry and woodworking class. 
"This was all a salt water sea," she tells the cows with a wide gesture,
sun spilling across the sloping green with the arc of her arms.

Maureen likes her milk frothy, her paintings surreal.
She likes you when you tell her she's a habitable planet in a colorform sky.
"We are rapidly approaching a tipping point," she opines dramatically
as you roll her over, then she rolls you, you haystack fool,
stood up on a stick with a silly grin because summer, because crows, 

because Maureen.
_______

for Wordy Thursday at Toads. I have used vintage jellies' word list for reasons explained in the comments there. Just as a nod to the original intent of Sherry's prompt, there is a Grover Lewis reference hidden away here. 2 points for finding it.

Back in the 80's I had about a dozen buttons pinned to my jean jacket. One of them was Nena, who I thought was just the coolest ever. I also had Chrissie Hynde. I still have the jacket, and it still has a couple of buttons but not those. The one everybody likes is a crayon face with a big smile that says CHEER THE FUCK UP. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Lily

Direct sun is bad billet for cuttings.
Lily was long-stemmed, 
half drunk
half honest
night-starred
giving head to a bottle in a graveyard.

She never chose her own tattoos--
just once born, once baptized, 
seven times left crying  by the roadside.
Lily likes her Ginny with Georgia lime.

O Lily fair, Lily bright,
gives all her love 
to a runaway cat
and salts her bath with anything white.

Lily used to pose on a coffin lid
half sweet
half willing
 half live, half dead.
Long-stemmed Lily talking out of her head
to the peonies out by the garden shed. 

Of course she loves you,
tap-water blank with soft pale hands.
Lily fair, Lily bright,

long-stemmed Lily in your circle stands
almost straight
almost strong
almost saved, and almost 

gone.
_____ 

for Camera FLASH! at Toads.