Friday, March 30, 2018

Hawk and Hollyhock

In late evening, my spirit slipped its mews
and perched watching me--my remainder self--
broad-leafed, overtall, growing from a gap in the step.

There were heels on the paving stones,
a spill of some harsh but bone-known tongue.

I woke, the tether caught--
the mews reoccupied. 
I rose, swayed; hawk & hollyhock in temporary union. 
______________

Note:  In falconry, a mews is a birdhouse designed to house one or more birds of prey. In falconry there are two types of mews: the freeloft mews and traditional mews. Traditional mews usually consist of partitioned spaces designed to keep tethered birds separated with perches for each bird in the partitioned space.

A 55 for my BFF.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Equinox

I'm as plain and brown as mud in March.
I'm a stone in a river; I don't move much. 
I'm the dull-bound book with the faded cover,
But my pages will call you to next and another.

See the yard all strewn with last year's leaves--
See the unassuming chair, the sparrow, and...me
Dreaming at mid-day-- as roots are, too,
Seeming still-- but restless and drawn to do

Our turning and rising as the season commands
with sure sense of continuance--like ampersands.
_____

For Fireblossom Friday : Poetic imagery. I'm hosting at Toads. Come by and join us!


Friday, March 23, 2018

A Mail Lady's Golden Memories (Episode 54)

Mrs. Geritolle is missing her Blizzardville Inquirer,
expected via post every week from out of town.

Mrs. G to the mail lady: "Maybe it's in your truck somewhere."

"Or sitting at the post office."

"I think you took it home to read yourself." 

Days later, a post card: "Blizzardville Inquirer has ceased publication."

~sigh~

SMH. 
__________

for those not conversant with text short-hand, SMH = "shaking my head." 

A 55 for my BFF.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Night Walkers

We're sorry to call
at such a late hour--
so we'll scoot in and snick the door

shut

so quietly.

Every Wednesday night
since Goddess knows when
we're canasta queens

but then you know we

have time to be.

We wear white dresses up to our necks
and we like the jokers left in the decks.

Shh shh, go back to sleep.
Don't come down the stairs--
or we'll disappear, tongues gone to cats,
as if we'd never even been there.

We sense you more than see you
when curiosity draws you
down the stairs--

we hold our breath

and three our pairs. 

Curse you, damn you,
disturbing our game
with lights obliging us to disperse--

impudent meat bag!

We were here first! 
________

For Marian's music prompt--Alice Cooper. Youtube doesn't want to let me include his song "Black Juju" but that's the one I wrote from. 

I once had a dream that I was one of a small group of 1900-ish ladies who gathered regularly in a house to play canasta. We'd play our cards and get talking and laughing--waking up the resident upstairs in the bedroom. I remember very clearly that the house had beveled glass in the front door, and a narrow stair case rising up from it. To one side was the parlor with a fireplace and a table and chairs. All of us wore white. Anyway, when the resident would get up and start edging down the stairs to see what the voices were, we all had to stop silent and wait to see if they would turn around or come all the way down and ruin our game. You see, although only the resident seemed shadowy to us, we knew *we* were the ghosts in *their* house. And...it wasn't the first time I had dreamed of being a ghost in someone else's reality!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Claddagh

I've got an Irish name, but I've never been there.
In fact, over there I understand it's a boy's name--
mom and dad were expecting such. Surprise, surprise!
See, I was contrary from the get-go. 

I've got Irish all up and down one side of the tree--
they'd sell ya a car with no wheels 
and you'd thank them, smile, and miss them after they were gone
with your cash in their pocket.

Don't be bitter when you read that, they're none the richer for it by now.

The other side of the tree is stodgy English.
All they'd do is frost the windows with their personalities,
take a fearless and searching moral inventory of everybody else,
and petrify from excess of reserve.

Guess which side I take after? Aw, Daddy, you're always the one.

When I was young--just a lass...joost a lasss...how's that? Oh shut up.
Anyway, there was this man, James, who could drink as much as I could,
was ten years older than me and knew the Poets. 
He'd been all around the world.

I was with him in Detroit, in Texas, in Manila and in Denver.
We wandered through St. Louis and New Orleans, drunk as ducks.
One day, he disappeared, nobody knew where, and I never heard from him again.
Thanks, James, even so. Here's a half-Irish smile for ya. I miss you.

And thanks for not going into my bag--you'd have found the pawn ticket
for my Claddagh ring because I had to feed the stray I'd fallen for.
_________

for Weekend Challenge "Blarney Me."



 
 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Emblem & Anthem

The streets are full of emblem and anthem.
The sky is gray and slack as a dead man's face.
Megaphones are a needle in the brain
delivering seizure and sanctimony.
Behold our enemies, the ghost and pipsqueak
Writ Large, melting eyes to roiling goo.
All hail our emblem and anthem,
jingoist putrefaction turned glittering bauble.
_______

A Friday 55 for our Witchy hostess.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Love Letter From A New York Girl Stuck In Texas

Honey,

I'm so glad that this has reached you--and that you wanted to open it and read my words, as you used to love to do. Maybe things haven't changed so much, after all?

I won't say "wish you were here" and I wouldn't will it so, even if I had a genie on my shoulder taking down every word. But I am with you...you know that, yes? Even still?

I'm thinking, tonight, of a song you once played for me on the phonograph--you with your vintage records you love so much. It was called "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." Do you remember? And do you recall how I wouldn't believe you that it was "The King of the Blues" singing it? It sounded so old-timey. You had that sparkle in your eye and your lips turned up at one corner, it amused you so, knowing you were right all along. How I insisted! I'm a silly goose, darling. 

Tell me, sweetheart, is it evening as you read this? Have you had a nice meal, are you feeling content? I want you to be, even if you don't believe it. (I can grin that Cheshire grin at you too, you know!) Even though it's late here--nearly midnight--I am only now sitting down. I'm having crab cakes with baby carrots, plus Raisin Rum Cake for dessert. Yes, your favorite--I specifically put in my request for it, in your honor. You say I always get what I want--not always, I'm afraid, mon coeur. Not always. In spite of all my best efforts.

Well, sweetie, the time has flown and I need to get this into an envelope for you. They don't let us seal them, did you know that? I hope they don't undo my best intentions by redacting the heart of all I've said. I love you, I love you, I love you. There. They can't black out all three, can they?

Please forgive me, mon petit coeur, for anything I may have done to offend you...ever. It would mean so much to me if you could. That girl, she was coming between us, ruining everything, and the thought of losing you made me not myself. Blame it on that Other Me, won't you? Could you? I won't beg--I know you like me best when I'm all devil-may-care, and I promise to try to be that way from now on. I'll pretend I'm only visiting the doctor, getting a routine inoculation so that our next weekend won't be ruined by me sniffling and honking like a sea bird. All right, off I go any minute now..."down under" let's call it. That sounds so much better, yes? "Tie me kangaroo down...sport..." Poor kanga. 

Forgive me. Don't forget me. Be glorious, for us both, all right? 

All my love,

Charlene

This letter inmate-generated from Mountain View Women's Correctional Facility, Gatesville Texas. Contents have been screened. Recipient is advised to view all such correspondence as being possibly coercive, manipulative or false.
___________________


For "dear poems" at Real Toads.  

 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Poem About A Cat & A Blue Fence

As if, having scaled the sky,
he had stopped to gloat
there above my head
with the afternoon sun behind him.

Cat, gamboling among the gods,
are there fish in the sky?
or must you bargain with the deep
for your dinner so desired?

Cat-stronaut, glide down and grant me a boon.
Tell me, how is it when trees become fences,
fences become divine
and cats-turned-to-birds appear at my toe tip

with eyes the color of the Aegean?
________ 

 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Her Real Name Was Lexi

In a classic case of form over function,
Doctor Dal Canton transplants a candy heart into Sugar, the topless dancer.

It melts immediately, as did Doctor D. upon seeing her the first time,
up there,
like an aspiration.

Later, in custody, Doctor D. insists
that it is his heart which is broken. 

Authorities disagree,
punishing doubly, sleeping well.
_______ 

a flash 55 for my BFF. It's 55 words if you always count the doctor's name as one word.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Ditch Diggers

Ditch diggers make fine lovers
if you can put aside all that fussy shit you love so well.
They don't bring flowers
or some stupid-ass wine;
they bring shovels that scratch the wood of the floor and the wall
when they prop them there 
to hold you 
like flotsam after a shipwreck.

Ditch diggers don't fuck around. 
They get right down to it
and could care less about the shams or the thousand count sheets.
Grit is good, 
shut up and kiss your ditch digger, girl.
Learn to love the sweet earth smeared across the queen size.
Ditch diggers get up early,
do what needs done;
come nightfall, they sleep righteous right next to you
and don't listen to you yap about your classes or your bullshit.

Go down, girl
to the new roadway in the rain.
Meet that ditch digger's eyes.
Then go home, leave the door unlocked.
The world will never miss the poem you would have written
tonight at your tidy desk
wearing your white dress
like a bride stood up and shamed despite all her careful preparations. 
______

for Camera FLASH.

Note For No One

Here is my note for no one,
a boot undone
in the flower bed 
by the path.

Here is my letter that isn't there
forgotten on the stair
of an empty house
in afternoon.

The coffee is cold, the pen is dry,
the sun-slant hours idle by
like dolls upon a sill
that softly mummify. 
______

another 55.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Snow

It snowed.
People left for work with wipers and defrosters going,
came back shimmying up the street, 
wheels scrambling and bulling their way up the drives. 

I put on coffee, watched movies,
stared at the thick flakes in the shifting wind outside.
Trees bore it, branches burdened low,
slung by a stationary gust called ice. 
______

a 55.

 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

HOW NOT TO WRITE A LOVE POEM

1. IT'S ALIIIIVE! Make *everything* alive. Sighing hearts, weeping skies, smiling trees, warbling coffee tables, all of these are good, and will make your poem both busy and awful. Whee!

2. STOP DROP AND ROLL Use "burning" and all its variations liberally. Burning lips, fiery fingertips, barbecued bosoms--go for it, Sparky, and you'll have one smoking pile-up of a poem.

3. LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN And again and again. Be sure to use antiquated, flowery contractions like "e'er" and "ne'er" as often as possible. Pretend it's 1750 again. Use a quill pen. Die of some extinct plague like cholera. Please. Right now.

4. FORMALITY IS NEXT TO BANALITY Sprinkle your love poem with lots of comically overstuffed words like "dost" and "thee." Wear a hoop skirt or frilled sleeves. Get run over by a horse and carriage. Do it for literature.

5. BEGINNER'S LUCK Forget what you've heard and write about what you don't know. Make it clear you've never so much as held hands, but have decided to compose passionate odes to breathless desire. Or, if you've sampled the entire Boston Symphony Orchestra, write something fluttery and virginal. Go for it! Use your imagination!

6. GO WITH OLD RELIABLE Finally, don't give yourself a headache trying to jam clever words and phrases into your awful love poem. Go with moon/June, love/dove, palpitate/regurgitate and before you know it, you'll be employed by a greeting card company. Good luck, writers!