Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Home

We are on our way home, Anderson and I.
The stars pass by, slow as dreams.
Our ship emits a constant low-frequency hum
and rattles because of meteorite strikes and weapons which tried
to erase us from the sky, if sky is what this is called.

We are on our way home, but home is just an idea to me,
just something causing a slight twinge in an unused nerve.
"We'll be there soon," I tell Anderson,
but Anderson is on the cot, dying, and besides,
I don't even believe what I say, myself.

Anderson and I came together, had a child, made this mission.
I know what he likes for breakfast, 
and what used to make him stupid with desire for me,
but I don't know why we are together, what Hand was at work.
Here is what I do know:
The prospect of being alone without him
makes me sick and terrified.
Home has sent out a beacon. I think. 
There was something, or maybe just the ship dissolving around us.
On we go.

I contracted a disease on Moon 57 that was so painful I wanted to die.
Anderson kept telling me, "Hold on," and I did.
What that got me was more travel and more diseases;
more scrapes and more missions. 
More time with Anderson.
I do what I can to ease his life, and he does the same for me.
He is sleeping, but groans and shifts.

I see it. I head for it.
Home. 
It's a series of numbers, an end point, meaningless but beckoning like a siren;
a siren that's ghostly and can barely wheeze out a note from some forgotten libretto.
Time.
Motion.
Progress from this vacuum to that.
Connections being made. 
Banging, joining.
We're here.

The door to the command module opens.
I check Anderson, who has died.
I want to cry, but I am like an old hose with a thousand leaks,
empty when it matters most.
I stand up, walk through the door and down a brightly lit tube. 
They are waiting.
I have no idea who they are.
They look at me, their eyes large and filled with a strange sorrow/joy.
We stand there, a foot apart, in silence for a long time.

I am home.
I feel nothing.
All of who I am and who I was is strewn out behind me in the fires and ice storms of all the places I have been.
There were many crew mates with me,
then fewer,
then a handful,
then just Anderson,
and now, only me to stand here gaping.

I am surrounded by strangers with their odd, almost familiar faces.
I'm having trouble breathing.
I feel like something crystallized and about to shatter.
There is an emotion I don't remember,
and this place is thick with it.
All that I know is the mission, which has burned me to a bone.

One of them reaches out and touches my face,
and I buckle inside.
Without words, I am flooded with revived things,
crazy impossible childish things,
like belonging and mattering and loving and being loved.
Even exhaustion can't stop it.
Then I am sobbing,
remembering that for Anderson, 
the crew, and even for me
there is this place to come back to who we were
albeit when we were so much younger
and couldn't imagine that we would ever forget 
how and where we really began.
______

for Sunday Muse #10

also for Kerry's spec fic at Real Toads. 



Saturday, June 23, 2018

Things Placed In A Velvet Box

It doesn't matter to me, anymore
if your buried name feeds flowers or wasps or nothing at all.
All day there is bread on a board, and a book's pages rolling with the breeze.
There is rain and minutes dying and both the best and least of these...

The things I placed on velvet, in a box
as children or idiots do, with fistfuls of forget-me-nots 
staining fingers blue, as ink will do
when spilled across pulped pages, entre nous...

It doesn't matter whose way 
is the less foolish one
or which moon 
will rise on the ash of a setting sun.

_______

for micro-poetry

Friday, June 22, 2018

Mulberry Rain

Rain falls from the leaves 
of the mulberry outside my window--
purple berries drop from its branches 
staining the walk--
my dog tracks them into the kitchen.

I love the rain--
my noisy neighbor stops working on his truck.
The rain, the berries, my dog
all soothe me,
but I am falling, too--
just slowly.
_____ 

A 55 for my excellent BFF.
 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Hologram Family Robinson

The Hologram Family Robinson
lives nowhere because they don't exist. 
"You're projecting," they sneer at each other,
bloodless
boneless
auto-tuned assholes that they are.

They become peevish.
They become representations of reptiles
dying in a dream sequence involving a tar pit or peat bog.
"Discover us," they plead.
"Split our rock with a hammer, release us, love us."
But they are assholes, 
and like love
good advice
or last night's dinner,
everything goes right through them.
"Hail, signalman!" they cry, larynxless
like insects in the rotting ear of a dead man. 
_______

for "Unhappy Refrain" at Toads. I recycled a comment I left at Paper Tiger for this.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Maison D'oiseau

Here is the house with rivers for walls.
Mine is the body with voices for skin.
In your eyes, setting suns and cycling stars.

Mine is the port with a shore made of wind.
Docks are easy, moorings leaden;
morning birds fill every tree. 
______

for quadrille #59--cycle

Friday, June 15, 2018

Testament

I folded a love letter
inside a bible
and left them both

on a table
in the garden
overnight
in the rain.

As expected,
my new lover 
appeared

wearing the sun
and the wind
like epaulets 
on his shoulders.

With a strong open fist
he broke my loneliness.
A dove flies
to cold
lofty
Ararat.
_____

for my BFF's most entirely awesome 55 thang.
 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Orange Peel

The white inside an orange peel
velvet soft as a water dream
bears the stunned blankness of betrayed wives.
Circles and sections,
heart beats, desires, babies, birds,
all in a grain of sand
or the eternal and silent dome of the sky.

The white inside an orange peel
fragrant with what it has already lost
remains beautiful, sensual, for a short time
but is already dying.
Circles and sections,
heart beats, desires, babies, birds,
none of these are meant to endure--
their purpose is goodbye,
their pinnacle sleeps in dust.

The white inside an orange peel
was/was never/ was/ was never one with the fruit it sheltered.
Lover sweet, lover who stings the knife's cut
all the same, and doomed themselves.
Circles and sections,
heart beats, desires, babies, birds,
all born of the branch and gone to the table,
the plate,
the necessary separation and then--
returned to the garden, the turned soil, the green shoots
and the endless rot and rise of everything. 
_______

Monday, June 11, 2018

Geometric Onion Dome Girl

Geometric onion dome girl has a resentment against stars.
Everything must be rooved--taxis, coffins, bus kiosks, and especially churches
because every little light can't be a christ.

Geometric onion dome girl got a paper cut from a phone book
while trying to give blood to the past to revive it.
The operator denounced her, 
just for old time's sake,
and quoted maxims instead of backing up her soul
with a more modern device.

Architects don't care about onion domes anymore,
and geometry is all angles and curves.
Revolutions never happen in the rain.
Tea is weak and poetry no longer burns.
Stars don't even light cigarettes,
and so the savior of circumferences plots a mid-point
between 
ennui 
and
effervescence,
shooting herself into space like old light in transit. 
______

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Three Short Poems

"Jones"

Jones
finds Empty
and fills it
with lonesome lies
in a fake truth suit.
There were better Parts Unknown meant for you.
_____

"Chop Shop"

Chop
this shit
into lines-
it still won't be
poetry, baby.
You have to pay to learn that foreign tongue.
_____

"Mercy Clouds"

Look--
water
ripple-topped.
Gone tomorrow
with the mercy clouds.
Kiss me now. The sun will warm my suitcase.
______

for Fussy Little Forms--tetractys. 

Suicide happens when a person's emotional pain exceeds their ability to cope with that pain. But there is help. If you are in trouble, pick up that ten ton phone--tomorrow can be better, even if you don't believe it right now. National Suicide Prevention Help Line: 1-800-273-TALK.
"Goodbye...my friend. I didn't know you, but I've been places you've been." (Tim Hardin)
 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Crimson Amperage

In my fingers, a knife with two blades and no handle.
On the blades, blood.
Enter my relative, with ten mouths
who wears the knife as jewelry.

In my mouth, a scream with two pitches and no end.
On the sound, a honed edge.
"Hush," say the ten mouths
but I sing back crimson amperage.
_______

some cold steel 55 for my BFF.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

yulimajiri

A ceramic cup
--winter-white--
is my body--my bones are
stems of brushes--
my blood is paintwater.

The window is nine panes.
The walls are blank, the door to the hall ajar.
Outside,
wintry mix.
Traffic, graylight, finger-wind.

Rain falls of its own weight--
snow's geometry fragile as dreams.
When they kiss, one disappears--
the dull shine of sidewalks
leads everywhere, nowhere.

A ceramic cup
--winter white--
is my body.
I touch yours (again) in the stems of brushes,
soft tips brilliant and singular
then done, swirled
in the cup's anonymity.
_______

for Toni's "Shades Of Rain" at Toads.

Jose Feliciano's amazing rendition of a Fred Neil song about rain:

 

 
 
 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The City Of Concrete Birds

In the city of concrete birds,
shoulders lately blessed by a lover's face
--an egg on her tongue, feathers in corona around her eyes--
bear risk as heavy as Sisyphus' tears.

In Paris, the paradise of concrete birds,
tablets are struck from the hands of poets in cafes.
Hats must be sturdy,
utility workers must brim in stadiums,
never resting.

Every morning, I leave you without leaving.
I wear a dress of twigs and string,
perpetuating the world;
my bones double helixed
 from Billie Holiday records and plaster,
I am a nest for concrete birds.

We must be careful, as we promenade.
The Luftwaffe are old leaves blowing,
but when we think of each other,
what to say,
how much to lie,
which tender sensibilities to spare,

Waiters in doorways open their lips to birth air raid sirens.
The concrete birds select our skulls,
without pity or malice
 landing in our destruction like swans in summer,
at home there,
symbols of love lifted by our obliteration.
_______

for Kerry's "Camera FLASH!"

 


Friday, June 1, 2018

Origami Angel

A local origami angel, 
aged out of foster care,
kept a treble clef  in a wicker cage
perched on a wing and a prayer.

I kept dying and coming back 
all that winter, every time we kissed.
In spring the treble clef infected us with sense,
took back its hour and scorned such pious ornithologists.
_______

a 55 for my BFF.