Tuesday, April 30, 2019

4 American Sentences


   The image above was first used with my poem "The Girl Who Loved Hemingway."
                  I suspect she might also love American sentences.



Allen Ginsberg's American sentence, in case you might not know, is a response to his feeling that haiku did not work well in English. It is simply 17 syllables arranged how ever you like, and it must be, of course, a sentence. (That doesn't mean it can't have periods within it.) While haiku are normally concerned with nature, an American sentence can be about anything. Kerry, at The Imaginary Garden, first told me about them. And so here are four I wrote today:


my joints grind like old bricks. 
garden warms.
my cane is sturdy.
sun is strong.

dog, i am your mother
though i am not a dog.
bed is yours to hog.

baseball on tv.
dog and me on couch.
we sleep through several innings.

in age i find beauty in more faces
than i ever did when young. 

And so, I have written 30 poems in 30 days this April. As I depart The Imaginary Garden With Real Toads--like a tv actress or a back-up singer embarking on a preposterous and disastrous solo career--I want to say that the inspiration from all of you has been instrumental in the writing of so many of the poems on this blog, Coablack's House of Pain, and Black Mamba. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. I will still see you when I appear as a  "legendary" (read: washed-up!) guest on the show. (Fireblossom as Aunt Biddy, with one line: "Follow your heart, Chrissie!") xoxoxox

a little road music:



Sunday, April 28, 2019

Blues #3

(image is "Play For Me" by Ian Dooley)
At Susannha's, when they asked for "As Time Goes By,"
you gave them "St. James Infirmary Blues."
That's when I knew
Suss had chosen right.
You play as crisp as your white shirt 
and as blue as the river my brother never came out of
when he was just eleven.

I showed Suss his notebook
with the stories about stowing the teacher in a closet
and running down a dirt road in summer.
Suss said she liked his made-up world better,
kissed my cheek and whispered, "You're a dreamer, too."

When I slide my hand between your suspenders and white shirt,
you play "St. Louis Blues" when they want "Sweet Georgia Brown."
It's my fingers running through your hair,
and my breath on your cheek when it's Suss's you want.
Then you play "Smokestack Lightning" to break the moment.

Bobby, upstairs I've got
spray starch on the shelf,
raspberry jam on the table. 
Here, you've got Suss's picture instead of sheet music.
It's late, close the lid over the keys.
Come sleep on my couch again
and play "St. James Infirmary Blues" in your head.
I miss her as much as you, dear Bobby,
and wish it was me instead.
________

For Margaret's images at Real Toads.

 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Swans & Roses

Eleven swans with one
voice brought a warning,
delivered in a dream.

"Your love is sick,
dying. Her bones are 
stems. Her hair, thorns."

Each swan carried a
bloom. I followed, eleven
miles. Behold, my love:

In the earth, stems.
On the earth, roses.
_______

A quadrille for Wednesday Muse.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Triolet On Parting

This is an African wild dog, not a blackbird, obviously. But he inspired me.
The earth in motion, turns sun high, turns sun west.
We love, we leave, the blackbird and the marshland reed.
What is stone, what is wind? What is burned, what is blessed?
The earth in motion, turns sun high, turns sun west.
The bed and window, street and station, all our palimpsest.
Each in skin, each in summer; each in plenty, each in need.
The earth in motion, turns sun high, turns sun west.
We love, we leave, the blackbird and the marshland reed. 
______

for "Substitutes" at Real Toads.
Friends, I lack the words except when I write poetry.
And so, this poem is for all of you.

digital art by Andrea Hill


 
 

 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday

Late April 
Sunday morning 
silent but for
shifting winds.
Dead leaves 
hurry toward 
the roof peak,
then, dizzy,
off the edge
to thin air.

I miss you.
I don't--
miss you. 
I've put my 
sweater
on and off a 
dozen times.
My dog likes
facing into 
the breeze.
He can't
decide, can't
stay still.

Easter morning,
Sunday silent 
but for
shifting winds.
I listen
for your car
on gravel
and for 
birds who
out-quicked
the cat.
They are
restless--
they search and
search.
I get up to 
leave, but 
stand there.
My dog looks
a question.

I miss you.
I don't--

---.
___________

for Sunday Muse #52. I am hosting. You are invited!
 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Indolence

"There you stood on the edge of your feather/expecting to fly" --Neil Young

April rain came like a too-long book.
Aimless starlings, poised buds, everything waits as I do also, indolent, supposing suns behind closed lids.
_______

for Wednesday Muse "Busy Body" .

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Sounding

There were bells, and shaven-headed monks in saffron.
Prayer flags whipped in the wind.
There were stepping stones and a cat as silent as a yogi.

There were bells and waist-high goldenrod.
A gust caught your open shirt like a sail.
There were tiny drops and your hand sure and solid holding mine.

There were bells and a nine-paned window;
my desk permanent as a tattoo.
I wrote this poem to the sound of bells, from my fingers, the walls, the sky.

There were bells. 
There are bells still, 
sounding from every form and object, and in every tone. 
______

for Susie's "Bits of Inspiration" at Toads.



 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Library Science

"Goddess, make this mirror your river...
show me what you would have me see." 
Another woman walks in
as I stand at the sink taking in
my own face and flaws and shaking in my boots.

Silly girl.
Silly woman.
Go out that door and up to the reference desk.
All this time,
all the books checked out,
and I still haven't talked to her--not really--yet.

I wonder what's in her mind?
Austen? Ferlinghetti or Faust?
I wonder what's in her bag?
Lipstick? A leather cord with an ankh?

Goddess, make my lips your instrument,
let me say what you would have me say.
I want to kiss her. I want to hear her whisper "yes..."
I want her not to think me a fool. 
Goddess hear me, Goddess bless.

She's with someone...at her desk. In her life?
Is my boho baby someone's girl? Someone's wife?
Gee I love her hair, her smart-girl glasses, 
her long fingers, her long skirt.
I think we could be really beautiful
or I could just look stupid and get hurt.

(Anyway, here goes nothing.)

Goddess, make my lips your instrument,
let me say what you would have me say.
I want to kiss her. I want to hear her whisper "yes..."
I want her to see me, and understand.
Goddess hear me, Goddess bless.

Now's the moment. Smile! 
Say something! "I...."
She tilts her head, I think she knows...
And then, so softly, "Yes?" 
________

For my last Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads. "Love."

I love this song. Good grief, scratch a cynic find a romantic, I guess.



 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The News From My Bed*


"Got to keep the loonies on the path"--Pink Floyd

The news from my bed is that the wall is gone.
At least I think it is. Things tend to pull the old switcheroo on me lately.

There's a guy standing there, by the jagged concrete and snaky rebar. His shirt is open and he's holding a Burger King wrapper to his bloody forehead. He looks a little dazed--meds? Or bombs. Not sure.

I get up. Yeah, I can get up. Nothing buzzes, no orderly or bitchy nurse appears. No doctor from Bloomfield Hills ladling out patronizing bullshit. If it's bombs, I hope they blew his golf club all to hell and gone.

I say to bloody forehead guy, "Hey." He blinks, hesitates, then does the guy nod. Maybe I lost my mojo in here. I tilt my head, look up at him with my soulful fucking brown eyes. "'Sup?" His knees buckle and he goes down, half over what's left of the bottom of the wall. Okay so. I get up, look around. What else is gone is the secure doors. And Madison, my roommate. She's hung up in the broken glass of the nurse's station. Poor Maddy. I notice she's wearing my Mickey Mouse sweat pants. 

I fuck with my hair, step over the wall that isn't there, and Burger King guy. I'd help him if I could, but I'm just a loon, right? Before I can decide anything, this awful tremendously loud roar happens and then there's a concussion and dust blinding me. I'm on my ass without knowing how I got there. I hear a heavy vehicle going by me, close.  I get up, my left leg won't work and I drop hard on my tailbone. So, I don't know a good affirmation for all of this. I don't know how this makes me feel, except that my leg and my ass hurt. The dust clears and I can see the buildings on fire and a freaked-out cat with its back arched and eyes big as next Tuesday, crouching and yowling as the rockets land. You and me, Puss. It takes a minute, but I scoop her up and off we go, me limping bad, Puss in full what-the-fuck mode, the Russians or the Koreans or the Martians raining shit down on our heads, and us doubtless sending it right straight back to their fucking pagodas or whatever. Holy shit, Puss. And they say I'm crazy.
_______

*my title is a brazen rip-off, as per instructions HERE.

Day 11 of the April thang, and I'm still rockin'. 

 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

My Dog

"Let me in!"
My dog
has short stubby legs
and a ginormous barrel chest.
People laugh and say,
"He's put together wrong!"
He likes to dig,
play tugga,
and once,
he killed a skunk.

Evenings, while I watch tv,
he snoozes with a big doggy smile on his face.
If I stop rubbing his belly,
he opens an eye, lifts a paw and wants more.
I like to watch him sleeping
with his little legs
and barrel chest,
all the while marveling
at his little body in its Perfection. 
______

For Day 9 of the April thang.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Edwina Eileen Etiquette

Edwina Eileen Etiquette
got all she could getiquette.
She caught her neighbors' Galliformes
and turned them into Maniformes.
Exclaim! Exclaim! (went other dames)
and loosed uncomplimentary names,
but were her needs all metiquette?
Edwina says, "You betiquette!" 
__________

Galliformes = chickens and other large ground-feeding birds.

For day 7 and for "Just One Word" at Toads.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Ugly Bag Of Mostly Water

It's like being a fag hag except with space ships.
Oh yazzzz,
I love a man with a literal heart on his sleeve.
I love a woman with spots down her spine and two tongues.
Who's a girl got to kiss around here to meet a Venusian? 

Problem is,
that cute double-brained hottie with the exoskeleton flinches when I reach for him.
And my burbling hydro creature recoils when all I want to do is kiss her delicately foamed lips. 

Ugly bag of mostly water, they say.
Weird split biped without means of unassisted flight, they sneer. 
Hey,
so uggos don't need love, too?

It's like being a fag hag 
except they don't appear as dancers in revivals of "Guys & Dolls" and get me tix
and they don't
"Oh honeyyyy" me when I'm down. 

Still, I don't think they really mean their GTFO's. 
Do they?
____

Watching too much Star Trek on Day 4 for Wordy Thursday.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Asian Pear

Standing at the kitchen window leaving a message for my married lover, I admire the Asian pear just outside.

Its limbs stretch across the walk,
gifting soft white blossoms from itself every spring.
People tell me to cut it back,
it is where it is not supposed to be, but

it is so beautiful and I am so lonely.
______


Day 3 of 30 for the Wednesday Muse.

I doubled up today. You can find my other, unlinked, poem HERE, at Mamba.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Dogma Doppelganger Double Mocha Shake

You don't have to stay here.
Split, via
the inspiration in your mind
or the needle in your arm.
Pack your bags,
pack it in,
pack a punch,
be out to lunch,
but this--
this life
this body
this beehive of the mind
can be hoisted on the lift of the universal bump shop.
You don't have to
stay here
do this
answer the bell
stay in or out of Hell
read this poem
live this life
stay large or small
or anything at all.

Dig it.
_____

For The Sunday Muse #49.