Sunday, September 21, 2014

Travel Story For Girls

One had a boyfriend,
but never found Howland Island.
The other was an odd duck
looking for mermaids after every rainstorm.

One was Catholic,
the other Lutheran.
Both believed in female clergy
wearing Roman collars, and red hair long.

One lived at home,
the other in a flat where the gulls glide.
When they kissed the first time,
whole flocks moved in circles, like stars.

One liked Anna Ternheim,
the other, Eva Dahlgren.
When they made love the first time,
it was like piloting through easy clouds.

That May it rained every day for a week.
Water landings are dicey things;
Selkies find their buried skins and go back home,
forgetting they were ever human at all.

One moved away,
but the other stayed and wrote swells of storm-blue poems
about transformed women 
wearing Roman collars, and their red hair long.

for Magpie Tales #238, and for Bjorn Rudberg's mini-challenge at Real Toads.

I've featured the this song once before on my blog, but it is so hard to find, and so cool, that I'm featuring it again. Plus, it fits the poem perfectly. Anna Ternheim is a Swedish singer who performs in English. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Her man didn't understand
about the ghosts she said she heard.
The knocks, the noises,
the whispering voices--
impossible. Absurd.

Her man didn't believe in anything
he couldn't hold in his hand.
Such a feckless
show-me skeptic--
such a fucking man.

What was the thing that scared the children,
made them leave their room?
A creaking beam,
a childish dream?
Or maybe, just the moon!

At the stairs he declared there was nothing there,
then was pushed from the back.
He split his head,
now he's dead--
that's just a natural fact. 

for Kerry's "Superstition or Science?" challenge at Real Toads

Sunday, September 14, 2014


"Abra was ready ere I called her name;
and though I called another, Abra came."

When I was little,
the dog and I followed my father into the woods.
He was enchanted,
and he allowed me to become enchanted in turn.

The smell of wet leaves sweetly drugged me.
Black-bark trees lean across every dream I have ever had since,
like middle-aged women toweling their hair after a bath;
you look at them, witchy naked and year-rich,
and they don't blink, don't cover themselves,
they just let you decide
within yourself, girl,
whether their dark eyes have that family pull you'll know is yours to get lost in.

My father was like a 30's gangster car
if it were full of books and papers, radios and a gun moll.
He was from Schenectady, New York,
and his mother had been a local beauty to be reckoned with.
This is the daddy I like to recall--
stepping over a mossy log,
telling the dog and me about a black bear he once saw--
my atheist father in the woods, in love with God.

Here in Michigan, in the autumn,
the vines that wrap themselves around the oaks and silver maples
show themselves, 
wearing shawls with colors for the first time distinct 
from those of their lovers.
I feel it, every September,
this restless longing of a northern heart caught in an ice stream's spell
of wolf and weather, fox and freeze.
My father told me the story of the wolverines,
gone from these woods a hundred years;
loping angel-devils, my sisters,
carrying in their coats a memory I have stayed behind to find.

the two lines in italics are from a 1718 poem by Mathew Prior, and are also quoted in John Steinbeck's "East of Eden".

for the Real Toads mini-challenge: "September Sky". It is 41 degrees here this morning.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hi-yo, Fido!

I absolutely LOVE this ad! Apparently, it was run during the last Super Bore, er, I meant Super Bowl, but since I don't watch it, I hadn't seen the ad. 

I love this one, too...


Thursday, September 11, 2014

under the eiffel tower

under the eiffel tower,
a young woman
whose father was someone famous
a young woman
who had done pretty much nothing herself
gave her kiss
to a lover who had been this, and done that,
on both sides of the camera
with everybody
who was anybody
before she was born.

the throw away line
that turns to gold and saves the shoot.
the plum part
dropping into her lap just like that,
first thing in the morning
and in french.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Girl Sphynx

She doesn't know,
and I would never let on.

Didn't I tell you?
I stopped wearing my rainbow jewelry to work.
I act so straight
that I can't even bend to sit down.

So there's this woman.
She has no idea.

She's warmer than a San Antonio tiled roof.
She smiles whenever she sees me,
but she's just nice to everybody.
She's got a husband, if I forgot to belabor the obvious.

I like to make her laugh.
She's cuter than sunflowers in June when she does.

God can she rock that orange tee shirt,
or any of those summer sweaters she's got.
She has gray eyes
and a heart shaped face.

I never let on.
I'm a riddle, a Sphynx, an aviatrix under the radar.

Yesterday she was kidding me the way she does.
She winked,
and I wavered mid-air, but
I never blushed, I swear.

for Izy's Out of Standard challenge at Real Toads: lies not well enough told.

image: Cristina Scabbia 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Research Scientist Dr. Humboldt-Flynn Is Denied Fame Because Of A Buffoon Rotating Through Her Lab

(dedicated to Dolly)

Abraham Lincoln 
his eyes,
to be 
once again.

"How is your headache?"
asks Dr. Humboldt-Flynn.
"What do you remember?
Can you move your little finger?
What sort of mood
are you

Then Ashburn,
the intern,
fucks with the environment,
resulting in
a full arrest
in Lincoln's chest,
and his own employment.

a 55 for MZ and the G Man, wherever he is.