Sunday, May 20, 2018

The November Eye Of God

Born with a Fleur-de-lis birthmark,
I said, "De la paix du ciel, 
je suis venu pour la guerre."

Men who spoke against me,
who minced and mocked,
have seen their teeth and tongues curl and fall
like leaves under the November eye of God.

Now, as rodent churchmen scurry to lay a puny trap,
I light candles for those I pray for,
and dance on the graves of the rest.

I am not afraid; I was born to rise in righteous flames untouched
to Heaven and there be judged--
leaving behind the clever, the craven,
and just my body's dust.

This is a rewrite of an earlier poem "Novembre" which I have reworked for Brendan's "hero" challenge at Toads.

 "De la paix du ciel, je suis venu pour la guerre." = "From the peace of Heaven, I have come for the war."


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thought Broadcasting

"Nobody gets me"
is something the thought broadcaster never has to say.
She's a noisy spill, despite still lips.

She thinks, "I'm a bitch today. I need to get laid"
and some guy in China crashes his bicycle.

Diogenes meets her at the diner--
no texted invitation necessary.
She's his bae
bending spoons with hello.

A 55 for my BFF.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Moonset of A Working Girl

"Gathering Wood" by Edward Emerson Simmons

"I said this can't be me
Must be my double
And I can't forget, I can't forget
I can't forget but I don't remember what"--Leonard Cohen

Gathering kindling, wearing wooden shoes
is work that makes the sun slip
and the dust rise
in stupid excitement under the wheels of that chariot.

I pull bones like branches slowly
from body to berm
until there sits the new me, blinking,
carefully arranged, expendable, ready to burn.

I am a moonset, walking, blathering,
obscured in a bonnet of overcast and dry leaves.
My effigy with her soft hands rises,
ascends, lights brightly my obligatory entropy.

for my own Fireblossom Friday



Monday, May 14, 2018

Devolution In Akron

When I devolved,
it was late afternoon.
I lined old nickels along the window sill,
vending extinction and electrical deluge
from the absurd Akron sky. 

I'd had enough.

Rubber companies once existed here.
So did enormous bird-creatures
who spoke languages no automobile can mimic.
I leaned out,
watching the BP sign on the corner seize in the wind.

Behold the power of natural vocabulary. 

Akron is the birthplace of the soap box derby--
gravity-driven containers carrying children at high speed.
When I devolved, I grew a shell
and time propelled me backwards
past divorce, failures, rejections, geographic landmarks,
changes in bone structure, loss of logical reasoning and 
vestigial tail.

You cannot find me where I've gone.

What was your name?
Why did your skin matter to me?
Why us, and not someone else?
Why not birds,

When I devolved,
it was late afternoon.
By evening, huge, stupid and dying,
I discovered that it hadn't mattered at all--
I'd lost time, nickels, everything Akron could offer,

but retained the ability to cry.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

When The Circus Boat Sank

When the circus boat sank
there in the sound,
both schedule and physical limitations were suspended
and everything slowed down.

Children dove to us as falling leaves
with apples in their mouths for our horses; 
manes like the arms of women whose chests hum with lullabies 
remembered from the drowsy south.

The tiger and I dance as months go by
and rescue loses meaning, light its immediacy.
One child has kept with us, here,
and looks to me for starfish and story.
"Once upon a time," I say to her,
"there was blue tiger, blue water, drowsy you, dreamy me." 

And so the story goes,
ever blue,
ever more,

for Sunday Muse #4

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Other Sister

Born in a house of wind,
I leaned hard, a little animated stalk.
In a house of rain and mud,
Mother Rot stuffed endings in every word.

The Other Sister, the One Denied,
set the fields on fire
as signal and salvation.
Catching her scent on the gale,
I ran hell-for-Sunday
into the burning wild.

A 55 for my BFF.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Night Support

You will argue that it's none of my concern
who you embrace,
what fruit your mouth accepts and expresses
as the pulp and sweetness of your desire.

Doesn't sick soil poison every leaf?
Doesn't richness bless every bloom?

I am the Quantifier and Keeper of Carnal Particulars.
The muscle of his shoulder beneath your cheek
 two Novembers ago?
Bin 47, lot 5.
The dusky sound of her woodsmoke voice
on a bridge above the river on a night last July?
Shelf 21B, Warehouse 2, Compound A.

You just wait.
Let that grating emptiness come over you when you're alone
remembering his paint-stained fingers
or the caramel curl of her hair.
You'll need to retrieve it then,
more than blooms need stems,
sharp as a outcasts need warm mercy.

There I'll be,
rolling my cart to space 4G7 in the auxiliary bay,
requisitioning the very thing you need,
sending it out,
replacing it,
maintaining inventory and your equilibrium.

I'm good at what I do
because I understand need and weakness and lack.
Envelope G, in file B7GK4
should contain your wicked smile,
the angle of your teeth, your lips,
your tongue,
and the 27 catalogued effects they had on my dissolving bones.

Inventory shows them on-hand,
but though I search your name, 
your skin,
your scent,
I can't find any particle of you;
just a ringing emptiness
and this paltry job to fill it.

for "job title" at Toads.

When I was in the USAF, I worked night support in a warehouse, finding aircraft parts for delivery to the flight line. I drew on that, for this.