Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Tiger

"Sociopaths do not feel empathy, and they do not fear risk. They are charismatic, but essentially empty. Do not fall into them."  --Delaur, 2006

Killing the fearless tiger is a cheap thing to do.
Silly men in pith helmets, 
Common as voles,
Do it in the early morning, then go home for kippers and tea.

Extinguished tigers balance on stools in the circus ring.
Petty parolees and ex-bartenders put on boots, then go cow them with frayed whips,
And commands in dialect.

It is the fearless tiger who fights. 
With Vijay's leg still in her belly, she swipes and lunges,
Showing the unmatchable constellation of her magnificent teeth.
She will be hung by her paws from a stick and carried upside-down into the village as reward for her boldness.

What I loved most about you, what I needed,
Was your certainty.
It hardly matters if you were right or not, moral or not, kind or not.
You were orange and so black.
I hid in your stripes like a dream.

Of course you lied.
Of course you deceived me.
Of course you fucked everything that held still long enough, including that half-grown swamp rat bitch you knew I hated.
I heard you call her by my secret name, and that,
That was the thing I could not forgive.

It was the others, the brown sparrows, who finally swarmed you and drove you south,
But it was me,
Your little cloud, the kitten on your shoulder,
Who called you out,
Who stopped you short, 
Who saw the disbelief in your fantastic green eyes
When I stood up to you with no weapon but my pride.

After that,
Both of us broken in different ways,
We separately disappeared to bleed ourselves weak and sick on the shadows of thick summer leaves.

That is the way to do it, I think.
I even still love you, a little, 
But I hate sparrows
And tea-weak cowards.
I would still help you kill them
Just for the hell of it,
And just to stop their silly righteous chatter.

for One Shot Wednesday

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mitch Albom's Asshatedness Reaches Critical Mass and Fireblossom Can't Stand It Anymore

There is a time when a girl just has to speak up. Now, you know me, readers. War, famine, politics all leave me unmoved. I don't even look up from filing my nails. But bad writing, and using bad writing as a platform to spew one's teensy thoughts into the world as though they were carved on stone tablets, well, that gets my goat.

Let's talk about Mitch Albom. He writes for the Detroit Free Press newspaper and has won many awards (mostly for writing about sports). I won't mention his having been censured by his employers for plagiarism. He has written several (schmaltzy, presumptuous) books. One of them was subtitled "The Meaning Of Life." Such a humble man. But you've got to hand it to him. He waits patiently for someone more interesting than he is to die, so he can bend their bones into a self-serving book. "Tuesday's With Morrie" and the new one about the late Detroit Tigers' broadcaster Ernie Harwell. Mitch not only claims to know the meaning of life, he also knows what happens when you die. Wow! Not bad for someone who has spent most of his life hanging around locker rooms and looking up at everybody. He's so small and delicate, I'm surprised he didn't get asked to dance. Oops! Was that a lame-brained idiotic comment I just made? Which brings me to my real subject...

Some of you may have heard about baby Storm, born to a Toronto couple who have decided to keep their baby's gender under wraps for the time being. Unorthodox to be sure, but this has made them targets for an angry, sneering lynch mob (kind of like gay people who blunder into the path of Reverend Phelps!). More on Storm in a minute.

Mitch Albom now writes a Sunday column on the front of the "News & Views" section of the Free Press, ( ) which is the next section after section A. Flip once, and there's Mitch. Now, in Detroit we have a zillion things someone could express their views about. There is unemployment, the housing crisis, racism, corruption in city government, and a public school system that is disastrously underfunded and floundering. So, at what does Mitch decide to point his sword-like pen today? At baby Storm and his family.

The column is a gold mine...of easy generalizations and facile bullshit. Quoth Mitch: "Meanwhile, Storm's two older brothers, Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2 -- are being raised without formal schooling and taught to choose whatever behavior they like. Jazz, according to the Star, dresses in pink, paints his nails and wears a stud in his ear. This, we are to believe, is his 'choice'. Of course, Mom and Dad made the choice to buy the nail polish, the clothes and the stud. What happens if the child points to a chain saw? They get him that, too?"

Hmmm. What does it mean that Mitch Albom equates the danger of nail polish for a five year old, with that of a chain saw? Scared that Jazz will never make it to a professional locker room, Mitch? With that stud in his ear? Oh wait. Look around. Studs on those studs. Oops! Still, far better that Jazz be treated in a more traditional manner, as you espouse. Shame the shit out of him. Beat the crap out of him. Scorn him, insult him, yes, disown him. All these are better than studs or nail polish! And all of these are done all the time. Better to engender self-hatred, isolation and, often, suicide in our children than to put gender and gender roles aside. You accuse Storm's family of making gender everything. No, Mitch. That would be you doing that.

Mitch also says: "It's called parenting. If the child, later in life, prefers football to lipstick, or boxer shorts to dresses, or one day asks a doctor to mangle its private parts in an effort to be something else, it still will be unable to deny that it was born one way."

Well, Mitch. How stunningly transphobic and simple. I capitulate. Fairies should just suck it up and be a man. Transsexuals should ignore their foolish impulses and be a man. Women, farm animals and tractors should all just be a man. Sister Sally and her kitten as well!

One last quibble, before I take up weight lifting and belching the alphabet. Many intersexed babies (babies born with dual or ambiguous genitals) are summarily operated on, the decision of their gender made for them, irreversibly, before they have the chance to show who they are, or say what they want. In fact, this was routine until recently. If you want to talk about mangling and butchery, there it is. 

But back to baby Storm, and then I'll hush. Look at the picture of Storm and Jazz. They are clearly a threat! Their parents are obvious monsters! Canadian authorities need to step in and force them to enlist in the army or something!

Good grief. Isn't there enough real trouble in the world? Why does this bother you so much, Mitch? Maybe you are just an asshat. After all, you're the one who says a person is what they appear to be, and that's that. So here's your hat. There's the door. Please go away and let the rest of us live our lives. 


Friday, May 27, 2011

Skay Boder!

Tonight I had to go to the pharmacy to get Bosco some more insulin. In line, I was behind a pretty woman and her toddler son, who sat backwards in the cart, facing me.

He looked at me for a moment, and then got this gimormous smile across his face. He pointed and said, "hemmet! hemmet!" The woman turned around, looked at me, smiled, and said to him, "That's right! She's wearing a helmet!" He was so excited about my helmet. It was adorable.

Then, bouncing in his seat, he crows, "Skay boder!!!!" His mom goes, "Skateboarder? I think she's probably on a bike, honey." I fessed up that I was.

That little boy was soooo excited about it. Fireblossom, sk8ter chick? Hmm, maybe not, but I walked away grinning.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Aunt B.

She was my favorite aunt

With the big laugh

And the ashtray always close at hand.

My father's half sister,

I still miss her at odd times

And wish I could sit with her again now.

No matter what silly thing I had to say,

She would always pass the time of day

With me while one of her dogs snored away beneath the table.

She loved her mutts

And her Tigers on the radio.

She loved women too, I think,

Though now I guess I'll never know for sure.

The day she was buried was the last day I drank.

I arrived late and stayed late at the cemetery,

Where the overturned earth looked weirdly like chocolate cake.

I hope that where you've gone is as sweet as you always were to me.

I love you, Aunt B.

That's all I really wrote this poem to say.


for Thursday Think Tank #50 at Poets United.

Book cover: "The Well Of Loneliness" by Radclyffe Hall. My aunt had this book in her little glassed-in book case where she kept her special books. It's an early lesbian classic, but by the time I realized that, it was too late to ask her about it. Anyway, I'd love to hear her infectious laugh again.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Trimetran Form

Sometimes it's useful to learn about form. As blogging poets, one of the finest things we can do for each other is to share knowledge of various forms and literary devices, and how to use them. Though it may all seem daunting to the novice, believe me, with a little clear instruction and patience, even the most difficult forms can eventually be mastered.

Today I would like to share with you the Trimetran form. It is thought to have originated in France around 1750, and so it is a "young" form compared the sonnet, for example. Because French and English are both Romance languages, the form converts neatly to either one.

The Trimetran is a nine line poem, with a body of seven lines followed by a closing couplet. Like haiku, the Trimetran poem is one with strict syllabic requirements. The seven lines of the main body should have 3,2,6,9,8,6 and 9 syllables. The couplet should have 1 and 2.

The rhyme scheme as is follows: A,B,C,B,A,C,A for the first seven lines. In other words, lines 1, 5, and 7 should rhyme, as will lines 2 and 4. Lines 3 and 6 are actually ONE line, repeated. Because the line will naturally rhyme with itself, the rhyme is automatic. (This is called a homogenuous coupling.)

Now, on to the final two lines! These are actually not "lines" at all, but single words of first 1 and then 2 syllables. They needn't rhyme with each other or with any line of the main body of the poem, but they MUST begin with the same consonant. For example:



A lot to take in, but not so confusing when you see a finished Trimetran poem. Let's take a look at one, composed by Enid MacFarquhar-Douglas in 1924 as part of her "Rapturous Angel" trilogy.

O! Alas!
Day breaks!
Bells bring cruel alarum!
Jolted mind within the bone wall shakes!
Merciless day doth prick thy ass!
Bells bring cruel alarum!
Morning's vulgar trumpet, hated brass!


As you can see, the form is quite beautiful when done correctly. Now, you may be saying, "Fine for Enid MacFarquhar-Douglas. But I'm not sure I can do it!" Take heart. Even a literary giant is not beyond some tiny criticism, as Mrs. MacF-D found out when critic Henry Canna objected to her use of "cruel" as a one syllable word, like "fool" or "drool." But, Mrs. MacF-D countered, if "cruel" were "drawled out as if from the mouth of a drunken Texas cowboy", then "alarum" could simply be shortened to the more conventional "alarm" and the poem still works.

I urge you try this form. It's fun! Go ahead, make an attempt and see what you can come up with, then ask your bloggy poet friends to help you with their reactions. Good luck!



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Flag Man

Flag Man

He lives in the square

He's got cement hair

He can't find his shoes

He's got nothing to lose

He's the Flag Man...

He's holding his staff

He's good for a laugh

He thinks he's a hunk

With his 'roid-shrunken junk

He's the Flag Man...

He's set in his bones

Like those columns and stones

Come take a peek

He's been dead for a week

He's the Flag Man...

He's got nothing to say

His whole world is gray

Flag Man

He's frozen in place

Flag Man

He can't move his face

Flag Man

He's twenty feet tall

He can't move at all

Flag Man

Flag Man

He's more perfect than us

He just missed his bus

Maybe he can flag down the next one.


apologies to Adrian Belew, whose song "Gun Man" may have been ever so slightly ripped off here!

for One Shoot Sunday. Photograph by Walter Parada.

Oh, and....Happy Birthday to me!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Lemon Laughed

I cut a lemon in half, and from its heart

Came a spray of words, vulgar, stinging.

The vile fruit stained pages full of poetry,

It outstripped me,

It published obsessively.

It left itself everyplace, like some sort of acidic gospel.

I said, well,

That's just fine.

I picked it up,

Used it for an eye,

And saw a crazy dandelion world through the burning.

I tell you,

I wept.

The lemon mocked me.

Each half claimed to be more than I was, whole;

It insulted me,

Because that's how it rolls.

I said, listen,

I don't have to take this from some bald, jaundiced little turd who can't even stand up.

How dare you?

Who do you think you are?

At this, the lemon laughed.

"Rage on," it said.

"You, with the knife in your hand."


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Station Seven

There is no ballet on the moon.

There is the LUN-ORE base,

The appalling bolted orange chairs in the lunch room,

And the corporate mission.

The employees bicker, complain of minor ailments, and sometimes sleep together,

But their hearts have become like empty plastic bottles,

On their sides,


They contain no ships, but their dreams do,

Sinking in the ether.

Some of the craters make natural theaters,

But they lie white and vacant,

Like dead faces,

Beneath the blue-in-black of earth rise.

One of the floor workers wanders outside,

Past the caution signs and air locks.

She is like a split seed,

Sending a yellow-green shoot out through the blind dark.

She unscrews her helmet,

Shakes out her hair.

The environment here is too thin to live in--

Her skin tingles.

Her heart constricts.

It is like a first kiss.

There is no ballet on the moon,

But there is someone,

Someone out there,

Dancing in the dust.

In this place, there is no real joy, no satisfying connection, just shifts beginning and ending,

Skin going pale,

Vending machines being brought in on transports.

For a moment,

Work is abandoned--

Everyone is looking out through the double windows.

"Look at her," they whisper to each other, fingers splayed at perfect intervals in front of them.

Outside, the woman knows she is beyond the gray border of good sense,

That she is doomed,

But she has her audience at last.

She is beautiful,

She is art,

And rips through them instantly and irreparably

Like a harpoon

Or a gunshot.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Love Poem

Sweetheart, please,

Come up the narrow stairs

To the white door I keep propped with books--

Anna Karenina

Keeping You A Secret

Collected Poems.

My room is dark and cool.

The bed is brass.

The comforter is white and textured.

It is a place of lavender and wood,

Paper and dreams.

Darling, do you know,

My bones are only old rolled pages

Spilling words like sparrow bones onto a velvet cloth.

Please, come,

Tell my fortune with your fingers.

Make the sun go down with your kiss.

Sweetheart, I understand

Why you cannot stay here in my woven dusky nest.

What I wouldn't give to close gently around you,

To cover you,

To protect you with every word I ever wrote.

Still, my love,

You are the only one invited here...

And though you leave,

Believe me, you always remain.


for magpie 66

bottom photograph: Sheetal Sheth from The World Unseen

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dove Black Sky

Note: in my April 9th post, "Dust", the Queen Of The Vampires was gravely injured by a vampire hunter. Her story continues here.

To be a cat in a poppy field

Is not such a bad thing.

(No matter that it is a hallucination.

No matter that a vampire hunter's attack has put her there, teetering...)

Rasputin sits with the Queen Of The Vampires, who lies still amid the red blooms in her favorite illusionary black panther form.

His tunic is dirty and frayed.

A Russian cross sits on his chest, suspended from a leather thong,

Like God's emblem in a stirrup.

"немного один" he whispers, cradling her soft ear in his giant hand. "Little One."

His love is like a warm samovar--



The vampire hunter is dead,

Flat as a pancake in a Target parking lot.

Some saw a large vehicle,

A woman,

A lightning strike from a blue sky.

Others report the miracle of black doves,

Carrying tiny bells in their feet,


You might find it strange that a staretz--

A wandering holy man, and long-dead besides--

Should treat a Vampire Queen so tenderly.


They both know what it means to be lost.

They both know that church spires, whether onion-domed or not,

Rise up like smoke above the sinful world.

The Queen Of The Vampires opens her eyes.

Her head, her ebony-haired human head, is resting on the Dark Haired Chick's thigh

In a pristine, untorn booth

At Danny's Coffee Shop.

She is looking down at the Dark Haired Chick's boot.

There is grit on the heel,

As if from a newly-resurfaced chain store space.

The QOTV's lips curl in a smile,

Imagining her sitting, waiting, watching the rear view mirror and making up fabulously creative--

And shockingly obscene--

Pet names for the people honking at her, coveting her spot.

Now the QOTV will recover.

Now she will remember,

She is Queen and all her powers will return;

But she will carry Rasputin in her heart,

And the poppies,

As well as a new white streak in her hair

Like an opium dream

In a dove black sky.


for One Shoot Sunday

top photograph by Fee Easton

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Bicyclist's Verse

for Emily

A Wheel is a fair curious Thing--

Traversing toward Age from Birth--

It moves, at once, toward Heaven,

And also, back to Earth.


Friday, May 13, 2011

And....we're back!

Well that was fun! Blogger's little bout with blogbonic plague, or whatever, wasn't so bad. I simply found other useful things to do, such as rocking back and forth in the corner, twirling my hair around my finger and then yanking it out, all the while muttering. "wtf?"

Now, if you would just give me my Teddy, and leave the door open a crack, I think I may be able to regroup.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lioness In The Grass

I have searched for my skin,

And for my face,

Every place the sun reaches or does not.

I have heard myself in the scrape of boots on stairs, leading up;

I have called myself from the shadows of corners,

Found traces in the pages of old books,

And seen myself in the round faces of raindrops on a nine-paned window.

I have refused faces handed me,

And have slipped out of skin that did not fit.

I have kissed women on the mouth and known they felt the ghost inside;

I have kissed different women, in the later afternoon, and known it to be exactly right,

Fitting like a cup and saucer,




We begin wherever we find ourselves,

Like closed-eye cubs born to the lioness in the grass.

We are like the iris, purple and blue,

Recurring, beautiful, temporary.

I am not who I was.

I am a blue-eyed huntress balanced between bounty and starvation.

I bloom, though I know the sun will sink

And the unstoppable winter crouches just beyond the boundary of my heart beat.


for One Shot Wednesday

the photograph of the irises is taken by and property of Hedgewitch


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident....

....that some are more equal than others?

Recently, New York Rangers hockey player Sean Avery made a video in support of gay marriage. You can find it HERE at the Human Rights Campaign. He is the first NHL player to publicly and formally support this cause. Good for him!

Enter Todd Reynolds, vice president of Uptown Sports Management, which lists eleven NHL players as clients, Mr. Avery not among them. Reynolds says:

Well thank you so much, Pinocchio. Aw, Pookie, of course you're not a hater or a bigot. You simply wish to deny other people basic human rights. How nice that this is just your point of view WHICH YOU WISH TO HAVE IMPOSED ON EVERYONE.

Personally, I am sick to death of hearing the Todd Reynoldses of the world piously spout how the way they happen to be and feel, is how everyone should be and feel, or they are somehow less human, and beneath basic dignity. To suggest that this bigotry (oh yes it is, Todd) is somehow divinely endorsed is ego and bland arrogance at its worst.

Todd Reynolds says this is just the way he was raised. Time was, people were raised to believe that a black person or a woman was less deserving of basic human rights. Now it's gays. Always, it is a group seen as too weak to fight back. In school, we called this bullying. Todd Reynolds calls it moral values.

I think he needs some time in the penalty box to think about it.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother's Day Poem

My face would never launch a thousand ships.

I will never win at Wimbledon,

Or own a chain of hotels.

But, my baby,

When I see that you are happy, my heart fills.

At those times when you are sad, I ache to make it better.

When life is kind to you, I think, "no one deserves it more." Always, I am so proud of you.

When life is cruel to you, I bleed. How dare anything harm you!

Yes, for you I would throw myself in front of the proverbial train,

Or wrassle a grizzly bear--

But trains generally keep to their tracks, and if there were a bear,

He would likely be your Mr. Fuzzy.

So, in every ordinary moment,

I try to show you how much I love you,

And how precious you are to me.

Sometimes I fail,

But I do know how to say,

"I love you"


"I'm sorry"

And even

"Yep, I'm the meanest mom in the whole wide world, but you still can't have/do that!"

I am here to keep you safe.

But, do you know what?

When I have been heartbroken--

When I have felt that I wasn't worth very much, and like giving up--

When life has been too hard for too long--

I see your face, and again, I know

That it is you who have saved me

Time and time again.

  ~ ~ ~

dedicated to my one human kid and the several furry ones: Joe, Sundance, Alex, Daisy, Molly and Bosco. I hope you will forgive me my mistakes and know how dearly I love you.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who visit the Word Garden! You rock the cradle, and the whole world.

for One Shoot Sunday

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bakery Cat

On the curtain,
A dragonfly.

On the bedpost,
A streamered hat.

Long red stockings
And a short soft sigh,

The night full and sweet
As a bakery cat.


I wanted to add a video with it, but youtube changed things again and I can't figure out how. If you want to see it, it's HERE. And all of it is dedicated with a wink and a smile to STWIASD!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


how can you not be able to see at all,

when the sight of you fills my heart with such happiness?

how can the fact of your cloudy eyes

make the tears fall from mine?

how can a God who is supposed to be love,

randomly harm someone who harms no one?

how can i accept

that there are things i can't protect you from?

i am nobody, just a speck in the dust

of a million beloveds lost to the ones who cherished them;

but my heart has one purpose, to be your light in the darkness...

to be your safe harbor, your kind touch, your bright star in the night.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Etiquette note: one congratulates the groom, and wishes the bride good luck. To congratulate the bride implies that she was lucky to snag a man at all, and saying this could be construed as snarky. Miss Fireblossom deplores snarkiness.


Oh honey, congratulations

On the success of your

Machiavellian machinations.

(I'm so glad

So awfully glad

I didn't say that out loud.)

And really,

I just know you'll both be

So happy,

So happy...

He looks dashing,

And you look smashing,

If just a little

Only a little

Trailer trashy...

And I just want you to know

That I wish you

I wish you both

Would just fall down on the polished floor and choke

Til death do you part.

Thank you for letting me be a part

Of your special day!

Do you know what I wish?

Oh, I wish you would both fall head-first down the stairs,

Down, down, down.

(And thank Goddess I didn't say that

Honey, I would never ever say that

Out loud.)


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Sun Shines Out Of Her Smile

Such a winsome lass

So fine, so fair

That the sun shines out of her smile

And for a while I hoped that she might not hate me

For a while I wished that she might tolerate me

But, no.

Her tiny flaws mean nothing to me

Anyone can fall into a felony

Or three

Just forget about the past because

The sun shines out of her smile.

For a while I hoped that she might not hate me

I dared to dream that she might tolerate me

But, no.

She said she'd rather die,

And not only that,

But she said that I

Make her want to be so very ill

But still...

She's got what no other in the world has,

And if you ask me,

The sun shines out of her smile.


for One Shot Wednesday

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Nesting The Burn Barrel

Nesting the burn barrel,

The Dark Bird turns spark to stone--

Song to silence--

And at last...

Her children to charnel,

Hard bone to soft ash.