Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

this is just to say

this is just to say
that I was
saving those plums,
but you go ahead.

So much depends upon
a red fire department

as your eyes glaze
and water.

Forgive me
the plums were poisoned
so sweet and
so cold

beside your white
selfish chicken ass.


I hate William Carlos Williams poetry, and I especially hate "This Is Just To Say" and  "The Red Wheelbarrow." 

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold 

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Both above poems by William Carlos Williams. Parody at top by me for Real Toads mini-challenge.   

Friday, August 30, 2013

two for souffle

You think I am broken,
pepper on the pudding you've melted the world into,
thrust into little glass cups,
ruined by the seasoning of my inventive curses.

Won't you soften, just a bit,
and step out onto the precipice with me?
We can march to our own drumbeat, here,
high above the street.

I am tall enough that you could kiss or climb me;
bite the bullet, chew the notion.
Pretend that we have taken the water-carriage all the way to Trinidad
and that you actually like calypso music,
new things,
and my ways.

As we rapidly take on water,
I'll say something cryptic, yet suggestive,
and you will believe again.
Fancy the healing our colliding idiocies can fashion!
Can we just close our eyes,
forget about leverage and vengeance
long enough to be in the moment,
one foot each in mid-air,
the other cramping
and the dumb greedy ground yawning below.

You can never master me, you know,
but we can affect a certain edgy hipness.
We shall wear exoskeletons like crickets,
and when night falls, we shall touch our index fingers together
in the divine joke that is us, and say,
"BANG," darling.
It is the only way we will ever fall.

for Get Listed at Real Toads, where Timoteo has given us a list of 20 words, and I have used every one because I am a good and obedient girl.



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

spirit jars

i have hung spirit jars on the fruit tree outside our bedroom window,
and i have done this slowly, with intent,
like a kiss.

i have set out soft furs and colored cloth,
lantern light,
and a basket of bread.

the days, they do their evil, honey.
every good woman is wicked scarred, knows the bad-ass blues at noon,
and how to cry so no one knows.

never mind, my only heart.
in the evening you will find me just in reach of the porch light,
and no harmful thing will dare come near you, because

i have hung spirit jars and made the sign of the cross with my fingertip across each one.
i have done this slowly, with intent,
for you, using all my magicks

like a kiss. 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fireblossom's House of Voodoo

Quite some time ago, some of us bloggy poets were asked to show our writing space to the world, on our blogs. I didn't have a camera at the time, but now I do, and though I am woefully late to the party, I still thought that some of you might enjoy seeing Chez Shay. 

Once in the door, you would be in my living room, where, when  am not working, I spend most of my time slack-jawed, watching tv or dvds and communing with Bosco, who heartily approves of tv time, as it is usually food time, too.

His Majesty. Isn't he handsome?

Okay, last chance to head back out the door. Note my voodoo dolls hanging on the wall! Oh all right, they are really marionettes. 

Bosco cannot believe that you are still reading this.

Here is my desk, where I write all of my poems. It was my father's desk before me, and is older than I am. The green book on the left is my volume of Lorca, a gift from my BFF Hedgewitch. The little brown postcard is my lioness from Kerry, Queen of the Toad Pond. I like my writing space spare, as you can see. My screensaver image is a young Emmylou Harris.

Next to my chair is my music, always within reach. Right now it is loaded with three cd's: Joni Mitchell "Songs To  Seagull", Erin McKeown "Manifestra" and the self-titled "Bryndle", which was a group comprised of Karla Bonoff, Kenny Edwards, Andrew Gold and Wendy Waldman. 

I hope you enjoyed this belated tour. Now I must go serve my Master. Woof! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

3 fibonacci poems

My BFF Hedgewitch has decreed that we write Fibonacci poems, and so, naturally, I have applied myself to doing exactly that. Here are three: the first one is a reverse Fibonacci by syllable count, the second is by word count, and the third is a mirror Fibonacci by word count.


Behold, the terrible housefly--
followers crowd its
compound eye;


must contain
a tame god
bleeding a very thin wine
building bland believers twelve ways, Sundays before noon.


do you
remember orange evening
in my little garage apartment
hardly big enough for birds, or a bed?

You were 36 and settled as high summer;
outside my windows, the moon
was your twin--
brightly lit,



Friday, August 23, 2013

hook echo

Close your eyes.
Let me come to you as an odd storm,
one that places the soft-stunned bird
back upon her branch, feathers floating from the ground
to take their places in sequence along her wing.

Let the lost home rise up again,
the lamp righted and lit.
Dream and imagine your heart, unbroken.


for Artistic Interpretations with Margaret at Real Toads.

And a 55 for the super fab G Man

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tranquility Base

Here is the place. 
The perfect place
for us to abandon ourselves completely.
At last, we can do anything, 
and blame a lunacy so compelling
that no one will tell us, lemon-faced, that we should have known better.

If I could see your eyes,
if your thick visor did not simply reflect my face back at me,
I would know that you agree.
If I bash my lips at your hidden ones in what must seem a frenzy of desire,
my only wish is simply to obliterate my returned image;
meteors have pocked this place similarly,
and perish spectacularly.

Darling, unscrew your cumbersome white gloves.
How foolish they seem in a world made entirely of dust!
Were you expecting more, somehow, my pet?
Did the distant sun or the blue earth render you wistful,
yearning for hotter or cooler worlds
peopled by beautiful deities and not just me, 
fumbling like a spastic?

Let's resolve to surrender to what is, my lamb,
no matter how featureless and grim that may be.
We can undress each other and gasp for breath,
agreeing to pretend that it is because of excitement over each other
and that our bursting lungs and 
exploding hearts
are due to love and not just tiresome symptoms of violent expiry.

In the end it will be all right.
If we squint, the gravity and gravitas that encumbers others
will release us as if we were as blameless as a baby's soap bubbles.
We will rise,
seeming to wave to non-existent crowds of our lessers,
departing for our next empty rendezvous,
lighter than forgiven murderers unstrapped from the table, finding grace.

for Izy's Out of Standard challenge


Monday, August 19, 2013

in water

I was soaking
~in water~
I must have fallen asleep
to my slowed breathing;
my slowed heartbeat;
I must have started to dream.

There was a field, a clutch of trees.
There was a retrograde moon, pale white in the morning sky.
There were stately grackles,
noisy starlings,
and a single cardinal on a mulberry branch that bobbed slightly 
under his tiny weight.

I was dreaming that I was
~in water~
I must have submerged into the pool of myself,
because then there were your slender fingers,
your hand
wet to the wrist,
stirring me and holding my heart as I spread and rippled.



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Concerto for two trumpets in C

While Vivaldi played,
we said unflattering things about my ex-girlfriend from earlier that year.
There are kinder creatures living under rocks,
so if we talked her down
she deserved it and a ticket out of town.

"Did she make you come?" you wanted to know,
ever the ethereal philospher,
like Vivaldi, priest and composer--
and I told you no, no she did not.

Vivaldi was born in Venice,
borne by water and the Divine spark,
but you, 
you are as Turkish as a crescent moon and star.
The English tucked their tails and fled Gallipoli
because they saw you foretold.

When I talk this way, you roll your eyes.
You say,
"Not everyone thinks I'm as wonderful as you do, Shay."
Fools. I can't account for them,
and anyway,
you look so smug even as you deny.

I am as slow as the four seasons,
inhabited by movements and tempos beyond even my own reach.
There are rigged carnival games easier to solve than I am,
and besides,
I have always been more fascinated by the sorceress's candles
than by common fireworks.

You level a look at me, dark-eyed and not bothered
with Christian ceremony or habitual reserve.
"Come here," you say, not harshly, not sweetly.
Venice is known for festivals and lights, as well as its canals--
sometimes a new arrival takes the old city as a challenge,
taking her time,
finding her own way,
walking on water as Vivaldi plays.

for Marian's challenge at Real Toads.



Saturday, August 17, 2013

blue cat II

I should have known I was asleep
when the sky turned over and the clouds shook
like bedding in the morning--

everything fell--
sighs, promises,
blood, silences--
a rain best understood by skin and sense.

The blue cat came, speaking notions in my head
about you, Saturn, stars;
scattered across the courtyard
as I slept.

This is a companion piece to "Blue Cat" from 2008.

It is also a 55 for the fabulous G Man!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


The thing about the thing
we shot down from the roof,
was that the curve of the earth
matched the curve of its tooth.

From the head we made dog food.
From the hooves we made glue.
We took the bile and the backbone,
and from those we made you.

The heart hissed.
The hands curled.
The eyes were all milky,
sightless and pearled.

The brain rotted.
The ribs rang.
And the skull?

The skull sang.

for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads

Sunday, August 11, 2013

the power of tens

i keep finding tens--
dimes every time i look down,
and a ten dollar bill near the bus stop on the ground.

ones and zeros at my feet--
I am Bo Peep of the real world,
a human video game for the spirits, perhaps.

Change, are you keen to kick my ass?
it gets harder to get up again, each time.
Goddess bless Aleve, and my Catholic notion that I must somehow have it coming.

tens, made of beginnings and ciphers.
everything is nothing is everything.
Buddha, go away, I don't like men very much, especially not cagey ones.

does nobody just say what they mean anymore?
what's with all these dimes?
how much coffee can i drink, trying to give my lips something to do?

Franklin Roosevelt is my distant familial relative.
i've been to Hyde Park and felt the soul tree shake.
it grows again, here, dropping dimes, and i say caller, caller are you there?

Alexander Hamilton doesn't ring any bells for me--
he must not have been an altar boy,
and anyway, i never go to Mass, or meetings, anymore.

i'm tired. i'm getting old. 
all i wanted was someone close at hand to write for,
but everything is nothing is everything seems out of reach.

i have felt this way before, and then something new opened up ahead.
i don't believe it very much anymore, but though i'm feeling lost, and stuck,
i am Bo peep of the real world, and i

keep finding change.

not really a poem, but still

"Be that girl who never backed down."
Sounds good on paper.
Sounds fierce, but I don't know what kind of girl,
what kind of woman,
that could even be.

Never backing down is the stuff of certain mens' conversations;
you know, the ones with the flags in their back windows
just above the plastic beer coolers.

If you want love in your life,
if you want peace,
if you are wise enough to choose your battles and think,
then you must learn the art of backing down. 

There are words for those who never back down, and they aren't pretty:
Grand Dragon
case #
inmate #
the Republican senator from--

Backing down doesn't mean giving up.
Those who have pissed off
the woman who prepares their food,
the woman who delivers their mail,
the woman who buys their wives' birthday gifts,
the woman whose hand rocks the cradle,
have found this out
no matter how long it took for the other shoe to drop.

Of course, there are times for not backing down.
The Sioux and Sans Arc taught this to Colonel Custer.
The women inside the Alamo,
who could have left, but chose to stay with their brave men,
demonstrated this.
There were no pop divas inside those adobe walls,

but there were willows at San Jacinto.
That's all I have to say.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, mirror
on the wall,
who's the fairest
of them all?

THAT bitch?!? Mirror, please.
I ask a simple question and you start trippin'.
Whatever you're on, I hope there's enough for the rest of us, cos
you just got on my bad side big time.

Look, I know
I've kinda hit a bad stretch.
How was I supposed to know that that borrowed car 
had anything stashed inside the door panels?
I've done ninety on that road lots of times,
oh but THIS time there has to be a motorcycle cop.
What's with those stupid sunglasses anyway?

"Hi, I'm a stupid cop wearing stupid sunglasses.
Whip out your license, and registration, please."
I may have protested.
I may have exercised my American right to free speech.
He still didn't have to arrest me and take the car to impound.

I got some night court public defender named Larry.
And of course, Mirror, the judge has to be this dried up old witch
who looks like she lemon-scrubbed her sink with her face.
"Young woman," she said,
as if I had personally dashed her last hope in humanity.
"Young woman, I hereby sentence you to..."

Mirror, Sally Supermodel would look like shit in an orange jumpsuit.
They SUCK.
And just TRY to get any decent product for your hair in jail.
Why, Mirror, if I hadn't have demonstrated my French trick for Larry,
he would never have helped me escape.
You know that, right?
So stop with the judgy look.

Mirror, I may have picked up a skin problem running through those woods.
It itches.
And I've been living in this utility shed for five days,
talking this kid at Tasty Bird out of a few drumsticks just to survive.

I toss you a total softball of a question.
My old mirror would have known exactly what to say,
the way women do with each other,
building connections, lying our heads off.
Figures I would get the only male mirror in the state.
Where did you come from, anyway?
Boot camp?
Some strip club on 8 Mile Road?
Why ME, God?!?

Luckily, I have my trusty compact.
Watch and learn, dumbass Mirror.
Compact, compact, 
in my hand,
who's the fairest
in the land?

See? Me. 
Diogenes, did you have your phone out?
Did you capture that Golden Moment?
Fuckinay, Mirror.

for Hannah's "mirror" challenge at Real Toads.

image by Roberta Tocco.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Marry the Moon

I'm keen to marry the moon--
she has my heart--
I have my dress--
all the crows in captivity stacked up in the west.

What am I supposed to do
with that golden bitch the sun?
She preen--
she pose--
she think she better than everyone.

I made a deal with the dark.
I said, "bring my baby here,
when she a sliver before she grows.
I'll bootleg you the stars
and nobody needs to know."

I'm keen to marry the moon
with her down-low ways and hyena laugh--
she has my heart--
I have my dress--
now all I need--
her ask, my yes.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Opening My Heart

I opened my heart,
but it was no Up With People moment.
It hurt, so I worried at it
until it cracked and split.

From within,
a small dragon.
I fed her Poe and Rimbaud,
Ferlinghetti and Neko Case.

She grew and ate Detroit,
then was sick on the rug.
I led her on a chain,
her head searching side to side
and her haunches high.

Now she's Out, breathing fire.
Beautiful. Angry.

73 words for Words Count with Mama Zen at Real Toads

Sunday, August 4, 2013

This is snot the way to court me

He felt called upon to improve my poetry,
and so, unsolicited, sent to me
a rewriting of my latest verse,
done over in shades from bad to worse.

Wasn't this presumption enough?
No, it was snot.

It did not seem to occur to him
that a creature such as me, so frail, so dim,
would react with anything less than gratitude--
imagine his offended surprise at my att-i-tude.

Wasn't my pointed silence enough?
No, it was snot.

Thank you, sir, for your ham-handed edit,
your testosterone hubris, and refusal to get it.
Thank you, dear dumbass, dear pencil dick fuckwit,
for trying help this mere girl be more literate.

However, I must decline future offers of assistance.  I am not worthy.



I took a swipe at writing something vaguely Sara Teasdale-ish for Real Toads, but somehow Catblossom got involved and...well, what can I say?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Another Owl And Pussycat

I am not quite rooted in reality,
and yet you seem to be
a little fond of me all the same.

You call your cat Bast, after the Egyptian,
and she subscribes to that mythology.
Likewise, if I show up with Athena's owl borrowed upon my shoulder,
you are keen to hold her and to tell her how fine she obviously is.

The only ring we are ever going to have
is the one made of silver light upon your bedroom floor,
where Bast curls up with her lunatic dreams.
Athena's owl asks for a bed post perch, and never the slightest thing more.

I am not quite rooted in reality, and yet
you always forgive me and share your room,
where my only wish is to be with you
and dance by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
together by the light of the moon.

I have referenced, of course, Edward Lear's "The Owl & The Pussycat" for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads.

Re: the picture up top: when I was little, every day I would pretend I was some kind of different animal or bird, so much so that the man next door started asking me "What are you today?" I'm an adult now, though, and besides, everyone knows I'm a cheetah. ;-)