Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Coffee Girl

I'm Coffee Girl from a pottery wheel
warm and curved and hanging from a hook
I know one trick,
to distract the honest eye
but every shell is empty.

Choose me
and you'll be sorry, though I'm
sweet on my feet,
I'm Coffee Girl when I fall
I run out right before your honest eyes.

for Friday Flash 55 at VerseEscape, hosted by my fab BFF Hedgewitch.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Lilies On The Altar

There are lilies on the altar
a bride in vintage lace
a crow out on the church steps
keen to get inside the place.

The priest is in the sacristy
his thumb is on the verse
that tells him how to break the host,
the family line, the curse.

There are lilies on the altar
a bridesmaid feeling sick
folding origami lilies
she'll burn like candle wicks.

There are lilies for the flower girl
now five winters old.
She calls the crow who calls the bride
who pales at what she's told.

The groom is ill, the priest is dead
with lilies in his hand.
The crow returns, the church roof burns
and publishes the banns.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Nazarene

I wonder if we have some say
--I mean, with that other voice, the one we forget--
over how many bulls there'll be by the box car,
or how many bricks in the barrow?

Some do well in salt air,
bones rusting slow like the axles on the double wide.
Others show up at the old job with bent smiles
and die before the year is out.

So, I wonder, when I'm out collecting shells
in my sandals and straw hat,
what if that was the Nazarene in the camp chair there
with the cup untouched beside him on the sand?

for Sunday Muse #92

"What Now My Love?" had the original French title "Et Maintenant?" or "And Now?"

Thursday, January 23, 2020

In The Yellow Kitchen

In the yellow kitchen with the rose-colored counters
where green ivy vines surround the window,
spirits come in from indigo hours
looking for words kept in earthen jars

in the yellow kitchen with the rose-colored counters.
We keep a coffee pot of enamel
cream yellow to soothe late hour drowsers
unseen and hungry for a kiss, a ribbon, a caramel,

in the yellow kitchen with the rose-colored counters
where green ivy vines surround the window.
Mornings as easily as ghosts arrive, like spring snow
collected on sills as the May-crow appears

in the yellow kitchen with the rose-colored counters
where green ivy vines surround the window
and spirits come in from indigo hours.
There is Mucha on the walls, Parrish on a matchbook

in the yellow kitchen with the rose-colored counters
where green ivy vines surround the window,
and spirits come in from indigo hours
looking for words in earthen jars of cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, and flour.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Book Review : "Animal Farm"

Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First things first. If a genie appeared from a bottle and gave me one wish it would be this: that the introductions to classic novels would stop GIVING THE STORY AWAY BEFORE I'VE EVEN STARTED! Sheesh, it never fails. It's like the publishers assume that the reader could not possibly be reading the book for pleasure, and for the first time. Death to the writers of these spoiler intros, I say.

Now then. This novella, or "fairy tale" as Orwell has dubbed it, was meant to pillory the Soviet Union, or so I read in the cursed introduction. But really, it couldn't be more apt reading today, for westerners. Not since the Gilded Age have all men been equal "but some more equal than others." In this age of Trumpian black-is-white, day-is-night BS being ladled out to people working harder and longer for less and less, Animal Farm could not be more timely, even though it was written in the 1940's. Just skip the freaking introduction! Recommended.

View all my reviews

Monday, January 20, 2020


They search for water with their fat fingers
but would settle for water vapor, thin as faint praise
from a black-dress mother with her big back turned.

Visors are a view of the future,
misshapen fish-eye suns,
blank faces reducing enormous fires to cold coins.

Stumbling weightless vagabonds 
stab pennants into wastelands and wear our emblem,
the sprinting antelope carcass
multiplied like useless inflated money 
for buying phantoms from vacuums where skulls sing anthems

To agua that mummies crave and parade in dreams,
life sustained but life so desiccated it dissolves
for waste and want of agua.

for Earthweal--"water."

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Book Review : "The Map Of True Places"

The Map of True PlacesThe Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Despite some quibbles, on the whole I really enjoyed this novel. Briefly, it's about Zee Finch, a young woman whose father--an authority on the author Hawthorne--is declining rapidly from the effects of Parkinson's disease. She leaves her fiance in Boston and heads home to take care of him and to recover from the shock of the suicide of one of her patients. (She's a psychologist.)

To me, the real star of this novel is the Salem setting. I feel like I've just spent time there myself and quite enjoyed it. Zee's father lives a stone's throw from the famous House of the Seven Gables, immortalized by his beloved Hawthorne. This book is rich with local history, which is offered as an organic part of the story and not in dry plot-stoppers. Reading this, I could almost smell the sea air, sense the gloom of the cursed House, and feel the fun of the witchy tourist spots.

Anyway, Zee comes to question everything she knows and all the choices she has made. In effect,she learns to turn off the GPS and find her way by celestial navigation, both literal and metaphorical.

I did have a couple of quibbles, as I said. There is a straight-from-central-casting stock romance novel love interest named...wait for it..."Hawk." It was hard to read about him when I found myself rolling my eyes every time his name came up. And there is a rather hard to believe situation near the end, but it's not as important as you might think. (I don't want to give anything away here.)

All in all, it's an engaging tale of family secrets, a town's history, and the choices that we make that shade everything that comes after. Recommended.

View all my reviews

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Haint Blue

It is those with glass bones I fear,
bones full of empty
where the shot bird leaves its ashen song.

Night is a damply rotten blindfold
where the goblin-mother
stitches madness into nightmares.

I pay the wind to betray glass riders
who place black plumes
on the panicked heads of their Arab stallions.

I call for my blue sister who fell unborn
from the goblin-mother
in disguise of oleander and moonflower.

I paint my tongue haint blue
and call her here
to grow vines of sibling song,

In threads of peace, protection, 
and soft dawn light
braided on the morning glory bloom.

For Sunday Muse #91, where I am hosting.

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Peculiar Grammar of Ghosts

In the peculiar grammar of ghosts
a thing may weave around itself in a kind of claxon jazz
or whisper up the shiver-bone with an intent to make the place permanent.

Dip this in your eye-saucer babe--
let the penny drop on its edge in the old corpus callosum
where the grammar of your average ghost bursts up from the loam.

I'm telling you that ghosts aren't in the split wood of the vandaled hallway where the copper used to lay its head all venom-dozed inside its dark egg.



Your really-there solid skull is just a rotunda to them.
It's an inside job, a throwing of the vox spiritus, with its own morphology, phonology, and colorful fucking patois.

So knock off straining the cosmic sandbox for that sublingual jolt, 
that glossolalia dune of Hot Truth, babe.
Stop drop and roll. 
Lie there and listen 
for the peculiar grammar of ghosts.

You are the baby on the monitor, a flesh pastry, a keeping-box
where spirits sometimes speak, like dry leaves falling
from the lips of not-there nightshades,
non-nuns with rulers more real than your surprised howls.

for earthweal weekly challenge: "ghosts."

Saturday, January 11, 2020


I am brushing butter and garlic across slices of bakery bread,
but also resting my cheek in the crook of your arm
a thousand miles from here.

There is steam from a green ceramic pot
in my kitchen with sunflower fields in ruffles at the windows,
but there is also your skin as warm as a sunned quilt.

I am leaning for your lips like a willow over water,
but also standing on Italian tile
with a plate forgotten in my hand like a dove from a distant dream.

for Sunday Muse # 90.

Friday, January 10, 2020

In Late Afternoon

In late afternoon,
daisies bloom from the tea kettle.
They lure a light rain 
causing the ends of my hair to curl like child ballerinas.

In late afternoon,
I open your letter which arrived by bicycle.
A boy from the town 
who stared at my breasts as if they were loaves, cooling.

In late afternoon,
a mourning dove perches on the stone wall outside.
I remember a song,
our bed, and November snow we watched like lazy tabbies.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Armageddon Lullaby

Birds flew high above a world on fire.
Around my neck a river worn as below my body burned.
In my hair a water-garland where water birds turned.
All around, the black-robed dead, on legion ashen pyres.

I called to the birds above a world on fire.
Called and sang to the birds from my disintegrating throat.
The birds spun from glass and the heavens entire
were turned by my song first to whispers, then to smoke.

Around my neck I wore a childhood stream.
In my hair a feather garland made of swans and steam.
The world turned red, then orange, then white
and the birds to choristers of anthracite.

for Sunday Muse #89. And for the world in flood and fire.

Thursday, January 2, 2020


In a cage with bars of foxfire,
I kept an apparition who claimed
to have made, from flax and piano wire
your nom de guerre, your midnight name.

"Tell me, moonless one, " I said,
"Sunless, starless nattering ghost,
Is there gravity for the dead?
A superseding circle outermost?"

She moaned and split to sugar and salt
identical in paleness to your kiss,
and offered a platitude neatly got
from a serpent poisoned with nothingness.

I burnt a root and bled a bird,
a canary-colored silent fake
whose solitude was ringed by words
that only my love or the damned could make. 

for Skylover's word list.