Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Ink Ribbons


This is not happening, does not exist
any more than Bogie on the flat screen smoking Camels
and looking world-weary at the bar.
Bogie's dead, eaten up by cancer,
liver hard and beaten-up as a gymnasium medicine ball.

And yet, here I am, and here is my heart
like a twin engine monoplane on the tarmac at Casablanca.
No smart suit and fashionable hat for me.
I want my father's old fedora and his jacket I used to wear
because I loved him, and we both
drove my mother to razor blades like matching bookends
around a collection of Hem and pulp novels and every page
read to her like THE END THE END THE END.

This is prop whiskey, the gin is Dasani water but the lime is real.
This mood, though, it's the view from a blacked-out liner
at night and I can just make out the lanterns at a cafe on the shore
where they drink the real stuff,
spread lovely lies like butter on bread,
and the solitaries read James Joyce with their works in their pocket.
The off-duty ferryman raises his glass. To me? Not possible.

I am the woman with ink ribbons in her hair, erstatz ether bows
imaginary like the humming presses in a 1940's movie scene.
Edit out the brassy blonde coming through the door,
there's only room for one hard case here
with a PI license and a heart of paper, cotton, leather,
but never even around the corner from silver or gold.
So bottoms up, sobersides, please rush in from the rain I've drummed up
and say something nice. It's always 3 a.m. in these scenes

and I long for morning,
                                       and lanterns lit
                                                                 like my father's smile. 

for Desperate Poets "I wake up screaming: Desperate Noir." 

Image at top: Bing AI

Music: Billie Holiday Willow Weep For Me

Sunday, June 25, 2023

The Razorback

 Now enters the razorback visitor
speaking from both sides of every word,
squeezing the sky into a bucket
and calling it concision to juice the bird.

Welcome, we say to the razorback bastard
who turns our hands to fumbling stumps
to play at love and American Sign--
we, its sycophants, we its chumps.

All hail the razorback lying sack
turning our eyes inside our heads
to be astonished that all's gone black,
a sickening formula on which we're fed.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Saw 101010101


No one has ever seen Mr. Cobol.
He's like an eclipse, we all use special mirror boxes, but still
he is bright, electrical, and smells of Ozone cologne. 

His disembodied voice materializes out of the intercom.
"Get down from there and report to my office."
Which one of me, I wonder?

No one has ever been to Mr. Cobol's office. 
It's said it's down a long hall, through a tube and up a ladder.
Some say he dances there on the head of a pin.

I select full harlequin costume and megaphone,
trumpeting, "Mr. Cobol, Mr. Cobol. wherefore art thou, Mr. Cobol?"
It's not love, but it's urgent. I need this paycheck.

Mr. Cobol responds--out of the ether!--with mechanical poetry
any simp could compose. I loose my infinite number of monkeys
and hear Mr. Cobol howl jaggedly, bleeding junk data.

Now Mr. Cobol's shadow self emerges, creeping though the ducts
for the air conditioning and all of our eyes. Many go blind.
I play a saw, wahhh wooooaaahh slashing his scores, stee-rike!

Some say that Mr, Cobol is the Ultimate Umpire,
regal, invisible, all-powerful, robed in Rules like Nebuchadnezzar
and the score is always 1-0. I saw lovely Sally in half, now there's 2.

It's said that Mr. Cobol has learned to play the saw, too,
but I know better. My monkeys have him moaning wahhh woooahh
over the intercom, making calculations, spitting out memos.

Me: Two.
MC: One!!!!
Monkeys: five!!!
MC: zeeeerroooooo...
Me: Nine!
MC; zee roooe
Monkeys: Nein! 
Mc: uhhhhhwaahhh oooo
Me: Since I sawwww her standing there!
MC: oeeoowww, oggghh
Monkeys: Not your steppin' stone!
Me: Stoned?
Monkeys: happy trails, pardner!
Me: Haw! better skeedaddle!
MC: master
MC: master of
MC: Master of Ceremonies
Monkeys: Evacuate!
Me, wearing balloon pants and tapping head: Can't touch this!
Bette Davis: Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride. 

for desperatepoets "Slam At The Singularity Corral. "

Note: In All About Eve, Bette Davis actually said "bumpy night", not "bumpy ride", but the misquote serves my ending better. 

Music: William Mapother plays the saw for Brit Marling in Another Earth. 

Thursday, June 15, 2023

What I Did Instead


Swans came to me 
as they frequently have,
in flocks like nuns
and in nightmares

rising from lilies pressed
in the pages of a bible.
"You must forgive," they said,
"to turn dust to bread."

Wearing a black masquerade
mask, the nearest said,
"You will feel better." So I shot it
and immediately did. 

A crowd cursed me and called
me a devil. They kissed the swans,
held them like bouquets,
offering them to me like scripture.

Now, I carry a thorny rose in my teeth
and wrap the vines around the beaks
of every talking bird I meet. 
I eat my black bread with red jam,

my face a volcano, my heart a ringing forge.

for desperatepoets "wrestling angels". 

image: unknown artist, found on Pinterest. 

Music: The Animals It's My Life

Saturday, June 10, 2023

The Duenna

 The light now is a young man
at a long table
with a full plate,
holding forth as jeweled women lean
to catch his words and scent like hungry cats. 

I stay next to the duenna, summer's old widow,
her skin a dead garden under the high neck and long black sleeves.
She used to read him stories
when the silence scared him
and he grew there in the crook of her arm
like a plum added to a grocery sack.

"I wish it would rain," I say to her as I have every day
since summer arrived like a visiting bishop
waving from a sedan chair,
cheered by women wearing head scarves
because others do, and God is watching.
The duenna pats my hand.

I am sick of the brightness of white shirt and linen jacket,
arms gesticulating as children's do when feeding the swans,
and the swans dip their faces in mock modesty.
If only the wind would rise and the sky darken,
this tablecloth would show
how wings are meant to be used,
plates and wine glasses smashing on the stone floor.

"In time," whispers the duenna, as calm as a bread loaf.
These blowy tales will wear themselves out,
the cats and swans will begin to bicker,
and the nights will lengthen beneath our feet like shadows.
Then the duenna will shed her weeds
and wear the moon on her shoulders glittering.


Musci: Bananarama Cruel Summer