Sunday, December 31, 2017

Manifesto

We have your stooge, the bank manager,
and are providing a steeper incline for her than her stupid NordicTrack ever did.
She misses Hubby,
her curtain climbers,
and their matching pure breed dogs bigger and dumber than trash trucks.
Imma give her back her glasses, poor thing.

If you want your stooge, the bank manager,
back the way we found her, you will publish our manifesto.
I want the New York Times on the line,
not your wind-up doll of a hostage negotiator.
Negotiate this:
Listen close. Hear that?
One less loan officer in the world.
Imma shed a great big tear.

You have an hour, one hour exactly to publish our manifesto.
We want to see it as we wrote it,
not redacted and full of ads to subscribe to the fucking NYT. 
Our Swedish friend was here with us,
and suggested some edits. 
Our Swedish friend is the one we sent outside to kneel on the pavement
with his hands tied and the bomb belt on.
Please shoot him.
Imma decline his edits, and yours. We good on that?

We are sick of:
rape culture
corporate insanity
sanctimonious cowards
fuckwit presidents
tiki torch wing nuts
extremist imbeciles.
It's time to bring some order to the chaos, so publish our manifesto.
As is.
In the New York Times.
Within the hour. 
Or imma go off.

We would hate for your stooge, the bank manager,
to die because we overfed her, poor little goldfish.
We started with a rag, but she's still hungry, I can tell.
Our California friend is calming her
by reading her the manifesto.
Check it out while we're waiting, and tell your SWAT team of armed editors
to stand down
or we all go up.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
Come close, whisper me your thoughts,
and I'll respond, candidly and strictly entre nous, with my Kalashinikov.
Imma woman; I think and think and think and think and think.
By the time I act, 
you'll never see it coming.
________
 
for Bjorn's "manifesto" challenge at Toads.



Friday, December 29, 2017

Here Is A Sun

Here is a sun,
extinguished, small, 
not the same one at all, but a sun nonetheless.
On a bright morning or gray weekday afternoon,
take it out,
place it on the cafe table between you and your friend.
Feel the hum inside your head;
the tears that come without reason.

"What if we are only figures inside a snow globe?" you ask.
Your friend shakes her head, turns away,
opens her mouth but doesn't speak.
You're an idiot. Again.
An idiot carrying a small dark sun around in her bag,
on the bus,
queering the traffic signals as you pass underneath.

Big bang.
That was a long time ago, now.
You and your friend cast two shadows in those days,
so substantial and fine that they might have danced away on their own.
At night you dream of geologists
breaking their teeth by biting into geodes.
You call someone.
"I didn't sleep well."
Here is a sun to toy with, to set down and forget.
Calls end, days go on and on,
the sky fills with birds no one can identify.
Your head hums, 
tears come.
Nobody asks why.
_________


 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Logicians In The Sanitarium

Logicians, lit weakly by the skylight,
find each other.
Overtaken by passion, they posit avidly.

"Which," they wheeze to each other, holding bony hands,
"of the following is true, if any?"
1.If infirmity, then writing.
2. If writing, then infirmity.
3. red on the handkerchief reveals the heart's longing to express itself.

Doctors smile at the logicians, but hate them.
How are you feeling? Does the treatment seem to help? 
Who the fuck cares? Move to Arizona and die there, albeit a little more slowly. 

Dizzying excitements exhaust the logicians.
Staff wheel them in chairs out to the verandah, buried in sober wool blankets.
The sun stutters on the horizon.
The world displays its affliction in tones of slant red and crumbling orange.
The logicians gasp, but their minds race with articles
and the heady imaginings of each other's naked admiration.

And so here is what I want to say,
to you, to God, 
to anybody whose conveyance is locked to guard against accident. 
When medicated, 
when not hacking to the point of collapse,
I dream of the most illogical things.
I pretend that my body is not made of disintegrating papier mache,
and that you want to fuck me,
like somebody used to, in some other place, once, that I can't quite remember.
I see you and hope
that you, whittled down to nothing, incontinent and demented,
want the same illogical things.

That's when the logicians recognize it in my face like an obvious error.
They laugh uproariously,
joined by their new friends, the doctors,
who lobotomize me,
wait for me to babble through the froth,
and say, "See there? You're making sense," and walk away on skis
like giant L's held stiff by the wax and starch of correctness and clarity.
______

for "Aspire" at Real Toads

Monday, December 25, 2017

Salute The Magpie

Salute the magpie,
the solitary one without even a mirror-friend.
Turn a circle on the spot,
recite the rhyme out to its end.

In time, more arrive.
In time, a future told and spoken,
in magpie voice,
talisman and token.

Then, old love,
it is well enough to go
regardless wounds or weather
even so.
______

a 55 for my BFF.
 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

You vs. Donut




Passion sears my senses and burns like fire as we--


Oh for fuck's sake. Start over.

I am in love with this fucking donut.
It can sit there and say nothing just as good as you,
but I can eat it--

Okay. Point taken. You 1, Donut 1. But wait, there's more.

I am in love with this donut, and this donut doesn't care
if I drool over its twin cos it has a million twins and so therefore I need never be lonely again in my lifetime.

This poem is for my beloved donut. Donut could give a shit less. 
Donut 2, You 1, one draw. Goddamit. 
_____

ridiculous nonsense for micro-poetry: fire and ice. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Cat Angel

Cat Angel forgives our sins.
Why not?
She doesn't care about them, and wonders why we do.  
The Church of Cat Angel issues a denunciation of rocking chairs
and proscribes the covering of piano keys.
Cat Angel hears our prayers
but doesn't care about them and wonders why we do. 
Obey. Receive a dead bird.
____

a 55 for my BFF

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Here Comes Some Bitch

Here comes some bitch up to your door
over to your table
knee-walking across the goddamned bed
to tell you she's sleeping with your honey and there's nothing you can do.

Here comes some lunatic with bad hair 
who's got nukes but no sense
no filter
no off switch and by the way slept with your honey, too.

The first thing I'd advise is--don't panic.
Most things can be solved by litigation or homicide,
and those that can't can usually be put out of mind with intoxicants.

Then again, maybe you've been through all that,
teeth gone, hair gray, with a thousand cats on the davenport.
Maybe you pitched that bitch out the window,
the upstairs window, and never felt so good about anything before in your life. 

Good for you, Toots. Bitches love free flying lessons.
______

 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Bad-Ass

Here is the truth:
I was a mouse-girl, a shooting gallery duck,
knocked flat a dozen times a day.

I didn't have a lot to say.

If you kicked your big clown shoes out,
I'd meet them half way and feel like I'd had an appointment.
I was a "kick me" sign from the time I was alive.

Damaged goods.
Not pretty.
Head in the clouds.
Just like my father. 

So here came Momma with the big test-your-strength hammer. 
Metronome BAM!
Off to school I went, for more 
BAM BAM BAM!
Lookin' at my shoes, not much to say.
Waiting for the next hit.

I coulda grown to be a nun or a serial killer,
But Momma had dibs on God and I was too shy to turn evil.
Now looka me.
Bold as brass when it suits me to be.
Momma's dead, both inside and outside my head.

Mostly good.
Not pretty.
Head in the clouds.
Just like my father, down to the mental case girlfriends.
Can't stand lies, so I'm still lonesome.

Here is the truth:
I'm Athena's owl with big bad-ass talons
and feathers soft as well-lit paradise.
I got here in a roundabout way.
So what?
I'm here,
and will screech and strut just as exactly as I please.
_______

for Wordy Thursday: Silence Breakers.

 

 
 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Warmth From Other Sources

Hidden in a bear's pelt
government bean counters discover
the weather thief.

Clocks being notoriously duplicitous,
they call in the air strike,
but the pilots, raw with romantic disappointments,
stay drunk on the tarmac.

Winter comes. 
Whole departments are deleted.
The bear sleeps.

And the weather thief?
She escapes to find
warmth from other sources. 
______

for my BFF's Friday 55

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ease

More and more I have come to believe
that ease is where one finds it,
in quantities and dimensions
of one's own devise. 

Yes, things fall out of the sky
all the time--
flights gone from radar, fireballs from frozen space,
angels who whisper softer than morning dreams.
More and more I have come to accept all of these
with as much grace and courage as I can.

Gunfire, atrocities, sinkholes, hurricanes--
these exist, but must do so in the same world
with kindness, silver maple trees, dogs, weddings. 
There will always be
bills and break-ups,
jobs to go to, children to shelter, parents to bury, 
and only so many hours or heart beats for all of it.
There will be a shortfall,
and it will  break your heart in the end.

Still, there is balm in Gilead for gathering 
moment by moment.
More and more, I have come to believe
that ease is where one finds it,
in quantities and dimensions
of one's own devise. 
_______ 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Pose Of Monkeybones

This isn't just a pose of monkeybones--
no one made of flesh ever willed a fever down,
or talked sense when fingers curled just so to make the nightstorms roll.

You might think I'm made of straw and stone,
a long-skull girl with marrow-eyes in every broken bone
so close to heart and beat and breath--
Mercy tangled in my hair, out of reach except
for the loud-strike, rain-shriek
inside these abandoned bones--
woman, monkey, open sky that shakes and moans
until there's nothing left.
_______

for Camera FLASH.

Friday In Hell--A Flash 55

Nothing is constant in this world,
but if you live wickedly,  dependability awaits. 

Let me explain.

In Hell, the first thing you'll notice is that everyone loves--really loves!--your ex.
They don't have Christmas; instead, a constant Black Friday.
Above your head, music--exclusively "Friday" by Rebecca Black.

Friday...but not payday. Sorry.
______

for my BF's kick-ass Friday 55 

.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Pas De Deux

The cat's always got your tongue,
but mine is loose by nature.
I had things I needed to say to you, and so I have included them
in private prayers by moonlight,
in court documents,
and mixed invisibly with sugar inside of envelopes sent via post.

I see you there,
on your front step, handing out the same bulimic claptrap to reporters
that's offered to your lovers in intimate moments.
You talk and talk, but say nothing--
the reporters starve, weaken, expire on the lawn, wondering how they failed.

I told a few lies, I admit.
Otherwise, the police photographer would never have followed you,
and the polygraph examiner would stand idle, tempted by devils.
The credits are rolling--
this is the time to confess or taunt or break down. You know the drill,
and yet you keep spare judges in drawers in every room,
to issue gag orders across the board at a moment's notice.

For the sake of all that was good, and soft, and funny
between us, say something, please.
Write a tell-all, despite the prohibited proceeds.
Bargain a statement in trade for a change of venue.
Let Old Sparky spur us
to get it all out at last.
We can circle it, like dizzy ballerinas,

Me imploring you to talk,
to open your everlastingly miserly fucking mouth at last,
and you
begging me to shut up,
for once, 
for novelty,
for the love of God,
shut up. 
______

for Skyflower Friday--"goodbye"

 

 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cake

Here is a cake made from coneflowers and cut losses;
you have to eat it with the window open like a suicide.
My house is your house, and all that.
Anything wrong with the cake?
Something is funny with the lights, they keep flickering and exploding.
Why is your baggage still here in the kitchen
taking up space so unattractively?

I like samplers.
This one says things you'd rather it didn't. 
So. Tell mama.
Use all the usual Hollywood tricks.
Happy it up. 
Make everybody prettier, then have more cake.
It's from an old family recipe that calls for legal documents and collected dust.
Inside, you'll find a letter.
It's from the future and says the same thing as the sampler.

Don't come at me with the utensils. 
You called me, after the priest and the psychic threw you out.
Don't eat with your mouth full.
Now's the time to get it off your chest,
come clean, stop mumbling excuses, stop fidgeting and just say it.
Well?
Don't talk with your mouth open.
Don't waste my time.
Don't keep me from my daily rituals.
Of course I love you. 
I knew before you did that you'd come here,
with no preservatives, no animal flesh, no bread, no bone.
So, I baked at 375 for all these years.
Now eat your cake before it gets cold. 
_______

For Marian's "November Themes" challenge at Real Toads. I chose "cake."
 

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Crow In My Eye

There's a crow in my eye
remembering you.
I could be smiling or
lying or
out of my mind,
but the crow won't forget
your face, and he won't be kind.

You frustrate him, 
by law of similars.
My crow likes trinkets, toys,
and fresh-killed love
or such like that my crow thinks of.
_______

a 55 for my BFF.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Alibi

I had a rock-solid alibi
and a gift for doubletalk and not losing the thread.
I don't do that stuff.
I'd rather not (again.)
I'd rather die.
I'm the talking dead.

Then, your eyes.
Your hand.
My carefully crafted alibi gone,
turned to sand.
______ 

for quadrille #45.

 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Remember This

Remember this,
When dolls start speaking to you from the nest stuffed deep
inside your own throat.
Remember vanity,
as worked by hand in the lace hem of a tiny dress;
Remember never to seat a Gypsy next to a mark,
and to preside with grace, charm, and engraved silver service.

Listen to this,
she'll say, from between the feathers of birds hooked by wires
to dying Christmas trees in burning houses.
Listen to this--don't be a ninny and ignore this warning
when she chirps in your ear like broken glass--
Baccarat or Waterford.

Girls love cats, horses, dolls,
and attics filled with bird cages and unexploded ordnance.
Listen to the water fountain my ghost animates the flow of,
and line up your darlings along the window sills.
Seat the priest with the diplomat,
Arabian with alley cat,
and remember this, as the afternoon wears on:
I owe no explanations as to what birds think about dolls that talk,
and the girls who take them to bed
like said prayers.
______ 



Sunday, November 19, 2017

Randy Tulsa's Old Rugged Cross Mega-Church

There's a door charge to get in to Right Reverend Randy Tulsa's Old Rugged Cross Mega-Church. One tenth of everything on you, as well as one tenth of everything out in the car, back at your house (both the main and the summer "cottage"), and whatever you've got squirreled away in the Caymans. God sees it all, brothers and sisters. 

Come on. Come in. If there's a cover charge, you know there's a band! Check out Miranda and the Trinity! She's got the pipes, brothers and sisters.

You make me so happyyyy
such love makes my heart soarrrrr...
Jesus is my boyfriend
I could never ask for more!

How about Miranda, let's give her a hand! What a testimony! All right now, let's talk about prosperity a minute. God doesn't want His children scrabbling around without a nickel to their name. Would YOU let YOUR kids go hungry, have to sleep outside, or drive a three year old compact? NO! God wants you to be prosperous. Here's Tiffany to talk about how tithing leads to riches!

(Tiffany does her thing. Miranda sings Ripped Jesus Is My Strength. Then Randy Tulsa takes the stage to wild applause.)

Yes, friends, God loves you, is proud of you, wants the best for you! And no matter what you've done, God forgives! Take this man over here! (Randy Tulsa whirls around and points at a pew off to the left, in front. Randy's finger is like Judgement itself.) The man he's pointing at is smeared with gore and is wearing a hockey mask. Randy thunders: Have you lived a life steeped in wickedness and sin, brother? The man looks around from behind his mask, seems uncertain, then nods nervously. Randy roars: Have you scorned the ten commandments? Have you forgotten The Lord in your life????

Hockey Mask Man begins to tremble, dropping the knife as his shoulders shake. Randy Tulsa strides with purpose down the steps to the man and lays hands on him. Randy, taken with a sudden ecstasy, sings out: Are you ready to repent, brother? Are you READY to be FORGIVEN by His almighty LOVE? The crowd is into it, swaying and shouting "Amen!" Randy Tulsa waves the nearest of the congregation into a group hug with the gore-soaked man. Randy beams and exclaims: You are forgiven, son! It's like all that sin never happened at all! You've been through the wash cycle of Heavenly Love! As an aide gets the man's address, cell number and estimated weekly pledge, Randy re-takes the stage.

But what is THIS???? Again he points like an angry Old Testament prophet, but this time toward the back of the mega-church as cameras swing around to capture it all. Heads turn and necks swivel, but no one can tell what Randy is pointing at. He resumes: Outside, the unsaved! Homosexuals engaging in behavior the bible tells us is an abomination to God! Devious foreigners slipping into our country to destroy it! Lazy welfare cheats living off of our backs, rioting in the streets! Will YOU pray with me now, brothers and sisters? Let's bow our heads while our wonderful Youth Bible Camp teens come around with the offering plates. 

Miranda sings:

Jesus has the kindest eyes
like a lifeguard watching over me
So powerful, but gentle, too
And Omg, Kimberly, he's set me freeeee

As everybody files out, Randy Tulsa stands beaming at them benevolently, thinking: Pay up, you dopes, I owe my fucking dentist a bundle! 
________

for Brendan's "doors" prompt.

and now, because I can, The Doors.
 

Friday, November 17, 2017

My Giraffe

My giraffe
s'got the down-nose look,
and those squinty rich-MILF eyes.
What a bitch.

Still, she got a sweet and useful tongue.

When you talk,
all the birds have heart attacks and tumble from the trees in shock. 
Fucking whales have more to say
than you. 

My giraffe
would cut you dead
in public, anytime.
________

for Friday 55 at my BFF's place.

 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dragonfly

I dreamed of you last night.
(Yes, after all this time.)
Everyone was floating, dancing, flying,
and yet you were melancholy, 
and the world kept turning behind

Us where we posed. 
What does "I love you," mean?
Is it glorious in the morning, or as idiotic
as childhood pictures we cringe to see?
Still, who else has seen you

In multi-form, and been proud to say it?
Dreams are shadows, no matter how bright--
and I don't celebrate what's happened to us both.
Here is the curse of compound eyes
the dragonfly knows--everything is on every side,
never distinct, never absolute between blooms and motes. 

I dreamed of you last night.
(Yes, after all this time.)
On rising you were gone and not gone;
I saw all that I cherished about your face, your skin, your fire,
but also the ashes, the waste, the blight.
The curse of the dragonfly is to see ahead and beside,
but never clearly, and--in singular blindness--not at all behind.
________ 

for Bits of Inspiration--dragonfly

 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Jubilant Bob

Jubilant Bob
loves you 
and describes this love in tiny notes
on the backs of postage stamps which he then uses
to send you empty hatboxes.

"Within, infinity," the eeny little card reads.


Jubilant Bob
hates it
when you sleep with a boyfriend.
He hangs himself in the vestibule of your building,
making it awkward getting to the mailbox.
Inside,
a minuscule note folded multiple times
explaining his despair.

You and your boyfriend look at each other, sigh, run upstairs, do it,
then hate yourselves, but not that much.
Love is strange.

Jubilant Bob
revives,
finds you with a girlfriend,
writes a best seller about his near death experiences, 
both from the noose and from you.
Bob requests his royalties all in pennies,
using some of them to weigh down roses
he leaves for you
on the stair.

Will you never have pity?
Will you never stop fucking around?

Jubilant Bob
gets religion,
forgives you as you stand there blinking.
"Oh for fuck's sake, Bobby," you say, stamping one boot on the pavement.
"Wake the fuck up."
He thought you were better than you are,
hates it when you curse,
and keeps a microscopic cameo of you under his tongue.

In the vestibule,
his fans,
your lovers,
and enough flowers for a parade or a funeral.
Go on, marry him.
File a sharp tongue on his stupid postage machine.
Let him feel you up every Sunday.

Feel free to regret all of it.
_________

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Two Rondelets

 TELL ME, DOCTOR

Tell me, doctor
about disease, about malaise.
Tell me, doctor
what your nurse saw that so shocked her--
experiments that left their trace--
then, after you arrange your face,
tell me, doctor.

PRETTY DAISIES

Pretty daisies
and daffodils around the lawn.
Pretty daisies
soothing agitated crazies
their natures all to hell and gone
mad in evening, calm at dawn.
Pretty daisies. 
_______

Rondelets for "Fussy Little Forms" at Toads.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Reincarnated Grandmothers

Reincarnated grandmothers
have had it with knitting--
fuck that shit.
Now it's our turn to not visit you.
Check us out.
Send us money on our birthdays
cos we wanna drink it up and to hell with thank-you's.
Watch us steal your bae,
troll your page,
lie, cuss, catfish.
You want cookies? 
Buy a bakery. 
______

A 55 for my BFF.
 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sonya's Tale Of Rasputin

My sister is older than me,
by over a hundred years;
Daddy a dynamo, prolific,
with new wives as often as new cars.

Sis's name is Sonya,
and she spoke to me, 
not a year after she died.
My tea had gone cold on the night table,
and so she brought a samovar and a tale to tell,
waking me with a kiss. 

Being kissed by ghosts may be a Russian thing,
like the men getting drunk, or the inevitable failure of the collectives.
I patted the bed and we sat together,
like reindeer waiting to pull the sleigh of a midnight fable.
Finally, Sonya began.

"I met Grigori Rasputin in a barn when I was 17.
He was asleep, slack-jawed in late morning half-light,
the motes spinning lazily around him like stars. 
The Russian cross he wore
and the vodka bottle he cradled
both shone as if they had souls of their own."

I propped myself up with an elbow and listened.

"There are ways and there are ways, little sparrow," Sonya went on.
"Labor is productive, prayer is powerful.
But sometimes the breeze stirs the leaves just as if they were barynya dancers. 
All I did was set my bucket down and join him--a breeze myself--
and he showed me how God created the world."

I said, "They say he stank. That he was insane!
How could you--"

"Pochemuchka," my sister whispered, 
"Madness is essentially Russian. Without that,
without hallucinations in our blood, how could we endure the winter?
And he smelled only of straw,
holiness, and masculine vigor."

Sonya smiled then.
"Little One, do you remember my oldest,
the sandy-haired one, my poet who died on the battlefield in 1915?
Of course you wouldn't. I forget how young you are."
She looked far away for a moment, even for a ghost.
"He had the gift.
The same one you have,
a closeness with the spirit world, and an appetite for everything."

The tea was gone.
Even here, dawn arrives eventually.
Sonya finished her story, saying,
"I warned Grigori to beware

of cakes, aristocrats, bullets, and wide cold waters. 
He laughed, his big bearded head thrown back,
a booming laugh like a fireball landing in a Siberian forest.
He told me he already knew."

With that, Sonya was gone.
Our old one-eyed rooster crowed outside in the yard.
I sat up, pushing my long hair back with my fingers,
and collected my coat, scarf, and ice skates.
Out, then, to the pond where a local fox keeps her den full of kits,
watching my every move.
I spread my arms out to glide, easy as branches in a breeze,
not needing to lay eyes on her to know, 
just the same, 
that she is there. 
________

for Out of Standard at Toads

pochemuchka--a child who asks a lot of questions

barynya--traditional "Cossack Dance" featuring the prisyadka, or knee-bend.