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. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Nun Who Escaped In A Fish Barrel

The vessel is weaker
than it used to be--
the page thinner,
the lover gone.

The light is lower
than in summer--
but the angle sweeter
for its brevity.

Cats care nothing
for pointless industry--
and yet they
meet every gaze.

In stillness, in silence,
in age this fire--
consumes me and shames
youth, that boastful pretender.
________

 
 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Rapunzel's Hairdresser

Rapunzel's hairdresser was one lazy bitch,
with sporadic, unpredictable hours,
and a shop inconveniently located smack-dab center of a perpetual rain storm.
And so,
when contestant #15,383 said, "Great hair!"
and really meant "How desperate are you to be seen, 
complimented,
valued,
loved?" and, more to the point, 
"Are you willing to fuck me to get it?" 
Poor Rappy lost her shit right there in the coffee bar. 

It's hard, if you've never tried it, 
to saw off ten years' growth with a plastic knife meant for
spreading cream cheese with,
but our Raps found herself filled with Messianic vigor, 
and, too, her cause was flat-out righteous.
Have you ever seen a perfectly normal girl with really unbelievably long hair
arch her back and hiss? 
Here was your chance,
and pity if you missed it.

Her girlfriends call her "Berry", which started as
Rappy, then Rappy Raspberry, then just Berry.
Now they say,
"Lookit YOU, sugar!" and rise out of their mid-afternoon drowse
and make all appropriate noises one makes about a girl with a fresh style.
So, when contestant #15,384 asked if she was a dyke,
out of jealousy or fear of female power or 
by way of eliciting a shame response or something,
she was Teflon,
she was made of gold,
gloriously side-shaved and in the moment,
too cool for fools and he walked out, hands in pockets,
back to his wife and the 
apartment above the empty shop in the never-ending rain storm.
And our Berry?
She does her own hair now. Word.
_________

for Camera FLASH!


 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Marry Me When I'm Dead

Marry me when I'm dead,
with bloom-eyes of aster sockets.

Accept me as your fleshless bride in degrees of white,
your rock-bound toad with the sand-grit kiss
always emptying, dear--
betray me--I won't care.

Marry me when I'm dead,
and consider:

Asters are named for the stars they resemble,
which, similarly, require no air.
______

A Friday 55 for my BFF.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Orphan Bus In The Underworld

When the Orphan bus in the Underworld stopped
for Unhappy Meals,
the orphans removed the driver's brain and fucked with it.
Out, then, from the dark,
back into mayhem and political doubletalk,
the Occupied Zone their parents died for.

Power comes to the innocent. The Virgin sees to this. 

First, a fish tank for the Premier,
gills and a ceremonial sash trailing in the algae.
Then, a pencil in the eye for every perved-out fat man,
and their scion sons putrefying inside local dance clubs. 

From a book bag--the Sun!
Roiling, blazing, launching sunspot flares!
Snowman parents, gooshy as Christmas;
running in Church allowed.
____________

106 Words for Angie at Toads. Is 106 more than 100? The Orphans say no. 

It's "Orpheus IN the Underworld", not "AND the Underworld." No wonder the stupid boat sank.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Friends, and a book review

One of the best things that can happen is to find a good friend, someone you can share your stuff with, the highs and lows, the triumphs, tragedies and trivia of daily life. It's even better if that friend becomes an old friend by sticking around through all of the twists in the road. 

I have the good fortune to have the world's best BFF, Joy Ann Jones, aka Hedgewitch. She has kindly written a fantastic review of my newest book, "Catechism For A Girl On Fire", on her blog. Please go read it HERE. Honestly, I am humbled by her kind words about my work. Joy, you're the best.

 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Soft, The Dove

Butch, the top hat,
the collar and tails.
Soft, the dove,
in your hand for all of that. 

Rusted, the band,
the wheels in their wells.
Gone, the dove,
and the cocksure sleight of hand.

Empty, the trunk,
the wine glass by the bed.
Dove, a failed trick,
when the blackbird lands instead. 

Many, the props,
the act in its details.
Several, the doves,
their eyes, their cooing calls.

Returned, or so it seems,
conjured in my sleep.
Soft, the dove
I capture, then release.
_______

for Magaly's Heart-Bits. Writing IS magic. But, to quote the poem/song, we decide which is right and which is illusion.

The included video unfortunately does not include the poem, but was such a good version otherwise that I have chosen it anyway.


 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

Terror

They terrify me.
Turn in any direction, they follow with their
ear-splitting shrieks and horrible, unreal faces.
"Do you see them?" I implore.
None do.
Babbling about leaf-turn and sunsets,
my companions are blind to the horror
of these squealing dwarves.
"Join us in the light," these simpletons urge!
They don't believe in the living. 
_______

Wondering if ghosts are scared of trick-or-treaters for Flash 55, hosted by my BFF Hedgewitch.
 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Between Order And Chaos

Between order and chaos,
in the interstice between air and swallow's wing--
in the silent interlude between rippled pond and snow-dusted ice,
there lies the thing I have wanted to say.

I have been thinking about the difference between old glass and new;
whether the wave is perceived or actual--
in the pane, the mind, or somewhere beyond.
And....is the smooth order of new glass wanted--needed--
in every window, upstairs and down, from vane to garden shed?

Today, I thought of your hands,
swallow-small; and like them, never still.
I thought of you holding a knife, an orchard apple, a fallen bird, my face.
I knelt among the tomato vines held on their stakes,
thick with green leaves going yellow around red offerings.
I sobbed. 
I couldn't help myself.

In the indigo between coin-moon and a million stars,
between ink and score where the fermata speaks to a single heart beat,
there lies the explanation, the cold-water borderline
between order and chaos, wrapped in silk, 
held between fingers like a tarot card.

Oh...chaos the surface and the core at once.
Order, these lines, these rows, these days and weeks;
the ones I live in now,
with my routines, my dog, and this terrible, lovely music
pressed between my ear and the late-year air--
for you,
for angels and devils,
for sane and insane,
carried on a gust that swirls forward in a round dance,
no end or beginning,
called by no one, moving through rows and woods, over water, into winter.
_______

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Croc Girl

Croc girl meets Florence of Arabia down at the Lavender Laboratory,
where a girl can get
pretentious coffee made from beans picked high in the hills
by female fingers only--guaranteed.

Later, in bed, Croc Girl can't shut up,
she's got a big mouth.
"Bla bla bla bla bla," she says, eternally,
"Bla bla bla," until the moment is lost and Florence of Arabia gets out of bed
and starts waving her scimitar around.
"Bla bla," continues Croc Girl, hating herself, but helpless.  

The next morning, alone at the Lavender Laboratory,
sipping some idiotic kind of tea and writing long, dreadfully sincere poetry,
Croc Girl feels shitty and realizes her blood sugar is low.
Ever seen a croc girl eat?
Whole boxes of Debbie Cakes down the hatch at once.
Croc Girl sits there, stomach rumbling, hating herself, but helpless.

O for the water.
O for careless thirsty creatures whose names she doesn't know.
O for croc moms who don't hover, bitching about everything.
O for peanuts and Cracker Jack, blue skies and sun all afternoon. 

Croc Girl goes down the block to the chain drug store,
spending forever in the lotion section, mooning over Olay,
Jergens, St. Ives and Burt's Bees until the tears come.
"Hold me, I need love," she says, all the time.
"GTFO," says everybody.
In a low blood sugar rage, Croc Girl sweeps all the stupid lotions onto the floor--
you don't need boardinghouse reach for that.

The next day, down at the Lavender Laboratory,
perched in a chair high enough for Seven Foot Billy, the old carnie freak,
Croc Girl sits reading a lesfic novel.
It's about Raven, or Madison, or Dakota, or some other heroine
named after a creature or a place,
who had a nasty break-up, moved back to Podunk, 
reconnected with Sally Silo,
and did it 'til LBD set in, but that's not included in the edition she's got.
"Bla bla bla bla," says Croc Girl under her breath, mocking the author's style.

Somewhere, there is mud enough for a thousand mud masks.
Somewhere, a girl can float with just her eyes above the water line.
Somewhere, a girl can wear a sleeveless dress
without some bitch saying maybe she shouldn't, with a pointed glance.
Somewhere, a girl can have a big bad-ass tail, 
long and wide enough to knock over the garbage bins.
"Say something about it," she challenges,
then realizes she has spoken out loud, 
making anorexic truants from the local high school turn and curl their lips.

Something slips inside Croc Girl, like The Golden Key Card,
and she blinks her eye in the weird way that only crocs can.
The truants all falter,
go back to their chai tea,
made only with milk from happy Tibetan goats, guaranteed.
Croc Girl slips down off her chair in one easy motion,
grins her shit-eating open-mouthed grin,
and says, "BLA BLA BLA!" 
They think she's crazy, but
it sounds like pure poetry to her.
______

Note: LBD = "Lesbian bed death"

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Starface

Doctor, what
do you think about
ghosts,
carnies,
Gypsies,
actresses,
the unstable,
the under-represented,
the unexamined among us?

Doctor, do you
mind if we talk about it?
Without academia,
pretense,
rancor,
clothes,
and completely off script,
not to mention
entre nous, in confidence, in bed, in your face, in extremis?

I'm sorry for the way I sometimes come off.
I'm like an old wheel on a new car.
One minute we're just talking and then, whoaaaaaaaaa.
It's cute how you throw your arms up to protect your face when you feel
a smile coming on, Herr Doktor.

Doctor, allow me
to introduce myself.
I am Starface, a foreign national,
face-down in the donut sugar,
charming
but
dangerous when crossed,
quiet as a mouse in the back pew at Saint Sophia's,
ephemeral as an angel, holding my cross.
Does it surprise you? The sanctity? The symbology?
Say hello to my leedle fren.

Doctor, listen
here's what I think:
There's books and lectures and all that happy hopscotch,
but I'm wondering...
Have you ever been with a Turkish woman?
Mosques, 
museums,
galleries,
aren't you sick of all of it?
Come home with me, tell your receptionist 
that you're leaving to join the circus.
I will fix you grilled eggplant with yogurt,
and show you what a Turkish woman can do before three in the afternoon.

After, Doctor,
you won't be the same,
you'll be
sweetened,
sated,
fully rehabilitated.
Doctor, what do you think
about ghosts
carnies,
Gypsies?
What is your prognosis
about me,
about this?
Say hello, ahhahaha, my captive,
my crusader, my little friend laid out on the bed like an Orthodox cross
just wild to be kissed!
______


Saturday, October 14, 2017

M-M-M-M-My Shadormas

zen master
drinks too much coffee
says to class
pardon me
leaves lotus, runs down the hall
but not fast enough
____

zen master
visits his sister
she hands him
new nephew.
our bodies are illusions
but shoulder puke real
_____

zen master
ponders the spring rain
when stupid
car breaks down.
meditation does no good--
fucking thing is shit 
_____

zen master
can control his mind
but sometimes
unlucky
erection comes at wrong time
don't stand up just yet
______

zen master
says souls can migrate
from body
to body.
unsightly skin condition
will end when you do
______

zen master
has the hots for jane
but he must
ignore this.
concentrate on breathing or
think about baseball 
_______

zen master
should avoid dairy
but didn't
and now he
hopes he will not blow sour note
while teaching flute class
______

zen master
left his trash novel
on the stand
by the bed
with just ten pages to go.
"be here now" my ass
_____

zen master
opens his chakras
to clear them
and cleanse them
wishes there was E-Z-Off
or some shit like that
_____

zen master
sleeps on a pallet
on the floor
but dreams of
room with big-ass hotel bed
escort and happy ending
_____

zen master
hates fireblossom lots
and wishes
she would stop
writing stupid shadormas
with him butt of joke
______ 



for: Fussy Little Forms/ Shadorma at Real Toads.
 

 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Space

Never mind how I got here;
I'm here, that's enough.

Dear Joiner,
take your bell cow and your suit case and your squee face
and go back. 

This is my Carnival Library--
Shhhh, quiet in the funhouse.

"Aintcha lonely?"
No. 
At least, not for you.

I'm the zero-grav cartwheel solo warp pilot.
Rogue star
shining.
__________

A 55 for my BFF.
 

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Hope Here

The hope here is
that assholes in tin hats will stop being assholes,
and that careless or caustic or even well-meaning assholes
will stop breaking hearts, not to mention bones and buildings.

Don't spread violence, worthlessness,
smack-talk, gunfire or needless sadness.
Here. I'll start.
_____

A quadrille for De.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Diving Bell

Give a girl a diving bell and she'll get the message
that you think she walks on water, or dances on it, or
some romantic fah-de-lah like that.
There was whiskey on the wreck out by the sand bar
and the barkeep went there in waders, then wondered
how he'd get back to the tavern with all those bottles without drowning.

I said, hey ho, here I am, a girl who owns a net.
There aren't a lot of us left--
not since that weird with a beard came around
and everybody wandered off to do open mic about looking up, not back.
Here's a confidence, Mr. Barkeep
(I'll bet you hear a lot of them)
I'm not forgiving those assholes.

Give a girl the time of day around here
and she'll think you walk on water, or waltz across it, or
some low self-esteem rigmarole like that. 
I'm not that way,
but I'm willing to help you get the hooch.
Alls you have to do is come around and fix what needs fixing,

Including the broken window, 
and my child who needs to hear a dopey joke.
Do that, and I'll lend you my net, and all my old boyfriends, too,
to help you stock your larder, as it were.
(Like how I said that? "As it were.")
So let's just be real, okie dokie artichokee?
Fortune favors the bold, and I'd say
it looks like I'm your lucky starfish, Captain,
ain't I?
_______

for Camera FLASH at Toads.