23 April 2017

Double Elevenie

Double Elevenie per NaPoWriMo prompt for day 23 (check it out)


star study
bigger world mapped
our place in space

soul music
inner laws drawn
cravings and broken places

18th poem or so on the 22nd: The Good Husband

The Good Husband

After he walks dog, he starts coffee, rinses berries, puts five eggs on to boil, slices berries, pours half-and-half into two cups, slices an avocado, sits down to front page headlines, rises to pull one egg from stove, the soft boiled, and prepares it for wife, puts bread on to toast, pours dog food, pulls out the second egg to slice on top of dog bowl, pulls out last three eggs for himself, salts, peppers and butters what must be salted, peppered and buttered, pours coffee, sits again to paper, follows a story across several pages, greets wife, settles into sports section while reporting on dog’s bowels, small-talking the news and affirming great disturbance, reviews plans for evening, goes to bathroom, makes noise, lays out socks, undergarments, pants and shirt light starch on the bed, showers, uses deodorant stone, shaves, pats on aftershave, pats on undereye cream, returns to kitchen for pills, the heart and mood, the vitamins, the fish oils, returns to bedroom to dress, gathers keys and wallet, bends to shake dog’s paw, gives dog treat, kisses wife, and shuts door. In the hall, as he waits for the elevator, she hears a sigh.

19 April 2017

16th on the 18th (in CA, but 19th here)

Valkeith Road 

On the winding walk to school, all the fathers are gone.
A few to divorce, one to death, the rest to work.
Heigh ho. It’s the 80s.

Your walk is winding, not the path.
The sidewalk is straight.
It’s the suburbs.

Wonderful fistful of pine needles at the Riley’s,
crumbled to stickiness. Breathe deep.
It’s Thursday, as usual.

You have the dead father. Heat rises early, azaleas bloom.  
Everyone suspects you.
It’s embarrassing.

Up ahead, a faded plaid robe, leather slippers, Mr. Gibley
staring at the newspaper. Mid-lawn.
You quicken the pace

willing to greet if he looks up. Nobody has brushed his hair.
He continues reading, so you pass.
If he won’t tell, you won’t tell.

18 April 2017

16 April 2017

Erasures . . .

Other pain

Other pain

Other people’s pain so boring of course
then one yellow sun day your pain too

a straight pin that nailed blue butterfly
to cork                   no longer interesting and

how you labored to be interesting          from
interesse, L, to be important,

but really (earlier) from to find the different in being
esse. Tricky etymology; inter as burial has nothing

to do with it, though many clumps of dirt fell
as you saw India and Egypt, Walla Walla,

Rio. On credit. Reading the new books. Wearing
the new nail polish, a precise taupe with a whisper

hint of blue-red, color at the bottom of everything.
They called it Particuliere. Someone got a fat

check to name it. It’s not anything you can
escape one sun day you finally know, no theory kills it,

can’t surface over it—can’t surface from its
old Red Sea deep           loss strategic

as the military describe bombs and (finally) one sun
day         finally         pain’s etymology

price paid, payment, punishment
the one you cannot run from rise from even charge.

Dear Barbie (14? 15?)

Dear Barbie

How long and deeply I dreamed
of being a white lady. How distinctly I wanted
to be tall and blonde like a pageant winner
thin and rich and shiny at all my points.
And fathered, fathered by a father who wouldn't
let anyone mess with me. A father like a corporation
(they’re people too). And if I couldn't be fathered,
(and it was not to be) I needed to look like I was.

Enough jewelry to announce my pussy was valuable.

This was before you were even a twinkle in your father’s eye.

Kidding. His eyes are dead.

So. Wanted to be a white lady before you were born
and though I look white in pictures, I still wanted it
ached for it with all the energy that you invest
in being you. You probably don't even think it's energy,
but that’s between you and the women’s studies course
you didn’t take. (I took it, and it made me stop working
to be a beautiful doll.) (I mean a white woman.) (Not
right away.) (Such a rich tapestry of a dream.)
I don’t have energy to explain now.

Speaking of energy, how's mom?

No--didn't mean to scare you! I was referring to Mother Earth!

We’re all losers when compared to Mother Earth.

How's mom?  

Guess I did mean it.

Dear Barbie, We want you to remember your mom.
A whole country needs you to recall her now.
Just a wee whisper of a memory –
barely here, hissing the old lyric—
don't worry, pop can't hear.
We need you to remember what she knows.

Because we know it, too, Barbie. And so do you.

Know what you know, Barbie.

14 April 2017

14 April --

Some curses

On summer barbecue nights, family nights
when the grandfather raised his voice
called damnation, was he saying damn nation?

That was something I wondered. We were all
worried about politics, and the President
was reckless and wrong, they all said it

so even while chasing fireflies on steamy nights
trapping the little glowworms in jars, being the kid
who dropped the jar, cut her foot, even then

I knew that hating one politician, loving another
was my way, that glowing certainty would be

the rest of my life. But what was he saying.

(prompted by Kenzie Allen)

12 April 2017

12 Red Book -- trying to catch up

Red Book

The hurricane had arrived but we were
mid-bloom, could not be stopped.
Little lime green furling forth.

Intent on presenting innocence (ours), like
the old woman at Bergdorf’s, all baby talk.
It was either a hurricane or a child

whistling in the garden. The garden out
of season, no blooms. The whistle gutters,
fades, returns. The child half-knows

the truth, has heard the cloud language.
This isn’t a whirlwind, it’s New Jersey. We
have accidentally returned

again. One of the great accidents. Again.
At the ghost dance we vote for the most green,
most likely to gobble up the landscape,

and most weathervane. Soon we will be driving
fast on the long highways, whistling, like we like it. 
Half-knowing is knowing.