Saturday, January 19, 2019

Apres Vous

I don't know what you're driving now,
but once,
I did--
and saw it everywhere.

I don't know who you're loving now,
but once,
it was me--
and that was everything.

Sometimes, still,
I see your skin, your hair, your walk,
but now
it's a blank-faced stranger.

I don't remember your body's scent
but once,
I did--
and it blessed me, in that hour only lent. 

keeping it simple, sweetheart, for this.


Saturday, January 12, 2019


Don't try flattering me;
don't tell me Pittsburgh is Paris.
Inside me there's a closed factory where my smiles pile up,
each one tied up in court, edgy as a man with a pushy mistress.
Bruce Springsteen came by today.
He claims you shoplifted photographs of his ex-wife,
giving them each a coral ankle bracelet and a tube of sand.
If it looks like a thing, it is that thing, and twice on Sunday ain't that right?
In the weird bookstore of alternate honeymoons,
I discovered your secret blue clarinet hidden in a cloak.
I was a waitress once, I still know what you want before you ask
but I'm slow in bringing it, resentful, bitchy, getting old.
You are good solid maple, I am balsa,
but it's you who jumps at noise that's just kids ripping us off.
Send me into our future, I'll go and even curb my tongue--
the only thing I had that seemed fine and wild and mine enough.
Inside the closed factory where my smiles pile up,
I cock-teased the lawyers until they gave up their writs.
Bruce and I went down to The River where I found my ring--
I roll it like my back ain't got no bones, home to you, to us, to this.

from wisteria's Patti Smith word list, for this 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Double Homicide

Two children came to me--
I murdered them both.
The crease in each skull matches this crowbar
like some women's shoes and handbag. 

I know I will be tazed, arrested, tried, judged.
I'm a woman, I'm judged every day.

This will be worse, because it's kids.
One annoyed me with her need. 
She was a Grand Canyon for the exhausted burro of my help to slip into, miles to the bottom.
The other annoyed me with his precociousness,
his earnestness, his busy unstoppable goodness and innocence.

Hate grew in my chakras like kudzu.
I swore like a sailor giving bloody birth to this curved iron child,
my spit and image, this crowbar I now cradle.

Two children came to me--
I murdered them both.
It will be demanded of me to be sorry, and I will do what I always do
when bewildered, cornered, angry, heartsick--

I will laugh involuntarily, unable to stop.
They will look at me with their puddly venomous eyes and say, "You bitch!"
I will wheeze and choke out "Yes! Yes I am!" laughing like a hyena,
and with the same bent-over, about-to-puke posture they drum out of you at finishing school, or die trying.

for this.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Night

The night expresses itself as hours
arranged in frets--
they become the turquoise rings she wears,
one on every finger.

In the sound hole, the stars
exist as a kind of resonant wool--
deep blue wrapped around silver tones
she rings as you dream, listening.

Always, she was drawn to the curled leaf, the home branch, the lantern.
(Always, even as a girl.)
Wives go deaf remembering the curl of her tongue,
though their men go on talking, talking, talking beside them.

Hers is the path through the blackberry vines,
a mote against the pitch,

for this.



Saturday, December 22, 2018

Full Cold Moon

I could be dreaming
or dying
or feeling the sweat of a glass under my fingers.

There's a man in love--
but not with me.
There's a siren somewhere
rising, fading.

Still sticky hot at midnight
but I'm shivering on the freezer floor
with a bullet 
or Bacardi's 
in my brain.

I could be dreaming
or dying
or feeling bloody broken glass under my fingers.

There's a man in love
but not with me.
The freezer light looks like a Full Cold Moon
and I'm there, or I'm not, 
in the weird silver light
and dreaming.

for this.

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Woman Who Disappeared

A woman, who was here, disappeared.
So it seems.
So it is.
She was here, or how to explain
the burned biscuits,
or the phlox and asters and scent of rain?

I would tell you about her
but I have told you about her
and made wax candles from my foolishness
that flare and die along the sill.
Every night, when a shifting wind
makes me dream, or wakes me from dreams,
in the dark, like a mynah bird,
I tell you I sense her, still. 

I would start a church, here where the water well 
was witched by her just as I was;
but without her sun-borrowed skin--
without the snow-on-bare-feet burn of her silence--
there is nothing prodigal enough
or spare enough
to roil the pot or rot the bin.

A woman, who was here, disappeared
replaced by a magpie in the black-eyed susans
who tilts and poses 
in a broken mirror
saying, "there...oh there there...dear."

Sunday, December 2, 2018

On The Difficulty Of Preserving Ephemera

No devil, risen from the pavements,
wants to be proven, wants to be seen.

They are like steam in winter,
(she explains, unfolding her tripod, readying her hood and lenses)
unmistakable but also ephemeral.
They are hot, diffuse--
instinct instructs that they are unclean,
though there is no report, little data. 

Once, she lay in a bearded man's arms,
the linen was laundered, his touch was deft.
There were no demons then, or few.
Stars lazed across the skylight at night.

These years since, she has been fodder for demons--
they weary her and she wearies others, 
exclaiming about their machinations.

If only they could see, and believe! 
And so she maneuvers her heavy gear down seven floors to the street,
to capture her tormentors on a glass plate.
As she leaves, a bearded man sighs and speaks her name in soft despair.

She knows, he has become a demon, too,
but will not sit for portrait and so she cannot believe in him,
or his voice saying so sadly that she has disappeared.

for this.