in a stew

 

will you make me stop
thinking about you
when sleep finally arrives–
waiting out all of our seasons
for the sake
of bitter herbs in the soup

the bitter
with the sweet and savoury
is always there
not this one-dimensional
two-headed
Frankenstein monster
you imagine us to be

yesterday was a game
will you take a chance
and paint your dreams
on a griddle of hotcakes
with syrupy regret
that makes you sick
and leaves you wet

shouldn’t keep
hunting for the hunter
running after our destroyer
one step ahead
and two back
for no good reason
except that it feels right
to stroke the dark places

if no one sees
who does it hurt
when we re-configure our
boundaries
some given
others drawn
with the same old piece of chalk
nearly used up

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You (r charms)

I straighten a safety pin
from my desk caddy
trying the sharpness of the tip
against my thumb
watching with fascination
the bubbling up
of the dot of blood

Like a child I squeeze my thumb
to produce more
of the crimson minim
doming, then
dripping down my thumb
and to my desk with a splash
and still, I see your face
in the minute puddle

You and your infuriating way
of being right, always
so dear, so charming a way about
your wooing, but you know
sometimes you are so right
(for me) and I won’t tell you
because you are horrible
at taking praise

Not a painter

for my children

I.
Then.

I’ll tell you now what you want to know
only lay your head in my lap first
and I will brush my fingers through your hair
while I tell you the story of why we are
who we are and why you are who you are
born into a whirlwind, your mother
a bundle of cautions, and your father
still trying to wrap up his own childhood

I had always wanted to be a painter
or a rock-and-roll singer
someone like Janis Joplin, leaving
her heart on the floor every night
and I’d sing in the bathroom, with
a hairbrush for a microphone

II.
Now.

I wasn’t blessed with that talent
with a throat that could create a masterpiece
I’m no Kathleen Battle or Renée Fleming
I am not Billie Holiday
I am that songbird outside your window
that does not shut up when you first wake
the one that gets in the last word

Blessed with words in my mouth from day one
I’ve learned to give them away
give the world something back
that it gives to me every time I open a book
or turn on the radio
each time I sit in a concert hall
how often in the museum
do I sit down in awe

III.
Posterity.

We all are given something, and this is mine
to tell you about your Father in Heaven
though I am not worthy to truly paint Him
I have faith that I will see him when I am done here
I have a voice to express my love to you
fully and completely
and perhaps if I am really lucky
to spread some words across the land

I have gifts in hand
I must give them away

and if I am very lucky

and I pay attention to the wind
when it blows
I might just get some of them back

Tantalizing Tuesday: quickie

harlow
Jean Harlow (1911-1937)

Jean only lived to be 26. She takes some criticism some, but who wasn’t immature at 26? I like her because along with the glam, she had humor. This is from one of my favorite movies, Dinner at Eight. Though, the best scene I think got stolen by Marie Dressler.

Here is another fun scene with William Powell in Libeled Lady

When things cool off here, I’ll reprise Harlow with a full piece, for now, a few tastes.

Didn’t we die, bit by bit

4 leaf clover

I walked around
the disease
adding up the slights
I heard talk of gangrene
waiting for that four-leaf clover
since ten
(holy shit)
that seems foolhardy

each night
something new tossed into the stew
with the carrots and red potatoes
the gravy and its
discontent
covering everything

wasn’t that sweet
following with cheesecake
and café au lait
each measured step
on rose petals
to silk bliss
the decay forgotten
for hours

Photo by Joe Papp, Wikipedia

going green

 

Mall.jpg

are we being recycled?
tossed into the bin today
will I be found tomorrow
on a rack at Salvation Army
sold as ‘like new’
re-purposed for someone
looking for a bargain

the last of me seen
Sunday night, late
looking like something the cat dragged in
covered in a coat of exhaustion; I
sat down on on the pile with a loud sigh
grateful to be done with all of it–
I could use a change

now you can find me down at the outlet mall
looking so chic
a mannequin wearing a wanton sweater
just clearing the mid-drift
in a casual pose–pointing at
Starbucks
with a faraway look