Every day

I open a vein here
I said I wouldn’t, I promised that
I could write in public, and give you much of me, and
show you my heart–but there is a line, was a line, a supposéd line
over which you can have all of it except my blood

When the words begin, I only intend to give you a peek at my insides
an x-ray of what I’ve been up to, and how life’s pommels
perturb my organs, my inner workings, the processes of the body;
so how come I woke up in a puddle of blood after a night of quill driving?
I didn’t mean to, and like a moment where one’s pants fall down in a crowd

I would be obliged if you would turn your head for a moment
while I clean this up. No one else will know, or will see
they were not looking, they have their circus tents
their center ring features, the lion tamer is spectacular
so they will not notice the movement among the freaks in the shadows

Again, these rules, more like guidelines, a peek only, into my psyche
enough to pacify the ego, too little to shock the masses, but only to touch
one or two, someone in need of a buddy, a mate, to know
that they are not alone in this;
and I hurt too and I laugh too and I have joy
when the hurt abates for the time being

But the blood is not on the menu. and when you look away,
I take my handkerchief and wipe the corner of my mouth

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dreaming, he says

dreaming
he lays
strangers’ steps’ echoes
through the sad city
where mansions
keep vigil
from the sea
to the rocky mount

life and death
is none to him
not breathless, nor feverish
his only occupation
a mover of shadows

his angel
an English rose
wooed
by the threshold of time
and his soul
that has slept away
the evening hours

Florence

Remember when no one could touch us?
You were Superman
I was Wonder Woman
and cape, candles, and
a length of rope
were all we needed

Love at first sight?
I grabbed at you
like in a haunted house
frantic and wasteful
horrific in its lies
but she will not have you
my right to be here
is grandfather’d in

I remember when we arrived here
such hopes consumed me–
I tried to love you, my idea of you
my vision of us, your selfish words, and
my selfish plans coated with expectation
left us in the dust

And now I think I will die here
and never see Paris
or the Thames
never throw my wishes into the fountain
I will die here
and never see Rome
or eat figs from a tree in Sicily
and Florence is just a lady on t.v.

Bad poetry and yearly resolutions

coffee gray

there are too many
poems about coffee
and pens and diners
and longing looks
through penitent windows
and here’s another
to toss on the pile
although
it is not really about coffee
but grief

there are far too many
poems about poetry
the blithe rays of
her sunshine
through my pen
has clogged things, so
have you read enough, now
of wooden writing shacks
and pyramid schemes–
do not fret, this is not
about poets
but generosity

the pages are slipping to the floor
reams upon reams, and
I can hear you laugh
about notebooks
full of birds and clouds–
it is okay
invite me in for a coffee
for this is not about the birds
or the clouds
it is really about
homelessness

 

 

(redux, 2018)

To the busy housewife

that set the house on fire
that sought life
and found it was a tomb
the full glass spent
and saw no sun
the revels of youth
melted into air

Feast on thy dish of pain
how women on tv do
this insubstantial
pageant of cares
sleep beyond the grief
old before thy time

demand of it
sunlit, nutritious words
drowsy tinklings
rise! rise!
laughter humming
with flatt’ry’s tides
the owl with his honour
homeward. solemn.

be stubborn o’er thy
homely joys
an anthem swells
rise! rise!
craz’d with love
don’t wander, dreaming
the longing years

you understand
arrays of complex friends
heavy baggage agreed upon
in the same old place
who shall quarrel
in the dark again
thy sunlight outposts
the humming-bees rhythm
the song of life and death

now to live now to run
the fabric of thy towers
leave not thy vision
behind


A word collage, or cut-up poem from this source material

Conversations: (why) don’t you trust me

I was told to open up
I was asked to show my real face

/don’t you trust me yet/

(no. But I can’t tell you that. You might be dangerous.)

/what is the real you/

[what are you wearing] Really? That?

please, don’t.

/show me/

Lana del Rey is crooning about Summertime from the other room while I have clicked on a poet I never read before, reading about her grief. The two meet somewhere between rooms and I imagine them as performance art. I write something to that effect on Twitter. Ten minutes later I get embarrassed. I delete it.

I show you a picture of an animal in a trap.

/ I don’t get it/

Then why ask to see it? Why ask for transparency without a measure of mercy and understanding in your pockets?

/show me more/

You’re a sadist, aren’t you?

/don’t you trust me?/

(no)

[should I?]

I don’t know.


Monday Random: compromise

A reprise of a Monday Random post from 2017, which applies directly to the wounds of this past weekend, real and imagined, and no, I will not explain that right now. Thank you for reading.

Are You Thrilled

  • I make my husband happy when I don’t talk during the news even if something makes me want to monologue
  • He makes me happy when he watches one of my old movies and doesn’t complain about the sound or the lame sets
  • I go to every Star Trek movie, sometimes on opening night
  • At some point he stopped saying things about my family that were sore spots
  • He went to the church I picked
  • I make pizza ten times more often than I’d ever eat it, and I learned how to make pizza crust like a New Yorker
  • I learned how to make cheesecake like a New Yorker though I could go the rest of my life without eating it
  • He’d rather the mayo not touch the cheese on a sandwich, and I respect that
  • He reads all my manuscripts and gives honest feedback
  • I’ve been going through menopause for…

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