eaten up

the days have nibbled at time
until there are so few
that I wonder what will become of me
of this life strewn about
the shelves full of longing
the appetites stowed away
in kitchen cabinets

what is to be done with
unfulfilled expectations
eating up the real dreams
too many to mention
too few to expect
a world to notice

so I look to you to be my beacon
you will hold my secrets
gathered and trimmed
stacked neatly with lavender
your smile falling on the brown paper
my cologne seeped into each memory

some tossed out for a future
that will not recognize their worth
but will leave with me
held close to my bosom
some released to the wind
hoping that it will be kind

this life of mine
relegated to boxes
un-openable to anyone
but to those
who will understand

 

fears of the fathers

sailing through cherry blossom days
and crème brûlée nights
she wasn’t going to lay down her arms
for a mere brat of a boy
saving up her trinkets for later
giving him all her daydreams
and night sweats

he did not know the tango
but they moved through summer
amid a soundtrack of Ravel
and Aguilera
all second thoughts
stuffed under the mattress

back in the town onto which
they shook the clay from their shoes
all their dues, paid
if you took into account
their mothers’ latent wishes
and the fears of their fathers

because joy helps you to swallow

roses.jpg

each day my resolve
weakens
under a burden of years
with one truth to be
self-evident
that we did not think
everything through

in these hours
I sweep fetid memory
under his favourite chair
each moment of hell
relegated to the pantry
behind the oatmeal
no one will eat

it is best to leave way
for new sweet minutes
when I am kinder
and remember smiles
like that time
he left his tea
atop the car
and we laughed

sound track

our soundtrack
skipped records
dusty cassettes
ready to snap
8-track era crooning
no one else can hear

should we turn it off
or turn it up louder
each note someone
agonized over
we are all part
of the stew

take your face and try
to keep it silent
isolated in a sea
of countless faces
who know you better
than you know yourself

need we understand
why we can’t
move forward
stuck fast
and its me I know
that’s keeping me here

me with my hand
in the cookie jar
four decades
and I won’t let it go
the secrets of the unwise
locked up

in two hands
one no good
without the other
they press at the door
wood creaking
screaming for me
that time is running out

can we cha-cha
through the nights
so no one will notice
we are slipping
music so loud
it drowns out the
expectations

the band playing for days
feet flying
over wood
polished to a luster
blinding us
to all we remember

Raining for days

Are we fools
The rain falls and we avoid it
afraid to shine in the middle
of puddles afraid to be struck
soaking clean in April
still trying to get it up
that umbrella
we are better off without

Are we off our heads
when we walk in opposite directions
despite the signs in front of us
mile after mile
not to mention the one
on which I smacked my head
and all those words
you knitted together through the winter

Are we finished
the rain falls over us
where I tied you to the park bench
a gift so that just once
you could see inside my head
while I dance in the rain
tell me, when I untie your wrists
and your ankles, will you run

or will you be dancing with me
when the morning comes

Miscellaneous night thoughts

I can hear no cars. I might be the only one in this time zone awake.

The mind is errant when left on its own.With no goal in mind, it wanders through places my mother warned me about-with fancy names and neon.

Everything here is shiny and bright.My tired eyes blink, trying to make out shapes and faces.I see you, waving to me. I try to be nonchalant

I remember it was a drag the day I realized I was the girl mothers warned their sons about. I couldn’t very well argue with the facts.

There is nothing left now to do but keep it as a memory and sand down the edges, for posterity.Once I am gone, I will not be able to explain

Now that I have passed the fulcrum of this night, I will stay awake and watch the sun come up. I hate to think this stardust is wasted.

Was I dreaming

The morning is alien
was it a dream?
I slept in London in 1944
stumbling over broken up streets
past bombed out houses

I woke in the Colosseum
surrounded by lions
blinking and unable to see
dust in my eyes hair mouth
roar of the crowd in my ears

the door leading back outside
opened up to Ethiopia –
the want and cares
of day to day existing
beating against cracked earth

I wandered until finding
a patch of green
and falling back to sleep
I woke up here this morning
the air alien
and frightening

Would time allow

Again, we are in this crowd
but everyone looks different
and when I look to you
your eyes accuse me (the moon
above does not point fingers)

I resist being pulled into your circle
(how I robbed her of you) oh
the euphoria in our time together
oh, the regret when I consider my debt
and my selfish taking

Not paying attention, til suddenly
you were gone (and so was the time)
relegated to memory and storytelling
our faces changed and softened
my eyes wistful as I remember

That year you wanted me
(more than anyone else alive)
and I had all of you in my hand
until you were not

Book by its cover

joplin

She looks like a girl but when she opens her mouth
she sounds like a roller derby queen
complete with helmet and knee pads
the music of the 70’s surrounding her

He looks like a middle-aged man but when he talks
he’s like a used car salesman
trying to get me to take an old caddy
for a spin-and see its worth

My words come fast and furious in black and white
but I think I am a rock and roll star
hair flying around my head in a haze
of Janis Joplin mid-sixties blues