In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"


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Gemini’s Shit Storm


She says my moon’s in Gemini; I’m in for a shit storm as the planets configure. 

My gut gurgles, “true.”  

Storms a’ brewin’, 

a slanted wind tossing Bazooka bubble gum wrappers and wooden popsicle sticks across

the stoop of my youth.

**********************************************

Windward blows the dead awake; shredded zombies moan skyward cries. Stand ready.

Leeward gusts settle upon soot-trodden lace and rusted pipe, 

like predictable night crowning the inexplicable horizon.

There’s no way to tell, so breathe through the crackling wires’ electric veins.

Tear it down, board it up, and blame the weather.

***********************************************

Poised on the cliff, each steps cautiously, blind-seeking gripped edges, rocky shards of granite rubble, 

a death slide or eternal flight.

A cat agilely climbs the dresser stairs with jaws in machine gun chomp, aching past windowed perils.

She studies her predator’s patio glance back.

Coyote snouts flick-sniff, scuttling to flashed fear beneath orange trees and wicker tables.

***********************************************

Storm’s a brewin’. 

Pleistocene gassy beams once pocked the scarred heavens, now snuffed shut, 

too, the wind tilts mountains pebble by pebble. 

Lighthouse rays pierce the retinal fog, a grainy lightning chop of insight.

We’re all just kicking up some dust before we bite. 


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Bullies, Terrorists, and Congressmen: Ten for Today


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My head aches with the world, swollen with the chaos and calamity of it. No salve of good will and transcendent detachment patches the soreness, the inflammation, and the throbbing anger.

When I reactively shout at him, my father’s happy. Negative attention is better than none. I’ve raised my children, done my job outmaneuvering ration-less beasts. Why do they appear in full grown men’s bodies now? I’m mad that I can’t return to my former childless self—be the child and not the parent.

And then that runaround with the country of Kaiser. Institutions are built to crush people who pay for them, give them their existence. Medicine is meant to be waved before the eyes of the sick, taunting, “Catch me if you can.” I hated when boys stole a poor unsuspecting victim’s wool hat and played keep away, tossing it just above the desperately grabbing hands reaching for it.

I’m not alone in this now perceived defect, empathy. Yet, it drains the very peace from me, feeling it all, the hands of every eternally colonized American—women, children, people of color, and the poor—with raised hands clutching at their wool hats—respect, pay, opportunity, voice, healthcare, food, dignity—just out of reach by bullies gleefully foaming at the mouth as they expand their world by shrinking others’.

Always a zero sum game to psychotics, paranoids, terrorists, and congressmen.


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Wheat germ and almonds: Ten for Today


 That girl at the party sitting in a chair, plastered from too many beers slurred, “You smell like wheat germ and almonds.” I wasn’t sure whose scent she was describing, but I was the only one close enough to be inhaled and registered.
 
I remember thinking then, almost thirty years ago, what an amazingly precise olfactory perception for a nearly senseless drunk. I laughed after she said it, but she didn’t seem to mind, not taking it as ridicule anyhow. It wasn’t. The weirdness of her image drew a laugh to fill the gap that most certainly emerges after a statement like that.
 
She brought on the chuckle because she used the word wheat germ. Back then, who at this Bruce Springsteen-blaring keg party would know such a thing? Not me. And then I worried about how I smelled. I didn’t know whether wheat germ smelled foul or fragrant. I wrenched my neck to sniff my pits. I still can’t smell myself.
 
Almonds? What do they smell like raw? Nothing. Roasted and chopped, they smell heavenly, like earth and sun. If a lover ever told me my aroma was nothing lovelier than freshly roasted and chopped almonds, I’d blush with the flattery.
 
But here was this inebriated partygoer unconsciously tossing out poetry as if no one was listening or worrying about body odor. She might have been talking to herself, but my youthful narcissistic self felt besieged with momentary muse-filled doubt.
 
A few days later I asked my mother what wheat germ smelled like. And without a second’s notice of the question’s oddness, she replied, “How the hell should I know?”