In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"


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It’s What You want (Poem 20 of the Poetry Marathon)


Never enough of it because the throngs crash into me

When all I want to do is get to the other side of the street.

And the rare time I sit down to watch a movie or t.v.,

There’s the dog’s head or tail blocking the screen.

So I call her over to me, and in 90 degree heat, she,

Whose heredity traces back to Alaska, lies against me.
 

Relationships, the worst for the coveted thing since

no matter how hard you try, you can’t get him off,

To let go and do something on his own, without me.

I have a friend who’s a close talker, another who pokes,

And yet another who slaps me every time she laughs.

My mother was a hugger but even she could sense.
 

What is this prized possession we never have,

Well, not enough of, but we all need and want?

What’s her name? You thought she was beauty,

And you were wrong. Not money, nor fame, either.

Yes, family, marriage, children, some of us crave that,

But others could care less. No the thing is             Ah, yes.

 

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I don’t trust the wind; she’s loved me like this before


 

I took a lover once; he sewed me to his spine, 

Neither round his girth, nor over his shoulder

Could I see the world he traveled far from me.

His sacred numbers blessed our holy hands,

One cradling his mane, the other locking mine.

Back then…

Lovers and landlords favored rent over poetry,

I, never the sort to drift far, the lair’s lure strong,

Offering dusty shadows beamed in dirty panes,

True love writ on a paw or whisker, soft-shuffled,

Whence the divan bearing swans sunk infinitely.
 

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Palms


My velvet summer leaf, I beg you cup my cheeks with layered sheaths,

And obey you, please me so to please you so.

Your waxy shield melts to my hands.

One caress and the sun is yours for the air making.

Sleep inside my pores, arresting palms shaking trees.

Noose a summer’s dream inside your viny paw.

And whisper green song to the tune of daylight pause.

Make yourself a bed of light and hide us, lovers in noon-tide sheets.


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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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Friday’s Ten

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You give me ten, I said to her, and I’ll show you blue corn stalks 

bent at the waist spying on wet larvae writhing in raw earth bleeding mud, 

conjure up emerald-studded Gucci sunglasses’ shattered templates along the highway. 

I’ll paint the vines growing over sacrificial ruins in Tenochtitlan 

where snakes gulp pigs in jaws detached at the hinges. 

Ever see the black ice that skids mango school buses with barely a wheel’s turn? 

It grows atop lanes frayed at the edges with stony tar, rusty nails, and powdered glass. 

Don’t fall in a ditch, or the black rats’ll strangle you purple 

I heard the old man tell the boy on his knee. 

Quick sand isn’t a movie myth carved of convenient climax. 

And cornflowers dot the meadow almost azure not the Iowan June-wheat sun’s tapestry. 

It’s only when she’s waved goodbye and disappears through the gates 

do I smell the clinging scent of honey oil dipped in sea float above 

the rippling hem of my cotton laced wrap. 

She taps my shoulders at an arm’s reach to say, “Hey.”


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Tweet That

Sparrow beaks tweet ticket-ee tee tee tee

Yer mate tweets back, “Impeach the dude”

And all the kerfluffle of sham and shatter

Nattering a morning’s cuppa jo unsweetened

Enough to make you hate your neighbor or

Honk your horn at a red light to waken her, 

Lap-staring, brown-haired comatose waif.

 
But I read somewhere that choice cuts the

Day in two, yours and mine, theirs often 2

Late 2 make 2 more light seconds matter.


Close your eyes, blink twice, and it’s over

By the next exhale’s end, paused like ice

As you draw the next breath inward ho and

So it goes, so it goes and so it go, go goes.


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We Witness (for the Poetry Patroness)


Insurmountable: to palm someone’s blinding grief in your hands 

to show her–the griever– 

the terrifying, sublimity in bottomless agony. 

You can’t help her picture that pure, petrified stance on the bridge 

mid-way between his suffering and her own, textured so distinctly, 

galaxies apart in their partnered struggle,

his fraught with the tortured, focused fight against pain, and hers, 

witness, empath, limb, mother, wife, married to his suffering. 

Her body pours static breath into his mad-gnashing vortex.

 
Where does one end and the other begin? 

At the point of internal harrowing, razing cells that scream 

in hysterical, frenzied death and reproduction, 

death and reproduction, 

with no end in sight, for these crazed, cracked-out enucleate disks don’t quit, 

bear no mind but to destroy in their very giving–as if human.

 
I’ll show you the petals of the wide-blooming, morning rose, 

heady as your bejeweled wedding day,

the dewy, pale, opalescent-translucence of redolent, velvety dalliance, 

stained rust-dry at the edges–

a picture of blossoming, ordered DNA

perfectly-formed, fragile as your first-born’s, infant fingernail– 

carrying its own prescient death at the borders.

 
She’s beautiful, 

not as a symbol, not as obedient structure, 

but as herself, fragrant joy bleeding. 

I’ll cup her in my gardening hands to grow a path between us–

sorely aggrieved and floundering shadow, 

clumsily consoling your fear and mine, 

both corraling an other’s-brother’s-father’s-husband’s-son’s fluxing end. 

Could you crawl outside a minute to see?