Two Children


 
Two children live here, now straddling the yard’s fence,

one she calls “my pet,” and the other “peeved.”

Why peeved? What injustice writhes in the willows today–

a bird-pecked worm, a spider-spun gnat, or perhaps, a rattler

gargling rat blood? Yes, you bemoan those victimized but what

of the black widow’s guillotine or the Venus’ trap door teeth, do you, 

oh peeved? Does she, my pet?

We recognize her, the way her head tilts to catch the sun’s

catered rays to the swan of her neck, the hint of heather on 

her breath, chamomile in her hair.

Dawn loves her perfect poise and light; there she’s her 

element. Why argue with nature, my pet peeved? She’s

who we are. Be sweet now, love and comfort smile us happy.
 

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Bi-pedal Panties


While the pic axe shrinks to an ice pic in my shoulder,

My eyeballs swell to beefsteak tomatoes, plumped tight

Pressuring the sockets to give way or tear up and split.

I’ve tapped as many keys as there are doors in this planet.

Day is done. Pace myself. Leave some pages for tomorrow.

Time to puff a two, loosen my belt and lose the jeans, bra

And throw on a tee-shirt. I’ll keep the panties but not these;

 
They strangle the creases to dead circulation in my thighs.

I’ve gained weight, and they’ve shrunk. They’re sentimental.

She gave them to me with a gleeful glint, when we were a

Thing. A present. I think it was my birthday or may be just

Because. She loved me then, and maybe she still does.

We’re a distant fragrance of passing perfume in a coat;

It’s winter and the cinnamon leaves crackled and died off.

 
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The Door

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An edge borders time on which thrush plagues a fallen wren,

Small fright fringed in imperceptive tremulous fever.

No one intuits the thin cry.

Where’s the door?

She coughs up her last lap.

They’ll come now. Now that it’s almost done.

Funny, you can outsource love but not death.

No more false starts.

This one’s true.

…the door?

Lizard and Lies


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What shall become of us?

A lizard and a lie rule the gaze

While poison plucks the garden gone

Behind the wall.

Will we cry when it’s all over,

Shed a bloody tear?

And farmers with pitchforks pierce the snake–

Will the bloom follow, or

Only deformation’s weedy soil?

After the fall, a winter storm silences the din,

Stomps muffled cries below the boot-march,

A blanketed chill.

But April’s coil, the rattle and snare,

That’s the paralysis–and rise, 

Warmly rise like parades floating

Ribbons round receding hairlines 

And rust-red ties,

Like the Nile’s blood, the lines

Spill, crossed, cutting 

Plastic strips yellow-black–

Lettered warning. Keep out.

Crime scene.

The Editor


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She said she doesn’t understand me.

Not my words, not my plans, not me.

She doesn’t understand me.

She said that, “I don’t understand you.”

She also said:

“You don’t use enough poetic words.”

“You’re unclear.”

“No one understands what you mean.”

“You say too much.”

“You leave nothing for the imagination.”

“There’re prettier ways to write that.”

“Your sentences are too long, too short,

Too convoluted, too simple, too complex,

Too awkward, too abstract, too concrete…”

And so much more she said. 

She gassed on about my description, my

Commas, periods, semi colons, dashes,

Especially the Oxford commas and italics.

She hates enjambment. 

She said it, “I hate enjambment. 

I prefer clean breaks.

People need to write plainly.

Go direct, 

Say what they mean.”

She likes rhymes or landscapes,

Not a lot of nihilism and death.

She prefers old verse to new,

Stanzas to trees, 

And blank verse to free.

Words flow too freely too often.

She repeats that.

Each time I see her, she repeats,

“Loose lips, and sticks and stones,

And penny for your thoughts.”

She likes the old ways, the olden days.

She doesn’t like my way.

My way is too dull, too lurid, too boring.

She said she honestly doesn’t know

Why I bother.

She doesn’t get it. 

Not me, not anything about me.

She doesn’t understand anything.

She doesn’t understand me.

I said that: “You don’t even know.” (Me)

Up from all fours (ten for today)

January 3, 2017
 
Peeling back the layers, easy as waxy adhesive pleasingly pulled back from a band-aid strip, you might find underneath

the muffled amniotic sound of my mother’s fear, my father’s absence,

and her mother’s lung cancer, his two pack a day habit, 

her father’s leukemia, his brother’s stomach cancer,

my sister’s jealousy, me, smack dab in the middle, ordered 

induced, long-labored, lost virginity to a lie,

adolescent somnambulant, anesthetized

plucked peak, poised, cut in half, abandoned childhood

love, anger, pain, salty wounds and tears, trials

errors, risks and high cliff jumps, all of it, all of the skin’s striata.

 
And yet, and yet, still, it’s the new year, and 

I’m dressed in the same uniform, repressed ire,

suppressed desire, tempered expectations, doubt

longing, trust, fomenting flames, and churning torrential inward glances.

I’ve heard my ancestors’ voices mute, in a gesture, a turn,

phrases never uttered, lovingly eked from un-warmed fingers tapping. 

Beneath the eviscerated bowels, below the libido, homonidae snapping heads aside, 

peer over their shoulders, wide-eyed, and slack jawed, unsuspecting 

after all, for who would have known, how could she predict, she just up from all 

fours, awaiting death-birth, a notion less cerebral than pelvic, yet 

surely her demise and liberation? No, her gaze reveals she never conceived, never saw me coming.

 

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In Golem’s eyes


Among sky-kissed tellurian vines, 

strewn bramble, 

half lit yellowed leaves grasping the source in vain, walks

me, a mere golem, 

unawakened, 

tossed together as fruit of the earth, 

loins of my father, 

breast of my mother, 

soulless moving matter, sleep-walk, 

intoning the roots. 

Truth burns above my brows.

Song of my song, 

word of my word, 

cants mutely to the calving herds ruminating 

bovine stares, 

chewing the cud’s omnipotent gold.

When beast holds dominion, 

Adam mows fields with his teeth, 

shorn of heart, 

his nostrils flared low inside the earth, 

while Lilith shrieks pious, 

loveless laughter, 

her vacant urge hung limp like gilt pocket watches 

seeping through barren tree limbs.

Ten times ten thousand vowels howl endlessly, 

lies whistling through carrion clean picked skulls, 

empty as before,

 when flesh adorned hollow garments, 

animus sans luminous sight–no reason, no right.

Winter Time 


The shortest day, mercifully so, lessening light

Astronomically the one rule calculable, luminosity.

Dry canals flicker bark-pitch under sky blanketed grey.

New boots, half price at the border, shorten my step

Planted, enmired, mud-suctioned to hay and rock.

It’s 15:22 though the sky cares less for numbers than I.

Clouds shake their breath off with wispy shoulder

Disregarding walkers below, lost in foreign shades,

We the burdened, the calamitous, the retuned notes

Cast eyes to a dimming horizon slunk atop dead branches.

It’s winter, her solstice slowing time at the axis,

And happily so, no rush, no filter, just stragglers in exile

For a time, while the light slants low, configuring us

Country-free, wanderers, timed projections sur les Pyrenees.

Dearly Beloved


I’m leaving you soon, a matter of hours,

And before I do, I want you to know that I don’t leave without trepidation.

I’m not one to walk out.
 

Stand and face–even when the blackest eyes pierce my throat–

That’s been my method, fearless.

No doubt I’m getting older, less reliant on speed and jaw.
 

Yet, my resolve stands taller, wider, less compromised 

By shaky passion and toppling ardor.

I know what’s right for me and mine.
 

Perhaps the children have made it so, the will,

The mighty outrage and outpour of righteous indignation,

It’s no mere whim or fashion.
 

I have roots, here in this land, on the soil of my mother.

But they grow wherever my feet touch down, 

When blossom and wither beach.
 

My return, though certain, may not be.

I once traveled far, jungled inside, canopied under

The emergent layer that cocooned and cut me, culled flight.
 

And I never returned, even as surely as my sandals scraped sand,

The water’s edge of me, the tidal flow of drifting ear deep in water,

Listening to Gods and men groan secrets unheard.
 

I left then, returned, leaving my image behind me, left to howlers,

Lemurs, quetzals and Monteverde capuchin, who held my breath

In their seams, and still do.
 

I never came back, and now it’s winter, the summer of then passed,

To retrieve the lost faces, shed skin, the chameleon dreamed,

I’ll need to travel far from you, leave your bigotry and bile.
 

And when my body drifts inside again, your walls, your fever,

Only vespers’ dusk and smokey dawn, crust of the ague, remains

That travel torn, release us from hate’s grip, my form and fold united.
 

I will be new, and you will too, when I slip once more inside your border,

Hear the errant’s disbelieving, horrified roar, the be-trodden masses.

I’ll be ready then, to stand erect, balanced, both arms ready.
 

I hope to say farewell to closed palms, only to be welcomed

In a week or lifetime or two, to open gates, walkways to settle-in wicker

Chairs to my rest, porch to our swings, quieted storms’ memory.
 

I want you, my beloved, healed and hallowed, churched Christly,

Only the love, only the forgiveness, only the compassion, only the humble,

To fight, to triumph’s return, you, my lover, once more mi patria–free.

 

Fuck You, Fifty Shades

I blame her.

E.L James of 50 Shades of Grey.

She did it, unwittingly of course.

She was just trying to turn a buck

With a bit of earnest fiction, I’m sure.

But she unleashed it.

The American subconscious.

Seething all this time, culminating

In this climactic rape scene, 

The public just wanting it, 

Conditioned to accept it as love

Rape, breaking down, power loss

Submission to might–in the name

Of love, the father, and that not-so-

Holy ghost misogyny we all love

To hate and hate to love.

In the name of the grandest

Circle jerk, Americans,

Perpetrators and victims, watch

Stroking themselves as they 

Witness, their own interests die

And with them, their lives.

And so be it. 

Get off while you can.

The party’s started.

When the gang rape 

Really gets going, full thrust

They’ll be no stopping it.

Witness and weep.

Or get out.

Fuck off.

 

Credit: Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies