Wednesday, April 27, 2011

day 27 pome 22: write a poem in blank verse for a class

(Sorry I haven't posted. I've been without electricity since Monday around 8PM. Just got it back. First world problems, eh? It was an experience, to be sure, and I give thanks to my awesome friends who supplied me with conversation, entertainment, and FRIDGE/FREEZER SPACE for my fooood!)

A night ago a storm blew through my town.
A twister hit the ground a time or two.
My doors were open wide. The sirens wailed
and I, oblivious, just knocked on wood.
Tornadoes do not firghten me at all.
Touch wood. They never have. Touch wood again.
I'm superstitious, yes, but I'm from here.
Arkansans grow accustomed to a spring
in which we nightly hear the sirens sound.
Or should. But I have friends who tell me they
have spent the night curled up inside their tubs,
the bathroom door locked tight, as if it could
keep out a twister, somehow. I (touch wood)
however, spent my childhood, every spring,
just watching channel eight, the nightly news,
as maps turned green or yellow, orange or red,
and we, my family, would point out streets
that were not ours. I mean to say that I
(touch wood) have never heard that awful sound
that folks describe (touch wood), the sound that comes
when it's too late - a waterfall, a train,
the sound that means a funnel's touching down,
the sound that means that touching wood won't help.
The news is saying one more night of storms
but just this afternoon, while driving home
I saw a tree had laid down on the house
two blocks from mine. How's that for touching wood?
I'll light my candles, as I have no power,
and leave the back door open. If I hear
a siren, I won't blink an eye. But if
I hear a rushing train then I'll be found
(with my dear dog) curled up inside the tub
all tangled up in blankets, grasping tight
my rosary. It's made of sandalwood.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

day 24 pome 21: thinkin bout change

Last Poem for a Boy

I didn't mean to write those poems, they just
happened. I needed to write, had a hunger
for words, and I sat down and whatever was

on my mind just then was the poem. It's not
your fault, or mine, that so many came
to be written about you. I wonder how

it made you feel, if you liked it, felt proud,
or ashamed, if you thought I was silly,
pathetic, a dreamer, a loser, who knows.

But of those precious short weeks we shared,
more poems came about you than for anyone,
ever. Then before I even had a chance

to wrap you up in my words for good, to
blanket you in verse, to plaster stanzas
on your skin with my mouth, you had found

someone new. Nothing to be done. I moved
on, eventually, or thought I did, until one day
I actually had. And now, I'm sure you've seen,

I have my own true love. It doesn't matter now
that you kissed me outside the pizza parlor,
that you washed me in the bath, that you

waited until I was ready. All those things
are in the past, and I measure the love I have now
for him in poems, and I cannot stop writing. Don't

be sad. I'm not. I hope you're not. One day
you might even forget I ever wrote at all. The arms
I sleep wrapped in now are warm poems of their own.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

day 23 pome 20: don't ask

When you hear your sister is marrying, take
a box, put in the stones you've been carrying
to remind you of her weight, her perfect, absent weight,
the ones you sleep with, curled up around, put them in.
Take off the badge you wear, the pin that declares
your political stance against the whole institution,
put it in. Then, one by one, place all of the kisses
you've been wishing to give her, wrapped up in newsprint,
wouldn't want them to break. When she does not ask you
to be maid of honor, it won't hurt, you knew this
was coming, knew you wouldn't be asked to stand up front
at all, you're glad, this is really her kindness. No, and don't
give a toast, we all know what you'd say, this, then,
is your kindness, the fact that you came, that your face
was seen there in the mass of masks, that you managed, when you left,
not to leave behind the box you packed hidden among
the gifts, that instead, you only took her hand, met her sweet eyes,
and said, "I wish you
took the box home, unpacked it, and cried.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 22, Pome 19

I had company and drinks last night and missed a pome. Whups.

The night I kissed you on the cheek
just outside my door because I thought
I was starting to like you, there was
an avalanche, two tornadoes, four
plane crashes, and a blizzard. When you put
your arm around me at the movie, there was
a flood, a landslide, a heatwave,
and a plague. The first night
we made love, the whole city burned down
around us, and we didn't bat an eye. I feel
certain that when I move into your home
they'll be calling for meteor showers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

day 20 pome 18: silver

Ode to the Silver Hair on My Crown:

You weren't there at all, and then
you were, fully formed. That is, there never was
a time in which I saw a hair
half-silver and half-brown. No,
just last week you appeared in the mirror,
no warning, no call, no letter. And I

stared. I thought of pulling you out,
and almost did, I'm sorry to say. But you
were silver, not gray, silver in the way
of stories of magic, perhaps like a
Pegasus hair. I used to believe
in Pegasus, back when I was much
too young for you to appear on my crown.

But here you are, and I, nearly thirty,
have already accepted that I am not
immortal, nor magical like Pegasus. At least
you are silver and shining, not dull,
not flat, not a white that might yellow,
and so you shall stay, in order to teach
your sister around you how to shine, for soon

enough I will be forty, then fifty, and then
one day, dead and forgotten but perhaps
if I can leave this life as a Pegasus
none of that will matter. Shine on.

day 19 pome 17 arkansassy

This pome isn't late I swear. I wrote it on Day 19 at 10:30 PM. I ended up at this open mic and I wanted to read one I wrote earlier in the month but I don't has 'em saved to my computer, just here on the interweb. And I couldn't get access to the interwebs. So, I figured, let's go ahead and conjure up something for Day 19. And I did. But I was still 2 hours away from home then, and we weren't yet close to leaving, and I was tired when I got in and busy today so I'm not uploading it til now BUT... I swear I wrote it on day 19. After that mid-month slack-off I'm trying to stay on top of things. I know I still have some catching up to do. We'll see if I pull it off. Anyway, here you are:

I have no idea how to leave this place,
this green green place, this cool verdance,
this lush humidity, this mountainous state,
this flatland state. The only reason
I wasn't born in Arkansas is because my yankee mother,
in labor in West Memphis demanded my father
drive her to Tennessee to pop me out. Like, really?
As if Tennessee is any less country. And yes,
y'all, we're country. Yes, the struggle of the
queers, the women, the people of color in the south
idn't nuthin no Yankee could ever imagine, but folks
will look you in the eye and give you a nod
on the street. And that has to mean something.
People bitch about this humidity but I
swim in it. I mean, I breathe it, I love the days,
the July days in which you find yourself
marinating in your own sweat, I love it, but then,
I've always loved a challenge, aka opportunity,
which is why perhaps as a queer feminist anti-
racist this place may just have been made
for me. How can I leave the land of my father,
my beloved father, the man I have to thank
for teaching me respect, confidence, self-worth, and how not
to get treated like shit by my partner, the land
of his father, the land of Lake Ouachita,
of Mulberry River, Buffalo River, the land of the Ozarks,
this place is in
my blood, my breath, my skin, my eyes, and I
am moving to the desert but I hear
in Arizona some people think
it's alright to pass laws that permit pig harassment
based on how "foreign" you seem, did someone
say challenge?
I'm there. I hear
it even rains.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 18 poem 16 mad lib

From a prompt by Erica Miriam Fabri:

The Best Day of the Whole World

Dear Adam,

Today was The Best Day of the Whole World.
When I woke up, I looked at the inside of my hand
and the lines in my palm had re-curled themselves
to say: rhubarb pie. Holy Moses, I thought, today really is
The Best Day of the Whole World. When I got into
the bathtub, my bar of soap had re-shaped itself
into a heron. I danced the dervish's whirl while I scrubbed
my naked self, because I was so delighted.
When I got onto the subway, every single person
was wearing cerulean shirts and shoes.
It was so lovely, the entire train looked like lapis lazuli.
And boy oh boy, do I love lapis lazuli. On the street,
I noticed my limbs were longer than ever before.
I felt like a new woman! I felt like diving,
but I’d never learned how. It was then that I looked-up
toward the sky and saw that it was doing amazing things:
the clouds looked like the man I love’s collarbone, glowing.
Lightning bolts began to take over the sky like sorcery;
the funny thing is, there was no rain—just sharp lines
of electricity that I am certain were forming the map
that would point me in the direction I needed to go.
That’s when I thought of writing you this letter, Adam,
to thank you for all that you are and to let you know
that not a day goes by where I am not grateful for you.
You are something greater than an outer-space of albatros.
You are a Rolls Royce. You are a Babylonian garden. You are lapis lazuli.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 17 poem 15

Poem for a poet whose voice I love #1:

When we marry, which we will of course do
in a way entirely our own, without man,
without building, without book, we will spend
the entire moon that follows in a tent
in a clearing in a woods, watching the moon
's phases change, commenting on the way
she clearly approves of our union. When

we go back to the world, to our new house
with a pink picket fence and a doorbell
that honks like a goose, I will secret
every single word you throw out, will use
the words to construct a complete fresh
manuscript, I will name it after you,
will wrap it in butcher paper, tie it
with shoelaces, share it only with
the moon, not even with you, not even
with you.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 16/30, poem 14/30: more from the list of deaths

The Spectacular Voodoo of György Dózsa

If he had one magic, it was
to inspire, to fill, to nourish and he believed
that the self was enough, or should be, should
serve when food or clothing are in short supply,
and the rebellion, the movement, should carry
always on. Shortages
could not destroy him, losing control
of the people under his command
could not destroy him not
in a time when an order to desist
"on pain of death" meant quite simply
that, when Lords were tortured
to dying and governors and bishops impaled, he knew
he could only carry on. Capture, of course,
was eventually inevitable but the way in which
his men were starved for a week before his execution
was original. It was creative, even
honorific, the way in which he was killed
by executioners cooking bits of him, alive,
and feeding him to his hungry men, a sort
of praise, allowing him one last time
to fill, to nourish, to inspire.

((This is partially from the death list, partially from a prompt by Rachel McKibbens and partly who knows what))

Poem 13/30, Day 16/30: Starting back up!

The tenderest things are the ones
I love most; the ache of a bruise,
the new green shoot as it uncurls
from soggy soil, my steak cooked raw,
the moment in which I cannot decide
whether to admit I'm in love, a brand
new mother and her evening star smile.

I love the transient, the fleeting temporal,
the wind before the storm, a glance
through the train window, a glittering spark
that begins an explosion, the feeling
of flying I find when falling in love,
the secret right before it's told.

My favorite is the fragile, the pigeon's
neck, the crocheted coaster, slippery
river rocks, the pigeon's neck, my heart,
my heart, the antique clock, the spider's web,
my heart, ballet shoes, my heart.

And all that I love tonight, your face,
your hands, sweet breath, the pulse
that I love to watch throb
in your neck, my heart,
might disappear tomorrow.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

not gonna lie

i feel like taking today off too. i'll holler at you this weekend... hopefully ;)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

this post

is a placeholder
for the poem i owe you
and would have written
if my back wasn't aaaaaaching
and i didn't have a big test tomorrow
and a big paper due
and a class to drop

but i did at least do the dishes

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The List of Unusual Deaths.

I like the impressive suicides, the ones in which
you can really tell they meant it. The man
in Australia, 1995, who did it with a shotgun:
once to the chest, walked 15 meters, once
to the face, tearing away his throat and his jaw,
walked 136 meters and lay down on the slope
of a hill. With both hands he held the barrel
to his heart and pulled the trigger
with his toes. The man on death row, 1930,
who knew about the nitrocellulose in the red ink
on playing cards and so, stuffed his cot leg with them,
blowing himself up, as if to say, even in death
you have no power over me. Delicious. I like

the modern deaths, not necessarily the ones
that happened recently, but the ones
that could not have happened without technology,
the man in Texas in 2003 stepping onto
an elevator, decapitated, just like that,
the man blissfully jogging on the beach, 2010,
who didn't hear the airplane making
an emergency landing over the sound
of his iPod, and also in 2010, the owner
of the Segway company who drove his Segway
off a cliff, accidentally, and drowned.

...blah blah blah maybe there's more to this poem
when I revise in May but for now I'm damn tired.
My back has been hurting severely since Friday morning
(which makes this Day 5 of Crazy Chronic Back Pain
Spazstravaganza '11, and yes, I've been counting)
and it's time for my damned nap. Love you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

11/30: Passive Murder

Easy Ways to Commit Murder
Without Even Trying!

When you think something is stupid,
or silly, undesirable, or otherwise
awful, say of it, laughing:
"That's so gay!"

And just like that, Justin Aaberg,
at 16, will decide he would rather
hang himself in his bedroom than
hear that phrase once more. His
mother will find him, and only then
will she find out he was gay.

Men, when you compliment your male friend,
before you even take a breath, follow
it up with: "No homo!"

Easy as pie, Billy Lucas, age 15, will hang
himself from the barn rafters. Asher Brown,
13, will shoot himself in the head. Cody
Barker, 17, an activist working to make
his school safer for kids like him will decide
it isn't working.

Call a boy who's sensitive a fag, whether
he is gay or straight. Call your friend
who pisses you off a fag, doesn't matter
who he fucks. If you yourself happen
to be gay, shrug it off, or laugh, when
people use this language. Don't get
angry, don't rise up, don't speak out.
Laughter is safe. Laughter keeps them
your friends.

Seth Walsh, 13, will try to hang himself,
but fail for 10 whole days, kept
on life support, until, in the end,
you kill him. Tyler Clementi, 18,
will put down his violin for good,
stroll out to the George Washington bridge
and leap over, finally free for at least
a few seconds. 21-year-old Jeanine
Blanchette and 17-year-old Chantal Dubé
will stroll out into a field in the woods,
swallow your words along with the pills,
and lie down together one last time.

Vote to take homes away from foster children
just so they won't end up fostered by
The Gays. Vote to take marriage away from
The Gays. Vote in any way you can against
The Gays. When a news story, television drama,
or commercial comes on with any reference to
the gays, change the channel. Don't question
your privilege or the ignorance it comes with,
don't cross dress, do not acknowledge your
sexual desires and curiosities, do not ever,
ever, ever challenge heteronormativity.

Raymond Chase, 19, Providence, Rhode Island,
Felix Sacco, 17, Saugus, Massachusetts,
Alec Henrikson, 18, Salt Lake City, Utah,
Brad Fuglei, 19, Omaha, Nebraska,
Marcus Wayman, 18, Minersville, Pennsylvania,
the list goes on as long as my heart's
astonished silence.

When you go to wash the blood from your hands,
I hear ammonia can stop it from staining.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

10/30 in which the poet slacks off

Today was okay i guess because
i drank wine last night so i slept in
real late and i woke up a little woozy but
it was okay because it's sunday so
i didn't have to do anything, just
pee, which i did, and eat, which i did,
because Nancy came over with scallops and I
had rice so with our powers combined
we had a nice little meal while watching
a movie which helped the fact that my
mother wrote me today, the one who gave
birth to me not the one I love now, and she
was up to her same old tricks, of course,
like she could look the grand canyon right
in the eyes and make it feel guilty
for being so big, like she could stand out
in a monsoon and insist she were dry
as a bone, don't you dare tell her otherwise,
and no, at the end of today I didn't write
the poem I'd have liked to but fuck,
even G-d took a day off from creating,
so sue me, and anyway, the weather
was great.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

in which i wonder

who exactly is reading this.
if you feel like letting me know,
shout out in the comments.

9/30: grand folks jelly

In this world we live in today with the whole damn
internet I visit my friend's profile page and see
an entire folder of photos labeled "Gramma Jean!"
just like that, exclamation mark and all. In one
she wears a pirate hat, grinning, in another,
silly sunglasses and a genuine laugh. One picture
is of her at the base of a giant statue of Superman,
one hand planted firmly on his tall red boots,
the other flung out to the side. My favorite,
which is to say, the one that makes me hate
my friend the most, is the one in which Gramma Jean
has climbed behind a plywood cutout of
Supergirl's body. We're talking six feet tall
and fine as hell, a patriotic hourglass, and the smile
on her face is priceless, y'all, and the caption
is a quote from Gramma Jean! herself, it says, "this
is how I really look, not like a little old lady,"
as if she had to tell us. My father's father

died before I was born.

I once dated a boy
with three whole sets of grandparents. He was
thirty years old. One set had divorced early on
and happily remarried and he legitimately had
three entire pairs of grandparents. He called them
all the time on the phone. My mother's father died

when I was two years old. There is a photograph
in which he is holding me; in this picture his lap
reminds me of the statue of Abraham Lincoln: vast
and steady as stone. I have, of course, no memory
of him at all.

Another friend not only has both sets of grandparents
but for most of his young life had his great grandparents,
too. My mother's mother died when I was nine and I
did not handle it well. My father's mother physically died
my junior year of high school, but her mind went
years before that. I see photos of a longtime friend
on her profile page with her arms thrown around the neck
of her grandfather. My friend is nearly forty.
The old man may be wearing wrinkles and age spots
but his smile is young, and wild, and wide. I cry.

Friday, April 8, 2011

8/30: last minute (get it b/c it's about time)

The difference between climate and weather is time.
Temporal measurement, or cronometry, takes two forms,
and the short story is:
calendars versus clocks. They say time
began to be measured first
around 12,000 BCE with calendars based on the moon and
around 45 BCE they switched to the sun. Clocks
turned up around 1,500 BCE, and I say:

fuck 'em all. I hate time, hate
everything about it. Hate dates, hate deadlines,
hate schedules, to me, time
is an illusion and as far as I'm concerned
I've no interest in suspending disbelief. I mean,
explain to me how you are 9.5 hours away
by a clock but how many days
would it take me to get to you if I tried?
Meanwhile, by a calendar you're a good
five months away. We've been dating just shy
of two years, but I feel that you know me
well enough for a lifetime, and while it's only been
two and a half weeks since I saw you it feels
like it's surely been a full year. I hate

this time, this distancing, limiting time, want us both
to step out of this dimension altogether,
into the next, like lines becoming circles,
circles becoming spheres we will ellipse on out
into a place where there is nothing between us,
no calendars, no clocks, no space, no lines,
no time.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

7/30: For My Friend

For My Friend, Upon The Occasion Of Her Divorce:

I mean it. Get as sad as you want.
Cry. Cry curled up in the kitchen floor
surrounded by too many dishes. Cry until
you snot on the floor. Leave the snot there
for days. I mean it. Ignore the dishes,
the bills, the laundry, show up late to work
and forget what clocks are for. When they ask
why you're late, again, just look at them,
like they've spoken a foreign language, like
they have no faces, like you are dying

to kill them yourself, like you don't even know
where you are. And forget how to fall asleep.
Stay up until five a.m. doing nothing at all,
flipping channels on the television and then
on the day you decide to turn it all around
and you do the dishes and you mop the floor
and you start the laundry and head out
to the grocery store to find something
for dinner, forgive yourself completely
for falling apart right there in front
of god and everybody when you see

his favorite cereal. Buy a box just
so you can throw it away. Then don't. Then
buy whiskey, or wine, whatever your poison,
drink too much in the parking lot
of the bar before you go in, and go in
and the first man who buys you a drink,
if you like the look of him, is your man
for the night. Laugh at his jokes.
Dance with him and when you aren't dancing
hold on to his arm. Let him take you home.
Let him remind you that you are,
in fact, beautiful. Fuck that man
for hours and then leave. Leave his bed

in flames, leave his house burning down
around him, take a cab home. Leave
your panties behind in the cab. The cabbie
will never forget you. The man from the bar
will never forget you. The bar will never
forget you. The man you're divorcing
will never forget you and you will never
forget him either and that's okay, because
one day you will realize at the end of the day
that you hadn't thought about him once all day,
not up until the point that just then
you only thought of him to realize you hadn't,
and you'll chuckle to yourself, you'll get

a new tattoo, a haircut, shoes, and you'll miss
those panties you left in the cab, miss
the man from the bar, even miss your ex-
husband but you'll love the woman you've become

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

6/30: Write a letter to someone dead.

Dear Gin:

I'd like to say first that I'm sorry
I haven't talked to you in so long but now
that you're dead it's difficult,
naturally, I'm sure you understand.
To be fair, I haven't heard much
from you either. I guess I wanted
to thank you for a few things. First,

for trying so hard to make me a lady.
Sit up straight and cross your legs and
use the smallest fork first and all
the other seemingly trivial things
you'd remind me of that added up
to make a larger message: be lady-
like. And I am. Lady-like, anyway.
Then, for being so darned beautiful

in all of your old photos, for meaning
that I came from Beautiful Stock, that I
might one day grow up to be beautiful too,
and for the other photos, all the ones
of you in foreign countries, which gave
me permission to travel, in the way those other
photos gave me permission to be beautiful.
It's important to have permission
to be beautiful, I think, what with all
the messages women get today, and also
to be able to travel on your own. Thank you

for so many things. Thank you for
every single school year, the way you would
send my mother, my sister, and I off
to the big city with your credit card
because we two girls would outgrow our clothes
too fast for our parents' budget,
and you knew this, and you loved us
and wanted us to have nice things. Thank you
for the story of the way you and our grandfather

met. For the story of how his parents
were just country farming folk, never sent him
in to school, and the system found him,
third-grade age, and brought him in, and showed him
the third grade classroom, and said, you could
go here if you wanted, these children are
your age. Showed him the second grade classroom
and said, this is right in the middle, if
you like, showed him the first grade class
and said this is the beginning. What do you think?
And my grandfather, the love of your whole life,
just a boy, looked up, smiling, and said:
What classroom was the black-haired girl in?
Of course she was you. This story gave me
permission to believe in love. Do you see

the trend, Gin? O woman who refused to be called
Grandmother because of what it might imply,
woman who threw respect to the wind and said
instead we should call you by your nickname,
Gin, from Virginia, the name I now bear in honor
of all your stories, thank you for what
your stories teach me and thank you, even,

for the story I hate to tell, the story
my father told me, the story in which it is
late September, 1957, and my father is watching
you do the dishes, happy in the kitchen of
his childhood home, happy in the way that only
a privileged white boy in Arkansas in the 50s
can be as he watches his beautiful mother
do dishes, smiling, in the home his father,
who loves his mother, built for his family,
whom he also loves, and shows it. In this story
you are elbow deep in suds when the trucks go past,
down the highway which runs right in front
of your house, and you look up, and you see
the line, as dark green as they tell me
your eyes must have been, and you throw

down your dishtowel and you run out into
your front yard to shake your fist and scream,
as if it were anything other than ineffectual,
at the 101st Airborne on their way
to do nothing other than help a few kids
go to school. Thank you for what I've learned
from this story too, that even gods
and goddesses can be wrong, that it is
my destiny to learn from my heritage,
that my shame is my teacher, that I
can be like you and different at once,
that I can be lady-like, beautiful,
well-traveled, deserve nice things and
deserve to be loved but that I
should love others, too.

Sleep well,
your loving granddaughter.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

5/30: the day i cannot let go of

This poem is not for the sun that day,
the way it filtered through lace-thin clouds,
not for the breakfast, huevos con frijoles
y tortillas, made right before us, over fire, nor
the broad, smiling woman who made it, not
her hands covered in masa, not the apron
she wiped them upon. This is not for
the gentle rain that came and went and
came and went tapping on the thatched roof
over our heads, nor for the thatched roof
over our heads nor even the hammocks
that held us while we napped. This poem is not
in praise of those rocks, they way they towered
above us, each like their own cathedral,
their angles, their curves, the way they marched
proudly out into the sea, not for the wet sand
between our toes, the seashells we collected,
no, this is not that poem. It does not sing of
nor praise the moment the sun came boldly out,
pushing all clouds back, when Paulina came running,
demanding we go down to swim while we could,
no. And yet, this is still

a praise poem. I choose to praise those currents,
rip tides, the first one that pulled me out
like it owned me, praise the way it owned me. Praise
my three friends, tiny on the shore, unaware,
smiling, praise their ignorant smiles. Praise
the second tide, the one that pulled me sideways
rather than out, praise those tall rocks now, now
and not before, praise them out there in the ocean,
a stone church ready for my last mass, ready
for my absolution, praise the water turning
holy, praise the holy, churning waters, praise my fear
when I looked upon them. Praise that one
blessed fragment of a moment, that moment in which
a shard of my soul broke loose, praise that sparkling
splinter of soul and the moment in which it will
forever be trapped, praise the moment in which
I resigned myself to death and praise every single
stolen moment I’ve lived since I escaped it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

4/30: In which the poet finally stops talking about herself

For the Workshop Facilitator Who Said of My Poem,
"You Don't Really Show Us the Other Person. I Mean,
Why is it that You Like Him?"

Because those girls who like
to date assholes
can have them.
Because my man's arms
are two constricting snakes
and I've never cared
for breathing anyway.
Because my head
on his shoulder becomes
a raindrop on a cloud,
a sigh
on a breeze,
an eyelash on a wish.
Because when he says
my name in that soft way
I unlearn all other words.
Because he tells me my hips
are pretty and he likes
all my tattoos. Because
he says waking up together
is Christmas morning
and he can't believe
this present
is for him.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

3/30: Erasure Poem

With thanks to pp280-281 of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte as published in 2010 by Harper Press's Collins Classics:

The moon opened a blue field in the sky, and rode in it watery bright.

Birds: sing, idle in your boughs.
The time of pleasure and love
is over with you, but you
are not desolate.
Throw on me one bewildered,
dreary glance
and I’ll bury myself
in a deep drift of cloud,
employ myself in dividing
the ripe from the unripe,
repair the fire,
let down the candles,
arrange time in the room.
I will run down the moonlight
a good way on the road,
save minutes of suspense.
Tears of disappointment
become impatient
and the clouds
seize hypochondriac hopes
too bright for so much bliss.
Your fortune has passed:
better tire your wings than
strain my heart. Joy
makes me agile,
welcome, I swallow
as well as I can. Rain
and wind has me dripping
like a mermaid, feverish,
hot, neither afraid
nor unhappy. My prize
is not certain. Slippery
as a briar rose, prickly
as a stray lamb in my arms.

Bonus Poems (Poemnus?)

I wrote these two on the last day of March. First is a short one, then a cheesetacular ghazal.

To My Adorable Mormon Friend Who Can Only Giggle
Nervously and Exclaim, "You're Such a Lady," When I Find
Myself Flustered and Holler, for Example, "Fuck a Duck!"

No, it's true, I really am a Lady, it's just this mouth. You'll
forgive me when I tell you I won it off a sailor in an
all-night game of cards. I liked the way it grinned


See the way she cares for you, see her face so gay;
she once said a prayer for you somewhere along the way.

When you met there riverside that breezy sunfilled day,
before you knew she fell for you somewhere along the way.

You never know just who you’ll meet, nor what path life will take
And you and she took different turns somewhere along the way

Now she goes here, now you go there, both busy, doing well,
you make some plans to settle down somewhere along the way.

And it might happen, down the road, but then, as sure as hell
You’ll find your life is taking you somewhere along the way.

You’ll come and go, and so will she, both living for the days
that you can meet
all night skies and sweet smiles
here and there
along the way.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

2.1/30: Chayote

i cooked

is magic.
it's a gourd,

to squash
and melon.

it's hard
when you cut it
and then

becomes soft
like potato
when cooked.

it feels
like honeydew
between your teeth

and tastes
like the sweetest

so sweet
i thought

the first
i kissed you,

when you stood
by my door, ready

to leave
but i
said, "wait

and you did.
so i planted

the most tidy
of kisses
there, on the apple

of your cheek.
chayote is like
apple, too,

i just

to tell you
my day.

2/30: In which I build a church

The Church of the Year of the Split

I am tall
and so, I built the door taller. Me-sized. Tall enough
to make me feel small when I walked through, humbled,
the way doors felt when I was a child. That is, after all,

what churches are for. The first stained glass window,
naturally, is a scene, and it's you, the day
you walked into the room and found me there,
talking with him and in that moment you knew.
I was always good

at make believe, but I'm still afraid of the dark.
In this church, I have learned
how to knit. I sit beneath the window
with a scene of me in the weeks after you left, weeping

openly in public, and I knit enough sweaters
to clothe every cold orphan in town.
Beneath the image of you driving away
I taught myself to play the harp, and I wrote a dirge

that could only be played if we one day had
a double funeral, together, you and me, which of course
will never happen. The biggest window is the one that shows
me, the day you left. There I stand, holding the glass I found

that was yours, and it's written all over my face,
the fact that your beautiful hands held it last, that it's
your lip mark on the rim, your saliva mixed
with the swill. It is beneath this window I sit while I study

every language there is, all seven thousand that exist
in the world, looking for one
in which I can tell you I'm sorry.

((After a prompt by Rachel McKibbens:

Friday, April 1, 2011

April again already?

In that case, hello first messy rough draft of the 30/30:

you carry the first time you were with him
with you always, tied around your left
index finger because you use it less. this way
it's more of a surprise. on the off times you gesture
with your left hand, offhandedly, as they say,
you catch that tiny, perfect bow with your gaze and you smile
which makes you think of his smile, each perfect tooth
and you give them names, name them after your dates:
right maxillary cuspid becomes the time he tried to put his arm
around you in the movie theater when you still hadn't slept
together yet but you're much too tall for him anyway so you both
laughed at how foolish he looked. left mandibular lateral becomes
the time he cracked that awkward joke at the shooting range
which he maintains was smooth while you declare anything but.
but you're still stuck on that smile, how each sweet lens of his eye
looks like a porcelain spoon and you can't wait to taste its soup.