Thursday, May 30, 2013

Detroit Anne, Hitchhiking by Judy Grahn




Her words pour out as if her throat were a broken artery
and her mind were cut-glass, carelessly handled.
You imagine her in a huge velvet hat with great
dangling black feathers,
but she shaves her head instead
and goes for three-day midnight walks.
Sometimes she goes down to the dock and dances
off the end of it, simply to prove her belief
that people who cannot walk on water
are phonies, or dead.
When she is cruel, she is very, very
cool and when she is kind she is lavish.
Fisherman think perhaps she’s a fish, but they’re all
fools. She figured out that the only way
to keep from being frozen was to
stay in motion, and long ago converted
most of her flesh into liquid. Now when she
smells danger, she spills herself all over,
like gasoline, and lights it.
She leaves the taste of salt and iron
under your tongue, but you dont mind
The common woman is as common
as the reddest wine.

Of You, Who Do Not Know Me (A Poem)



You do not know that girl,
Do not pretend to believe she is unreal
In her nefarious tight jeans and black shoes.
Her wrists jingle a solitary beat
Of bangle bracelets and stretched hemp,
Do not pretend to commiserate with her
The feel of a brash caress across
The most tender parts of your exposed flesh.
Her shoulder bag is full of old books,
Abandoned poems on the backs of the receipts
Of things she doesn’t remember buying,
All symbolic of her love life, relationships.
Do not pretend you are familiar with the poets she reads,
Do not act as if you’ve read her hand-written letters.
Her mind as open as a silver screen of the 1930’s,
She is not as impressionable, she does not carry
beads and a rosary, and only bows to the higher power
Of her own entity, of mantras, mesmerized by the life
Of one lone flower as if she were her own Buddha.
Do not act as if her prayers are evil,
Do not pretend to know whom she prays to.
Her mind is a constellation that twists itself across
The world, gone mad in its greed,
Deceptive in it’s sunny skies and smiling faces
And come nightfall she writes to forget, to remember.
Her words become conversations
to everything she doesn’t know,
And all the things none of us will ever understand.
Alone with the sky and her own mind, she plucks stars
From within the shadows of a new moon’s glow,
Stuffs them into her back pockets,
Tosses them into polluted streams,
And swallows the rest with her morning coffee.
Do not act as if she is delusional in her bows and smiles,
Do not pretend you’ve tasted her same stars.



Written from a prompt at Poets United.

Alice in the Clouds (A Poem)


Red ribbons caught in the wormholes
Of grandma’s warmed wooden floors,
Absent the apparition
Of white rabbits and all-knowing men
In tall black hats who would
Roll her into their palms like modeling clay
Before swallowing her soul.
There at night, the cold of lonesome
Stuck into her eyes and thighs
Like tiny toothpicks, each one hungry
For the taste of some girl’s madness.
And, closed eyes to the fury,
She dreamed of clouds,
Those invisible ice caves of the sky
Where one could live and die inside
Without ever having their face be shown,
She felt she could exist that way.
But here, between the floorboards,
She became an instrument to time,
Company to the mill worms in the basement,
A beautiful, spinning spectral to rival the morning dew.
Until they found her finally,
All blue and swollen as a bent tick,
Eyes open wide as if to administer
A final night glow into the cellar not unlike
Those dark sunken rooms
Where old men hide their jars of body parts
And journals full of twisted words,
Syllables jutting as wildly as a tree branch gone awry.
And her fingernails, each one
Torn from the beds of their flesh
As if in death she hung there
Scouring the uncovered depths of her hands
For some secret.


Written from a prompt at We Write Poems.  

Alice in the Clouds (A Poem)



 
Red ribbons caught in the wormholes
Of grandma’s warmed wooden floors,
Absent the apparition
Of white rabbits and all-knowing men
In tall black hats who would
Roll her into their palms like modeling clay
Before swallowing her soul.
There at night, the cold of lonesome
Stuck into her eyes and thighs
Like tiny toothpicks, each one hungry
For the taste of some girl’s madness.
And, closed eyes to the fury,
She dreamed of clouds,
Those invisible ice caves of the sky
Where one could live and die inside
Without ever having their face be shown,
She felt she could exist that way.
But here, between the floorboards,
She became and instrument to time,
Company to the mill worms in the basement,
A beautiful, spinning spectral to rival to the morning dew.
Until they found her finally,
All blue and swollen as a bent tick,
Eyes open wide as if to administer
A final night glow into a cellar not unlike
Those dark sunken rooms
Where old men hide their jars of body parts
And journals full of twisted words,
Syllables jutting as wildly as a tree branch gone awry.
And her fingernails, each one
Torn from the beds of their flesh
As if in death she hung there
Scouring the uncovered depths of her hands
For some secret.