Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Of My Unmade Bed (A Poem)

The rumpled silk chaos
Is almost an addiction,
And the way each littered piece
Of my week rivals for
Foot space like silly, selfish children.
The broken caps of Friday’s whiskey,
Six months on the mend,
Sting my eyes like I’ve swallowed
Something stranger than
The blunt course of action it was
To lick my wounds and leave my job.
Even Nefertiti heeded the warnings,
The hills of her native home
Grinding her bohemian whims
Like broken Sphinx stone.
My dear, what I’m trying to say is
You complain of this mess
That is me as if in being genuine,
The three-day-old garbage and
Un-recycled newspapers, are unnatural.
I beg to differ, there’s still plenty
Of room for our two-day excursions,
The words of your vintage love songs
Serenading me like a six-man quartet,
The only lonely response
To my midnight cup-toss to the slush pile
Before you bruise my shoulder
With your old-man sleep,
Another 2am spent into a slumber
Of old B horror movies and
A little too much cold coffee.

Written for Magpie Tales and Sunday Whirl.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Blue Moons in Spring (A Poem)

I want to hang my dreams
Behind the blue moon of Spring,
Omnipresent sky God
Of Juniper and Poinsettia
Where the fedora tips of cowboy hats
Bend themselves for southern belles
Fresh in red plaid,
Their suede shoes sliding into
A thatch of clover, back garden
Becoming a soundstage of color,
The red tips of roses tickling
Fingertips like a mischievous romantic,
Pulling noses stiff from winter
Into the atmosphere like
Old dogs resurrected for a time,
Spirits light as air and hands
Clasped for campfires where
My grandmother remembers
What it was to dance
In crowded pool rooms and
Musty banjo halls with men
She only half loved, never yet to
Worry of gray whiskers
Or the death they surely toll,
One ear singing the youngest to sleep
To a chorus of crickets and coon dogs,
And the other cajoling the days end
With the lonesome strings of Hank or Merle,
How they blew their words into her ears
On the wings of an Appalachian mountain wind.

Written for a prompt at dVerse Poets.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Graffiti (A Poem)

The city is a threshold,
A gray steel door to hide behind,
A slab of stretching concrete
That anchors your feet to
the well-lit madness of anonymity,
the many intersecting cycles of life,
a quick-moving mesh net
that catches but cannot save.
Once you enter there is no exit,
Except the winding highway
Beyond the intersection
Whose blinking lights play
Tricks on your mind until
You forget what things it was
That made you want to leave.
And the buildings, so tall and bold,
Some singed in smoke or
Colorful proclamations of the street kids,
Lost souls of the old and youth,
How they wander that maze of mortar,
All sidewalk chalk and spray paint,
Dinner tables real enough to eat from,
Until you touch the flat empty of their torsos
And walk away, belly rumbling
Beyond the fresh edge of cityscapes
And lighted windows real enough
To gaze into, though you see nothing.

Written for MindLoveMisery.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Shell Shock (A Poem)

A Transformation, I suppose...

Wanting to wash you
From my memory
Like dried beer stains,
I closed the line between us
Like an old storm door
Rusted at the hinge
And it would not open again.
I hung a messy string
Of fairy lights across the
Pristine white walls behind my bed,
Tussled my hair into an unmade nest
And threw my shoes
Into the river like a wood nymph,
The same ones full of
Your shelled beach sand,
I wanted rid of every crumb of you.
I sat in the rain
And spoke to the moon
As if she were another mother
And I refused to cry
come Thanksgiving,
Two hundred minutes of forced smile
Across a table full of
cobbler and string beans
not once wondering if you
were even thinking of me.
And come spring, I exchanged
My sandals for tights,
Tossed my favorite jeans too,
The ones that always compelled
You to brush against me
In that subtle-man sway.
I pushed flowers and bands
Of silk between my tussled hair
And behind my ears,
Laughing a little at all my secrets
That you never won.
I spent a year of my life
Filling back into my body
As a woman whose curves
You'll never get to touch.
I bought the black dress,
The one you warned me against,
And a red one made of cashmere too,
Each silky crevice of my skin
Burning the memory of you
Like a smoking gun,
And I wore them well.

Written for a prompt at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Wrinkled Notebook and a Long Confession (A Manifesto)

Yep, this is actually me :)

I write because my stories won’t be able to tell themselves once I’m dead.  To ask me why I write would make about as much sense as asking me why I breathe:  to stay alive.  I long to leave something worthy of that life behind.  Perhaps I have decided to become immortal. Words can do that for you, you know, live forever. 

I put my expressions and my emotions and my experiences and my memories on paper because if I didn’t put them somewhere outside myself they’d explode in an alphabet confetti all over myself (and probably my favorite sweater dress).  I have important things to say, letters to write, stories to tell…things I feel called to share, things I hope can touch someone, someway, someday.  I am compelled to offer my reader the many separate pieces of my life, besides, we all dream of living twice, right? 

I write because my poems are my art, the muse of my late-night insomnia, my early-morning anxiety; they are the answers to questions I am afraid to directly ask myself.  They are the long, lingering telephone calls to my own psyche.  I write to preserve all the sacred parts of myself, to elongate the clock ticks so I, in a way, create more time with the people and things I love.  I commemorate the exceptional, exaggerate the forgettable, glamorize the ugly (or vise versa). 

I’ve continued to write over the years in the same way you’d continue to keep in contact with an old friend because many times in my life I’ve felt that my pen was the only sincere confidant I had.  Poetry is a moon to hang my dreams upon, a vast wasteland I water back to life, the child upon my lap that I rock to sleep and jolt awake…an extension of my own soul.  It is the brick building I catapult from in the dark of a deserted night and the spongy safety net that catches me when my legs are too rest-weary of this life.  It is where I land when I yearn for some place dangerous to step into, yet remain intact. 

Each completed notebook is a sixth dimension, the war waged between angels and demons.  The writing process is elemental to who I am:  a girl full of words, scared of the world yet excited to be dropped inside it.

Written for a prompt at dVerse Poets.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Of Moon-Bathers and Night-Trains (A Poem)

They circle the stops
Like a creamy-skinned séance,
Smelling of jasmine and
Something stale against
The headlight fog
That peels and hurls itself
Into this night of black owls
And tarot spells.
The lonely, single girls
Of a stiff-backed city,
Pretty-made faces and
Big hair hailing taxis or
Traveling the downtown train stops
Like gypsies with no foresight,
Dipping their waving hands
Into the yellow sea of moon.
They wear his beams like a cologne,
Scrap their heels into
His afterglow like the fitted shrill
Of a stiletto shoe;
They pull him into strange doors,
Smear him, in layers, across
Sweaty train rides
Into roads that go nowhere.
They are flamboyant as breeze,
Their undulating club-beats
That secretly dream of a formal
Rendezvous, of strange gray
Cities like Amsterdam,
The charm of sophistication and Bach.
Travel any street with a side-view
And you can see into them like
The open windows of
City high-rise buildings or co-ed dorms,
Shaving or kissing, all silver
And gleaming like the finest wine,
Like a corkscrew caught mid-turn,
They stand half-naked and waiting
For something to save them.

Written for a prompt at Poetry Jam.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Shadow Things (A Poem)

The REM pulls still-life pictures
From between her brows,
Drawn and heavy
As the gothic curtains of
A Pulp Fiction magazine.
The foliage and trees of
Her dreams spin their twigs
And spit their seeds as if
Their mouths were solar Gods,
Tall, living things that
Swallow her sleeping breath,
Eat the shiny things she’s sewn
Against the split-bone of
Her cranium as it spills.
The shadow people, black
Roaming beasts in top hats
Dance their mandolin-beats,
Sharp and still as dark matter,
Empty bellies swell their lone words
To ancient songs that steal from her
The invisible things she can’t have,
The sky calling her empty hands
Two wooden fools that wish for him.
She reaches into silver-gleam
Moon-glow and bites into
The sharp ends of dwarfed stars,
Pretending she’s just as high,
just as flamboyant, just as free
as all the ill-tamed creatures
of a dense-forest sleep,
beating their wings backwards
towards the open throat
of a spinning sea of swords
while she, though asleep,
is still searching for something.

Written for a prompt at Magpie Tales.

The Shadow Things (A Poem)