June, where were you
when Ward came home?
It is your time again.
You were chopping delicately
saying Yes, dear
and your lips were so gothic
I imagine you with
on the chocolate line
instead of that fatty
or with the Beatles in
strings of pearls coughed up from
or in some Edward Gorey Story
Or in some place where
they would worship
build temples to them
and the American Dream
and you and Lucy
could go to some other Jazz club
cuz Ricky is so
or maybe you just sit in a back
room on chintz cushions
reading Ayn Rand
in Black Frame Glasses
which are back in style again
like noire, nukes, and intellectualism
and you would be in black
with black on black shadows
and the pearls
I can imagine a lot of things for you
and it is much better than just
I sat on my bed with my bag of bones
The moon was a screaming man
The big bad wolf crept up the stairs
his shadow danced upon the wall
his suit was zoot
his suit was yellow
he came right up the stairs
the big bad wolf needed girlie fruit
he cried, Lady, Tabathy, Fiathy, Cobathy
I'm coming for you, little girl
I knew I had it coming.
So I am mad and I am bad
I took the petal from the stone
and took the stone with my cherry fruit
I swallowed all, I opened the door
and the big bad wolf
strolled right through
I asked the king inside my head
inside my head upon his throne
I slant my brain with my furious eye
his justice squares on my mercy tilt
I asked him if my love was bad
he said don't you ask me little girl
but don't go with that evil man
I extended my arm,
laced to the hilt
he kissed my finger tips.
you beautiful precious little girl
your body carries in this world
by laws or freedom
paraded in the shoulders of space
he tore me to pieces
then he put me together
he purred on my bed
on my bag of bones
he's skin and hair and bad and there
we're feral creatures and we know it.
when he leaves his shadow stays
and when he's there
there's no shadow
(there once was a girl with a tiny curl
right in the middle of her forehead.)
My bag of bones stays with me
I open it and contemplate
the bone, the moon, the petal, stone and fruit
and the badness that's inside me
in our breakfast room
the sun comes up
and greens through the trees
the butterflies float and
new birds swoon
into the liquid of air
this is when you asked:
count the cans in our cupboard, Kath,
that there is no more waiting,
you can not wait,
I must count the cans in our cupboard
because winter is coming;
I must take stock of things.
the weights in my clock hang stopped
and the flutter of my wing
folds in to something dry
my ink runs to scratch on the pad
there are no pens
good for shopping lists
there is no inventory
there is no money
I used to measure my fat;
pull on my wedding ring,
hope for a sigh of air
a gap between metal and skin.
in your garden room
leaves tear from the trees,
from our bodies,
patter on the lawn.
the hollow sun is old, and brittle;
its white extinguishes into a black pool.
you touch the naked circle
like the one on my finger
and I am sorry
for taking stock of things.
Life is not cinema, but if it were--
if I had been cast for the lead actress in your movie--
I'd give you the moon and the stars,
I'd find shelter in your arms,
and we would eat popcorn
as the closing credits roll by the top of the sky.
the sun hi-ho silver sings
through a gunmetal cloud
and I plow
through the bramble-y path
where leaves are heavy fruit
Queen Anne curls up like coral weed
and teasel dots its sea urchin drift
through my tunnel of leaf
the land remembers the sea
the lake remembers the sea
and unfurls a marble lady
with every concrete wave
poured upon the sand
it's my Cult of Nature,
where the tops of trees
speak to the think
of the breeze
they drop coins in
and I row to the gold
in the hollow ahead
over a fallen tree
sprouting fingers hold
on to the path but
the grapes crash gravity
to vine the poor man in
brush tumbles hair
lady asters poke deliberate,
and birds drop product
on the berry bush.
I could not see them
like the dangle of my zipper,
of tweet in the sweet
royal of this kingdom
where each leaf rings to be
drawn by my hand
I had this fish,
of secretive eye and diaphanous fin.
He'd lazily brush me,
then slight quick eyelid flip
to deep inside hook heartworm hurt.
He was in shallow waters
where all grew warm quickly
from the light of the sun
and he'd grown large--
belly up bubble burst
in its generosity.
I had this toad
of jeweled eye and scaly bubble.
I picked him up to admire his pattern,
for I am an admirer of minutia.
He'd piss pool poison in my hand.
He was a Classical/Medieval Studies scholastic toad.
He had difficulty
croaking out the hundred or so conjugations
I was ready for him
with the tutelage of my kiss.
I just wanted the texture of his bumps
and the sting of his salt on my tongue.
OK, so you've pulled me over.
But you should know;
this wasn't my fault.
When the senses must integrate
a million pin pricks
into discrete regions, examples:
the top front of the thigh
stretching to the back
and the jeans holding it down
and the seam in the crotch
exerting containment and
a line of pressure,
and the way I have to grip to steer
even though my foot must hold at
a certain tension on the pedal
and my nose itches
and I'm sure there is a bone
stuck in my breast.
Not to forget my thoughts
nurtured in this world, this Eden,
and guilt and sin--
what must be fed, consumed, bought, cleaned,
and cared for--repented.
There is a mechanism
that will fill in the gaps in sight,
it ensures continuity,
as sight is not continuous and skips over
patches because there is what is already known.
So why are you pulling me over?
I am attentive to the most possible extent,
and it is all unavoidable.
These cares force intersection,
convolute with the continuity of my curve through time.
Don't tell me this does not happen to you;
you had better pay attention.
I do not have supple limbs and my teeth
are crooked. My imagination's body
is luminous, voluminous. My bones are
an accretion. I am glad for clothes
to hold the spill of my body. I am a
I do not feel so much an inhabitant
of the arrowhead of time. I am tarred.
Being is viscous stuff. I'd like to be
a blip, a slight slip into this world.
I had a dream I was writing the best poem
& in the dream I woke up and wrote
something not quite as good & then
I really woke up and I cannot remember
the poem. If I am a careful listener
I can tell you something new. If I came
to this new I would be a new person.
Everything is stale compared to
my best memory. A new person is
free to affect speech and ideas. You all
have the record of what I've done
against which I am compared.
We expect something new but we
have to come back to the same room.
Remember the last election! We
expect reincarnations of our friends
in other circles, other chances
but it is used up! Our best memory.
I remember the best peach
each time I eat a peach. Sometimes
against what I expect I am
pleasantly startled, but I have to watch the
now. I'm always unknitting and
reknitting these but the thread
remembers. If I say what is
on my mind I am not contrived
in this context. This was all given
to me in a dream.
I saw Clint Eastwood.
This morning, at the gas pump.
Tall leg and buckled denim folds.
He jiggered the nozzle,
dunked and docked it to the hole,
He set his angle butt
on the side of his indeterminate Buick,
Watching the money go by,
thumbs hooked in his pockets.
Childhood was a discount store, the ice cream stand
or Headlands Beach. We were as real as a polaroid,
in our feathered hair and blue jeans. My stick arms
freckled down to my large hands. Your skin as gold as
your smoky living room. We were beautiful
12 year olds, each other's context, our words were boys.