Friday, July 30, 2004

A Daughter's Love Song

Mother, this is the lost letter
the one thrust under the door
at dusk when your room is empty
when everyone is at the table
sipping coffee recovering from
the last slice of pie

this is the sealed envelope from
that long and weepy novel
slipped under the carpet instead
of into the hands of the intended
the slip of paper trembling script
that reveals all and is thus misplaced

this is the letter I thought you had read
when you looked at me that same night
on the porch the flies and misquitoes
burning themselves up on the light
a cloud of insects about your head
like a wavering halo your eyes full
of fondness and trepidation

this is the message written in
lemon juice on a paper bag
waiting for the fire to reveal itself
this is what hums between the curses
in the poems this here
and here and here
is my secret

Friday, July 23, 2004

Kitchen Sink accepted my poem!  Now I'm finally in a magazine I can find in a store.

And this you must.

Monday, July 19, 2004

My husband wakes me in the middle
of the night, asking me about cheeses.
Smell this, he says.
The doorway outlines him in light
from the kitchen.
Is this your cheese? Has it gone bad?
What? I answer. What?
I decide to lose all punctuation and
confuse people
The next day my husband throws away
all the forks, cursing.
He knows I'll buy them again,
but one bit him on the thumb.
The following night, a cat
a finger's breadth away watches
my face as I drift offto sleep.
When my eyes close
she bites my nose, not gentle,
not hard. Her cat breath is sweet
with friskies. My husband
snores and ignores her.
The forks will take care of him
in the morning.
This is a poem I'm workshopping tomorrow.  Some of the text is taken from a children's book, How Deserts Are Made.  It's a pseudo found text piece, because I added a lot of my own words.

How Deserts Are Made
My family lives in a desert house.
There is never enough milk
at the breakfast table.
The desert poppy has adapted to live
without much.  After a storm it bursts
into red flower and dies. 
Weather changes the landscape.
Grains of sand blown by the wind carve
the red rock into pillars. These change
shape as the wind changes direction. 
My father changes into someone else
every morning. Coral snakes
drape themselves on his tie rack.
All desert animals must be able to live
with very little.  I hear Gila Monsters
shift under my bed. I stop sleeping
in the bottom bunk.
My mother is silent for days.
She serves bowls of sand for dinner. 
She often disappears in the shadows under the porch.
The kit fox yips outside my window at night. 
He sings blue shoe, blue shoe, blue shoe.
It is a sad sound.  I often wish I could see
the moon but my father says he hides it.
A man can survive for a week in the desert
if he knows what to do.
There are beautiful things here, things that
sting and run away.
I sit on the lawn at noon and watch
the scorpions gather stones.
They are building a fence around us.
They need protection.
I’ve lived twelve years,
never tasted water.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Daphne Gottlieb, my poetic counter-culture hero, said "OH MY GOD" and "I love it" when she read the cheating dog poem, below. I think I might as well stop writing now, as it can't get any better than that.
Yeah, and the lord said mightly, Dead Kitty is... is a misfit at the misfit library. I'm so pleased. I applied a few months ago and I thought they had already rejected me. But today they told me I was accepted! It's a small, select, elite group of trained killers, I mean... it's a bunch of good writers who get together on the web and collaborate and give each other feedback and publish a journal, and stuff. So far most of the other members seem to be fiction writers.