Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Toilets I Have Known

The highlights--

The Plaza:
Where I had high tea. I slipped on the polished pink marble floor and almost broke my chin on the sink counter. The attendant stared, then offered a hand towel to someone else.

Zagreb train station:
Where I had to pay 50 dinar. The station was cathedral roofed -- white pigeons flew so high above they made constellations. The ladies was in a corner, holes dug through the floor into soil, stalls without ceilings. As I squatted I could see wings sweep up into the smokey ether.

331 Alamos Road:
Where I grew up. The “guest” bathroom was the prettiest, black tile floors, wallpaper mimicking gold leaf. My dad didn’t like me to lock the door, rattled the knob for an hour when I tried.

Crescent Street:
Where I live now. I don’t bother to close the door more than halfway, the tub needs scrubbing, cats wander in and out at will, to check on my progress.

The Island:
Where I work. Smells like bleach, but roaches scramble where the tin walls meet the tile. I use the handicapped stall since the seat’s so high my feet dangle. Makes me feel three again, new at this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Tinfoil Hat

I visit this lady once a week she is sweet but
most of her is missing she is crazy and she
has to pee a lot every fifteen minutes sometimes
she doesn’t make it to the toilet her shoes stink of urine

Most of her teeth are missing her face is the color of a
Brillo pad she has an eye that looks inward all white

She used to work in a psychiatric hospital the head nurse
injected the noisy patients with something that gave them
seizures the patients refused to eat and threw shit at
the staff the nurses beat each other on pay day

Once she saw a big big as a black dog patient step on
another’s head grind it she said then he saw me watching...
I looked away pretended not to see
she is almost blind

She still wears her nurse uniform when I visit she says jobs were
hard to find back then most of the buttons are missing I can
see the scar on her chest from heart surgery and where her
breasts crease into themselves

Sometimes she compliments me
on my dress and I say,
thanks, mom.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

My work is coming out! In print, finally. It should arrive in the mail this week: Loop #5. It's been sooo long (eight months) I've entirely forgotten what I submitted to them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Monday, June 07, 2004

I just wanted to make you all aware of a new blog set up by my friend, Mickey Z. ( Mickey is not only a wonderful and ironic poet, but the sharpest and best informed political writer in NYC. And he's incredibly prolific.
Animal Husbandry

The dog tells me that's he leaving me, that he no longer likes sticking his nose in my pussy. This last week he has been slipping his leash after I fall asleep and sucking cock in the backroom at Woody's. He tells me about the glory holes in the bathroom of the New York Public Library. I tell him he's lying, that dogs aren't allowed in the library. I'm having trouble breathing. I sit down on the edge of the bed. I shout, what, so women aren't good enough for you anymore! I remind him of our first date, how he tied me up and we cried all night. Never before had I been threatened with such tenderness, such sincerity. You can't fake that! I scream. I am sobbing. I am not a woman if my dog doesn't want me. I'm a question mark in a skirt.

The dog has his sad puppy-dog eyes on. I've seen him practice this look in the mirror. He asks me not to hate him. He rolls his eyes and whines.

I know that he's already picturing himself out on a walk, leaving me here alone in a room full of condoms and chew toys, some man's hand on his leash. I wonder if it's my scent that he finds so vile. He rests his chin on his crossed paws. It's not that you're fat, he tells me. There's a gland near the base of the skull that regulates it-- this desire, this thing, for bones.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Weather in California

I was turning thirteen the way
milk turns, becomes thicker,
more complicated, fragrant.
I saw the man with his mirror
and drill in my mouth
as a prophet, a broken wiseman
who had seen the light
and was ever after plagued
by a mist of tears.

As his pick slipped off my gums
he whispered about the language
used in the trenches of World War II,
the code no German could break --
Navajo, a language of pauses and sighs,
vowels that resonate from the chest,
the people on whose land
the dentist's office squatted.

He was a man, he knew things.
He had been hurt by his daughter
and my mother trusted him.

When he said, this time, I think
we don't need novocaine,
I didn't want to
disappoint. I said yes --
a word everyone wanted
from me -- I understood that,
and when the drill came,
with its high thunder in
my head, I knew what was

When it was done
he saw I was quiet,
saw I made no protest.
He told me I was
good, a good patient,
he said.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Okay, that poem thing below (Forensic Adultery) was more of an excercise. I got some real stuff I've been working on coming up. Tho' I can't seem to be able to take the position of the homewrecker in my poems, just of the homewrecked. Mike Snider and I both got published by the Plum Ruby Review at the same time. How cool is that! and I'm flattered that my work in on the same site as his.