Monday, April 30, 2007

Claire Asleep

the smell of sun-warmed summer grass
her fingers are so big, the fingernails finally clean
her feet have stopped hurting

a long white table, white as the sky
no ceiling or walls
the women wear white robes
they’re eating meat with their hands

Claire’s allowed to eat, too,
since the animals reappear behind her chair
not just remade whole, but reborn into ecstasy

the cows snort and roll in the pale grass
their plump beige bellies, their joyous udders
wiggle and point at the sky
on the golden sand
they scratch their backs, this side, then that

they sit up and shake their whole skin
with a shudder, a deep contented sigh
and call to the other grazing animals
the deer, horses and sheep
with the clear
notes of a cello

the women have bloody mouths
Claire included but
the blood turns to honey
they wipe their lips
with the backs of their hands
and they suck the sweetness
from each other’s fingers
without giggling

it’s Claire’s dream
so it ends happy
with the women weaving white flowers
into the manes of smiling palominos
and whispering tips to each other
about how to avoid chipped nails
grow bright blue feathers down the spine
and get blood out of cotton
Breaking news:

I got honorable mention in the search for the Queens Poet Laureate.

Yeah! I get to read a poem in front of the media during the ceremony on Friday.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Again, more of a draft than anything...

Claire’s Book About Saints

last week her mother tried to take it away
after Claire carpeted the kitchen
with broken milk glasses
and walked barefoot
trying to rid herself of those thoughts:

the visions of the spotted dogs
how they sigh and sit on her lap
all warm fur and sexy dog breath
their tongues on her neck
as if she were covered in honey

the devil, she has read, is mysterious
she knows he means to trick her
with this affection, this cloud of pleasure

St. Dorothy, the book tells her,
was tempted by a talking cherry tree,
walked on water after she cut off her breasts
with a seamstress’s scissors

St. Catherine got stuck on a carnival wheel
after 200 rounds the Virgin appeared
led her up the golden stairs
while her broken body whirled below

St. Rachel decided the devil spoke in pastries
lived for a hundred days on only goat’s milk
near the end roses bloomed on her wrists, her ankles
in Spain a little chapel keeps the sheets from her bed
women who want to be thin kiss the stitching

Claire wonders why it has to hurt so much
the shining birds with their sharp beaks
how the Virgin appears in a ball of light
so bright Claire cringes
even the irises’ perfume makes her nauseous, sometimes

and the dogs’ fur is so soft
their ribs hot and inviting her touch

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

tag (at long last)

Worshipful Company of Fletchers, James Tate
Rodent Angel, Debra Weinstein
The Collector of Cold Weather, Lawerence Raab
She-Devil, Betsy Andrews
Lving Room, Geoff Bouvier
comments welcome!!!!!!

Aubade in Queens: A Transfer

the sky, a cabinet polished,
painted, then sanded again
bluish grey all the way down
where everything melts into
lemon sherbert yellow

the families on the 7
sway and fuss on the curves
gather the growing light around them
loudspeaker static over seagulls‘ shriek:
Queensboro Plaza

doors open, mothers hum into the busy air,
singing and scattering, each with her
own peculiar tune; Farsi, Spanish, Creole,
Korean, Greek

black winter coats burst at the zippers
reveal red and gold robes
tucked flannel shirts
tiny pink tees with ponies

grab my hand say one hundred mothers
to a hundred and fifty children

they tighten back packs
smooth down sly cowlicks
turn toward the innumerable questions
of tiny upturned faces --
pulling the light into their palms
they step into the trains again

Monday, April 23, 2007

Version 1.Saved

say you're lost in water

pink rocks where waves simmer
deep rose when wet

water's so cold it burns your thighs
the sand stirs, flares out

you can't quite see your feet
bare and pale
thin as Christ's

or say you're wearing boots
black rubber, filling with water
dragging you down

say your lungs tighten in the freezing air
shrink into pink popped balloons

say it starts to snow

or say you're at a party
in the deep end of the pool

in your bikini with the ruffles and the stars
the birthmark
on your left side
like a meat-colored fig

and say it's the moment the crickets start
a string of Japanese lanterns
vibrate in the breeze

faces flash red and yellow
in the deck chairs above you
and confetti
floats to your arms

party candles crowd
the ceramic edges of the pool

say your ponytail catches fire and say
you feel
a hand
on the crown of your head

say you go under and under


Version 2.

the deep end

in your bikini with the ruffles and the stars

the moment the crickets start
a string of Japanese lanterns
vibrate in the breeze

floats to your arms

party candles crowd
their ceramic edges

your ponytail catches fire

a hand
on the crown of your head

you go under and under

Hello. There. Been quiet for a while. (I will get to the tag quite soon, I promise.)

But life is good. I just had a great reading at my school, I sold 5 books, and everybody was wonderfully kind and laughed at the right spots. Plus, my tattoo got some shading! Finally! Next stop, color!

And a poemer!

A fresh one, from today! I love exclamations. I really do.

Love Song with Ambivalence

if only the alarm clock would stop working
if only these sheets were a different shade of green
if only you would fix your rotten bicuspid
if only the bread I bought yesterday were not moldy already
if only you could wash your hands more often
if only my breasts were of equal size
if only your penis smelled like violets

Monday, April 16, 2007

Yay!! (cartwheel, cartwheel)

MiPoesias just accepted my chapbook, Children Having Trouble with Meat!

I'm so amazed. Just very amazed. And then some more amazement, over here.

(It was the only one picked out of hundred -- I'm one percent!)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Early Milestones

A peanut shoved itself up my nose.

I went blind in one eye.

The cat scratched me when I chewed her tail.

My patent leather shoes got pee on them.

My father fell down the stairs.

I stuck my tongue in a socket.

I got lost in the attic.

My father told me I pushed him down the stairs.

Blue flames crawled out of the top of the black and white TV.

Grandmother came to visit and stayed in the room at the top of the stairs.

My brother peed on my teddy bear.

I stuck a fork in a socket.

Barbie’s toes got chewed off.

My mother made me give up my teddy bear.

The cat vomited butter all over the kitchen.

I tripped and lost my Christmas hat.

The pony moved slowly, warm against my bare legs,
led by a girl who watched my eyes and smiled.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Finally, a poem!

I've been doing the poem a day thing, but I haven't wanted to publish my drafts.

In This Dream, The Sky Signifies Memory

I’m standing in my blue flannel nightgown
at the window. The tops of the California oaks
shimmer below me in the wind. I’m walking barefoot
down the center of a gravel road -- I’m sweating
and my nightgown pinches at the armpits, the neck.

I am getting a baby out of a drawer. The baby
is the color of fog: he is sleeping or dead.
He is too heavy to carry, so I leave him
by the side of the road. I am spitting out persimmon
seeds into the cup beside the TV.

I am climbing a ladder over a hedge made of old
keyboards and kites. I am waking up; I am not
wanting to wake up. Someone is calling my cat.
My cat purrs and spits into my eye. She has
gathered tigers around me. I put on my pointed
leather slippers and climb on to the back
the biggest one. We go searching for my baby.
The sky is the color of water, falling.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I wrote a blurb for this guy, Michael Wells, for his fantastic chapbook, File Folder. You should ask him to give you a peek; I'm not sure when it's coming out.

Here's the blurbification:

The poetry in Michael Wells' File Folder takes the mundane, spins it around on a fingertip like a magic basketball, and elevates it until it shines above us. Wells’ poetry represents the apotheosis of Americana; in his work, the quintessential American highway stretches up and out of this world. He takes catfish and pool cues and coffee, and does something subtle with them, something just beyond the periphery of your vision. Suddenly they are limned with a quiet light. His poems are understated and sly, melancholy and plain. They’re beautiful like old horses out in a gray empty field are beautiful. When you close your eyes, his images still burn there.