Friday, December 28, 2007

Current Symptoms Include

How I Let the Tiger Out

swallowed all the ice hidden under your sink, thumbed your spit from my thighs onto my eye glasses, fingered the cracks in your walls, stowed your seed & fly eggs behind my smile, rolled my eyes back and rocked until the seizures stopped, slipped sugar into the gas tank of a jaguar parked on your sister's street, used your slingshot on the windshield of a cop car, sewed your curtains into a sling: hauled our baby --fat, mirror-colored, furred -- climbed the chainlink and offered him up

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Here's a new poem. Very much a draft -- I'll probably erase this soon and come up with a new version.

Wash Day

the next thing you know I’m covered
with fur and all the windows
are broken, someone’s in the corner
crying with her apron over her head
the fire has gone dead
fingers burnt with bleach at the core

everyone’s pale and glaring
the kettle bubbling black
overflowing, spilling on the dirt floor
the twig brooms ruined -- sticky

scars appear on my arms
cracks on my scalp
the light starts pouring out
mixing with the black clouds of her breath
viscous soup or soupy fluid
the soap slipping between my hands

my lips part gasping
like a soap-eyed fish
the fur spreads to the fire
the ceiling , September
is melancholy for most

the urgent thing I’ve forgotten
finger tips in the ungent
jars and jars of squirrel tails and rat brains
ancestral lizards slide down
the bannister, I pick
fur from between my teeth

we are all ready already
ankles crossed, bows brushing
our strings, the sting of hornets
red-faced, fevered, jungle beneath the city,
green sky, abscess under our feet

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Indulge me, I am a Hamm. When I was young I used to tell kids that my dad owned the Hamm beer company and that there were always barrels and barrels of beer around the house. I also said that I washed my hair in beer, and that's how I turned blonde. I was always so amazed when people believed me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Selling of the Parts

I contact Ebay to see if I can sell
my left ventricle. Customer service
has a hard time getting back to me,
their emails keep ending up in my
spam folder, so I decide to call
the free 800 number (it's supposed
to be active 24 hours a day) but
then I just get a recording, and the
funny thing is, the recording has
my name on it, it's kind of hard
to understand, there's the noise
of large machinery and race cars
in the background, and I wonder
for the first time where Ebay
is located, is it in a particular
state? I always imagined it floating
in cyberspace somewhere, and when
I picture cyberspace, my ideas
alternate between a cold black
icy room with green numbers floating
by like large dust particles, and a
vast empty white plane, peopled
by tall white men in form-fitting
plastic body suits. Anyway, the recording
says something about Christine
and then something about Beth Anne
and the requirements to become a gold
member, but I don't want to become
a gold member, I keep telling the recording
machine, I just want to find out
how to sell this tiny part, which is
hard because I don't have a very clear
photo, and I'm not sure how much
to charge for shipping.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lots of crap has been happening. But I need to feed you. So here you are.

Disaster Sushi

While I, while it
drops through my chopsticks
the sticky rice round your chin
you tell me about the baby
elephant who tried to get
into your size 12 pants
in the rest room, where
you had taken them off
to air, as that infection
had come back, and with a rash
this time, and I ask if
you're speaking metaphorically.
You blink as if a lizard
had skittled over your brain
and then the light bulb
bursts over your head;
in the shower of harmless,
deadly glass you say
now we're both in the dark,
what were you talking about, love?

Friday, December 14, 2007

I was supposed to write a "calming" poem -- it was supposed to "calm" the reader. Well, I can't do that. I can disturb, horrify, disgust, but "calm"? Nyahh. So here's a poem about "being calmed."

(Mr. Xanax, Mr. Ativan, Mr. Valium)

shaking, spit trailing, white
she cups a hand
she curls up, still

it is a good, it is an excellent

he curls up
next to her on the rug
twines her fingers, she lies shaking,
spit trailing, white
face in a blue bowl,
he cups a hand around her ear,
whispers, Mister, Mister

it is a good drug, an excellent trailing
dream, a fluffy white rug, it glows
cupped in his Wednesday,

his floating hand, his blue subtle ears
of white soap and curled terrier,
it is a cupped slug who hums
softly, a steady, slow fingering vibration

you can feel it if you just, whispering,
spit cupped in hands,
if you just hold still

Leave me more lines! More lines, I beg of you!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

As some of you (or perhaps none) may know, my birthday is coming up on Saturday. Of course, you are probably asking yourself: what, what can I get Christine that is of sufficient magnitude to please her? The answer is simple: I'd like the first few words, or the first line to a poem, please. Drop it right there in the comments section, and I'll see what I can do with it. Nice wrapping paper is appreciated, as are neat, taped corners.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Emily!

This is mostly just a fragment. I’ve had a hard time writing lately, and at least I finally got this one out. You may have seen poems about this theme from me before. (Ahem)

I Tell My Mother

About a dream in which she dies.
There’s a cranky buzz on the
cordless phone, I bring it closer
to the base, farther away,
the buzz stays the same. I can
hear my mother licking her lips
and sipping her coffee. Go on,
she says, tell me the part about
the stairs again.
The reading on Sunday was interesting. I've never had a question and answer period after a reading, and the MC asked me to give one so... I now understand quite throughly that many people want poetry to rhyme. Yes, that was made clear.

But hey, I got paid to read! That's never happened before, unless I got paid in buttons and bottle caps.

Here's me before I got on the subway to go to the reading.  The two glowing eyes at the bottom are from the alien I bought last week at the hardware store:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hi All

I'm doing a reading on December 9th at 2PM.
It's at the Queens Central Library ---

Central Library Auditorium
89-11 Merrick Boulevard

Phone: 718.990.0700
Directions: You take the F train to
169th Street, walk one block south to 89th Ave., turn right, the Library
fills almost a whole block, the entrance is exactly opposite the Bus
You walk straight to the elevator, take it one flight down, follow the
cards along the wall to the auditorium.

The reading's followed by an open mic, so please come and bring some stuff of your own to share!

These things usually have a big audience, so it would be great to see a few friendly faces in there!

And here's a rewrite of a poem I posted a few weeks ago.

The Fireman's Wife

1. The Dance of the Pink Elephant

Tell me about the bucket,
I asked him, as he stared
at the bucket.

It was a battered, ugly
bucket, stained and reeking
of pus.

He kicked the bucket
into the corner and it tangled
around his ankle, making
a terrible racket. I don't know
what you're talking about, he said,
his hands busy, I don't see
any bucket.

2. The Big House

I always planned
to have a big house,
he said. A big house
and a big black car. No,
two big cars. And you
were always in that house,
waiting for me.

3. His Business Card

I don't understand
why you're leaving me,
he said as I pulled down
the charred curtains and
stuffed them into a garbage bag.

the burning dining room table,
mice with singed tails
stampeded across our cats.

I love you, he said,
and things are
going so well.