Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hotel #7

Are you high? you whispered. The pillows hummed
like sweet pools of lit amethysts, the sheets as smooth

as a girl's long, long back. You worried about cameras
hidden in the walls. I worried that our neighbors' mumbling

had a pulse, a morse-like code. Vending machines rang
robotically, unsteadily, downstairs. Do you want me to be?

Your face edged by the deep blue glow of the pool at night,
how my feet moved so slowly through it, swish, swish.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The 24 Hour Flu

Was what she called it for weeks: all night popcorn,
all night kitchen-wall scouring, all night swearing

and weeping with her hand over the stove's red ringlets.
And then little blue pills with sugar and coffee to help

my headache. We traded lipsticks in hotel parking lots,
me in the front seat, freezing in blue pajamas. Look

what you've done to your daughter,
she was always
yelling at someone, somewhere. In the rearview
mirror, I mouthed to myself, I can't watch.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Lost Wax Method

I know about your fall,
the time in the hospital.
I know about 1983.

When the sun stuck its hooks
into the backs of your hands.

When every gesture pushed
through a rubble of dead
birds and someone else's bricks.

This is too hard to read, so let's put
it inside our mouths and suck. All
this 7-11 cake, and we're still hungry.

I want to buy you something,
after all you lost for me. A washing
machine, a can opener, a kitten with six legs.

I'll find you the pill to let you sleep,
I'll find you the silence we paid for.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Take 23

a woman asks, "the horses, which side did they fall
on during the quake?"
and I tell her it hasn't happened yet, to call back in a minute

I'm wearing the same blouse as the girl on TV,
the same tiny brown flowers that flow up the neck,
the same plastic, pearlized buttons, and in this dream,
you're taking it off me, button by button,
until something like a fishhook jabs your hand and you yell;

I want to apologize,
but I'm standing by the river and shivering,
and you're still on TV

and someone else answers your cell,
sounding like a pilot or help desk employee,
shouting louder and louder
until vibrations fill the glass box

and it's then that the horses shift and pound in their stalls,
making those
small coughing noises called "whinnies"

then that the payphone under the dung pile rings again,
and the receiver slides out of my hand,
a large-eyed fish looking up at me,
trying to fly and failing

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

PingPong East Coast Launch Party at Happy Ending

The Henry Miller Library announces the annual publication of PingPong, a journal of the arts. Serving up the best from the global literary and art scene by publishing a vibrant group of poets, writers, artists, and photographers, this issue continues PingPong’s commitment to the raw aesthetics set forth by Henry Miller and Anais Nin.

PingPong is hosting its East Coast Launch Party at the Happy Ending Lounge -- a former brothel, but don't worry, it's smelling sweet now -- on Saturday, October 16, featuring readings by contributors Joanna Fuhrman, Cheryl Burke, Jennifer Firestone, Whitney Porter, Kate Hall, Lucas Chib, Joanna Penn Cooper, Valerie Fox, Thaddeus Rutkowski, Michelle DuPre`, Douglas Piccinnini, Nathan Austin, and Monica Colbert, as well as editors Maria Garcia Teutsch and Christine Hamm. Readings begin at 7:00 pm. 302 Broome St., NY, NY. Free.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Hotel #10

Aqua cinderblock, channel stuck
to the preacher's face, the curling

message along the bottom promising
you an answer to your call. The air

conditioner, humming, dripping
like a sick bulldog. The mattress

dipping in the center like a punched-in
stomach. How the doorknob breaks

after the second day, so one of us
has to stay awake all the time. The last

coke from the vending machine, ticking
on the nightstand farthest away from me.

Your mother on the phone. Your girl-
friend. So hot it hurts to touch the pink

blanket; you slip a wet washcloth
under my neck. I touch your hair

with my tongue as you sleep-talk.
Comfort, lasting a minute.