Punk Poetry/Music/Food/Fashion/Travels with Maria

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Paradise of Fools

Jon puts the peels from his tangerine in my pocket. That day he’d just come from delivering a colt.  We met each other by a dried-out riverbed and walked it until we found water. Three months pregnant, I felt safe from his charms.

We stare at a lone water lily, and he put his arms around me from behind like he did when we were eighteen and stood at the end of Huntington Pier. I lean into him and feel the same stupid lust. I think, “I should be impervious.” I am thirty and pregnant.

I cannot look him in the eye. I talk about why I’m in California, the Milton conference, the paper about Eve and the serpent. How the serpent licked Eve’s shadow and how she fell for his flattery. How Adam’s uxoriousness deserved punishment from the god’s or god as the case may be.

I am married, I am pregnant, but I am not happy. I know this, but what I lack in marital bliss is compensated by blind loyalty to an ideal. Jon moves boulders that have been dormant for years.  Stuff happens. I fall, but I do not leave my husband for another 5 years. And I end all contact with Jon, even though I’m pretty sure I loved him for a long time.
That day, hours after he left, I reach in my pocket and find the peels like slivers of light shed from a too-bright star.

Photo Credit: Stewart Ferebee, "Girl with Horse"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Boom, boom, boom, satelite of love . . .

She hands him a tiny poem on a small card. He looks at her and says, “You really are a poet, do your parents know this?” He’s a physicist, the small kind of physics, like angstrom small, not astro big.
He tells her ether is an invention of poets. She says if you think it’s real then it’s real. He laughs, says he’s too rational for her. Brings her flowers tied with a purple ribbon. She resists for a while but then succumbs. They create a tiny universe too small to be seen without a microscope. They float out on a dust mote where  galaxies swirl within galaxies.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Past is a Whore

The past is a whore insisting you notice her red silk dress.
The past is boring, it’s over now, why come here begging with your empty cup?
The past splashes soot on day dreams, invades with a baby’s lip wet
with milk suckling in sleep. 
The past is leather shoes with golden buckles, one lost in a cotton field, the other
muddied and hidden under my bed.
The past is my mother finding it and not saying a word.
The past is her silence, her leopard skin jumpsuit, her pale hands carrying Valentine’s cupcakes.
The past is a mirror, a pretend lake where we make pretend wishes and believe they’ll come true.
The past is an angry man come to tear my ginger house down, once all the sweet things have been sucked away.
The past is your sister’s curly hair in summer sunlight, her body an arc, diving.
The past is the ripple from the splash you dip your toe in.
The past is not water, the past is not stone, the past is a dirt clod
thrown in a game of war with your brother, your sister.
The past is her brown eyes smiling at you with a headless doll in her hands.
The past is a dog in heat that’s run away, you no longer chase it anymore, though you still throw it a bone now and then.

Photo Credit: Stewart Ferebee, "Hamburg"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Not Some Wet Ophelia

Not Some Wet Ophelia

You cannot turn her into some wet Ophelia,
even if her gown drips pansies and the purple flowers of Diana.

She is not a Sappho fragment to be translated by some man
who thinks he knows her. Who thinks she only has one breast.

Who doesn’t care what Wittig thinks
or thought or wrote about language.

Pygmy chimpanzees are not patriarchal. They would tell
you that if you only listened, but you are too

busy, camellias bloom and die
before you even notice.

Her wedding gown is not a shroud made of dragonfly wings.
Her ring is not a sign of ownership—o.k.  who are we fooling here?

Maybe it is, but she is not owned like a McDonald’s.
You cannot franchise her, coat her in sugar for the masses to swallow.

She wears combat boots and pearls--
and if she commits suicide, it’s not about you, it’s for herself.

Photo Credit: Stewart Ferebee, "Citroen"