Tuesday, December 21, 2010

redbeard

redbeard
simple with wet sand smeared on cold hands
a skull we found was mythical huge of proportions perhaps unearthly
and i did not assume to know and i do not assume 
to know the nomenclature of the beast entombed beside the beach
and i do not assume to know the future or its friends
the bough of our fortuitous beginning heavy with our end
i am only the sum of lingering loves and futile fears
the accumulation of books and years
only the perpetuation of that which we must all abide
that as we grow we take our small steps toward the tide
gazing silly sidelong into another’s blossoming eyes
redbeard, i find it old as stone, unnamed, deep and wide
now in ghastly glowing parlor i recall a finer light
how it shone oyster-gleaming on your sweet crown
and the churning currents sung it down, down, down
ours, ours, ours again
12-21-10

Saturday, December 11, 2010

proclamation

    In time, I proclaimed it in my bedroom. “I am a poet,” I said. He asked me how it felt, and I said painful: it feels like pain, and it does. Yet I could have been more explanatory. Being a poet feels like being always in love with someone who sways you and jerks you like fishing line. It feels like the constant nausea of anxiety pressed against the headiness of desire. It feels like the dread of a thing left unspoken, only noticed when the dust is blown from nostalgia.
    And it feels like three hours of dancing alone with eyes closed to the sounds of pipes and bells. It feels like a simple memory of love. It feels like absolute nakedness. And it feels like gazing at the nakedness of all around you through a lifted trapping of gauze. It feels like every one you see has a chest as open as Mary’s and through the window a burning heart exposed. Including your self, including your self.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

pharmaceutical daze

Pharmaceutical Daze

Suspended in vapor by
a spindly thread
langorously caressing the night

she is shaking like a maple bough
sweating
in the bedroom

and it is not easy,
though she thinks
that if it was she’d say--

lover, make me want you
because i’m floating
away

seduced by this
synthetic
felicity

(which begets
yet more
forgetfulness for me)

only within
the pharmaceutical daze
are the helicopters stars

and what is fine
seems good
and what is good seems best

and then it is easy,
if only to think
of how she would say, would say--

you are a woman of
near-mythic
fortitude

a woman of
dreamable
softness

Friday, December 3, 2010

Paris

paris. 


I stood next to large fountains full of coins, envisioning fish. i stared at naked nymphs, madonnas, war goddesses, spouting water from their mouths and breasts and hands as if special envoys of the grace of God. Generous. Material. Frozen in an instant of graceful motion, “like a woman ought to be” heh heh. eh? 

i was a month from my first fully fledged graceless gushing violent punishing menstrual madness. i was ten. ten years old. a girl does not have very long at all to be a girl. a girl becomes a woman all too soon, thrust into it, pushed painfully, headlong into our lot, our lot of pain. it sure does contain a lot of pain. 
 
a little italian girl does not have long to be a girl. a childish chest begins to expand, stung by the estrogen wasp. all in clear view of the entire world: our mothers fathers sisters brothers men on the street women on the street glaring smiling jeering leering ambivalently staring straight ahead, trying not to look, craning like daffodils to look, or with heads turning slow and sinister like black carnivorous birds. all saw. very few did not see. some took note. some did not. 

we stayed in montmarte. i stayed in a little twin bed shoved in a cranny on the third and a quarter floor of an artist’s apartment. the apartment was strewn and hung with the artist’s art. the carpet was sporadically burnt by the artist’s cigarette butts. the view was sublime. 

the hugest oldest golden grey stone city of a cemetery. Seen from the veranda. Seen from the street. Seen from above, inescapable, completely mysterious. Incurably there. Death. From every angle. I was ten years old.

Some tombs were like small palaces for the dead. Some bright fresh flowers startled the landscape with their color. 

At the picasso museum I saw a thousand more naked women to add to the thousand I had seen the day before. (I saw one thousand naked women every day.) Give and take. (As usual, give and take. As ever. As always.) Thirteen thousand naked women by the time we flew home to California. Thirteen thousand naked women. That is thirteen thousand vaginas (give and take) filling my field of vision with their mystery and shock. Thirteen thousand vaginas in my face. One of my own I found terrifying. One of my own beginning to stir and cause me pain and fear and embarrassment and fear and shame and fear. And great sorrow. And a sense of the inevitable, cruel, inevitable, cruel, inevitable, sad, sad, passing of time. 

At the museum of picasso I saw one thousand vaginas and some odd exponential number of breasts. I saw them all with utter confusion in my head and my chest. My grandmother strolled around, my mother, my sister, all strolling around. We strolled around and my unruffled father observed placidly each piece. So much more at ease than me, a room full of vaginas leading into another room full of vaginas, his face as calm as a slough by the sea, and he did not even have one. Who knows what expression my face bore. Might have been slightly green. 

In class, now, my professor says: Picasso hated women. Says I: “Hm.” 

And at the apartment in the afternoon my grandmother yelled at me in English which probably bored her. And she told me I was no longer a child. I was a woman, now, she said. And I understood my lot. It slapped me in my face, my lot, and I knew it was my own. It stuck to me like shellac. It never left. Could only be cleaned away by something so abrasive I just can’t go near it. Acid, bleach, if I managed to efface my lot I would efface my entire skin. My body would be gone. Perhaps bones would be left, perhaps the bones would dissolve along with every other thing. 

I was not afraid when I was with my mother. I was not afraid when I was with my father. Alone with my grandmother perhaps afraid. (Scarlet-coiffed, scarlet-lipped, startling pale blue eyes, beautiful in the way that is extremely rarely doled out, only to the lucky, the very lucky ones who will have a somewhat easier time in their lives, in some way, thanks to it, their insanely strong beauty.) Not brave, was I. I was not brave. I cowered and was tiny in my own body, curled up as small as possible, occupying only a tiny painful corner of my chest. Not brave was I. 

I was ten years old. The metro was a claustrophobic tunnel of fear taking me to places I could not pronounce. I did ask my parents, my sister, where to our destination? Where to? And they told me, and I promptly forgot. Every time. All found this irritating. All still do. I am no longer sorry. It has a great deal to do with having been a woman for eleven years and no longer being a ten year old girl. I did not then use strong words or yell or ever get mad. I was terrified and sad. I was only happy when I was not scared and as a little american girl in paris, big big city, every thing in french, french of all languages, I was frightened, an American mouse in an unfamiliar basement as big as a country. An entire country unto itself and even the crumbs looked different, which was fine and delicious. The vastness and the chaos though was jarring. 

Happiness was my grandmother’s straw hat, Madeline-esque I thought, with a wide black ribbon. Laying on lawns meant not to be lain or walked on. Croques, lemonade which was not really lemonade. Tarts and the round table, floral cloth on which we ate our simple extravagant meals cooked by sweet and gracious Danielle, so unlike my grandmother, her companion. The days I did not have heat stroke. 

The day I was struck down by the heat stroke. Puking everywhere on the bus. Sister revolted. Parents... concerned. Parisians very worried, cared very much. They could see that I was a little girl, just a little girl. 

Said I’m fine I’m fine tried to stand fainted. Dad carried me home. No way of knowing the number of blocks. Many. Could only perceive the up and down and swaying motion of what, maybe, thirteen thousand steps. Back to the apartment, into the bathtub, there my inescapable body. Again. Always. 

I was haunted almost every night. Jet - lag turned my brain into hell. Nightmares every night. A particular nightmare many nights in a row of sand being sifted through fingers, in a vast anonymous desert and then very suddenly a train rushing by and my dream self calling out perhaps not aloud, crying out inside wondering where my mother was. 

Wondering where my mother was. I would have appreciated a leash and a collar. But all I got was pushed away, pushed away, as if there was nothing to be afraid of. As if there was nothing in the world to fear. And in such a mean and thoughtless and preoccupied way. How, how did I not cry. I cannot remember crying. Just hell and trauma. So much trauma that even my mother was impatiently asking what’s wrong. 

While ten years old in paris wrote a poem about paris, quoth: paris a nice place to be - all happy warm sunny- the greatest cyclists -- and etc, we came to greet the tour de france. all happy warm sunny. i did not mean it, did not believe it. i still do not mean, believe it. Framed in my grandmother’s house, I see it often. Often I chose unnecessarily to placate all around me. Achieving nothing but the strange sight of watching myself shrink further into the tiny corner of my chest, watching myself bury my face in my hands and my arms and hide and bleed. 

Now a woman realizes what she has seen. It was every thing it was bound to be. Many colored, full of organs that seethe. Full of lampposts and cheese, Napoleon’s tomb, racing bicycles, delirious dreams. Cars crashing passionately on every street. A great deal to feel and to see. A strange misguided gift that crippled me. A strange misguided gift that left me with a limp, one that never was quite ‘unforeseen’. Call it paris in the summer call it misery. Call it the undoing and the making of me. Call it a girl becoming a woman submerged in blood and lacking sleep. Thirteen perfume bottles arranged delicately on a shelf in an an apartment none of which belonged to me. 

Call it my father carrying me home in assaulting heat, thermometers reading confounding degrees. My grandmother read a thousand pounds of poetry. My sister refused meat and was nearly free of the age of thirteen. I do not remember returning home or how it felt to be home. Only that my heart kept beating. Time kept passing by in crippled crawl or at wild hormonal speeds. Girlhood gone. So long 

was all the epitaph could read. So long, because the only language in which I can speak is my own. And that no longer seems worthless and shameful to me. I was never free until I learned that as a child you have no choice and as an adult choice is your luxury. Now I drive my little car along the Bay Area streets and I sit in Santa Barbara on deck chairs in the heat and I can go where I want to go, point a finger anywhere, walk a couple blocks to a cafe. All still flicker or stare, whistle or jeer, smile quietly, or go along their way as is decreed. I go my way in my own body. I still dream, cry, and bleed. 

For twelve years I have bled so much it seemed impossible that I could lose so much of any thing. Only now it is not loss it is an offering. Lush ground for some future seed. Carry on, says my father. my mother asks me what I need. 

Thousands of miles from Paris. Not as deprived as I used to be, as a girl, ten years old, in her summer of contradicting terms and actualities. Nightmares I can still recall. In English, all my dreams. This is my language. And that is all right with me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Lives

'The more I search, the less I find. The more I look, the more I'm blind.'

If it were easy it would be some old ancestral melody no young pink-skinned girl had to work for. If it were easy it would not be me, my head, my heart, my song, my head, my heart, my song, my head, my heart, my head, my heart, it would not be me if it were easy.

If it were easy it would not be winter. Where am I?

I am weak because it is not easy. I am weak and so I reach. I reach for him. I press myself into him. I feel anchored by his weight. It helps me know where I am.

If it were easy it would not be me, my head, my heart, my song, my head, my heart, my song, my head, my heart, my head, my heart, it would not be me if it were easy.

I was doing well once, I was fine then. Where am I?

I am lost because it is not easy. I only want to find me. I reach for me. I grapple for evasively slipping me. I feel like a sky-bound balloon. It blows fear into my bones.

If it were easy it would not be me, my head, my heart, my song, my head, my heart, my song, my head, my heart, my head, my heart, it would not be me if it were easy.

It is the season now of retreat. Where am I?

November Dies

    So November dies. There’s nothing more to be done. My mind is dull as a spoon. Fear threatens, hushed. Seductively looms, like a stranger who wants to be my lover.

    My eyes stare at nothing. Maybe if I ask questions. Was it the whisky which made me feel as if I were underwater. If I was wrought less stupid and shy by her reductive gaze would she want me. If no one had died today would I feel more grounded. If I go could I ever come back.

    Yet I have answers. I do not want every thing. I want to be steady and somber as a pillar. I want no more rustling hysteria flowers. I want him to hold me. I take it for granted. That embrace I am given by him. They do not correspond with my questions. Yet they are answers.

    I want to be home with my mother and father. There my edges disappear. Here anxiety leers, clawing at my feet, and it’s cold. November dies and I wonder why it is so vindictive. I wonder what it is making me pay for. What is it that I have done.

    It is as if it beckons to me with a decaying finger and whispers with its last breath its sickness into my ear. It is as if it lies bleeding on the floor and summons its final strength to pull the trigger of its gun. I fall limp.

    I realize I need him now, which is vaguely surprising and fair to no one. I realize I need him now, could do without but would not choose to, could do without but not as well. And if my circumstances seem infelicitous; perfection never did enter the equation. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rachel Was Right

listening to: patti smith 'redondo beach'




I wanna keep this secret okay it really wouldn’t do to let it out, a can full of moths, a nest full of wasps, a mouthful of smoke, one of those shirts with buttons all the way down when you’re feeling real impatient, it wouldn’t do, but damn, damn, I can’t keep it in and fuck, fuck, I couldn’t keep from staring, I’ve got a lover I’ve got a lover boy I’ve got a boy

There are these people that walk by my parlor window and they push these shopping carts full of shit, boxes and cans and broken pieces of tvs and her feet were small and slender and freckles fallen onto her arms like out of a pepper mill and her hair in her lazy eyes and damn, damn, I can’t keep it in and fuck, fuck, every thing I wanted made me shake like a choking engine, and now I’m just

Listening to Patti Smith over and over, I know that I’ve got that I’ve got a lover, I know that I’m in, that I’m in some shit now, I wish I could fucking find her but I just don’t know how, I shoved all my cards in her perfect hand, wond’ring if she could tell that (I’ve got a man) but I don’t care about a fucking thing as I listen to the song, I went looking for you, are you gone gone?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

night: still hot

listening to: grouper

you may find me under the heavy water oh unbearable sweetness holding sleepy eyes and fever wracked chest to my chest and a trembling it is still so hot so hot we sweat--broken heel aching i said picture it

so santa’s drinking a bottle of coke now porches bleed festive i’m not confused i am afraid of the weapon that i bear which i knew not that i bore until last night it dug into my side

i’m not confused my sequins scales caught in a fish net not confused not confused stubble scratching graph onto my neck i do not contemplate all that which i cannot forget you may find me under the heavy water oh disconcerting sweetness

Thursday, November 11, 2010

song against sex

And the last one tore a picture
from the pornographic page
and all the pleasure points attacking
all the looks of love were staged
and it's a lie that you've been given
that just hurts you every day
so why should I lie here naked
when it's just too far away
from anything we could call loving
any love worth living for
so I'll sleep out in the gutter
you can sleep here on the floor
and when I wake up in the morning
I won't forget to lock the door
'cos with a match that's mean and some gasoline
you wont see me any more
NMH

Thursday, November 4, 2010

where you'll find me now

listening to: on avery island, nmh.


i am so tired my muscles
limp and exhausted from giving birth to so many
stillborn

little hopes

i saw a broken belt i saw a hole in
the chain link just big enough for my
body i wanted to

climb right through

i guess i carry a satchel
of broken babies i guess i am too obvious
i smell like need

that's what they'd say

obvious like the bed behind the
fence made out of a lawn chair blankets
stained with wet mold which no one even

sleeps in now

this is not my home town this is not my
home this is not my home i cannot
smell the seaweed

i cannot smell the sea

where is my sea

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

contrarily, a dirt sea

dirt sea
the land has known
ashes
has known blood, too
and the muddy barren
fields stick to the 
boy’s throat
i see 
inexplicably 
how he stands holding
a perfect crimson 
apple 
surrounded by his dirt sea

Sunday, October 24, 2010

one year with no umbrella



one year with no umbrella meant
wet
cold sadness smearing the frames
of my arms rolling 
down the window of my chest
“i know that you can see through me, you
all” 
i thought i was stained glass wrought
animate by ironic misfired gift
i thought of choking hands i thought
of kissing car windows 
i dreamt and could not keep
from dreaming,
there, that is where he was beat 
with the fishing-pole
sleep was cruel and so too was
his wake
and every bit to do with
being awake
snakes don’t like the rain
they say 
they were cast out of my homeland
they met the ocean 
became kelp

day in, day out

"day in, day out, your ominous arrows purr..."

i had a rather easy--
--but wait
some times what i say
seems only the skin
of truth, and not
the stuff itself

here are some things
which i find funny:
but no,
that feeble movement
is not funny, don't
mock my walk

i could say i'm only
His, the royal
His, but wait--
I do not lend my
caress to a god-king

Day in, day out
I am known by
none, sweet
the anomaly
of my battered
innocence

Thursday, October 14, 2010

warmer waters

I. 
a piece of me 
a seashell
palm-held, seen
for the first time
is still there
on the beach


II.
years ago, a dead
cormorant in the sand
was all black
feathers and 
extinguished yearning 
for flight
the beautiful fallen
bird, stilled by 
its death-mystery


III.
i have returned
to the cold shore
recalling
warmer waters

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

oakland by bicycle

i was sitting in the dark again with oakland, the hot dirty night mother
the hot dirty trash-drunk shopping cart gas station mother
my crumbling pavement mother

i was sitting in the dark with oakland, my fragments glued with truth
not broken any more, but healed, healed by oakland
thank you my darling kiss the cheek oakland's oily cheek thank you.

oakland i am healed can you believe it?
i didn't foresee it myself, street of six desolate- times- motels, you are
my home street, my boulevard, thank you, oakland, for west macarthur boulevard.

now the light stays green so long, it seems,
the billboards blare their vapid candy,
i say, get the fuck off of my street, billboard, quit fuckin' up oakland!

and my city waited for me,
playing motown on the radio, patient mother oakland
waited for me to put on my party dress.

oakland i am cycling along your streets now
sore and adoring, my legs bent pipes, my dress hiked up,
pedaling by my can-collecting suitors

contemplating love, hiss and growl for love
snarl and prowl for love, but there is no hunger oakland
you have fed me and i am full, full of love.

simple weather love, heat wave love
beer in the park love, cats in the parlor love
love in my basket, i am the witch of north oakland

whirring by, seduced and satiated

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

in the sea / i put the weight on you

I spent a night and a day in the sea,
Borne among the waves.
 It broke loose a gasp of hope from my chest
And the darkness held fast to the heat of the day.
I returned to shore a lighter thing,
Loving of my lot.
Plaqued with salt and free to sing
Of all that I’ve given and got.
Plaqued with salt and stuck with sand
I put the weight on you. 
I felt my fragments readhere
And I was known and new,
As new as some black waterfowl gone swimming in the slough.
Now the train dips and rolls me northward
Toward what I cannot foresee.
It was not, until it was,
And yes it’s quite all right with me.
Beneath the water all was well,
The tide it tipped and bucked and swelled.
Papa rode the breaking wave with me not far behind.
But in the night when only I
Was mad enough to strip and dive,
You watched me from the shore,
Held me ‘til I was warm,
And held me until finally I knew.
It’s all right to weary,
To give up resistance,
To do what we are meant to do.
To lean into your arms
No longer harrowed by harm
And to put the weight on you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

seeking!

Single twenty-two year old female enjoys: Watching 'gossip girl' on internet thieved from 'the bay bridge inn', long chats with her psychiatrist, crashing cars, her favorite cafe, debussy on vinyl, good bourbon, and masochistic pursuits. (!)

Seeking: male of above-average intelligence. a deeply-seeded penchant for self-loathing is a definite plus! should enjoy hating oneself, sanctimonious judgments, playing it cool, and a self-perpetuated state of 'being all-alone in the world'.

For: A psychological dalliance of pathetic yet nuclear proportions!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Weaker Sex Has a Qualm, Qualm, Qualm.

The weaker sex has a qualm, qualm, qualm.
The weaker sex has a qualm.
It disputes its classification.

The weaker sex would like
Nothing more than a day,
One sweet, one Iron-Tinged day,
One day during which to
Stab the cursed hand that reached for them.

The weaker sex will hold you
To their breast.
The weaker sex will love you
With your flaws.

The weaker sex will say yes
Should you decide you want them,
If they want you in return.

The weaker sex will seethe and burn,
The weaker sex will be silent
And the weaker sex will speak.

The weaker sex has a qualm.
The weaker sex has a question.
The weaker sex disputes its classification.

The weaker sex bore you.
The weaker sex raised you.
All you have which was given
The weaker sex gave you.

And the weaker sex may cry.
At times we may keen.
Yet deny the sense
Of the weaker sex
And the weaker sex will leave.

I Do Not Thank You

I cannot breathe, it was not a good idea.
Silk bound breasts. Blurring vision.
My body does not thank me, my mind
Does not thank me my straining heart
Does not thank me my shaking legs
Do not thank me, I do not
Thank you.

I do not Thank You. For pulling me
Into your arms, for biting my pleading
Limbs, for baring my laboring chest
I do not Thank You.

I sweat, I tremble, I Do Not Thank You.
For dealing with what you've wrought,
Should I then thank you? For
What you were and then were not
Should I then thank you?

I know that I was your accomplice.
In every deed and each kiss.
I do not deny it.
And I Do Not Thank You.

pseudohaiku #?

when people walk by
past the parlor window
i wish they were you

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

then again

The boardinghouse burned down
Must have smoldered in the night
I regret that I wasn’t present
To experience the light

I’m ready to give to you a handful of ashes.

I’m sick now and unsurprised
In my bed I flail and writhe
Seethe with fever and I crave
Your dystopian sound

Its bitter grain, I’m nowhere-bound.

There is a day for which I wish to cry
And I may remember, or try to deny
It may have been a day spent
Kicking water from the dock

Then again it may have not.

And there are things I can’t forget
Trapped by the fence, alone on the swing-set
It must have been a day spent
Fifteen years ago

Or the night it made me shake beneath the blanket that you lent.

I am sinking just like you, my cynic.
I can hear your looming insect drone.
A woman would paint you with ashes
And still we are alone

The sense, I just can’t find it. Despite how much I’ve grown.

Limp on, your crippled shuffle and drag on, my blurring steps.

Badly Done, Allison

in the mornings i don't feel good. i just don't, feel good. i just don't.
when i wake i don't feel good. i just don't, feel good. i just don't.
i feel like a bottle of champagne someone knocked off of a shelf
to go rolling rolling round the floor. i'm all shook up.

the book is described as containing a 'comically helpless masochism'
i don't want to read it.
i do not think that the words apply to me, the thoughtless words,
so stupid.

a ‘comically helpless masochism,’ oh, go fuck yourself, you,
whoever you are who could believe in such a thing.
i am bleeding from my mouth, it pools beneath my tongue,
i clutch the gape in my chest that is blown through,

my eyes roll back, i dream in pain of you,
ecstasy, ecstasy, ecstasy, says the page.
when i wake up i don't feel hate or rage.
i just don't feel good. i just don't.

you could at least get out of my dreams
you're a very mean thing. you're a very mean thing.
while i endeavored to be the lady in green
i was getting all dressed up to go nowhere.

vera and deanie


Monday, October 4, 2010

my prize

Bury your face in my lap until I have a heart attack, my cynic. I want to die with someone in my arms.

With your nose in my skirt, unveil your hurt, inhale my vapors and grow slack and warm, no longer to come to harm although you won't believe it.

And your pain has become my pain, cynic. Like when you pulled me onto your back and we tumbled into bed. The cynic in you became the cynic in me, and drunkenly it went straight to my head.

And your darling features belie your bitter heart like a ravaged cypress which will not be torn apart but simply stands there, bowed and broken, and begging for support to deny.

This is who I am, cynic. And this is where I have arrived. You've seen the shaking of my body and known the stones in my eyes. And cynic, I don't know what you think, your misanthropic mind. What might have been or what lies down the line. To steel myself toward something that I cannot yet recognize is what awaits me now, my punishment, my prize.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

hypothetical conversations with the cynic part IV

dark clouds are rolling across the sky, obscuring my vision, cynic. what i thought would be simple was a painting perceived from a distance. in front of me it is rough, the texture beneath my hands feels like clotted pigments. the truth tastes like a mouthful of whisky, like old espresso.

each person walking by can see through to me and through me, my vermilion pout, kissed a million times, split and bitten, abandoned, like a pomegranate. each person peers through the glass into the very stones of my eyes, steals what they can and, fortified, strides off.

i will not blow the dust from the surface of a memory, cynic. i will not recall the freedom of two strangers on that very street who neither knew nor cared, then, who did not know: that the cynic in you, my darling, is the cynic in me.

and so the fruit was torn in two and out were sucked the seeds. it is not impossible that at some point, one got what they needed. it is not impossible that something new was seeded, but i cannot tell the future any more than the next beautiful, wounded cynic limping down the street.

hypothetical conversations with the cynic part III

All I want to do is sleep, cynic. This waking life is too sharp and I am too frail to withstand it. And I have seen you in your nakedness, so wounded, while you have seen me disarmed and charmed and weak. You would say, what does that count for, Allison? You would say, I’m glad you’re entertained. You would say, I know myself. And I would know your thousand fragments and your chains. 

Let’s be light, a little lighter, cynic. The droning insect can be batted away by a hand. We can try, can try to understand. You would say, what does that count for, Allison? You would say, I understand quite well. Your loneliness resounds to me, its disastrous bell. Your dissonance resounds as it screeches and swells.

Some people say that they feel like death but I feel more akin to dying. Not in the sense that I am trying, but in the sense that I'm on some dark doorstep naked and bent. You have chewed me to the quick and spat me out, contorted, cynic. You are embittered beyond any light of sense.  The droning insect circles you and wraps you in its web.

You would say, you do assume to know, don't you, Allison? Perhaps you'd say, yet you don't know a thing. Perhaps you would be right, adored cynic. I can only know what I can see. There was once a day, bore some pollen which whispered a notion of happy. But for your scorn it has evaded you as it has denied me. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

                                                                          sandy denny
                                                                                            says ouch

what may be last, my cynic

what may be last, my cynic
is considerably more

than what i so open- armed and ill-informed
had bargained for

turning my pockets inside out
and showing what remained

bare and undulating
was a stomach churning drop, a burning yellow plain

the grass grew high all summer long
it waited for its flame

and what is parched, what is reduced
is all now that remains.

i read it in a book, my cynic
that ecstasy is pain

shocking the body in waves
on nights that beg for rain

i've been a fool and been a fool
and poor as could be conceived

what has burned and loved me
retrieved, my cynic, and hardly believed

hindsight shows me some ophelia
tumbling toward the reeds

the present shows me only
what may be last

and what i need.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

hypothetical conversations with the cynic part II

    The sun never went down, it just disappeared and left an opacity which didn’t care. Lately I have been thinking a lot about it. I was very young, four or five years old. I understood that it was deeply wrong and I understood that it was an event of such gravity that the prospect of revealing it overwhelmed me.  So I didn’t.

I wish I could have protected you, cynic. I wish you could have protected me. It’s too bad, it’s a shame. It’s a shame how it all went down.

Mama never seemed to be just where you would expect her. Running to the house, I wanted to show off. I had taught myself to swing. You kick your legs. You feel the wave.

Now I’m twenty-two; I drink whisky. I live in a blue house and listen to blue records. I live with the effects of every thing. Wild livin’.  The unspeakable things. The swing.  

I just want to be free of

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

hypothetical conversations with the cynic

"you see, when you were just a kid, they said you wouldn't remember what they did. they said, hell, you were just a kid. you wouldn't remember, but you did."




i didn't want to do it but they made me sing. you were a child, you were having the dreams. you were a child. you were unknown to me.

you were a child. you were grasping the secrets. i was a child, when i started giving it away. i gave it all away. by the time i was twenty-two i was shit-poor with eyes as heavy as pewter bullets.

it was a terrible scene, cynic. it would have suited you just. you could have sat in the rafters and watched the misuse of the steam, streaming juices let disastrously loose. caused some casualties. room for reform. recast as a virgin magnanimously torn.

you were swimming in a womb while i slept in a yellow room. you were playing in the sun when i started getting drunk. it was lots of fun back then. sweet thirteen thieving the brandy to dull the ache of the honesty.

i don't know how to explain it, cynic. it's not as if, it's not as if you care. i didn't want to sing, they made me do it. i gave it all away. if this will make them happy, this keep them at bay. this make them go, this make them stay. the good guys and the bad guys were just the same.

i wish i knew more, knew more, cynic. i wish i had a rafter seat, an unobstructed view, of the dreams and the sun and what happened to you, when

you were a child. you were grasping the secrets. i was a child. searching for scraps of love. you were eighteen, you were ready to leave. i was twenty, lulled to dreams by morphine.

and now, cynic, now look where we are. it's all some story now we can tell or we can swallow. we can turn it up or down but it never really leaves. is it in our blood?  is it what lingers when we breathe?

hypothetical pretty baby

we hello'd because you're not the sort of person to be pretty babied; we hello'd and began our walking, walking. walking, walking toward the something. the afternoon. the car. the question. the car.

ah but can't you take a load off, pretty baby? that must weigh some bale of hay, a silly thing, and it's going to drown you. 'oh my darling,' i would say, should say, 'it's going to drown you.'

brown paper tied with twine and we somehow defy the passage of time. wrap around each other, to scoff and dismiss. divulge via kiss. it just is.

so hey pretty baby let's go downtown. we can drink away the looming insect, that you're going to drown. in my dark crate of a room we can find ourselves entombed by the stones we've thrown at our reflections, how they ricocheted back, hit us right in the lungs; we're on the inside.

it's all right my cynic the damage is done. it's all right pretty baby don't you worry so much. it's all right on the inside, it's all rather dire. there's nothing we know better than being under fire.

Monday, September 27, 2010

resurrection/stone

your crippled walk
speaks to me in its wispy shuffle

the nature of time seems not
unkind today

as we all propel ourselves,
so wounded,

in whatever way we can
toward our longed for

resurrections, toward
what we have coming,

what we have coming,
our own

resurrections,
in water, and fire,

in mud,
in stone.

billie's gardenias

she sang the warm wave of tar she
lay upon

she sang the blows that she took
to the face

she sang her sweet and
violent men

she sang the blood
rolling down her head

staining its source
billie's gardenias

Saturday, September 25, 2010

sweating

"see, i aint getting better; i am only getting behind. standing on the crossroad, trying to make up my mind. trying to remember how it got so late, why every night pain comes from a different place, now something's gotta change." molina


it's been real interesting finding out what i meant to them
it's been real interesting watching so much go up in flames and smoke

i'm a lady so i don't get mad i just shake my pretty head and 
don't leave the house for some days 

i'm a lady so i don't get mad i just give it all away and hold myself all night as i cradle my torn scraps tightly 

if you were here you wouldn't say it but you would think i'm still a fool 
looking for love that'll treat me like shit 

you wouldn't say it but you would think
i'm the same old hypocrit,
your girl, allison. 

i used to wonder how you could love me 
i still wonder how you can love me 

knowing what you do about me and what i've done.

but you always took it really easy on every one. 

except yourself. 


any way, i hope you're well, you old hound. 
i hope you're making plans and making sounds. 


i hope you're keeping cool and clean. 
it's so goddamn hot here. 





 

the house

last night i went to the house 
with a friend, with a bottle of lambrusco, 
it was filled with people, i did not know them 
only four did i know. 


the last time i went to the house 
we walked. 
we walked the twelve or so blocks 
asking questions and idle talk
that was not idle because my 
heart seethed for you. 


at the house we wound through the garden
overgrown and bramble threaded 
you handing me figs and apples 
i followed you 


you told me that you had a fantasy,
to die--
a fantasy to die, 
shot through the heart, 
while picking fruit 
in an orchard 


i told you that i had a fantasy,
to die--
a fantasy to die, 
hit by a car, 
a true collision, 
and you said, well, 


that makes sense,
for 
collisions are 
so sexy


i remembered our brief kisses then
and again last night
trapped again within the pulsations 
of the house

and your friend told me 
that you felt for me truly 
and i told him truly 
that i felt for you 


and then
i left the house.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the new era of poeme

enter, then
the new era of poeme.

i am a mess,
my skirts sweep the dirt,

i shudder and shake,
but i do not weep.

i jangle with hope
and wish i could stop wishing;

i contradict myself.

i wonder:
how is it,

that i am still as green as jade,
after all i've seen and said?

green as green,
after all i've seen and all i did?

it seems
not a small mercy

but a huge
infinite and encompassing one.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the search

the search along her body for the places teeth have been yields few fading results to her ravenous eyes. it is not anticipation. it is a film reel of memories, recent and brash. it is it is. confounding. it is hope attempting not to hope and mind attempting not to 'mind'. it is. failure. it is either hormonal intoxication or disenchanting omen or unlikely happiness or. a wet dress drying on the body. clung to her form or loose like a sack. blind begging.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

sitting in the cafe

"not as sad as dostoyevsky. i'm not as clever as mark twain. i'll only read a book for the way it looks, and then i'll stick it on the shelf again."





didn't you know, i've grown old in the time that it took for the rain to come.
i welcomed it as my mother, bid it stay a long while.
i wish the clouds and rain were immortal, ceaseless drizzle, unending fog
it suits me.

i am not In Love any more.
didn't you know, i dug my muddy grave on those moony nights.
i was like the townfolk astounded by my own resurrection
as a woman.

i'm walking 'round the wheel.
like the wheel at the sanctuary all those years ago,
made of stones in the tall grass. i'm walking round the wheel,
toward more walking.

i welcome autumn as a glimpse of winter.
i am ready to wrap my self in my self
pick up a book and put it back on the shelf
and walk 'round the wheel again.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I. II. III.

I.
 All is a pattern of repeating greyness. In my city nothing is concrete. We lay in one another’s arms despite my heart’s weary creak in the darkness. It is what you want or you wouldn’t reach for it. It is what I find when I look right in front of my self.
II. 
Your picture is on my window. You are looking down; your smile and I say I love you I love you I love you each time I see it. So much will I always love you master of my happiness my Justin. I don’t see disaster any more. It was there without knowing what it was it was there for. Now there’s just denim, your face, gazing down, your smile. 
III.
I don’t know you at all. Can someday you come to me and say, lady all in green you are a terrible thing, haunting my dreams with your eyes and your teeth? I don’t know you at all. Can someday I come to you say, this is what I’ve waited to do remove your glasses and look into your blooming blue irises? The bend of your neck or the time that we spoke or the time that we gazed or the time that you kissed my--

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

just rise

the warmth in my chest met sorrow
and crept to a corner to hide

dismayed by the darkness that it could not abide

i wanted all the love i found
adherent to my side

but every crime my hands caressed, for each act were they tried

now the wind is in my face
and my face knows no disguise

i see myself and where i lie and i beseech myself to rise

just rise

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

more or less

the boy is taking all the clothing off the line
i suppose i'm feeling fine

i suppose i'm feeling fine
more or less.

i thought our bodies might ignite
into one flame during one night

i thought that was what i wanted
more or less.

but the heart in breast
does not settle for this

and it needs more than
what you can give

a little more, to be a little more sure
more or less.

i found love
in graves already dug

danced with the corpses
and gave them all hugs

let them touch my body
with hands already dead

let the deadness
touch my precious head

for reasons i only can guess.

and their cold fingers held guns
shot me right in the lungs

til i bled on their floor
to my pitiful death

and now revived
and even alive

i can't risk again such a mess

so i'll make my way
on my own as they say

embracing loneliness

what else can i do,
when i want to be true

to myself
and to every one else,

no less.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

moving on out

listening to:
northstar blues. magnolia electric co.


i'm moving on out
of this old room

recalling what is has seen

i thought that i was loved in here
but it was just a dream

the men have done me
unkind things

and left me nightmare
scars

i did what i could
to survive it

the foot of my bed
don't face the door

someone told me sweetly
he had never loved before me

someone made me promises
he just couldn't keep

someone held me in the darkness
finally to weep

someone told me if there was a baby
he'd push me down the stairs

someone let me dance to neil young
told me never cut your hair

i looked in that mirror
as they loved me one by one

and disappeared like vapor
shadows vanished in the sun

i'm moving on out

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

dappled day you have restored me to myself
it seems

i was poor but now my heap of pressed
pennies gleams

upon the shore of the lake we drank
and ate and dreamed

that we were swimming until
we were swimming.

we swam until my brim was wet,

my broken smile mended

the panorama beautiful,

the way it had been rendered

by the hands of men

and i do not say it easily

that by the hands of men

can sometimes do some good.

Monday, August 23, 2010

the question game

on the walk we played a game it was called the question game.
i don't have any questions for you any more. other than
how you manage to continue with your barrage of questions
like an unending storm.

i could say i don't know a thing but i would be a liar.
i have a secret and it is that i know.
the secret sits within my chest a sharp rock.
when i breathe it digs into me further.

deception follows and hides in trees behind me, watching.
it jumps on me when my stride grows easy and complacent.
that's what i get for walking with my eyes closed.
that's what alyosha would say any way.

i believe in senselessness.
i'm wearing it as a bracelet on my right wrist.
looking down at it i try to use an ancient alchemy
to transform it into strength.

looking down at it i try to see it as a reminder to
ask questions.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

it was hard to understand the words wasn't it? 
it wasn't the way it was when we sat by the shore. 
i drove to my grandma's for bourbon and company.
i wanted to holler out every window.


i wish some things were different i guess.
my head is still my head.
i feel vaguely that i had at some point believed i'd changed.
but i haven't changed.


perhaps i am the unchanging girl. 
deserving of a cage and a carnival show. 
all i do is grow a little older and a little wiser
in a way that is easy to see but tough to stick to.


i am trapped in a grey dream and i like it here.
i want the sun to stay invisibly hidden.
it suits my bruises and my confusion. 
though if i said i didn't know what i meant i'd be lying.

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