Tag: poems

Change

So it went that there was
a golden time that I emerged
from my shell and made nice
with all the flowers, and the sky
darkened because it didn’t like
my sudden change of heart
and wanted me to remain cruel
and full of hate…

…but I had outgrown that,
shed that skin, and was ready
for new experiences that
weren’t so twisted and full
of shards of black glass.

The sky threatened rain,
and I held up my cup.
The sun began to bleed,
and I offered a bandage.

Below, on the green earth,
I turned and turned in my
hot dreams, and my waking
life began to resemble
a memory of something
better than I ever was.

Is it real? I asked the birds,
who flew on and ignored me.

I visited the water, my ancient enemy,
and asked, Have I really changed?
Of course not, the water murmured.
You’re the same as you always were.
Look at your growing list of victims.

I turned the other way, convinced
the water was lying (it always had before).
I made my way through my dwindling years,
buoyed by the thought that I had been
reformed, reimagined, and the dead
were not dead but merely pretending,
playing a joke that I didn’t understand
but would get on a not-to-distant day.

In the Company of Rabbits

In the Company of Rabbits

When I opened my brain
with a black can opener
I borrowed from the dead,
I figured things would go
a certain way: I would see
the tendrils that connect one
awful thought to another,

but now I found myself giving
a speech to an audience of
rabbits (some robotic, some
organic, and some hybrid)
on the myth that eating carrots
will improve one’s eyesight,

a theory peddled by my 20/20
grandmother to her dim-visioned
grandson who would grow up
to be a man who borrows a can-
opener, peers inside his brain, and
finds solace in the company of rabbits.

A Portrait

 

As previously noted, clocks appear rather often in my poems.

A Portrait

It was he: master of the nondramatic
handshake, non-functioning plumage,
and reasonless flicks of the tongue.

He was a fan of asocial sunset parties
and slick, adamant monotheism.

He was known to drag his eyelids.

No one sniffed when he parceled
out a spit of land for his dreams and lunged
for the kindest security he could find,
a maiden of gray habits and uniform grins.

Together, they invented wild secrets
as they quietly crept into small clocks.

The Going Rate

I’m going through old poems and editing them since I have so little time (or energy) to write these days. I think this poem appeared on this blog at some point.

The Going Rate

She was dog-ass drunk when he asked her,
“What’s the going rate for damsels
in distress these days?” and slid closer
“Not a lot,” she said, eyeing him. Not too bad,
probably even better with the lights off.

She wobbled off her bar stool, grinning,
remembering when she was younger, hoping
for more than one AM nights and a double
vision Prince Charming, his horse a weary
Dodge pick-up, barely street-legal.

They meandered to a Haggard tune,
kissed and groped in the dim wattage
that eventually bled into night.
She greeted the morning with a black eye
and he, late for work, drank breakfast.

Relocation

I’ve probably posted this one before…too lazy to check.

It was supposed to be a country move,
but it quickly became continental,
and the girl with the chess-game past
moved into a foreign town with glass walls
and dagger-teeth folks who told stories
by torchlight and prayed away their hunger.
“Will I die here?” the girl asked.
The man with blood-spotted hands replied,
“By and by, young lady, by and by.”

Another Experiment Gone Wrong

Another Experiment Gone Wrong

Are you some kind of duke or baron? the forlorn man
in the tweedy jacket and wearing the sunset asks me.
Surely I don’t radiate royalty in my smacked-down
outfit and my hair twisting and shouting like a bad
dance move, my eyeballs gyrating independently
of each other, my tongue confessing crimes at break-
neck speed, my curlicue tail suddenly forked and red
just as the local authorities realize I’ve broken loose.
No, good sir, I’m just an another experiment gone wrong,
I say and lope toward the sinister house on the hill.

The Closed-Eyed Girl

It’s so unlike you to die, especially this way,
with gaudy beads in your hair and necklace
your father gave you before he lit off for lands
unknown, dooming your mother to selective muteness
and your sister to constant roaming similar
to his, but she always returned home, bruised,
full of quenched stars but steady.

We thought you had this, with your elegant
sunglasses and stylish purses that held all
your loneliness and left room for little else
except for rain clouds you pulled out sometimes
and flung into the sky, daring the weather
to contradict you, which it would never do.
Your cold rain always left me wanting more.

I stare down at you now, laid out, strangely
still, your face a poor, stiff Halloween mask,
and I watch your mother and sister huddle
close and paint black circles on their palms,
perhaps a family ritual I never knew about
since I know so little…and thought I knew
so much about the closed-eyed girl before me.

The Girl with Chameleon Skin

First published in MockingHeart Review.

The Girl with Chameleon Skin

The girl with chameleon skin
knocked on my door.
I opened it and saw nothing
but hard morning light
distorting around a vaguely human,
pavement-colored shape.

I moved back and watched
her watery movement from exterior
to interior, her skin shifting to carpet
to hardwood. My mouth found hers
and she became my flesh. We moved,
slow as epochs, to the bed where she
melted into the sheets and became linen.

My tears dissolved into her
as though they had never been,
and she laughed, a bright sound
merging with the heaven beyond
the ceiling, beyond the tapered clouds,

where chameleon girls are seen
for who they are, not just imitations
of life under a sad man whose body
does not know the hazards of change.

 

I also wrote a short instrumental song to accompany the poem, which you can find here. 

I Caught Your Eye

This poem originally appeared in MockingHeart Review.

I caught your eye
as it floated away from you
that strange, purple evening.

Just an old parlor trick,
you said, smiling, plucking
your eye from my palm
and dunking it in whiskey
before screwing it back in place.

Later, as you slept, the soft
train of your snores rolling
across the bed, I watched
your eyes vibrate beneath their lids–
not REM, but telegraphed desires
to float again, to be free,
without anything getting in the way.