Fevered

it is a cat-scratch in the arch of my tenderfoot

this swelling, welling in my soul

back arched and forehead burning

I hiss

at the brush of your outstretched paw.

hairs upended and mewling

black yesterdays slink under ladders

splattered in the shabby patina

of abandoned masterpieces.

steeped in antiquated ammonia

vintage carpets curl in threadbare sedition

I weep

silent rivers of involuntary revulsion

swiped away with defiant wrist wipes

these salted choleric commentaries, unleashed

lest you read weakness in the tracks

overlaid in the dust of my disgust.

i know the rules to this game

as I clamber broken rungs, clattering

upward

upward and away from the furballs

you hock up by the scores, licking

yourself in depraved self- gratification.
your nine lives evaporate, evanescent

and vitreous, recalled by the fiends

that birthed them. i humor you

and watch you disintegrate

vanishing

Trees in Winter, Siberia

(This piece was prompted by today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, using Adrienne Rich’s “What Kind of Times Are These” as my inspiration)

 

in winter, trees are stark naked, like my truths

when they creak and groan in the howling wind

your ears prick up, fixated and keen

living under them, as you do.

 

I know my truths are hushed, silenced and quashed

shriveled scarlet maple leaves, flaming in shame

peeking, hide and seeking, from their burial spots –

hidden ‘neath the blizzard banks, ‘tween I can’t tell and you won’t ask.

 

it’s funny how I disappear a little more each day

in this wasteland of muzzled testimony,

gagging on marinated bear paws, downed with guzzled vodka

as I wonder how I landed in this Siberia of veritas, right here at home.

 

I am a shadow of myself, disappeared with my truths

lost, until I stumble upon the gathering place, brimming

with diademed women – walkers of the shadowed roads –  who conjure

now the midday sun, glittering experiential jewels, scattered in hilltop shouts.

A Little Walk

hills called me forward

another and another

ever exploring

 

solo adventure

scrambling well off beaten paths

dusk drew nigh, slyly

 

each next summit piques

my need to conquer the next

majestic views ‘wait

 

minutes, well-trodden

morph into worrisome hours

mom never forgets

2020

“things will be so much better then”

proclaimed the dying sage

her declaration sure and certain

\how strong the words\

belying the papery thinness

of her withering husk.

her whispers rattled as I

read them, steadying my shaky

heart, rapt across the miles.

i swiped backhanded at doubts

\dripping wayward tears\

mortified at my wet-noodled spine

she is tranquil in contemplation

of her death (permanent)

while i am moldering

\rank and stagnant\

in the aftermath of mine

(though my death was the temporary kind)

 

on that steel stool

in my concrete cage

better was beyond the ken

a theoretical construct

\like relativity or the Big Bang\

which i believe exists on an astral plane

other than where i reside, somewhere

  • out there

(though let me tell you about a Big ass Bang!)

 

yet she averred to me

\hope and constancy\

this woman wise and warm

from the glowing embers

of her fading days

  • tattooing better

upon my flagging spirit

so i tucked her prophecy

\folded and tattered\

between my fraying ventricles

staining it with each bloodied beat

as i crawled from then

  • forward

 

now i catch a glimpse of better

\from time to time\

guttering in the distance

a candle buffeted

  • and burning still

At Day’s End

my fingers

strong yet supple

rub insistently

along your firm lines

massaging hard-working grime

from your weary edges.

with emphatic strokes

I work you into a lather

as we

release

tensions of the day.

damp and shining

we lay prone

your face a shimmering

reflection of my

earnest exertion

Questions Posed to a Petal

i beheaded our love

as i pulled off each petal

tossing my angst

into the reckoning gale

\oh, how I longed to believe you!\

green, your calyx unfurled

unveiling vermillion corolla

scented heady uncertainty.

i inhaled misgivings where i sought

passion, and the cosmos

swallowed butterflies.

in the perpetual questioning

\do you, do you not?\

fingers stained from dissecting

pistil, pollen and essence

roses morphed to dandelions

\each exhale seeded doubts\

and towheaded whispers

blew flaxen future

floating, ephemeral

on roiling winds.

Weyward Walk

the killdeer eyed me somberly

from a surreptitious vantage point

after it had skittered its twinkled toed

trek across my path. riverside plover

pleads with me in him ring-necked scuttle

to join him in the farce of his diversion

\there is no nest nearby, oh walker\

so I avert my eyes, clouded

with knowledge heavier than the burden

of protecting thin-shelled young.

we share a conspiratorial wink, delusional

in our belief of salvation, the plucky

killdeer and I. my deer-legged pup

tugs feverishly at his lead, frisky

and perseverant in his quest

for noxious odors and loci rife

with forbidden pungent rolling.

it appears mundane, this twilight

stroll under the overhang

of the looming calamity.  nebula

shift miasmic and groaning

with subatomic splitting among

the swollen channels. she bangs

open the swinging “keep out” door

twitching bewitching hips as she sips

elixir of the cooling air and swigs

from her un-bagged fifth. insolent

gaze, redolent of spirits, rakes

crooked nails down the chalkboard

of my shivering spine. I inhale

her power, this she-witch

who has claimed me with the pull

of her dilating pupils. magnetized,

my feet, animated iron filings,

plod obediently in her beckoning shadow.

Things Rosy

PFINGSTROSEN

Monika Rinck

 

in allen phasen der faltung nisten die büschel,
geballte pakete, dicht, eng und stumm
hockt in knospen das drängen nach fetten
vermoddelten zentren in purpur und/oder weiß
wohnen rücken an rücken hinübergebogene blüten
auf krautigen stengeln und blühen sich rund.
als es zu regnen angefangen hat, ich am halm
in meiner großen hand den schweren kopf
gehalten habe, zog kindheit in die feuchte luft,
spitze schreie, habenwollen, pfingstgelockt
zum hang geworden. sehnsuchtsarten stiegen auf
und tauchten wieder ab. wie ich das flüstern
ihrer vielen tausend blüten hörte, wollte ich
die regennasse rose strubbeln, knüllen, fleddern
wollte ihr die blüten rupfen, um mich werfen,
und zertreten, freunde rufen, kommt und schaut
das fette große blütending, was ich da hab
katzenkopfrund weiß und ohne augen, ich, ich,
ich will den katzenkopf, der keine katze ist
durch’s irre rudel meiner wünsche treiben
kaputtgemacht und angefaßt, nein unversehrt
lass ich die hehren rosen reglos starr inmitten
jener bahnen stehn durch welche kindheit schnellt.

 

Things Rosy

in all phases of finding fault with that which I hide under bushels

I think of the pecks upon the cheek

slobbered in drunken barroom moments

those verboten moments of purple gazes/ under water

when I wreck and I wreck all that has not been blessed

of feminine strength and the bludgeon of seeing red,

as is the right of angels in wide brimmed hats, I am cool

in my sunglasses that craft my life in their mirrored lenses

exalting what has been, as kindness in the face of failure,

spritzed with glee, woolen underwear, finger lockets

that hang on our words, the sutured stitches of

our widest taut paths. when I am flustered

in the pulsing veins of the bluest hordes, I roll

with renegades wearing crimson glasses, kneading, floundering

among with aisles of the ruby slippers, and with warfare,

and regret, women refuse, orders and shouts

that fit with gross pretending, as all I had was

catastrophic and blithely undone, I, I,

I will then catastrophize, knowing the cat’s tongue

which is rude no matter how hard I try

all is kaput and angst, no universal

woman am I when I wear rose colored glasses and lipstick

swearing that I babble truth while the children run.

Unwritten Best Sellers

Daylily’s Suitcase

Armadillo Gutpunch

Serpentine Anecdotes

Mad Hatter and the Tortoise

Sarcasm Resurrected

Of Exhaust and Peonies

Bread, Milk and Chicklets

Gnawing Midnight

The Groupie (and other Positions)

Go Postal, Cyclops

Anhydrous Apocalypse

Quasimodo’s Massage

Headbutt the Hydra

Eggplant Pinnacles

Carp all Diem Long

 All Toll for the Bikinis

Sari, Not Sari

Losin’ It

it slipped

(my grip)

tenuous and tenacious

on reality

or a reasonable facsimile

\copy-written\

thereof.

now I am flailing wildly

arms once akimbo

flap mumbo -jumbo

while falling

far from grace

and tumble amongst

the wild hares.

 

you tripped

(a quip)

along the road

less traveled

though well or yellow

bricked.

now you quibble

\over nibbles\

while feeding spot

some kibble

and chase him

helter-skelter beyond

bunny wonderland.

 

she flipped

(no scrip)

for a knave

of dubious distinction

wearing hearts

upon his sleeve.

now she wonders

\while she wanders\

in maddening

conundra

how to plan

a better party

down the rabbit hole.