A view of the divine

I caught a glimpse today, of the divine

Found it under a drift of papers full of empty words

Out of the corner of my eye brilliant color flashed

And then was gone, out the closed window to the sun

I forgot my petty worries, my figmental pain

Remembered the self I met once as a child.

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Neighbor

There are turtles swimming beneath the trees

She smokes, flame-red hair curled tight to her skull, a cap of chemicals

“Come close,” she breathes, and a rose tattoo bleeds from wrinkled tits

The old ones within wait for death, she waits with them.

“I wanted it where everyone could see it,” she rasps, turns, the tattoo climbs her neck

Wraps its thorns, its leaves, its deathly petals, nothing to see here.

Every morning in the stolid summer she walks near-naked, watching, waiting.

Feigning

Here I am again, not fitting my skin

Up against the stucco wall, saying words about men and jobs and kids

Parrot-like, not knowing what they mean or why I recite them

Other than to stay hidden. The work of it wears me to a nub.

My back is too straight, my hands twisted into girl-scout knots

I think. I never knew a girl scout, but I read the guide. Fire comes easy.

 

They twitter around me like birds, shiny beady eyes suspicious

I move slowly, lest to startle them and incite a mass ascension

Leaving me bare and featherless, shamed and flightless.

Hug, hug, kiss, kiss

Finally in my car I relax, the hard bones brazen

My dirty feet, my snarled hair. The smell of a campfire.

Vacate

And the first glimpse of Caribbean blue, the glassy-walled world of brilliant fishes,

She trailed tiny pink paper umbrellas, spewed grey clouds of exhaust above notice

From careless piña coladas, from carnival-bright aorta-painted smokestacks.

And the music blared over the quizzical sighs of dolphins as they tried to leap high enough

To peer through portholes at strange pink whales beached beside buffets of beef and beer.

In Mo’ Bay the natives glared from windowless shacks and broken porches

White faces pressed against sweaty taxi windows stared back shameless.

The jungle pressed close, the vines twisted up toward opportunity, and

Why-can’t-they-just-get-a-real-job. Why-can’t-they-just-go-away.

Tophet

The air with its heavy fog of dirt

Trees with billowing trash-bag blossoms

They make me sleep, and sleep

No hurry to awake.

Silence, and then more of it.

I wander aimlessly on streets that turn back on themselves

Names like Alameda, and Amador

The As have it, I think. The better to pair with rolling Rs.

The dry river runs in its memories, while the bed cracks

A man fishes from a burning lake, his pole broken and mislaid

Black things twisting beneath the surface, hoping to be caught.

They are the only things with hope.

 

Always the wind, forcing you to eat the sand

Here I am, and you are nothing.

The Howling Wind

Could not find artist for this lovely image

Knock, knock, knock on the windowpane

Insistent fingers, tapping and clawing shhhhhh don’t wake the baby

The oak beside the window creaks, moans and the moon

Peers down haughtily from behind veils of sand

Tendrils of dust below the doorjamb you can’t see me

Voices babbling among the trees, crying, clamorous

Sermonizing in some unknown and angry tongue

Dark is deepening, shadows creeping you’re not alone

Thoughts’ edges fray, scatter night-howling away

Fingers becoming wrathful fists, raining pounding fists

You can’t stop me, you can’t breathe, I’m not leaving.

In Honor of Vagina Day…

You wore me like a glove, kid-skin to be exact
Hard tight mouth clenched in a thin straight line
Heart pounding in the space beneath your ribs and my ear
I looked beyond the moment to the whisper of tomorrow
And saw my heart bleeding on the sidewalk,
Just run down by the speeding car of your casual slight.

You ran your fingers across my burning, flaming skin
Traced the lines of the fire inked in scars across my back
You made me come, and come, and I kept coming until
I couldn’t, until the giving left me empty as a shell
You grinned your smug little rainbow grin, laughed
Your sexy I-don’t-care laugh, so I fucked you sideways.
And the water streamed down my thighs into your hands.

Rivers of blood

See that news story the other day where a hobbyist drone pilot flew over a meatpacking plant in Dallas? There’s a photo of a river of blood flowing out of  a pipe at the back of the plant. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

 

Snow falling, brilliant backdrop of a scarlet river, the stream of life ending in mud

So many lives. No matter that they aren’t human.

Ask the man with a borrowed valve animating a failing heart

He can tell you the parable of swine and pearls.

Conveyor belts of spleen, hanging rows of beautiful shiny carcasses, plastic-wrapped feet and legs.

Detritus of a massacre, oh no, only dinner destined for a nation of hungry mouths

And fat bellies, nursing too many children from the teats of privilege. Those baggy, hanging teats.

Newborn ungulates bred especially (especially = Latin, belonging to a particular species)

for the size and shape of their hearts. Clone that one, he’ll do.

Never mind the miniscule chimeras buoyant, gently bobbing

And waiting in warm incubated blood. Joining the monkeys in silent rebellion.

One-sided Love Song

I fall in love, every time I watch a musician. Male, female, it doesn’t matter. The power of songs, music, all that talent packed in to one person…sigh. I just can’t get enough. The wine helps, or the beer, those old love-instigators. This was written after listening to Gregory Alan Isakov play in an old opera house in Pinos Altos, New Mexico just a few nights ago. He’s amazing. We’re (I’m) in love.

I see you but you don’t have a clue, it’s just all of them and me and you

You’ve got to wonder at that, you’ve got to wonder at me

Letting our love lie in these songs, just in these songs.

You’re the boy in first grade with the hearts in his eyes, who cried and cried

It hurts my art, these words they hurt my art, you slay me down

Just tell me more about the moon

That full-bellied whore, she captures your attention so.

Best one-sided romance that I ever had.

Never more disconnected than when he’s next to me, he’s empty of these words I crave

They fly by him on the wings of a song, just you and me and the rest of the crowd.

I see the men hold her down, they try in vain to hold their women down

Where do these tears come from? They see us fade into you.

We’d go with you if you asked us to.

And the reverb dies, and the amp clicks off

I wave and move along to the next great song.

And now you’re just a short man, shorter than me

Delicate hands and a voice worn down by the sounds you croon to me.