Posted by: scintillatingspeck | March 31, 2014

Purging previous poetics.

11 poems of mine that I’m sloughing off, mostly written around 1988-89 (and one in 1993).  Goodnight, sad poet girl.  You don’t have to be so sad and angry anymore.  That river met the sea long ago.  I release you.

you must let them go they
were born
to go
—e.e. cummings

 

YOU

YOU—
How dare YOU invade me—
YOU do callously realize, do YOU not,
That YOU are privy to my intimate horrors—
Make no mistake—
I am speaking to YOU and not just to some general population—
YOU hide behind everyone and say, “I am one of many, and inconsequential”—
No, no, no, YOU are the one who passes judgment—
YOU are the one who is twirling me around in a distracted manner—
YOU are the one who spills coffee on this sheet—
The stain appears on my face—

YOU will spill coffee even if I don’t
Offer YOU any—

 

Dark Quiver

Familiar that the night seethes.
I jolt, drowning in fright, frowning at the asp,
the sash there.  The hideous shade breathes
me in, me, the hazardous ash.  To grasp
the last filament of dream!—it sheathes
me, a piteous blade, in its sueded clasp.

 

Meeting the Water

This gaunt body moves like a marionette.
Walking, walking, never running, just walking,
Just walking and gazing in a hollow manner
Over the humble beach.

I have crossed the desert in a caravan.
The beaches I saw were not humble but
Roaring and still and swirling and lonely;
The sand was not licked by water,
Not like here,
Like a giant tongue lapping
Defenseless cream—

I am no camel—
I have suffered.

My chapped skin screams quietly
As sea salt kisses it—
The coolness floats around me like silver plasma.

I’ve decided to drink the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Mother of Daffodils

The crusting daffodils have curling leaves
That smell ungreen.  She mourns her dying flowers.
She sketched them, sniffed them, swayed with them for hours;
She huddles now, her limbs unused, and grieves.
He comes, and tries to comfort her.  He claims
That daffodils can’t last; she’ll find some more
And never think of those she grew before.
She chokes, “I cannot mildly watch the flames
That eat the children I loved solemnly;
The vivid bursts of light within their seed
Gave comfort to my all-consuming need.
I ache to see them die—my family!”
She gazes at her stomach, then her hands.
What would not grow in her grew in the land.

 

Consumption

snakes are circling and circling
until they
form a tight circle
a tight circle
tense skin circling
tense and scaly and
circling
until finally
finally
the head catches up with the tail
the skinny frightened tail
the tense circling head
mouth seizes fleeing tail and
snakes are hoops
flipping in agonized effort
snakes strain and bulge and
swallow themselves until
tail
is gone
and body
is gone
and
there
goes
the
head
and
eyeballs
and
tongue
down
down
into
a
mouth
that
swallows
its
self

 

Shut

as you crept smilingly on your knees
through that cramped and unwelcoming space,
i (the true i) curled up at the end, scowling,
to see what would happen
(because after all i am curious like you)

what could it have been that induced you
to make that torturous journey?  i thought
you were frighteningly determined, and
therefore really quite attractive

if you hadn’t thrown yourself against the door of that
narrow hallway
no stray wind or glance would have opened it

i would maintain my post at the tiny window in it
and watch and wait
and wait while long moon phases criss-crossed by
and there would have been nothing left to wait for

until you forced yourself into my own dark abode
and i gladly accepted your lips
never knowing why the door had been locked
and who exactly had locked it

 

Villanelle

Through streams of weariness, yes, I shall mull
Upon why I should choose to scream and cry
Because sometimes the way is all too dull.

Why is it sometimes hard work comes to null?
I promise I’ll impale myself to try
Through streams of weariness, yes, I shall mull.

Upon the good ship Scholarly’s bright hull
I’ll break the bottle and exhale a sigh
Because sometimes the way is all too dull.

A steaming buttered bit of tasty crull
I shall forego to climb so ever high
Through streams of weariness, yes, I shall mull.

Above seductive wiles that surely lull
I render useful all my love to fly
Because sometimes the way is all too dull.

There is no question that I’ll pick or cull
Acceptance is the answer to the sly
Through streams of weariness, yes, I shall mull
Because sometimes the way is all too dull.

 

What Happened?

there is an (o yes) thing called life
i lived it once or twice
eccentric ways and love and strife
did permeate the nice

did you (or them or we or it)
contend before and now?
did we say swearwords <gasp> like shit
and exclamations pow?

a dance of writhe and slinky shape
and musky undertones
is hidden in fermented grape
and quiet still-life bones

a purity a masquerade
perfection of the brain
is drowned in miles of lemonade
that drips a ceiling rain

a why and wherefore spluttered spit
and puzzled broken brow
communicates the dammit shit
and bang and crash and pow

because a sudden difference floats
in limbo with no breath
it nil-ness zero vacuum totes
it’s nothing: it is death

 

Mummy’s Breathalyzer

as a green haze
lifts I tend

to let it collect
in the back of

my throat
it squelches down and

never do i notice the
alteration in the

landscape i have given
birth to

(b-b-b-baby) it is in
my lap and have
i killed it yet?

 

Drowning

Into water
Into air
Challenge, struggle
Over there
I can’t breathe
I can’t smell
Dizzy panic
Deep dark well
Spinning swirl
True and fast
Force the clawing
Be the last
If I shatter underwater,
Shall I burble soft, or blast?

 

Slow Motion

The mountains perch above the oceans
And hang themselves warily, like ancient paintings,
Above the proceedings.
The cyclists whiz (spandex taut and gleaming)—
Revolutions of spokes and metallic flashes entrance
Rock slabs and mounds of earth
Reminding them of precious Volcano days.
Savoring their velocity and flirting with their own youth
The cyclists fail to notice that the mountains are shifting;
The race ends, the winner is garlanded,
And the stony, cold mountains inexorably budge;
New roads are built, old roads fall into disrepair,
The athletes forget about the race and age, and become slow.
The angry mountains seethe
And calm themselves
And lash out again.

All efficient machines have worn themselves out.
The cyclists are dead.
Nobody remembers what a bicycle is.
Strange multi-colored rains fall, shiny as spandex, and the earth is uniformly
Coated with oily, smelly, viscous Stuff—

The mountains
Still move.

self-portrait

 

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