Monday, April 28, 2014

The Pen Is the Chainsaw!

Did you know that I was born on the same day as Shakespeare's birthday... AND deathday?

So it makes sense that I should only honor National Poetry Month by posting something as it's about to end. Right? Right. I'm glad you see my logic.

Once upon a time, I dreamed of becoming a poet. I would gather with fellow creatives round a candlelit table each night, glasses of amber-hued alcohol in hand, and we would have the most prolific conversations and the most divine evenings in the company of one another's genius.

And then I turned 18 and decided I'd like to live in NYC, and not do it by forming some sort of kingdom underground because feces and also because, really, how do you decide who holds higher court when your fiefdom consists of rats, cockroaches and anthropomorphic gum wads. So I scrapped that plan and started working in advertising/PR. Which is kinda the same thing, but with happy hour once a week at a local bar instead of misery all week with sewer water everywhere.

But I digress.  

In keeping with this month's theme, and this blog's theme, here are a couple of poems written by yours truly.  They're horror-ish, I suppose.  

I said "ISH."

Shush you.

And pssssssst - I know people say "this is my writing and is copyrighted and bla bla" but, yo, I MEAN IT. I see this stuff used anywhere... anywhere... I mean even on the wall of a public bathroom anywhere... and I'm coming after you.
I'm quite good at that, actually.
Finding you. Whether you know that I'm looking for you or not.
You think I'm joking, hm?
Teehee. I can be hilarious.
But I will find you.


This time will be different

I.  Getting a haircut

My mother developed
a stiff neck looking anywhere but
the place I was standing.
There was rage in my eyes –
I had blue hair.
I was not her daughter.
There was no clearer sign.

Now she says
I look more
and more like her as I age.

Please take another inch off.

II. Chopping onions

On tenterhooks,
I press the blade down across layers of skin.
It confronts the cutting board
and there is a familiar sting.

I look for cold water.
I hear it helps the tears subside.

III. Vomiting

I am glad I had the lobster bisque
rather than the chili.

After all, this was inevitable.

IV.  Comparing this moment to another


VI.  Getting away

I remember the stranger’s door,
banging on the screen,
asking for help.
His expression was one of shock
at the suggestion
that his house looked just like mine,
the picket fences
a similar shade of white
in headlights.

The turn is easy to miss
at this time of night,
but your door looks familiar.


The theater was like ice, with its air conditioning

It was like that time the world was going to end
and nobody seemed to care
and the children were in the streets.  
We became concerned.  
We screamed     Children!
But they would not hear us.  
They were having fights with ice
cream the shade of a day that would never come
again and popcorn that flowed from the theaters.
We begged them      Children!  
They had made the popcorn
into balls with cotton candy –
oh, how clever those children could be.
Oh, how well we knew it.
We had begged them to study
hard.  They were so clever,
the way they ran away from us
as we begged them      Turn back.  
One woman slit her wrists,
and the little ones only spread away faster.
They had never seen popcorn or ice cream melt
that way, as it lay in the course of her blood
running down into dark and simple drains.


Saw Mill River

It is either dusk or dawn,
hard to tell in that light,
when the boy and girl make their way
down to the water.
The children have come out
to play a game
they don’t have a name for yet.
The children have come out to catch the fish.
The girl pauses bankside
head crooked
strands of hair caught
in the button of her breast pocket.
She watches
eddies lick smooth, muddy rocks.
The boy is as good as gone
from his bare shoulders already
forearms immersed
fingers trolling.
They both are struggling to find
something that moves
more than the rest.
They want to catch the fish.
They want to get at the sleeping thing
that hides in stony crypts.
They know which shadows are made
from sunken foliage
from outlandish trees
with their inability to float.
Those silly trees.
The children know better.
The children can tell the difference.
And they want the fish.
There is no thought of being
ill-equipped, no need for breadcrumbs, paperclips,
yarn ripped from a fraying rug.
Not even need for a knife to gut it.
They know well enough
to beat the catch on rocks.  
They know how to make it still.


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