Signal to noise

I’ve stopped feeding the crows.
They come by anyway,
asking when we are going for a car ride.

Even though they annoyed me with their incessant cawing,
and their disregard for seatbelt laws,
I liked their company anyway.
But they started pooping on the seats,
and playing with the radio, so I dropped them off
next to the donkey field.

….but that thing about voices,
do you really need me on camera?
Can’t you just imagine me,
mouth turned down like a peanut, beak journal bound,
pen clutched in my fat talon?

Where has our knowing gone?
Where is Vasalisa the Wise?
Her intuiting doll?
She’s the signal that leads you to Baba Yaga,
where more dark work needs to be done.

2 After (Part I) – Red Death

You and I, we stood opposite
and opposites, on each side of the river filled with wilting roses.

Been a long time since we’ve seen their eyes,
swift the robin with sad emeralds and thick hips.

Get off the ground, use those thighs like the trunks of a wooden sword,
cuz the coal man is here to take your life with a shotgun, RISE! and

rose in the barrel

so.
many.
petals.

Born of fire, 2 before, V and S dyed you red. Here, pass the torch.
As you died, dried red, the dead sea that once held your jewels
now sees nothing.

Look away, big life, as your rotting limbs cling to the cliff,
nails like teeth roots. Clamping, clamping.
Give us a slight smile.

Rest, beauty. The little dog will find you soon,
…but you will never go home.


Where the wildflowers are

A lady bit a face into a leaf
when the wildflowers were asleep

The face a plate of shock and horror
at what the world had become

The top of the face, a pumpkin’s
handle, eyes to the sky

green cataracts
carved into a scream

When the flowers woke
they didn’t understand who was among them
and they could not escape

A turkey vulture flew overhead
silent soaring
eyes on the dead
who stood paralyzed
on the verge of a thing

About that house

I am clutching my favorite book
and the devil knocks. She’s fat and grey and cross-eyed.

At least consumptive devil I know, in her room, flat ass, wetting her pants as she sleeps. Why did you make me hate this house? It was the prettiest of all 18.

No sleep for me, just a forgetting and a morning re-read. In the book, the venison sounds amazing, but I wouldn’t know. Later, I would know chops and applesauce, but tonight I swallow fear.

Fear for the things I never did.

Fear for the things I would never do.

Fear from emerging from a traumatized womb, where a dick filled with heroin and a 12-pack were the perfect paring for the perfect empath. Physiologically and psychologically magnificent, and

ready to question the world.

Clutching Laura Ingalls

Fearless isn’t thoughtless
wild and precious
it’s a chaotic calculation
keep going
step through the river, so clear
and cold, so inviting but
deadly, who is below at
your toes, your ankles?
life’s piranhas lingering there
wanting for you to drown,
to sleep in that one piece,
blue, folded legs like a smooth
labia, yes I said it mother,
I see you watching me, thinking
I’m untamed and sit on rounded

heels and and you’d be right will you
throw me in the
lake again, this time harder,
with more force, your shoulders
barely buckling, oh mother, you
gave me wings, but kept me
clipped, scaled, a good swimmer
and the lizard in me wanted
to stay below deck, clutching
a wet Laura Ingalls, begging
you to leave me be; sweep the
angels, kill the angel, let the
angel leave, rocks in pockets
below the float buoyed by hope,
always buoyed by hope

The apology

“one thing I don’t need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i don’t know what to do wit em
they don’t open doors
or bring the sun back
they don’t make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didn’t nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry.”
― Ntozake Shange, For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Response

I apologize to the hounds every day
without saying a word
cuz even the devil thinks the sunny days are sad
I can make tails of it
when it greets me at the door
or morphs, or shapeshifts
but I don’t know what it thinks
or what it wants
I just know it has its own agenda
and it’s making people mad
and not in that good way when people are smokin’ reefer
and Monterey Pop is on
but in that way a child cowers in a corner
then lashes out like a lion

Fade

not like my dream, where I’m standing in flowers.

instead, my field was peppered with peppers, little legs, bloody red, crawling
up mine as I watched
daisies from afar, against a little house,

you outside, red-head, can’t hold too tight to that.

red is fading now
back to bed
fade to pepper
fade to flowers

fade

Love’s Conversation (an homage to “Part of Eve’s Discussion” by Marie Howe)

It was like the second when your eyes meet, then you look away, and blush before blushes, the second the scent of skin seems to come over you because you move closer, but not close enough, like when a thousand butterflies land and come together before you get dizzy, and yes, swoon, very much like the time, walking arm in arm at night, when it occurs to you that you could actually faint, just before you faint, and the comets meet you at eye level, then rain down on you, and say it won’t last forever.

Like Neruda

I can write the loneliest verses today.

Say, for example, “Alone is soft.”

Are we alone?

It doesn’t matter anymore, what’s below my feet.
The Scottish Play says “quiet.”

I didn’t have the heart to wake you.
It’s only a blanket.

Soft around the oils.
Breath falling.

Eyes close in blue ridges. Dreams come.
Never again. Sometimes.