Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Hundred Years Of Hindsight

It’s easier to look back and pinpoint
Something terrible that happened then
Who was to blame, who cowered in the
lifeboats instead of going down
with the ship

There are icebergs everywhere,
Ripping gashes both small and long
Across our sides, lurching us forward
Breaking us in half as we plunge
into darkness

The terrible things now will become
The terrible things then, and the
future problems will be ignored
in favor of new documentaries
(Hopefully as holograms)

At least then we’ll know who were
the Phillipses and who were the
Ismays, and whether we were
saving others or ourselves
or just another band

(because I quite like Katniss Everdeen)

they cast her wrong in the film, not thin,

a bone jutting from the rib, sharp and stick-like

good for poking out an eye, scrappy–

means nothing more than scraps, pieces not good enough for eating or keeping or even stitching together.

they fall onto the floor or into the waste bins and we feel, yes, that is where they belong.

Is it too bold to say women are scraps? That we are unkind to each other because we’ve never felt ourselves whole pieces?

(That we scrape by. That we scrap together.)

The force with which a woman will move the earth is a force we all know well,

that of our mother’s dragging us home by limp wrist, jerking us off the road where cars fly by, keeping our clothes clean so we may appear presentable,

ready for life.

Write Makes Might

It’s not important
to write constantly if you
don’t want to write well.

Electric Lights

The selfish unawareness
of a window painted blue,
and electric lights that won’t reflect
but sound so clearly overdue.

It permeates the smell of sanitation
and of jaundice under skin that
has been peeled away by saline
soldiers crawling on their knees
across a bridge of gathered lives;
maybe this time,

she’ll sound so
much better in this sweater than this dress
that leaves her back exposed
so all the coldest air can make a nest.

All the stabbing, all the dripping,
all the fevers and the cries, and the
poorly picked out tiles on the wall
have watched a million maidens die
underneath electric lights.

She’s so
mixed up like metaphors;
it’s better for her. So
when all the shallow echoes
fall and settle in her cheeks,
she’s still demanding
all that I can V.

Day 1

Too much,

they said.

You’ve changed,

they said.

Rehab,

they said.

No.

They cried and threatened and

I didn’t care.  I wouldn’t go.

They compromised.  90 meetings—

90 sober meetings

in 90 days.

And then what?

And then

whatever you decide.

So all bets are off

on Day 91?

They sighed,

If that’s what you want.

Fine.

I can do that.

Now.

Now?

Now.

 

Hi, my name is

none of your business,

and I haven’t had a drink in

about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

I’m here because

my family wants an excuse

to ship me off.  A reason why

I’m not like them.  I know

they hope it’s not their fault.

My uncle’s here

escorting me from meeting

to meeting.  They don’t trust me,

and I don’t blame them,

but I don’t need

a goddamn babysitter.  I have

three more minutes?  That’s okay.

give my time to someone else

who wants it.

To: Holy Saturday

Look,
It’s a long week. A lot of days.
And really only two of them matter.
One day is the day he dies
And that’s, you know, bad.
But technically not,
as far as the story goes,
So we’ll call that Good.

And then there’s the day when
he’s not dead. That’s important,
because it comes afterwards.
This is the key twist, so it gets
a special name. (The name is
technically pagan, anyway, so
don’t feel it’s all that special.)

All the other days, including you,
Have some good stuff. Entering the
city, some palms, time in the garden,
dinner, wine, kissing. But it all
runs together, and just isn’t as
noteworthy. So you all get the
same title. Holy’s not bad.

(And, no, you don’t want something
stupid like Maundy. Too British.
This ain’t rock, it ain’t soccer, and
it ain’t comedy. (Yeah, we won’t
even call it “football,” that’s how
little we are going to respect them.
Gave respect up for Lent.))

So, anyway, I don’t want to deal
with you complaining anymore.
You’re the second act of the play
that everyone says should be a
a one-act. You’re filler; yesterday
he’s dead, tomorrow he’s not.
You’re today, all you’ve got is
waiting.

Orange Line, 4/4/12

The man who boards at Wellington Station
is angry; he announces as much
almost immediately.

He cannot, he says,
tolerate ignorance, arrogance,
or people wearing sunglasses on the train.

He smells like heated garbage and has a black
eye. He is carrying a one-liter bottle
of Mountain Dew and

he challenges me, because
I happen to be closest to the emergency
call button, to “go ahead and fuckin’ push it, bitch.”

He wants this, the challenge. He is seeking
ejection, he is certain that the
guy on his cellphone is

calling the authorities
so he stalks over, huffing, glaring,
the garbage smell coming off him in waves.

We pull into Sullivan Station and my husband
and I race onto the platform, to
tell the driver.

He meets this
information with something
like a shrug. He is, after all, on a schedule,

as are the people on the train, glaring at us,
because they would rather ride this
out than be late for work.