Sunday, July 27, 2014

Letter to the Mayor from a Citizen of Ward 7 Alpha Falcon Zebra


The street's tween vandals 
pulled the new shingles off our roof 
that we just put up yesterday.
Youth has gone mad at a staggering
pace, in these unending final days.
They run their whip-poor-will tongues
across every spec of tar left,
their starry eyes itching for a switchblade.
All night, we slink deep under covers
at hearing their cackles and cat calls
out in the alley.

Oh saint Margo of the shirtwaist fire, 
keep their pudgy hands from lighter fluid 
and the molotov cocktail.

And the river’s gone pestilent.
Ammonia steam rises from its surface,
quietly gnawing at our pink pulpy lungs.
The maids of merry bring gifts
to the foamy banks, 
drowning their sunday dresses,
their lambs
their pennyroyal jams
and baptizing their ankles
with orange water, so tainted
it leaves bite marks which never fade.

Oh saints Joe and Mick of the wounded hound,
we are tired of the tune we must not relent.

Our remaining miracles are not uncounted.
Outside the city barricades
nothing can live long.  
The deer are dying.
The nights are too cold without fire.
The ground festers.
Oh mayor of the panicked corridors
and empty bizarres, we thank you
for our heated homes.
Our heated homes,
and little else. 



Finished for the Play it again Sunday Prompt at Real Toads.   I loved Kenia's challenge the first time she presented it, and I was gleeful to have the opportunity to revisit.  I had been toying with the above poem for a while as part of a larger manuscript, and the prompt was the final nudge into the "poem" bucket.  As with everything else posted at Nice Cage, it is a work in progress.  Any feedback is much appreciated.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

...light this candle



This is what you have left of home:
your space suit, your lunch pail,
and the envelope of soil they gave you--
they who watched awelessly
as your booster jets smudged the sky.
One last lift off
before the cities move underground.

Your engines are growing cold.
Breathe smally.
The space you have left
cannot sustain you in its endless expansion.

Breathe smally
and hum the songs your sisters
sang when they braided dandelions in your hair,
their voices as bright as the blast
that locked their shadows on the sidewalk.

Hum and then recite the hot particles,
the poisoner's daughters
who steal marrow from the bone:
strontium, cesium, uranium,
plutonium
iodine.

Swallow their names with powdered milk
and let the rocking of your ship lull you
let your days spent at the matinee
and your picnics by the river
guide you toward
an undying new void.


**Edits made for spelling and wordiness...thanks Stacey!!**

Posted for Corey's prompt at real toads.   I have been working also on another prompt, and since Corey asked us to leave a poem that is screaming love me, love me....I thought this was appropriate.  This one carries alot of my calling cards, it's basically a mixed CD of all my poem fetishes from radiation poisoning to super man mythology.  Enjoy and viva la.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Because the engine was cold


Semi-conscious but
extricated
from the system
where man discovered
the thawing process can be dangerous


This is my first crack at an erasure poem for today's out of standard prompt, where I asked the real toads to cobble together a poem from their local news source, using the erasure method.  Below is the text of the article I selected


DULUTH, Minn. - A man is in critical condition after his car plunged off a cliff in Duluth Tuesday morning.
The Duluth Fire Department responded to reports of an accident just after 7a.m. on the 8700 block of Congdon Blvd after the car careened over a guardrail. When the arrived on the scene they found the vehicle had plunged approximately 50 - 75 feet, landing on the beach next to Lake Superior.
First responders say the male driver, the only person in the car, was semi-conscious but very cold.
The car was cold to the touch, indicating the vehicle had been there for some time. The temperature at the time of the rescue was -13 degrees.
Crews extricated the victim from the car and lifted him up the cliff with a rope system to a roadside ambulance. He was taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where the man is reported in critical condition.
Ken Greshowak discovered the accident Tuesday because it wasn't far from his home. Greshowak says he didn't know how long the victim had been in the crashed car, but suspected it had been several hours because the engine was cold.
Greshowak tells WDIO-TV the driver was wearing only a T-shirt, so he wrapped his coat around him and reassured him that help was on the way.
Fire officials say hypothermia starts to set in when your body reaches 95 degrees or lower.
When rescue officials respond to a scene involving a hypothermic victim, they assess the victim's body very carefully before doing anything else.
"We actually tend to leave them cold if they are moderately or severely hypothermic because the thawing process can be dangerous. Our biggest effort is not to move them until we have to, or we move them very gently," said Captain John Wisneski of the Duluth Fire Department.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hill folk




Every tree on this hill
is a hanging tree,
no matter how much
slag they drop in the spring.
At night, the echoes of screaming
and hymnals can be heard
until sunrise,
when the cold fog
wraps itself to the dirty ground.

Come noon,
the fog lifts and is replaced
by smoke, far off and always near:
smoke from the chimneys of houses,
smoke from the mine,
smoke from some bonfire
deep in the hills-
carrying the scent of chemicals
and carbon-
too pungent to ignore
too thick to wash from the bed clothes.

Written for my out of standard prompt at real toads.  I asked the garden to conjure forth a poem about a place they have never been, nor would ever want to go.  When we talk to travel and escapades, we tend to romanticize them.  This was attempt to get some dialogue on the reverse.  Personally, I have always been a little unnerved by hilly places and hill people...namely places like deepest Kentucky, or West Virginia.  While I consider this one to be a work in progress, it sits whole for now.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Document of Discussion (13)


I wait until the other's leave
and then tell Barkeep Dave,
"It is now tomorrow. And it is my birthday."

"Happy Birthday," he chirps obligatorily.

In a whisper, I say to him,
"I have the same birthday
as Joan of Arc."

He nods.

I continue,
"I suspect that someday,
I too will catch on fire."

He looks worried.

"It's a metaphorical fire, of course,"
I drunkenly stammer.

He looks relieved.

I always forget
to explain
that the fire
is metaphorical.


As I celebrate my birthday, I realized I had failed to document this particular discussion which occurred a few years back.  Thought I would post...for me and no one else really.   The video clip is the best song (IMHO) of 2013.  Vival la

Thursday, January 2, 2014

(feel good) ghosts

image copyrighted, Isadora Gruye photography.






It lives in the cobwebs,
clinging to delicate tendrils
you can only see in harsh light.
It licks the spiders
and radiator steam
from your walls, 
and does not bother 
with the stray crumbs of brie
in between the floor boards.

It wants to shake your hand,
draw you a picture
and use your kleenex.
In the wee hours
when you wake too early
and forget to make coffee,
it shakes its head
and buries itself deep
under your down comforter.

It thinks 
you are a terrible ghost,
rising to alarm bells
of your own design. 

Written (a wee bit late) for Kerry's new year's prompt.  Our poems were to be about resolutions, and could be abstract.  that is what I opted for here......

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Damascus, I'm Yours


ash-Sham,
once those camera men leave,
you and me are gonna
sit on the street curb
and drink shitty beer
until the call to prayer
puts us to sleep.

Worry not over your stray cats,
your body bags,
or the sarin stains
along the hem of your skirt.
Our wagging atropine tongues,
our twitching fingers,
and our runny noses 
will not be stilled by
organophosphates alone. 


Image courtesy of Kathryn Dyche Dechairo, title unknown. 

This was written in response to the Real Toads Sunday challenge.  We were introduced to the artwork of Kathryn Dyche Dechairo and asked to use one of her pieces to inspire a poem.  This one had been festering for some time, and I had been hemming and hawing about writing it out in full.  When I saw Kathryn's piece of work of the hand, it acted as a catalyst, bringing forth the poem.  So thanks, Kathryn.  Oh also, goes without saying the poem is a work in progress, but y'all basically get what it's about right?  Viva la