Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Fall

 (As I wrote this poem, I heard it to the tune of Wicked Little Town from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The words are mine, but the "melody" in my head is blatantly nicked from the Hedwig score.)

The smell of fall is in the air
The golden leaves around you
Remind you he's not there
Remembering the summer heat
and how he left you incomplete
With every one you meet
You leave a piece of you

You know there's only you to blame
He disappeared fast as he came
The hottest flame that burns
Is fire that burns blue

You write his name in all your books
Try not to notice every
disappointed look
You don't feel happy, don't feel sad
Can you miss what you never had?
Were you just mad or naive
that you fell so hard?

You know there's only you to blame
No time for sorrow or for shame
You chose to play his game
and he held all the cards

So now October's left you here
You can't ignore the change
You wear it far too clear
And though it all seems so unfair
He walked away without a care
You barely knew what love was
Believed in what you saw

You know there's only you to blame
You're sure that he forgot your name
You hardly know yourself
and everything feels raw

You are so naked and alone
Your beating heart has frozen
Turned itself to stone
You have no doubt that you'll survive
Convince yourself that you're alive
The prize you set your sight on
Cost you much too dear

You know there's only you to blame
You walked straight into his cold flame
And now you stand in ashes
Choking on your fear

And there is only you to blame
And you will never be the same
The headlights on the night streets
Blind as they come near
The headlights on the night streets
Illuminate your tears.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Friday Night Raw

and now for the inspiration: John Cameron Mitchell singing Wicked Little Town. Stephen Trask's lyrics are much better than mine!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Distance = Pace X Time


Perched on the ledge of adolescence, we
were too timid to jump
but too bold to uproot and climb
So we skimmed the surface
Tasted only a slice when we wanted
the whole pie
Curious fury stilled
only to shake loose each time
Your eyes shone blue topaz
Your tender growl
mingled with shrill, girl giggles
Green passion urged me onward
Propelled me
toward your freckled mouth
But you were wending your way toward
someone else
something more typical than I
could offer
So I stood in your dust
Bit my maiden aunt lips and
Tasted  grit in my teeth.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thinking About Hydrangeas

photo by mindlovemisery

“He was more of a father to me
than my own lousy father,” said she
I wondered how bad it really must be
for an eight year-old to say those words
 so casually
Then she said, “Light blue
is my favorite color.”
Just another fact
And I pause to react,
“You really miss your grandfather.”
This is, after all, about grief
Speaking it to give some relief
So she speaks
Her words explode,
bullets searching for a target
Granddad let her spend the night
when Mom and Dad would scream and fight
Now she has nowhere to go
to escape the horror show that plays
itself out when Dad starts to drink
And she thinks he learned it
from his own dad
The cursing, that is,
The alcohol, too
And one time, he choked Mom
til she was almost blue
The dog is scared of him
‘cuz he get a little intense
She tries to make it all make sense when
anyone can see it’s just insane
“Are we going swimming if it starts to rain?” she asks me
And we’re off on something else now
and I remember reading about a flower 
whose color depends on the soil pH
What color will she bloom, growing in hate?
Who will nourish her now or
Is it too late
for this flower to flourish?
for this girl of eight? 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Love Letter from a Gun to a Hoodie

Thanks for covering for me, baby
You make my work so much easier
No one paid me a bit of attention;
they were all looking at you
I did the dirty work;
you took the blame
That’s real love
You let me do my job
with impunity
I kill the children;
you go on trial
Thanks for covering for me, baby.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer Is the Devil's Friend

I open the door
The devil belches in my face
His hellish breath,
hot, sticky, fetid,
envelopes my body in a
sickening slurry
I detect the stench of his perfume
Notes of decay
and dog shit
drift together in the thick air
I want to leave
but there is nowhere to go
I search my conscience for sin
What mistake put me in
Satan’s lab?
There is no rest
Every second,
every breath
translated from stagnant soup
to air, barely usable
Every step
stuck to the scorching concrete
like gum stuck on soles
of blistering feet.

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Artistic Interpretations w/ Margaret, Dog Days of Summer
and The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 117