Category Archives: Poem

If You Can’t be Real, be Surreal (I Just Get My Religion from People)

 

I Just Get My Religion from People

She hooks one long red fingernail
and her left ear disappears.
She points the nail tip to her thumb
and the table rises into the air.
She wrinkles her nose and the table
comes down but the lights go out.
When they come on,
she’s gone but her shoes are still
under the table,
one toe pointed backward––
one heel broken.

Music shows in the air,
hung there by its black tails.
I open a window, blow
jazz to the corners of the room.
I open the door and her shoes walk
out on the wrong side of each other.
“How’s she doing today?” asks the doorman
on my way out.
“We’re getting her act together,” I say.
Catch up to her shoes at the
taxi stand at the corner,
hail them a cab.

For the dVerse Poets Surreal Poetry prompt.

 

 

 

verseVV

Bail to the Chief


Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

Bail to the Chief

The prediction is most likely. His surfing days are through.
Lies never imperceptible are sticking now like glue.
His lobbyists don’t have enough cash to hide the fact
that the power they once lauded is folding up its act.

His juggling days are near an end. The balls litter the ground
of the White House where he juggled them. They’re lying all around.
His circus act soon over, those who lauded him must see
that all of his maneuverings were based on trickery.

The wave that brought him into power was fueled by deception
traitorous in its acting out and vile in its conception.
Here’s a chief we want to oust and cannot bear to hail.
The oval office does not suit him. He’d be better off in jail.

Photo by Avalonia on Unsplash.

Prompt words today are imperceptible, lobby, prediction, laud, and surfing.

A Woman Alone

A Woman Alone

I am airborne in the hammock,
the small dog on my stomach,
but patting the bigger dog
on the ground below us
to assuage his jealousy.

I watch this week’s brand of butterflies
popping like popcorn
above the audacious flowers
of the tabachine bush,
and that confused hummingbird
that has mistaken the Soleri bell for a flower.

My friends and I
serve as constant reminders for each other:
what we walked into the room to do,
what word we meant to end the sentence with,
the name of everybody’s favorite movie star––
the one marooned on the island with a soccer ball?
It is as though loss of memory were infectious.

I eat pizza at midnight
and swim naked in the pool at 2 am.
My cats know my sins
and like me better for them.
My friends
are comforted by my shortcomings,
which legitimize their own.

When I talk to the air,
it is unclear whether I talk to the cats
or to myself.
If it is loud chiding,
it is to myself
and I wonder if the neighbors wonder.

“You idiot!!!” I yell in a loud tone at 8 a.m.
when I drop the glass,
spreading my papaya smoothie
in shards of glass
across a ten-foot expanse of tile floor.
Who might they think I am talking to?
Some new lover?
Most probably not.
Yolanda, my housekeeper and friend of 17 years?
Then for shame.
They must alter their impression of me.

“Out! Out!” I bellow at the bigger dog,
whose enthusiastic nails slice my sandaled feet
as I dish out his feed if I do not demand his absence.
“That harpy,” they must think,
not knowing it is the only decibel
he responds to.

Those of us who live alone
are never really quite alone in Mexico,
where private lives
are so easily shared
in spite of walls.
It is as though
sounds echo more easily
in the high mountain air,
and we become one large family,
putting up with each other’s secrets.

But, no responsibility
for husband or children or roommates,
we sink into the luxury of selfishness.
Sleeping at odd hours,
wearing our pajamas from bedtime
to wake-up
to next bedtime,
calling out to the gardener from behind curtains,
accustoming the housekeeper to our sleepless nights
and long mornings of slumber.

No one to explain the junk drawer to,
or the large accumulation of toilet paper rolls,
for which you have a definite purpose
that you never quite get around to.

The luxury of a nude body
no one else short of the doctor
will ever see.

The back of your head
where snarls can exist
unchallenged
until the next trip to town.

The Petit Ecole cookies
you need not share
with anyone.

The unmade bed uncensored.
The best hammock always your own.
An internet band unshared.

Three huge double closets––all yours.
Only your toothbrush in the glass beside the sink.
Every leftover cup of coffee
sitting on surfaces around the house
one you can sip out of
with no fear of any disease
other than the ones you already harbor.

Alone.
What you always feared.
That fear now behind you.
You were so wrong.

For dverse poets.

Broken

Broken

All of my injuries told with such relish—
all so severe that I need not embellish.
I broke my tibia, tore my meniscus.
My feet pads are swollen. My eyes are non viscous.
My doctor has told me that there is no doubt
that I’m suffering rickets, edema and gout.
My bottom parts swelling, my top drying out.
I guess that the truth is I’m just wearing out.

 

(Hyperbole and humor, folks. I’m fine.)

Prompts today are embellish, doctor, tore.

Empty Windows

IMG_5448

Empty Windows

When it comes to neoteric, it is something that she’s not.
Way back in the fifties she’s permanently caught.
Travel to new countries? Definitely no.
She won’t have other countries profiting from her dough!

She has no curiosity about the human race.
Her interest in humanity ends in her own face.
She sits before her mirror like a window to the world.
Is her lipstick even—her hair correctly curled?

Bravery to her is answering the door.
She walks out to her mailbox, but further? No. No more.
She boils all her bed linen, lest creatures linger there
to creep onto her body and nest within her hair.

All the wounds her life will bear long ago were healed.
She’s a preserved specimen of life, hermetically sealed.
She’ll face no other heartache, no risks of being hurt.
She will not chance a world of germs, bacteria and dirt.

Cats are unhygienic and dogs an equal threat.
A goldfish in a bowl is her single lonely pet.
No companion goldfish to fill its tiny bowl.
Its full attention trained on her seems to be her goal.

All those empty windows with their draperies pulled tight.
All those single bedside bulbs burning through the night.
Behind each building’s blinded eyes, how many just like her—
sealed inside a bell jar, safe from the world’s rude whirr?

 

Prompt words today are bravery, window, travel, neoteric and boiled.

I’m leaving in 15 minutes for my writers’ retreat with eight friends at a resort across the lake so probably won’t be blogging until next Friday. Although I forgot to ask him ahead of time, perhaps Forgottenman will once again be my guest blogger. If not, see you Friday, and if you miss me, go back to some of my earlier blogs from 5 or 6 years ago or any year prior to your following my blog. I’ll miss you all. See you Friday with some new tales. Now, I’m off!!!

Conspiring with the Enemy

Photo thanks to Nik on Unsplash. Used with permission.

Conspiring with the Enemy

Accoutered best for sabotage, they peer over the ridge,
intent now on the enemy crossing o’er the bridge.
All of their stealth and camouflage is not, at last, in vain.
Each inch they push their foes back is another inch they gain.
They’ve learned that cynicism of war as friend becomes their foe.
Each success they win will be another’s loss and woe.
His battleground littered with the corpses, G.I. Joe
now wanders off the killing field, choosing where next to go.
War is not Hell for those who are just playing at the game.
As war games end, the dead arise, as do the halt and lame.
Off to a game of baseball, the conquered and the winners
play together all day long until called to their dinners.
Children could teach their fathers that enemy can be friend.
Oh that their fathers felt the same and war was at an end.

The prompt words today are sabotage, cynic, vain, accouter and friend.

The Passenger

The Passenger

I see her back her car outside.
She never offers me a ride.
I go the same way she is going,
but she passes, still unknowing.

After ten long years, I stand
making no sign with head or hand.
My legs are tired. My back is bent.
My footsteps follow where she went.

It takes two minutes to go by car.
I take an hour to go that far.
If she knew, perhaps she’d say,
“Would you like a ride today?”

She would have rolled her window down
to offer me a ride to town.
I’d dust my clothes and step inside,
grateful, at long last, for the ride.

And at the bottom of the hill,
as though, perhaps, she’d had her fill,
She’d say, “I’m turning left from here.”
And I’d assemble all my gear,

and give my thank-you, even though
I need to go where she will go.
Charity goes just so far,
I think, as I exit the car.

I live about two-thirds of the way up a very tall mountain in Mexico, and often as I drive down to the main road, I give a ride to whomever I encounter walking down the cobblestones—especially the women, most of whom work as housekeepers in the houses in my fraccionamiento. But now and then when I am in a hurry or when I see a man suspicious-looking or dusted by his labors, I drive on by. Then I wonder what he is thinking as I guiltily observe him in the rear vision mirror.

 

For dVerse Poets Change of Perspective.