December 23, 2008
MEN BY THE LIPS OF WOMEN
I'm in love with a man who doesn't love me
with the pages of the book he sees from.
He makes love through his syllabic ink, a salted thunder,
leaves me to my own delirium tremors.
I gouge out his eyes, break the yolk across his shoulders,
disembowel the nectar from his liver.
His toxins become a cherry blossom wine.
He sounds in the brain's eagled hollows
of a soft guitar from a Spanish café
among the mountain peaks in nightshade.
He cannot hide, no matter how many goats he scares
or biscuits he throws at the hunger.
The mother of everyone calls him.
His fright is an orb of Hold me, I'm yours,
crisp and curled with age's yellow
and the godless sunburn you love across your nose.
I am that love you light yourself with
and my gender is powerless in this.
We are metered only by our own machines,
while the book is a clock that forgets her mechanics.
Her hands can count but would rather wipe warm dew,
the pall from your lips and kiss the lids
of your eyes from sleep. Here am I, is he,
with yoke and shadow removed, she is, her in me,
apart from you, man reading men by the lips of women.
December 22, 2008
Difference Engine: It is early; I am small. Everything is built to tolerance. The priest detours water to my scalp & face. His accent shortens my vowel. He is naming—and renaming—me. Mother corrects him, but I have to do it again. ( I will wait nineteen years for the opportunity. ) Brass gears crank and waver. Engine reads: Gödel, Lovelace, Derrida. Engine prints: psychopomp, mockingbird, chuck-wills-widow. This is assignment, a baptism in variables that spellcheck catches. Input/output housed in separate units. I change my name not to fool God, but to fool myself. It is a trigger. It is past my time. Speak slowly, now. Speak slowly.
T.A. Noonan's The Bone Folders won the 2007 Heartland Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Cracked Slab Books. She edits Flaming Giblet Press and the online journal grain short/grain long. In May 2009, she will receive her PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers
December 21, 2008
& sensing this had something to do with levity,
for sure, for we agreed we believed we were kinda shared territory.
However, if you, in these negotiations, specifically, if you knew
it wasn’t sky sky sky in fact
nor missives, nor misgivings, nor. Daunting brilliant entirely accepting smiles
To be near, anyhow, to a lovely yesterday, & another day besides.
Many its lovely falls across the sky, a history, discontinued, of
pouring our hearts out. A landmark & a blemish.
The roof over our heads, laughter, let me lead you.
Try shouting or whatnot. With levity
& surprisingly not sunk. Grown, finally. We were
on course & for generations to come & not men, only
& not women, either. Then I lay down and tried.
Did you ever, ironically? Then I lay down and tried.
December 20, 2008
doors in the narrative Black Forest
..or flaps in sentimental landscapes:
shelters made of food, not shelter, trimmed white
not passion-purple candles, but
counting physically, toward
a special calendar, liturgical year winding:
bedew us, bestow hope, focus
on abject bird, candy cane, winter flower
within this seasonal scene, no
on the piece of cardboard below it,
quote withing the month, pattern
....."slant of light"
one, two, three, touching is a door, window
open to the birth
December 19, 2008
Diminished Prophecy 1:4
You will transform into a gadget of nuisance and a dohickey
of satire and vacancy in all the beds where the Shepherd
once shepherded you.
Diminished Prophecy 1:5
Among those apartments you will identify no coziness, no
fortress to shield your hubris. There the Shepherd will take
four vicious kisses and the most pious of exits.
Diminished Prophecy 1:6
You will exist in constant puzzlement, blamed with jargon
and prattle both on paper and screen, all your mutant fishes
pillaged and relished by bogeywomen.
Diminished Prophecy 3:1
Be not aroused, O hollow gigolo, for the naked meadows are
emerging homely and cross. Sentiments are being warehoused;
the scarecrow and the weirdo weakly submit their princely
Diminished Prophecy 5:1
"The tendrils you inflict and the vainglory of your mettle
have bereaved you, you who snuffle the parts of manes, who
mingle twinkle with a metric swindle. Though you mend your
memoir infused with greeted laurel, sans knuckles, from
those lines I weed and heave," declares the Sultana.
Diminished Prophecy 5:2
My Tempest will spurn them because they have not maligned him;
they will be vagrants without fish worries.
December 18, 2008
Don’t stick your body parts out else they’ll get chopped off
This summer’s sugary like Fun-Dip, like Freeze-Pops
Slinky sounds, boyoiyoi
Outside a Winter Storm on the first day of Spring
Get it right, Nat’l Weather Service
That breezy wet day in January was not called Spring Rain
Only springlike—simile and metaphor, learn the diff
Nat’l Weather Service
Let’s settle this once and for all.
First, because they’re usually love songs.
Third, because I prefer extreme feelings to subtle ones.
Love will bowl you over is a pretty good summary of the feeling a duet
gives you. Duets bowl me over.
Finally, the afterparty.
TRACK 10 / 0:26
More edge than you’d expect from a title track.
They don’t make songs like this anymore.
Andy would say something about 90s lady guitar
and Liz Phair and the big scratchy metal sound.
I won’t pretend I would have come up with that on my own
but he’s right. Women don’t play guitar like that anymore.
It’s like the musical equivalent of shoulder pads.
I guess it was just too much.
Becca Klaver was born in Milwaukee, WI, and graduated from the University of Southern California and Columbia College Chicago, where she now works and teaches. A founding editor of Switchback Books, Becca is also currently editing, with Arielle Greenberg, an anthology of poems for teenage girls. These poem-tracks are from her first chapbook, Inside a Red Corvette: A 90s Mix Tape, out this month from the greying ghost press.
December 17, 2008
So the jet stream carries nickel light and narrow births.
December 16, 2008
The undead shirk, circle, shirk in their Bondo-clogged antennae hole. Here's a bosom town on the skids. Here's a big hole in the crush rag where the undead stuff their 1994. Over here, I'm gonna pin up that tongue that used to lick me far and wide and I'm gonna apple soak it and I'm gonna go more red in the face than green. Narrate: Better. Bitters.
December 15, 2008
December 14, 2008
A Tripod Construction
surrounded by husband care husbanding us both me and son now sleeping so he
was a surprise and husbanded we sleep as wind carries sound surrounding us wind
carries through window and even protective gate and screen—there are three
layers to our window: screen, glass, and gate, as there are three of us, a tripod
construction of family or as my son’s history and my history say: famille. My
husband might be French or he might be German or he might be Italian or he
might be Native American or he might be Blackfoot or he might be pied noir. Not
like me, French, and not like my son, French, not like my son, Senegalese, and
not like my son or me, now New Yorker, now African American. Like all of us
New Yorker African American French Native American. Whatever we are we
will be confused and so will everyone who speaks to us and whether the traffic
sound highway wakes us up filtering and the people speaking outside and the
telephone and the beeping and honking and bicycle chain dragging and the small
indefinable noise that wakes us up as the city surrounds us as people around us as
we husbanded wake. As we enter the wake, unhusbanded, confused, unique.
Marcella Durand is the author of two new collections, published this year: Traffic & Weather from Futurepoem Books and AREA from Belladonna Books. She lives in NYC with her husband and son.
December 13, 2008
previously published in Slippage, Potes and Poets Press
December 12, 2008
Each tone, each color, has a different vibration. Everything was getting darker, “dimensional.” A woman came here once and fell. To her knees—it was a Sunday, I’ll never forget it. In those days, I was very small. I knew my own grief to be so small, nobody could find it. In winter, just the pilings, ropes; ice in black water, “as seen.”
All these shots are locked down. I can manage when the pressure is steady—packed with dark-tent, chemical boxes and the camera, an umbrella, a lamp. We talked about colors so much. Or sometimes I feel that the LIFE is there, waiting—but I don’t have the part. I know that everything can’t be important. They let me take down the curtains. Everything is slightly hidden from me, all the time. It’s dark. Did you sleep?
Someone’s yelling out there. Have I run out of luck? It’s dark—that always takes me back. Rereading our old mail. I have to try, don’t I? When you asked me about having a secret, I thought it was just a form of greeting.
previously published in Cannibal
Kate Greenstreet is the author of case sensitive (Ahsahta Press, 2006) and three chapbooks, Learning the Language (Etherdome Press, 2005), Rushes (above/ground press, 2007), and This is why I hurt you (Lame House Press, 2008). New work is forthcoming in jubilat, Saltgrass, Hotel Amerika, and Court Green. Her second book, The Last 4 Things, will be out from Ahsahta in September 2009.