Category Archives: Frustrations and Rants

Lament for a Modern Danae (DRAFT-A-LICIOUS)

I

There were nights of motion, of wetness,
of weeping and pleasure, of ghasping for air.

Once, she lived in desire. She woke in the night
to the feel of you between her legs. You were

her Zeus, your hand sliding into her was a shaft
of moonlight melding her life to yours, creating in her

a divine pregnancy. The love you left there
was her salvation, her down fall.

II

Looking at you, no one would know your divinity.
She could see it from the moment she first saw you

standing outside her house in the snow, slamming
the door of a rusty truck, it’s creaking was

the sound of the muses that proclaimed your presence.
Months later, you left Perseus in your wake, her love

without a body to hold it, faltered, failed
to live up to the demi-god as it was formed.

III

Your Danae, with seven bite marks on her back
moves thru the world, different. The damage

you left, the bites, purple marks that you lift her shirt
to show another lover; the strange pattern of welts,

the shape of a whip at her hip. Feathering moonlight
between the legs every week, calling her back.

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Filed under Frustrations and Rants, lust and love, poetry, The muse

It’s morning again

I keep expecting to run out of new mornings.

I got a new vacuum for Christmas, I ran it twice
last night after putting it together using the cheaply
printed instructions. My old vacuum hadn’t worked
in months. It collected a trash bag full of dog hair.

I put it in the trash can immediately. This morning

I woke up and could hear the sound of water beneath
the tires of cars on the street three stories below.
That’s some loud water. When I woke up this morning,

I wanted eggs and toast for breakfast. I opened the fridge

and discovered I am out of eggs. I am constantly working
against myself. One day, she told me she loves me and
tried to slide her hand around my body to my back. Was it
morning then, too, when I never said I loved her back?

Across the street, someone has driven a limosine to the food bank

and I wonder if it is their job and their only way to get around.
I moved to the city and planned to walk everywhere. Instead,
I drive. My clothing is not nice enough to handle the weather.
I am weak, I will call off work to sit all day watching movies.
I thought I was going to go for a run. Flannel sheets are
very appealing, and the sound of water under tires fades.

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Seal these wounds

I’ve been drowning my fears
in astringent and slitting them
open with the tip of a knife.

Your words can dissolve
the edge of my anger, but only
motion can wipe the residue

of horror and sadness
off of my skin. Only the feel
of paper against my index finger

or the warmth that lies
inside your mouth can seal
these wounds I created.

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Filed under Frustrations and Rants, lust and love, Musings, poetry, The muse

An unknown illness reveals need

Then the world blurred into color,
sound, and the lack of ground
beneath my feet. This would be

death, but for the cool porciline
of the bathtub against my sweaty
face and the question of what to do
with my last moments. Getting up, struggling

thru double vision, arms and legs dancing
towards the bed, a sickening marionette.
I hold in my mind the idea of myself

at the other end, ok, laughing. For days
my brain melts into a buzz of exhaustion,
pain, and the need for a hand on my back
or my arm. All I get: the checkout girl

pulling away as I kneel to vomit
in the trash can next to her register,
a brush of a neighbor’s hand when

he hands me some pills, and the dream
I held to lull me to sleep of unknown
arms around my body, holding me down
when all of my life was the sea.

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Filed under Frustrations and Rants, poetry

Readying to Run

It’s the morning again. Breezes invade
thru open windows, but I am alone
again. I pull on my lime green shorts,
my purple bra. I drink gatorade

and do not miss some meaning
in every movement. Thirteen miles
are all that’s between me
and my self. Once, there was something
more than these sounds, this passion
for something so pointless, something
noone knows but me. Once, I rallied,

I faced down officers pointing tear gas
at me, I held my ground. I shouted.
I marched. Once, I saw the good,
I saw the purpose in every moment
of being still. Once, I held a girl
in my arms until I could no longer

tell where her body stopped and mine
started. Once I fought to be sure I was
heard. But now, now I pull on my shoes,
tuck a key into the tiny pocket
on my water bottle, and take
to the streets. I’ll just run

until it all fades away, so that I can feel
the motion, the impact. So I am free.

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Filed under Frustrations and Rants, Musings, poetry, running, Uncategorized

The Death Sentance of Promise

It was all promise then,
promise the color and texture of
the purple clematis curling up
the wall beside my grandmother’s

back door, edged midnight dark
with a vein of magenta at the center.

I always knew it would end,
promise like that burns
too hot, turns to ash,
and floats away on whatever
breeze happens by. I would

play in her back yard and feel
that breeze when I was small, imagining
myself the queen of coon dogs
in Praeter’s Creek. I would walk

the path to the iny graveyard
full of my ancestors who died coated
so thick with the dust of another
man’s prosperity that they spit
coal. I would sit and trace the angels

and vines etched in their stones and feel
that burning, even then I knew
what it was to hurt in some long distant future.

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Filed under Frustrations and Rants, Musings, poetry

Archival work

She worked in the archives of a small college university for a year. At first, she used a little vacuum to clean the dust from the delicate pages of ancient, crumbling books for eight hours a day. She loved teh work, carefully, slowly hovering over a wealth of knowledge, having the power to destroy it all. For hours on end, she would stand in the little ladder and wave the wand over those closed pages, holding information and history so beautiful that they books could never be opened again. When she finished the very last shelf it was time to vacuum the first one again.

This lasted for weeks and becams a meditation. And then a geology professor died. Box upon box of letters, notes, and maps were delivered. Specimens of limestone, quartz, igneous formations from the American north.

She put it all in order, reading his carbon copies of letters sent out, reading the calls and answers of old students, women he had slept with, fellow esteemed rock hounds. She finished the last box and was ready to vacuum again, to go back to where there were no words.

But then came the poet’s death. Even more boxes, more letters. She sorted and sorted, until his life became hers. She read and was nourished, findign victory in cronographically sorting the drafts of famous poems, book proofs. Suddenly, all of this became her voice, and she quit longing for the drone of the vacuum, the repetition of the wand.

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Filed under Frustrations and Rants, work