Monday, March 12, 2012

Going Even Farther Back

(for Erika Peterson and Green Circle Farms)

it is a whole different story talking to a kid

about finishing their (perfectly prepared) serving of food.

it makes a huge difference being

able to say rubbish like

"you chased that damn chicken up and down the hill

and through the creek. Now that it is on your plate, you have to think

about your honor. That fun time gave its life to make you strong and healthy.

you really want to throw it away?"

when I was his age, I was surreptitiously scraping my plate

into an envelope addressed to Starving Kids - Africa or India.

and peaceful about that.

let the postal workers not shun me...

I was only seven,

grapes were devil food back then. solidarity

Mr Bojangles - Whitney Housotn & Bobby Brown

So, this video caused quite a bit of "friendly discussion" the other day.

It took quite a bit of time for me to deal with Whitney Houston's death. I never realized we were sort of the same age. And as much as I liked her, we never really connected in the same way that I connect to other artists. Then, this old grad student acquaintance/playgroup Daddy/poetry superstar who is now one "presidential artist" and I agreed that this video was truly awesome.

His wife and my husband were in absolute agreement that this was the stupidest video of all time. (Which is one of the things I love most about my life. Artists wake up in the morning wanting to have a conversation! But, the museums and institutions go out off their way to prevent us from doing that. Because what we do is so sacred and precious and perfect that nobody can touch it or us.) Regardless, I digress.

So, I finally got something from Whitney. And as we all sat in friendly, loving discourse about this stupid video, we all were able to agree that the things creative people get up to late at night, behind their curtained windows and locked doors. Those things can be precious. But, so often, many artists are too stingy to share. And what this video shows is generosity. So - I guess that's what I'm trying to say with this poem.

Mr. Bojangles

(for Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown)

I like people who forget

to draw their curtains

at night. how I witness

the dark affect

others. I am the surreptitious one

looking in the window

as I walk past.


curtains, locked

doors, late

nights bring


tucked in

and tuckered out creates



and shenanigans breathe

a little light.

or shadows. the shallow

kind pushed back

by delicate flame

struggling to command

a yellow radiance

flickers and yammers

on and on about something

strange and invisible. love, passion,

support building

two auras. make a new

creature named Our

Marriage. it is unsure

where it began, took shape

and if the energy will ever end

it. but suckles the faded

hint of vanilla and jasmine. perhaps

cinnamon. the shadows cornered.

by flame,

all manner of insanity can occur.

in these shuttered seconds after sunset

a husband dances;

his wife whistles; sings

some old corny song;

laughter makes love and

then they have the nerve

to let the whole world see.

i will always love you.

On loving aging

(a pseudo haiku)

wonders why pretty
happened to everybody
young. but never me.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pseudo Haiku

brain exits stage left.
heart pulses down stage center.
what about lighting?

Dear Azana

So I read this. And made a choice to feel very unsympathetic. Because I can do that. Sometimes I work too hard to immerse myself in empathy. Not today.

I can not even comprehend this. Some days compassion is just too much hard work. And I do try. But, no matter what the circumstances....I can never "forget" a child. And I find myself apologizing to parents all the time because I don't know their name. But, I do remember their children's names. And I am very sorry for having a sanctimonious moment, but in this moment I do believe that the charity in your heart will forgive me

Dear Azana


ooh baby,

it’s your birthday,

happy birthday! happy birthday!

the mouse is singing to you

with pizza and tickets and cake.

everyone is running around

this baby casino playing games

because it’s your birthday.


it’s cool.

it’s your birthday.

everyone you know forgot

you. just keep playing

until the police come

because your birthday is closing

now. the help wants to go home

to their own children.


but you don’t even know your own name.

how they gonna call your people

to let them know they forgot you?

and the other nine which frazzle that woman

whose legs spread open ten times. cracked wider

than any flashing machine shooting out tickets

that magically transform into cheap prizes

made by kids younger than you

locked in 3rd world factories,

under fed and sometimes beaten

but those trinkets are so belovedly

cherished here. this land of liberty


has a temporary case of amnesia.

what is your name?

what does she call you?

Pudding? Precious? Love bug? Darling?

it’s okay. maybe it’s Shit Head. or Fucking Asshole.

we’ll find her. but, look!

Chuck E. Cheese has a birthday crown

just for you Children’s Services have come.

and the help can wave and smile and cheer

and go home to the children with names like

Awesome, Perfection and Sugar Plum

because it’s your birthday! happy birthday!

w00t? YAY! the whole system came

to save and celebrate your arrival tonight

at Chuck E. Cheese. it's your birthday.