Sunday, November 29, 2015

Between the Sepals

my pink petals darkened brown 
I thought for the sin of my unwashed hands. 
Barbie doll romantic reenactments
 always terminated in taboo 
Georgia O’Keefe finger painting.

When I first saw a lady slipper in the woods, 
I knew it had nothing to do with shoes,
 unless you’re talking pumps, just for the sound of it. 
it has a labellum,
 just say it slow and sultry like with your honey sweet lips.
And of course bellum is Latin for war.

A phalaenopsis orchid:
phalaina from Greek, meaning moth
but I see a soft phallus in the word, spelled more prettily.
I mean it has a tiny nub
called a column, and therefore
columns in common flowers are 
called the stigma, 
and that’s what I certainly had,
with my boy-bruised petals 
back in a spring equinox that was never equal. 
Maybe Aristotle knew what he was talking about
when he used opsis to mean final tragedy,
because everyone knows moths aren’t as good
as butterflies.

Receptacle, they brand the 
swollen segment beneath the blossom.
Doesn’t the flower sound so used now? 
No worries,
they tell me it went willingly
 to all the bees that desired it 
 and it’s not the bees fault 
the flowers bloomed with such
alluring submission.
There have always been too many bees to count.

How funny that bees save their cultish devotion for only one 
of their stature
which is never a flower.

over stroked metaphors of flora 
turn feral fauna I suspect
if you read between the sepals.
--Lara L.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

As Far As I'm Concerned

As far as I’m concerned,
I told you I was gay
When I bit Barbie’s head off
As far as I’m concerned,
I told you I was gay when
I stole Jim’s racecar pajamas
And wore them underneath
As far as I’m concerned
The baseball cap
I wore from ages five to fourteen
Was one of the many ways I told you
I was gay
When I refused to wear the top
To my bathing suits
I was telling you
When I insisted on swigging soda
From the bottle
So it looked more like your beer
I was clearly telling you I was gay
When I wore a sweatshirt
Over 2 t-shirts
With a mustard stain on each of them
I was telling you
When you teased me about wanting

To marry Joe Namath
And I said, no, I wanted to be Joe Namath
I was telling you
When I asked you to call me “Sport” instead of “Sweetheart’”
I was telling you
When I wiped my mouth on my sleeve
Shoved my hands in my pockets
Practiced spitting, grunting
And peeing while standing
I was telling you
The time I begged for authentic cowboy boots
The black watch plaid flannel shirt from LL Bean
The Brooks Brothers’ navy blazer
With the secret inside pockets
I was telling you
When I dressed all in black
And put grease on my face
And practiced crawling beneath beds
(pretending they were barbed wire)
Simulating the POW’s in Hogan’s Heroes
I was telling you
When I tried out for solo on
“When you’re a Jet you’re
A Jet all the way from your first
Cigarette to your last dying day”
Instead of “Tonight
I was telling you
When I wanted the orange 10 speed
The GI Joes
The Erector Set
The Walkie Talkies
The Boxing Gloves
The Sling Shot
The Daisy Rifle
I was telling you
When I stole your shaving cream
I was telling you
When aunt roberta said I “walk

Like Bucky Dent” and I said ‘Thanks!”
I was telling you
So when you were laying there
Finally dying and I didn’t
Start explaining how I prefer to have sex
And with whom I hope you realized
It’s not like I never told you

--Jennifer Brooke

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Lot's Wife In Prime Time

Wheeled out in prime time,
dusted off, make-up girls
powdering her up from crusted
toe to nose, Lot’s wife dug
from the desert, placed on a
sound stage under lights to
amuse the martini boys and girls
and sell a few six packs—here
the aftermath of a sand god
speaks to the masses in a tongue
they do not hear.
Could be Oprah or Maury,
Johnny or Dave—no matter,
any full set of teeth and lacquered
hairdo will suffice.
So Lot’s dear wife sits as a
caked mannequin, camel smile
burnt on for millennia, limestone
ears buzzed by an audience’s
tinnitus, listens to the micro-phoned
questions coming from a crowd
eager to consume a rock woman’s
Her thoughts ooze out like moss on
They would fish-hook them from her
frozen tongue.
Her gaze of ages from welded eyes
made cracked crystal by Sodom’s
burned turrets. This the lack of
obedience from the spirits’ warning
of not to gaze on the white incarnation,
solid fog made of mad oranges, blazing
reds, a tiny god’s history-pointing finger
that brought them all here, madly in love
with the heat that they imagined.
Her contemplations from a coral brain
remembering the shock wave cracked-foamed
over her form stilled in flight—cones of
electric light settling over, a stinger that
cannot be pulled.
These words she would hammer together
to make a house for them to live within:
do not believe that the force of history,
of rolled out consequences can be
peeled away, that forgiveness is flaked
stone revealing the core of kindness.
Do not believe that we can gaze
behind and find summer’s solace
choking the rot of autumn.
Do not believe that we are chosen
by heaven’s probability for
immortal glory after the arena’s
She would like to raise a stalactite
middle finger, but that would not be
All I did, like you, was look.
--Ralph Monday

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Having enough to

Starchy corn
Summer heat
Shit planting flies
With a windmill in the background

Enough money raised
Timber, low beams
Chunky leather sofas
Sticks to our bare legs
As the furniture moves
                past our noses

A washing machine
and wooden chairs
           for the dining table

Upstairs there are cries and groans
Beds being assembled
Trapping fingers
Breaking nails and
Bruising knees
On the hardwood floor

We need some rugs for our new home too.

--Katie Lewington

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Silence of Words

As a girl I was told that it was better to
sit in silence—because I was a girl, so
I sat in silence as a girl.
        Not to be denied, I knew my creative power,
made a box of words that in curvaceous moments
pulled muscle cars from the past that drove
me along in perfect seeing silence. Those who made
me mute may as well have written an obituary of rocks.
They did not understand that my multi-colored
        leggings gave tread to my wanderings
where I would someday embrace the PTSD, love
the past ripped pains.
        In my hush I saw that most men would have
an Ithaca-moment, that metallic lingerie was nothing
but a subversion of surfaces withholding encrypted love,
        that their glass gears, confectioned cogs
prevented them from ever knowing an intimate,
perfect tension,
from seeing that from an off-center equator
Venus went gliding by, transiting the sun, making
of love scented inflammations.
I sat in silence with my box of words, as a
girl in silence, because I was a girl, and knew
centuries’ afterburners
where they only knew small gods whining
in their heads. When they talked they said
        could not gain immortality from the
underworld, but I learned, in my silence,
of a fire-crowned seduction
sighed out by breath of the dead-young.
I mounted syncretism’s secrets, learned of
snakes that fondle prayer beads,
        spied a lake of ice on the moon where
dead skaters glide, plucked out the mystery,
for this is where Van Gogh painted,
        where Stravinsky composes modern melodies
still, the place where the Alps are eating the oceans
and Josephine Baker taught Eve’s black moves.
        These things smiled at me from my box of
words, where I sat in perfect silence, as a girl,
moving toward that day when I would be a woman.
--Ralph Monday