That’s why I called her,
To pre-empt her from texting me with the usual
“What’s wrong with you people?
You don’t live on twenty acres!”
I said to her, “Pam, would you pah-lease
get those crows to cut out that racket at seven in the morning?
and your cyprus is shedding all over our pergola.
What do you think this is, a public park?”
Tag Archives: poem
You’re the 70% cocoa of us
He’s the Kraft Dinner
But I? I’m the pickled beans.
I drank another glass of that tangy, sparkly, just a little sweet, juice,
which was defrosted, bottled, pressed from apples and aronia–September and October,
Couldn’t get enough, though my gut ached, unaccustomed to filling up
After going all day on nothing but coffee, tomato soup, and roasted almonds.
Barely time to pee between classes.
I sip again, then, hands to the keyboard, keyboard on my lap,
lap on bed, shoulders propped by pillows
against the headboard.
It snowed today, five inches or more in early November.
A wet, cold, day, windy like home, except without the smell of the bay
and red sandy loam tuning the snow pink in the ruts.
This morning two of my fingers turned dead white and tingled
even inside my wool gloves, and I shifted my weight
off surfaces irritated due to the failure of certain inner hammocks.
I don’t like you any more.
It’s not your fault–it could have been anyone,
present at the failure of certain other inner hammocks
like the one held up at one end (I tied it there)
I meant to look up just a few words for a poem about a geologist friend, but the language was so rich, I couldn’t resist.
We are absolutely dating, he said
As they glided across the abyssal plain.
In the aftershock if that, she
turned on her earphones to an acid rock channel
an aggregate album recommended by Amber.
It’s your angular unconformity I object to,
he continued, and your acting
as if all of us, your Achaean companions,
are just an archipelago about you.
It was a basic, bedrock complaint,
and she buckled a little, inside, like
some kind of breadcrust bomb.
She cast about, cleaved clean from her continental crust.
She was shaken to the core,
He could be so crude.
Don’t think I mean to degrade you, he continued
as he prepared to drill to her core.
It seemed an eon (it was erratic at her epicenter)
Then the erosion began.
The exfoliation of one layer, another,
she fractured, froze,
Her guts as if gastroliths ground them.
In the half-life it could have taken for her heart
to turn to hardpan, something creaked,
a hinge line opened to something inside
a hotspring, an isotope of her essence till now hidden
A kettle, steam kinking upward within,
Then, lava, a liquefaction of the lowland of her soul
Mantle, oozing massive, moving toward
a sudden metamorphosis
Mica, he wanted to mold her
but her orogenic beginnings were leading to a piercing point.
It was plutonic, yes, but now, what a
pneumatolytic, pyroclastic rift!
Stop Fighting Fires
It releases the minerals, you know.
Let it burn, snap, roar, blast back out again the sunshine
that’s been trapped in there for the past forty, seventy,
two hundred years.
Who wants a cold, clammy forest
shading nothing but its own dry twigs
and dead brown needles,
sheltering nothing but cicadas
and a few hungry birds?
Let it burn to ash, and then
burst into wildflowers, grass, and tree seedlings
inviting small scampering things
leaping crickets, slithering snakes, bees,
and releasing a thousand smells.
Standards in the classroom
When I learned that the gene for six fingers per hand is dominant,
I thought about all the children who, in infancy and in secret,
Had had two of their twelve fingers cut off
so they could be normal.
Five fingers plus five equals ten —
the basis of the decimal system and Arabic numerals
and Metric, all very clear-cut.
But why not let twelve digits be the norm
and count in dozens?
(Could it be that the dozens we do count
are because of dozens of fingers in some baker clan?)
Or, some could have theirs amputated at the knuckles
and count by fractions.
The teacher would say, “My aren’t they sharp!”
and divide the class into sections
so they could teach their five-fingered friends
(who would wear prostheses to get a slice of the action).
This would be better than listening to the dull teacher
as she lay equations on the board
and told everyone to do their exercises,
I explain to Peter
as I drive him to work
that all our apparent goodness
is really a variation on self-interest.
I feel guilty saying it,
but also, driven.
Shattering illusions is a compulsive act.
One hopes someone will
be able to shatter back.
Isn’t that right, Mr. Dawkins?