Imagining you’d come to say goodbye,
I made a doll of raffia and string.
I gave her thatch hair, and a broomstick skirt
of patchwork satin rags. Around each eye
I stitched thick lashes. Such a touching thing
she was! That even you could not debate –
impassive, undemanding and inert.
Yes, surely she’d cause you yourself to sigh.
Around her breast, I sewed a loden ring
to guard her cotton heart from being hurt,
then sat down in the fabric scraps to wait,
between the rafters and the furnace grate,
needle in hand, and never so aware
no craft on earth is master to despair.
One day He
tipped His top hat
out of the room,
ending the argument.
He stomped off
I don’t give guarantees.
I was left
using up the darkness
I rolled up
up in a ball,
and took it
to bed with me,
a kind of stand-in
who walks out
when you’re clean
but not ironed.
When I woke up
had turned to
bricks of gold.
I’d won the world
but like a
I have a pack of letters,
I have a pack of memories.
I could cut out the eyes of both.
I could wear them like a patchwork apron.
I could stick them in the washer, the drier,
and maybe some of the pain would float off like dirt?
Perhaps down the disposal I could grind up the loss.
Besides — what a bargain — no expensive phone calls.
No lengthy trips on planes in the fog.
No manicky laughter or blessing from an odd-lot priest.
That priest is probably still floating on a fog pillow.
Blessing us. Blessing us.
Am I to bless the lost you,
sitting here with my clumsy soul?
Propaganda time is over.
I sit here on the spike of truth.
No one to hate except the slim fish of memory
that slides in and out of my brain.
No one to hate except the acute feel of my nightgown
brushing my body like a light that has gone out.
It recalls the kiss we invented, tongues like poems,
meeting, returning, inviting, causing a fever of need.
Laughter, maps, cassettes, touch singing its path -
all to be broken and laid away in a tight strongbox.
The monotonous dead clog me up and there is only
black done in black that oozes from the strongbox.
I must disembowel it and then set the heart, the legs,
of two who were one upon a large woodpile
and ignite, as I was once ignited, and let it whirl
into flame, reaching the sky
making it dangerous with its red.
Goodbye, sir, and fare well. You’re in the clear.
‘Nobody’ (Mark says you said) ‘is ever found out.’
I figure you were right,
having as Henry got away with murder
for long. Some jarred clock tell me it’s late,
not for you who went straight
but for the lorn. Our roof is lefted off
lately: the shooter, and the bourbon man,
and then you got tired.
I’m afraid that’s it. I figure you with love,
lifey, deathy, but I have a little sense
the rest of us are fired
or fired: be with us: we will blow our best,
our sad wil riffs come easy in that case,
thinking you over,
knowing you resting, who was reborn to rest,
your gorgeous sentence is done. Nothing’s the same,
Come, thrust your hands in the warm earth
And feel her strength through all your veins;
Breathe her full odors, taste her mouth,
Which laughs away imagined pains;
Touch her life’s womb, yet know
This substance makes your grave also.
Shrink not; your flesh is no more sweet
Than flowers which daily blow and die;
Nor are your mein and dress so neat,
Nor half so pure your lucid eye;
And, yet, by flowers and earth I swear
You’re neat and pure and sweet and fair.
Go away girl, go away
and let me pack my dreams
Now where did I put those yesteryears
made up with broken seams
Where shall I sweep the pieces
my God they still look new
There’s a taxi waiting at the door
but there’s only room for you
When I pass… I’ll be young and looking my best. Wrap me in silk shrouds And place shiny pearls On my chest. Sent me above to the clouds Into the alluring after world. Everyone will remember me, That’s immortality. Everyone will love me when I’m gone. They will say I was wise, skilled and strong-willed […]
Some people say it’s selfish. Some say it’s stupid. Everyone says its a permanent solution, to a temporary problem. I’ve heard all the reasons, I’ve heard all the pleads. But tonight is the night Suicide shall end my life. (Poem by Sammi Haley) […]
I came to visit, did you see? I left a note for you, did you see? I miss you, I miss you, Three words that matter so little. Sometimes, I need you now. I polished it, again and again, Until the marble glowed. For the briefest second, I could’ve sworn I felt you presence. “I […]
Groody blew spices, it sounded like jazz in the south but that was a long time ago. When he kicked the bucket all the neighborhood kids hushed outside, thinking he would come back and play if they were quiet. The folks who danced to his sound, when he played in town never went back there […]