High-kill shelter where
A German Shepherd puppy
Cries herself to sleep
High-kill shelter where
A German Shepherd puppy
Cries herself to sleep
these baby boomers
these anxious millennials
water in a stream
while in a gold room
Ivanka clips her toenails
with a gold clipper
secret service men
in dark suits and sunglasses
under pink blossoms
Cherry tree crotches
and crotches of aides
wet, open, toothless,
rosy mouths of infant ghosts
pink as cherry blossoms
Flat wet petals -ha!
What have the blossoms to do
with Ezra’s ranting?
for a famous line of verse
In a dark subway tunnel
Pink plum blossoms on my skirt
Aspiring to spring
pink goldfish cherub planters
fragility of all things
(my verses extracted from Mel Nichols’ Cherry Blossom Renga, composed on facebook)
Cherry blossoms as
BURST into bloom
Tight, coiled, twisted, freezing
Like you, at the end
Little grey rabbit
Shivers without protection
In a frozen field
With a flood of tears
I throw away his toothbrush.
Cold spring wind outside.
April is the cruellest month, breeding
breakups out of the thin man, jinxing
memory and desire, frizzing
my gray roots with spring pain.
Winter drove us crazy, covering
time with youtube, feeding
my little life by taking ubers.
Bummers surprised me, coming over the transom
With showers of pain; we’d stopped at Angelica
And went on in phonelight, into Prospect Park,
and drank coconut juice, and talked for seven hours.
I should not have been rushing, but lissome, and moist.
And we were once children, in Bolinas, or a suburb,
He took me into his head
And I was frightened, He said, Nada,
Nada, hold me tight. And down we went.
I tiptoed near him, never felt free.
We texted each other, and then it went south.
What are the arms that clutch, what words grow
out of this dusty sadness? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know no sound of life
A few broken teenagers, on the live stream,
And those near-dead girls give no shelter, the website no relief.
And the dry phone no sound of real life. Only
there is shadow inside your big head.
You live in the shadow of your big head.
I tried to show you something different.
You sent me videos of your shadow walking
Long and tall like a Brancusi figure
shrouded in fear and in dust.
Frisking the wind
The homely zoo
My kind iris
What are your wiles?
You sent me an email seven years ago
now call me an unhinged girl
Yet when we came back, late, from the East Village,
Your arms thin, and your hair silver, I could not
speak, and my mind reeled. I was both
living and dead, and I am Nada.
Looking into the heart of night, your silences
owe their leering to the sea.
GETTING A GLIMPSE OF MY TRUTH
Being misgendered triggers
a white reader in mind. This
wave of “pink” a nicely packaged
idea: our social grievances are
connected. Asexuality isn’t well-known
as a hub for Wiccan activity.
Witches can barely nurture
predatory men. I was fifteen.
Nature tends to be used and abused,
leading to apathy, dropping classes,
or frequent skipping.
Keeping up with the grievance
news often feels soul-crushing.
Under capitalism, cocooning
attention and gender dysmorphia.
I always knew I was black bright
light, outed by a pregnant pronoun.
I’ve fiercely flung that door
wide open, exuding ethnicity,
to the internet’s no-bullshit standards,
where something you love is always run
by scummy men.
Emotional Support Peacock
Why am I freaking out? Let me count the ways.
There’s great disorientation in the sit room.
Syrian civil war is slipping savagely.
A starling murmuration is also startling.
Burstulence – spray of noise.
It’s sodium lauryl sulfate for the soul.
I’m floating, burbling, so is everything.
Thought knots, unknots.
I’ll be a slogan-eating orchid monster.
I’ll be a gyroscope, plurabelle, maledicta
or a quince blossom on the road to nowhere.
There’s a bald spot in your poetics.
You’ve rubbed it raw with all your fretting.
You hurl out the banner: “I’m so compassionate.”
What are you fixing? We are grime havens.
Poser simplicity – a blind stem…a bled sun.
A bright puppy feels something happening to grammar:
about to be able to have a bit more abandon:
an adamant flippancy.
I don’t see probosces; I look only vaguely medieval.
Madeline Gins and a popsicle.
Lady Gaga’s little white breast.
Fat braid of Louisa May Alcott.
Marie Antoinette’s cherub mouth.
Carolee in ram’s horns.
No ideas but in white kittens.
Melania is a fox cat – perfectly contoured cheek
against the white airplane.
Democracy eggshell – some days I wake up
The internet makes me want to break things.
This stainy morass, screwed and undone.
Doubt balloons. Jolly depressive. Salubrious lunge.
Not sure what to do with this WARLOCK FETISH.
Though I hardly desire even desire.
And friendship – it is crumbling shale.
It is riddled with poignards
All those erstwhile little Maoist “friends.”
Though romantic Marxism’s turned lucrative
in this Age of Ideology.
MySpace Druid, mishandled pussy,
obscenity harp mob,
glittered mesh conjunctions,
reflexive sorrel palatals.
My failure is spectacular! A white phoenix
with a rhinestone tail! Failure!
A neglectorino ballet! A kind of shiny
golden dreidl in the hasbeen of my mind.
I failed at righteous argument, at poetry of
place, at poetry of witness, at poetry of identity,
at poetry of mordant critique. I can’t swim.
I can’t play cello. I can’t drive.
But I feel a little bad about feeling bad –
though it’s not as annoying as thinking
oneself “important,” or “sexual,” or “radical.”
Bare branches in hard morning light
move in a frigid breeze – fucking hilarious!
“Sexual freedom” is a total oxymoron.
I put something free into a shopping cart.
There’s a perfect almond in the ruin.
Just trying to make a little monkey.
Allopansy. Mellicious. Flagrabillious.
Get all this and more.
Green tufts amongst red brick –
the pubic hair of the refulgent earth.
Woke up with palpitations again.
Doubt balloons. Don’t make me sit in a chair.
Nuclear posture – streaming the lacunae.
My kitsune ears didn’t come on time.
I never get a minute. I just don’t feel
like Louis Armstrong, purr, hiccup,
fascism always lurks in the shade
of our desperations.
To always be this small, and this comedic.
Trump won because poetry is so bad.
I’m so bored with this glittering wail.
Oops, I mean “whale.” I don’t trust poems
with linearly numbered sections ONE BIT.
Please, please make your language more
scrumptious. Do sighs matter? Are power chords
the belles of infinity? So boring, preachy, such
crap, please stop, stop with that weird “you.”
OMG, camellias’ waxiness! Stop your toneless
recitation, you are killlling me. I fade, I disappear,
the plaint of sleep curling over me – it’s hush and fur.
All the academic cuckoos and their “shaman balalaikas,”
their sardonic nicety organs and machine lynxes.
Rubenesque marmosets stroke my forehead lovingly.
A turtledove’s babyish truculence and the damp swallows
of cyclone squeals. Here among the burp jubilees.
Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.
This is all about me, yes, but also about the pornstache oligarchs,
the weird white bell sleeves, the 70s women on John Berger
talking about how men interact with the world
as forceful presences.
Nemo climbs on me,
I’m in a purple robe; he doesn’t care that I’m
a failure. Cats understand true value. He won’t
last long and then I’ll have nothing but my little
fantasy world inside the actual world that is on the brink.
I keep thinking, “If I had only…If I had only…”
I still think my poetry is the most beautiful: licked
allspice, green martini ostrich caravan, unemotional
saffrons, night rosebushes, sperm clefs, laxity ohms –
filled with baleen inevitability, impassable nuzzlings,
moist embroideries! Why won’t someone give me money?
A wombat pulls out her pocket watch, “just look at the time.”
I’m in terrible pain. Where’s my splendid trajectory?
This isn’t a melancholy poem about having to work.
It doesn’t have bodily fluids in it.
It’s not about my identity at all.
It doesn’t espouse anything at all.
All it does is move.
Sometimes I just want to be that “inside person”
as in “oku-san” – not so much “wife” as the person
inside the house, taking care of the house, making the
house into art. But I’m a green-haired clown
with a light up face. This world won’t validate me –
kachunk – like a library date due stamp.
I could listen to that sound all day.
I really do feel super lost.
I can’t figure things out.
I wake in the middle of the night to eat
inflammatory foods. It’s agony.
At least I have food. The social contract –
has it expired? Was it even valid?
Derision strainer arachnids.
The careless daintiness of cosmology milkmaids.