Why are you looking at this frightening picture of me with henna in my hair? Oh, I have my reasons. Do you wanna hear ‘em?
It is a deference you make,
a concordance you set
between you, and your gravity.
No one watches correctly— the conjurer makes sure
all paying eyes stray to the glint of his large amber ring—
blooming in my head this morning while the jackhammers
kick the asphalt six feet below the windows next to my bed.
Today is like a rare curiosity behind a glass case
in the old dusty hobby shop that never looks open—
Consider the animal nature
of your breath—
Human nature is only nature, after all.
And some days, but not others, I am walking through the drying linens tucked away from the street in Mrs. Kormos’ backyard,
Walk in any direction of this place and you might hear
tarnished bells rung by the stealth of silent men
typists clacking love letters for a dollar a page….
I am not a war-torn island; I am a woman in search of answers.
Don’t be afraid to break things, or to be broken by them.
Do not be fooled. Language is feral.
Forget everything you’ve learned
as you breathe into your hands
on this cold morning. <3
When your poem broke, you called the mechanic.
The marbled surface of your skin is black and white, and regular.
You read Virginia Woolf. You read Hermann Hesse.
You swim, word-weighted,
through the aqueous shadows
of a late afternoon.
To commemorate the official start of the Bluebird Blvd. Silly Season—which will go through the end of August—I thought we could play a game.
A writing game!
Have you ever heard of an Exquisite Corpse?
Quick! Let’s write poetry.
We can use an old recipe from McCall’s.
Never fool with the trickster’s daughters.
We nimble knots with our toes.
perhaps I still stand in front of the glass tank—
and the seahorses still converse in the flowing grasses.
—while that other me, the one I’ve been expecting,
sits at an outdoor cafe with an old pen and a new notebook.
Wait. Right here at the center of the square at five o’clock a gent will arrive with his dog and his accordion case. Wait.
These are symbols,
greater and lesser, as am I, with my hands in my pockets,
my north-south face fixed erect as a map that leads
to the end of a sentence—
Noon is a rite. I bend to a white plate, where a sliver of a tomato curls at the center of a finished lunch. The dogs leaping for the back door at one p.m. is…
i. On that night in the movie theater, the screen flickered and dropped to black. We were ushered out by a voice, a dancing flashlight. For blocks and blocks, we walked home…