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Even Marilyn bit her nails....

One day, I'll get back to you. (c/o: lonelyplanet.com)


Entries in Poetry (3)




Does anyone else agree that sometimes, when you are single, it is actually liberating to find out you have no crushes on anyone who is currently a viable option?  It means you and your heart and your mind are free and open, to the wind, to the rain, to new possibility, to saying "fuck" and "cunt" and "piss" with abandon (well, I usually do that anyway), to beers at anytime with anyone on any corner of town, to not giving a damn about who you will or won't run into when drinking that beer on that corner of town, to starting from scratch, to....  It is practice in how to stop wondering, impressing, expecting, waiting....

And then there are those other times when it sucks a lot, too.






There is the violent 
That of
That of fists,
nutcrackers, Robosaurus
skulls     peanut shells     egg cartons;
soda cans     feelings     ice.

Then there is the violet 
That faint blue
The opposite of breakage. 
Freshness of plums     figs     winter rye;
milk     rabbit fur     snow.


and there's no denying now
the year has begun, the ball
has been dropped, the apple
has been eaten, and that he
is in Michigan screwing
his new girlfriend.  Says it's awful;
hasn't written anything since
January.  That's just how it is.
Not that he's complaining.
I think he's implying
that I should have plenty
of fodder for great literature.
I also think he thinks that
this should make me feel better
somehow.  What he doesn't know is
I haven't written since December,
and great literature doesn't need
loneliness.  It doesn't need
empty rooms or broken
organs.  My writer's block is proof
he is fooling himself;
like a farmer
blaming constellations
for a bad harvest, like a man
blaming evil on a woman
who blames a snake
for eating an apple. That would be
just like him.




My father adds to the list.
When I— if I— (he corrects himself
to the less sinister
but more than likely inaccurate
if I die,
make sure the first thing your mother does
with the life insurance
is get the pipes replaced.
It will be expensive.
But they are old.
We both know that nothing short
of a well-aimed meteor
will convince my mother to change residence.
I add the pipes
to my father’s Post-Death
Mental Wish-List, right behind
Make sure your mother
doesn’t start collecting too many things
and closing herself in like your aunt.
(Prevent fire hazards.)
When your mother gets old
make sure that when she eats
she chews well enough
and always has a drink around.
She is prone to coughing
while she eats.
(Learn Heimlich.)
Try to convince your mother to move.
This is not the best neighborhood.
But since we both know she won’t,
just make sure she locks the doors
and doesn’t start letting strangers in.

(Maintain common sense.)

For him,
preparing for death
is simply like packing lunch
the night before. Not a production,
just a habit.

My mother is at the store right now
picking up a few straggling ingredients
for the dinner my father
has begun to eat on the stove.
I lean in the doorway to the kitchen
listening to his request as the phone rings.
He stirs the vegetables in the pan,
letting the machine take the call.
It beeps. It’s his wife—
“Hello-ooo. Pick up the phooone.
Hellooo-ooo. Pick up the phoo-ooone.”
He leaves the pan and looks around.
The phone is off the hook
and not resting on nearby counters.
Damn it.
“It’s meee, pick up the phooone.”
My father’s annoyance grows
to panic. The voice pauses
to give him a moment.
“It’s in the living roooom….”
He relaxes. Finds the phone
on the side table near the couch.
They didn’t have the sauce he wanted, she says.
She had to go to another store
and will be home soon.
He laughs a bit. He is content. Yet
all the while, the brown paper lunch bag
is in the back of his head, floating
above a cold, dark shelf, and
my definition of love
grows beside it.