movie plot as object lesson
boys find valuable object
boys lose valuable object
boys fight to get valuable object back
I am woman born
no source of father’s pride
too early in my days, they
track my aroma
I know not to hide
use me in some back room
until my womb rises with a new slave
for their diversions
I am sacred mother
tit tied to feeding, always feeding
(agonized bleeding in secret shame)
No more than a tether, a trough, and
tantalizer of the profane. I am a wrecked
train, a vehicle left to rust, blamed for
never quite thrown away.
Reject me; reject hard truths,
long trod on diamonds, golden geese brought
Obscured like icebergs, amphibious myths
kept subdued, symbolic
work songs, prophetic exaltation,
we who are only dreams in your philosophy.
You may well be better
stuck, your own
wheel of clay.
My lesson, when I am ready,
is to leave you to your way;
cleave to ecstasy
loose, fanciful, subjective,
stalwart daughter of Zeus
graces her time and place
with divine knowledge.
Today unlined face,
robust yet fragile form
are proclaimed as the graces
Athena, lost in the pantheon,
whispers to the nightears
of her faithful,
saying: “True woman’s mind
inclines to wisdom.”
But Daddy’s girl
wants more recompense
Here at the bar again
Here at the bar again, bar nothing to me.
Deepest Scorpio, gusts tinged icy.
Onward toward Chumley’s 2 pm Village poetry reading.
Searching outside book stall for bargains,
found a Paul Goodman
with cat and dog and baby photographs
to give to Cindy
a gift of love for a fragile child
Still affright from last night’s heavy scene,
wherein the police took my man away again,
this time with my blessing and accomplicement.
. . . A man is a hard thing.
Also a drag on my developmental aspirations.
When all he does is loom and threaten
Big Brute Violence
to storm my sensibilities.
(What’s frustrating is he doesn’t hear me
plead for shelter.)
Laughing in the park we loved
Crying in the night we parted
Oh, beseech I, gods above:
Why must you leave me broken-hearted?
(and I know he’ll be returning with more disregards
and diatribes and possibly pistol drawn to fire)
So I sit here in the bar, again.
Drinking sweet Kahlua and awaiting the poetry.
Taking a respite, you see.
Oh, Goddess, for this while,
bar nothing to this troubled child
(for child I feel, though woman grown).
Let peace alone assail me.
Pink and Blue
(and red all over)
Fist shakes from rage
stagnant dying ocean
willing to be taken down
from fear to violence.
Call wild arms,
breast, sinew, shame.
Chemistry surges, overplays.
One mortal coup de grace
burst sword to heart
that never lived
If man is fire, dissolved
into greater waves,
why does Woman weep?
Why does not the flood
of pain absolve and
succor? Why should fate
deny blessings of mortal
release in wash of blood
to lady fair,
snakes and thistles to braid her hair,
expose her tortured face?
Eyes that kill in silence,
stone lips, wrinkled nose,
washed out in times of
stoic denial. Why must
she kneel, vile, victim
of violence, not its cause?
Who makes these laws of
Who takes the stone?
Who takes the stone’s projection?
The moments slither by if you forget they’re there.
Sucking in sweetness,
hot sugared coffee, aroma of memory.
It might be a sluggish, clammy
descent of summer afternoon. Hints of autumn
like blackberry spicing the air.
The people here are decent.
They smile to make conversation a pleasant bit of business.
They want me to feel safe, subdued.
It doesn’t matter that we are never more than strangers,
passing faces, complaisant.
They bring me coffee with sugar and plastic sticks for stirring.
In this moment all of the world
turns so skillfully
I move along without pause for acknowledgement,