Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I had a bird for just a day.
It lighted upon my finger.
It flitted up and lit back down
And chirped and sang
And delighted me like a dream
That comes unbidden
And stays as long as it can
In the mystic light of deep sleep.
For one can never keep a bird,
And dreams will never tarry long,
Nor bring surprise or joy
If you try and capture them,
Or turn them in the ways
That you would have them go.

But bright the eye and true the smile
Of the gentle learners
Who allow the multicolored wings of truth
To come their way,
Who let the dreams unfold uninterrupted,
And laugh like unfettered children
At the free ideas that churn and drop
Into their minds
Like sweet confections that melt in the wet mouths of happy eaters.
These are the memories and loves and moments and precepts
One never forgets.


Monday, May 29, 2017

He wasn't a Hindu chef,
But he liked to curry favor
And subject himself to the scrutiny
Of those who really were beneath him.
I often watched him from my dream and shook my head
And ached for him to shed
His invisible caste.

What was the bitter, pungeant flavor
That made his native tongue seek out
Such auto-deprecating terms?
Some old world herb his mother overused, no doubt.


I read your horoscope today.
It says you like to meet new people.
I do, too, but I don't like to run off and screw every one of them that I meet.
So, I think you should go out and meet new people.
So, I think that I should, too.
My horoscope says I like to travel,
And I think I should,
And I think I will.

He always dreamed of a Cadillac.
That would show their asses.
He'd drive it real slow on his way out of town,
Like a long cool drink of water

After he'd gotten the kids through school,
He had a little extra jingle.
He saw an ad in the paper for a nice used one.
It was used, but not nice, at all.
So he passed, but always kept on looking, dreaming.

He's got plenty of money now.
Hell, he could really afford a new one.
But they don't make 'em the way they used to,
So he bought himself a nice Toyota Tundra, instead.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

I took up the white man's burden.
I didn't understand the creed.
I didn't know I wasn't white,
And, until I began to breastfeed,
I didn't realize I was not a man, either.

Giving birth had not convinced me
The way that nursing a baby did,
And slowly, slowly, scales fell off of me
And my eyes.

The history of our words themselves
Is the only history we can trust.
The grunts and onomatopoetics
That evolved into our verbs and nouns,
The deep meaning of nodding yes,
The religious vow of chewing together
And swallowing food that we have found
Together, and feeling the holiness
Of the words "milk," and  "mama," and "baby," and "dad."

And if we care to know the truth,
There are no white women
And no white men,
And there is no burden,
Except the weight of our own soul,
And sometimes that is heavier than others,
And sometimes we get just a glimpse that lightens it:
There is no religion more politically correct
Than breastfeeding.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

I look at the sky.
The forecast says rain.
Should I water my plants again?
I think I better,
For there is no predicting the weather,
And my plants look thirsty now.
If I have the ability and the wherewithal
To give them a drink,
Then they may thank me later,
And I, them.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

I will sing my love to you
In silent notes
Until you wake,
And then I will listen to you sing them back to me
The way you heard them in your dream.
For your voice is strong,
And you sing in key,
And, as for me, I'm a warbler.

But I think it's cute
How you take the flute and play
The song I've given you
As if you made it up.
Lucky you,
You have a muse that you don't know,
One who never shows jealousy
Or ownership,
One who's madly in love with you,
And can't help but sing
A song of joy over you,
And exult in unseen places
Just over your head.

If today I knew
That I was through,
That my work was done,
For you had seen how much you are loved
By the words of one of my poems,
Then I would put down my pen
And never write again.

But I know
How deep the hole in your heart goes.
And even though you may catch a glimpse,
And be convinced by the hints of love you see,
You will always be ready for
Just a little bit more.
So here it is,
You are dearly loved by me.
I love you.

No matter if you're rich or poor
Or better or worse,
Your teef are always in jeopardy
Of cavity-izing,
Or just plain fallin' out of your head.
In sickness and in health,
They don't care.
They never took a vow
To stay with you.
They never said " I do,"
And they never will, Honey,
Cause teef ain't natural,
And I know it's true,
Cause a football coach told me that
In health class way back
In 1981.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

His daughter had sex with a black man,
And he got several dark-eyed grand babies out of it.
And when I say he got em,
I mean he got em,
Because the state was about to take em away.

It seems the daughter turned to drugs
When her hubby physically abused her,
Just as she had turned to sex as a teen
To soothe her emotionally neglected soul,
So as much as he hated to admit it,
He knew she'd found someone just like her daddy
To be her baby daddy.

But one of his friends at the coffee shop
Told him that by 2025,
There would be no such thing as "race,"
And that he should take comfort in that.


I'm a walmart-itarian.
I believe walmart exists.
I ask and it is given to me.
Well, it is, after I've paid.
I go to my sanctuary anytime.
I buy my big girl panties there
And put them on later
When and if I need to.
My congregation, much like me,
Follows the trends and fads
Prescribed by walmart kosherness, and availabity.
Everything is clean at walmart,
All the good and blessed food
Approved by the walmartical diet.
Nothing unclean except the gum
On the walmart floor,
And even that must actually be
Acceptable in the sight of the
Great General Manager,
For he sees all,
And it is still there,
Maybe for all eternity.


I don't like this song.
It's grumbly and low,
But maybe by being so it has the power
To reach down to me where I am today,
And say, "Hey!  Up here."
Maybe it can give me a hand,
Or maybe it will save its applause till the end.
Maybe by listening to some guy
Who committed suicide
I can hear more clearly.
He says, "Don't sell your songs.
Just carry on, my lovely, wayward daughter.
Wayward's where it's at."
And then he adds, "I'm sorry."


Monday, May 22, 2017

Oh-ld, aka, Agism

The etymology of the word old is this:
As people age they begin to groan when they stand
And when they sit,
Or, as for me, when I've fallen
And I can't get up.

But way back then, some of the juveniles began
To take notice of the sound
That the elders made.
"They're 'oh-ing' again," they'd say,
Or "growing oh," for those
Who spoke dylexically.

But "oh" wasn't much of a word
And wasn't often heard outside
And seemed to confuse
Glad tidings of some other "oh's"
That were in fashion,
Until this particular "oh" was labeled LD.
And that my children is how the word
"Old" came to be in the English language.

You are a fantastic compound
That ends in a-s-e,
An enigmatic enzyme
That catalyzes me.
And as you seep into my soul,
You condition my chagrin.
I feel victory rising
In my hope, my thoughts, my chin.

Bandage me in your silken weave,
A tapestry of delight.
Wrap me in the love you speak so well.
Like a mummy I will lay
And bask in the other silence
Until the time of resurrection comes.
Then I'll emerge from my cocoon
And everyone can see
The colors and the triumph of flight
That you have brushed on me.


Cat ladies come to be,
Not by genetic ancestry
Or any other inheritance,
But if, by chance,
When she is young,
She gets a cat hair on her tongue
And swallows it.

Cat hair is not digestible,
And so it follows
That this foreign bit
Will stay in her system
The rest of her days
And grow into being,
Like a pregnancy,
Until she becomes
Her own baby,
And is born again
As a cat lover
And as a true cat lady.

Now, please don't complain
That I didn't explain
And connect every dot
In the middle there.
Just please, be careful
What kind of hairs you swallow.


My toes curl out and in beneath the sheet.
My foot wiggles around my other foot,
And as my cat settles in beside my back,
I realize that this is how I purr,
How I hypnotize myself and sleep
Through all the racial slurs that we perpetuate,
When we could simply love one another
And keep one another safe and content.

What keeps you from going to
That thing you refuse to attend?
Was it the color of their skin
That put you off, or was it their religious thoughts so wrong?
You didn't like the song they played
Or the way they said it.

Love would make you a pioneer in the field
Of human progress.
Love would make you sing,
Make you a Martin Luther King,
Or a real boy,
Or a real girl.
Love would make your world go round,
If you'd let it.

As for me, I've loved all day
I've been polite, and more,
And I'll do this foot thing into the night
So I can sleep,
And dream of a place where lovers soar,
And where everyone is a lover.


Come take a seat beside me in the spray of the silvery moon.
I know there are things we like to eat,
And I'll make sure we get each one,
But come, before the sun does to delude.
The metallic moonlight reveals the tin
In our skin so nude, and we can see
That we are machines that will never die,
Just unwind in the moonlight.

The sunlight dissuades us of the truth. Each ray
Tells white lies so we will work all day.
Like rustic serfs, we seldom pause
To try to understand why we sharecrop
Someone else's land for free,
But we do.

But not the moon, it's gamma milk bath x-rays us,
Reveals the cogs and gears within.
We see the truth unzip like a strand of DNA.
A ligand gate opens, sure as day,
And our cows go out, and our muscles move,
And we must continue on or we will sputter to our graves,
And other slaves will come and take our place.

So you see, we need not, and should not stop,
Lest our gearwheels rust while unemployed,
But we might put our parts to better use.
Let the pistons find some hidden joy.
Trick them into staying new
By telling them that this is work,
And that we should never be derelict,
Or shirk these precious, obligatory duties.

Wink, wink.
Nudge, nudge.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Things I've learned:

My hair looks better when I don't comb it.
One can take too many baths.
I smell.......( goooood.)
Cookies are good for me.
Riding bikes is fun.
Cartoons are educational.
It's ok to be myself.

I have been to lots of schools and classes,
But the most important things I've ever learned,
I learned from my children.

By loving them completely,
I've learned to love myself,
And I've learned to love you.


I leaked your fluid all night
And contained your iridescent seeds
Like a scientific beaker,
And, like the lab assistant who decides
Which of the samples should remain
And which should not,
My ancient womb tried its hand
At ejaculation,
Sputtered like an Edsel,
And coughed you out.

This earth feels like someone else's house to me,
Like living in a goddamn parsonage,
Or staying in friend's house, who's away,
To take care of her turtle and her cat.

I pray that nothing breaks while she is gone,
Like the flapper on the toilet,
Or that squeaky hinge the backdoor hangs on.

I tiptoe around while I am here,
And the earth talks back to me
In an irritated whisper,
"Don't waste any ice,
Or toilet paper."


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Look at all the weirdos here.
They all wear their sunglasses
And drive around like they know where they're going.
They stop at red lights
And go at green.

I've managed to make it to the bathroom
And giggle at the urge I have
To paw the toilet paper roll until
All the paper falls off onto the floor.
Then it hits me,
Maybe I'm the weirdo.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It's quite white--
The fences around the houses
In the town where I grew up.
Bricks are banned,
For they're too tan.
Churches made of wood
That's painted not stained,
Or stone that comes from a quarry
Where the dig pit shines, even at night
Because the rock is so white.

The school is one room,
One mind, one sight.
It serves as a church on Sunday night,
And so, it has a steeple that rises high,
And it's ever so quietly,
Self righteously,


Monday, May 15, 2017

To sparkle or not to sparkle,
That is the question.
For whether 'tis better
To hide your lamp
Under a shade or an old grey sweater,
Or by opposing, burn them until next winter,
And take up your bikini,
And put on your thong,
And carry on.

What would Lady Lovvvverleee do?
After all?


(But sometimes when I carry on
The buzzards think I'm carrion
I've experimented in a row
Of peanuts I was s'posed to hoe
Laid in the sand and played dead
But the only thing that came close to my head
Was a big Texas sized red ant
Guess I didn't smell bad enough yet
For the old sopilotes.)

Geometry was discerned
By a maid folding a round
Red and white checkered tablecloth.
She took it out of a warm dryer
And realized the tangential ways
That static electricity radiates
Along several diameters at once.
And as her hair stood on end,
And she saw Pi to a thousand places
In her mind's eye,
She suddenly learned
That all of her amorous tendencies
Were okay,
And never ending.


When the day lacks and wants more
And can't have it all,
It pouts in ways that are destructive.
The sky broods. It's brows knit
And thicken til the sun can't shine.
And then from somewhere unimaginable
To the heart of man,
Barely perceptible specks of dust,
Much like a grain of sand stuck
In an oysters craw,
Form giant pearls of hail,
And the maelstrom hits.

When the night lacks
And wants,
The stars stream hot tears
Down a dark face
That distill into chilled diamonds
Slung on the morning grass
Like dew.

I just eat cookies.


Friday, May 12, 2017

I can tell my DNA has been south
For a long time now.
I barely notice when someone I love
Says, "Masstoooooshetts," anymore.

But somewhere deeper than cognition
Is a me that craves lobster roll
And cracker dressing
And mincemeat pie.
Yes, my Massachusetts side is
Bigger than Dallas,
But my Texas side is bigger than Pakistan,  (Y'all)...

As I go, I am amazed,
And glad this car
Can drive itself.
I'm baffled by
The way it knows
To turn so gradually
And to accelerate
Up this ramp,
Then merge onto the turnpike.
I am vaguely aware of its prowess
As I enter a song that plays
On the car stereo,
Just as one would enter a ballroom
For the first time.
The lights, the glitter, the cologne,
Of all the men and women who came to dance before
Lingers in the heightened atmosphere.
I twirl in the strobing patterns on the floor
And wait for you.
You appear suddenly
And in a tux,
And we dance.

And now the song is over,
And I'm home,
And I don't remember ever touching the steering wheel.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I studied a perfect, ancient relief
From Sumeria,
Of the divine ones who from heaven came down.
One clasped an ankh before there was Egypt,
Another, a giant rod and staff.
A giant muscular demigod type
Offered a deer that he held out with his hands
To one even giant-er than he,
And it all looked mythical
And hard to believe
Until I noticed off to one side of the carving,
Sculpted in stone forever,
An angel type messenger regaled in wings
And picking his butt.


I was just one block away from the school.
I'd walked to the 7-Eleven.
I bought big gulps for some of the girls
And carried them back by myself.
It started to rain.
I knew that I shouldn't
Have ever gotten in
With the weirdos who stopped
To offer me a lift,
But I did, but I did, but I did.

They took me all the way to California
And forced me to be a star, a star.
They brought me all the way to California
And taught me how to play guitar.

People told me not to stoop and bow,
Not to try to win
A place in the hearts of all those cool kids,
But I did, but I did, but I did.
And if I hadn't have tried to buy
My way into their stone cold hearts,
I guess I wouldn't be where I am now
Ridin in this long shiny car.

But I did, but I did, but I did.

They took me all the way to California
And forced me to be a star, a star.
They brought me all the way to California
And taught me how to play guitar.


It is a double helix wrapped
Up tightly into a ball
That came from two strands,
One old, one new,
And some messenger RNA.
And I am climbing Jacob's ladder
Higher into the sky
To see where angels tread
And where they fear to,
On the brinks of Love,
And in the precipice of Death.
And somewhere in between
I stand,
I wonder,
And I stay,
Madly in love with you.

Hurry myLove,
Let's steal away into the day.
I'm crawling up your ivy twined wall
Into your attic now.
Come and find me there.
Come and comb my auburn hair
With your hand like paws,
And we can tumble around,
Bumbling up and down
Over that old chair,
The sofa bed, the ancient trunk,
The quaint chest of drawers
With old clothes hanging out,
Like two raccoons, buffoons who don't care,
Just playing all day
And chasing each other into night's lull.
Lucky for you,
My moon is always full.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

I just barely make it all the time.
Sometimes I think I'm not makin it at all.
And sometimes I want to come see you
And tell you it's all right.
I know what you're goin through.
You're barely makin it too.

But if I call you,
You'll tell me you're fine.
You just don't want me to see
Your cryin eyes,
Your dirty house,
Your houseplants dyin on the vine.

So I'll stay here in my
Own dirty house
And think of you
And just not call,
But if you call me
I'll tell you true
I'm barely makin it at all.

(I'm gonna go water my houseplants now.)


Come dream with me.
It's good to dream.
It's shows us the disparity
Between the way things are
And the way we want them to be.

Come dream with me.
The line between reality
And fantasy can blur,
And sometimes you're not even sure
Which world you are for,
Which case may be the better?
Which may be the worse?
Come dream with me.


Come dream with me.
It's good to dream.
It's shows us the disparity
Between the way things are
And the way we want them to be.

Come dream with me.
The line between reality
And fantasy can blur,
And sometimes you're not even sure
Which world you are for,
Which case may be the better?
Which may be the worse?
Come dream with me.


I don't know why ninjas are coming after me,
But they are.
They're letting themselves down on ropes from the ceiling in my closet.
Three of them dressed all in black clothing
That covers them from head to toe and shimmers
Like satin spun from mythical silkworms.
Even the ropes are black.
Black sheaths hang from belts around their waists,
And I don't know how I know this, but I do,
The swords inside the sheaths are dark, shiny, double-edged metal blades.

And of course I can't move.
But I don't know if I am paralyzed from fear
Or because, although my mind is awake,
My body is still sound asleep and unable to perform the commands that my mind sends to it.
I scream and wet the bed all at once.

But now, even in my terror,
I have swooped up and over,
Grabbing my trusty 7-iron on my way.
I stand at the ready,
And the ninjas know
They are no match for me.
I rock back and forth
On the balls of my feet
And wield my golf club sturdily.
They ascend,
Leaving my closet
The same way they came in,
Through an attic door
That doesn't exist,
And the only proof I have
That they were there at all
Is the yellow stain on my mattress pad
That bears an uncanny resemblance
To the shape of Bruce Lee's fighting stance
When he performs his one inch punch.


Friday, May 5, 2017

"You're ok."
"No I'm not.
I fell and scraped my knee quite badly."
"You're ok."
"No I'm not.
I'm crying 'cause my feelings are hurt"
"You're ok,"
They always say,
And yet the way they look at me
Says they don't think I'm ok at all.
"You take things wrong."
"You shouldn't feel that way."
"You're ok."

Am I?
Am I wrong to be?
Am I wrong to feel like me?
Am I ok?


Thursday, May 4, 2017

The edited version of my life is nice.
I ride ensconced in luxury.
I never get a ticket for blaring Mozart
Out the windows of my SUV
In the parking lot of Walmart,
And you're always with me.

But in real life I get to missing you,
Hear some sad song on the reddio,
Sneak down your street and up
To your window
And raise such a caterwauling
That the neighbors call the law.
They escorted me away,
But like I say, in the edited version
Of my life, you're always with me.

- jenn

I'm standing here in my frivolous lawsuit
All ruffles and diamonds and pearls,
Waiting for a real journalist
To tell me what I think of this
So I can spew ideology on down the line.
But if the voir dire goes my way,
I'll throw this pantsuit in the trash
And buy 365 bikinis
And live on the coast
All by myself
And read books
So I can know what's really going on,
And never say a mumbalin' word
About any if it ever again.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Lord has taped and textured the sky.
Spackle splatters everywhere
And a fresh coat of flat eggshell taupe.
That's all the rage in heaven this year.
"What's for supper?" he asks his bride,
As he pops the top on a Miller Lite beer
And scratches his hairy belly.

"You've had the kitchen torn up all day,
And I can't eat with the smell of paint
So strong up in here," she whines.

"Alright, Love," he says, grabbing his wallet
And sticking it down deep in his back pocket
Of his cargo painters pants.

"But you better drive,
Or else go ahead and sit in the back seat
If you're wanting ta be a back seat driver."

"Haha," she scoffs,
"That was funny the first four hundred times you said it."

He just smiles and throws his arm around her
On their way out the door.

Mother Earth takes care of herself,
And The Lord takes care of everything else.


Has anyone ever dug under a fence to get in?
I have once, when the neighbors were away
Because I wanted to borrow their pool
To go skinny dipping.
Little did I know, people put cameras up
All around their property these days.
Oh, and they had that chemical in their pool
That turns red when someone goes pee pee.
(I bet you thought it didn't exist.
Yeah, I did too.)

Forgive me my trespass(es)?


Monday, May 1, 2017

Morning sweeet love bird
Singin at my window
A song so lively and true
Your message cuts thru everything else
I'm in love with you

There is already noise this morning
Assaulting the heart and my ear
But only you bring the melody
A love song sweet and clear

I hear you sweet love bird
Sing to me
Your love makes me smile
Your love heals my broken wings
And makes me dance inside
Sing sweet love bird
Sing to me
Your love sings sweet and true
Sing sweet love bird
Sing to me
And I will sing with you