Tuesday, June 26, 2007

All in my Head

We laughed when by honest mistake
I put the cornflakes in the fridge
and the milk in the pantry.
when I got lost in christmas tree lots
and drove in circles around the block
we smiled to cover our unease
but when I lost my wallet and keys
we couldn't hide behind our teeth
so I got replacement checks,
but the balance was off.

The doctor likes to talk a lot.
He says words like aphasia
apraxia, agnosia which sound
more like goddesses than symptoms
more like muses than a gathering
storm forming in my synapses
lightning striking but firing less.

They say the Irish never forget,
yet I see my face in pictures
I don't remember taking and
people tell me memories that
I don't remember making and
my words are waning and my
brain is straining but
neurofibrillary tangles and
amyloid plaques have
backed me into a misfolded corner
that only a coroner can diagnose
like some sick practical joke

but no one is crawling out
from behind the couches.

My husband, my rock, my caregiver
takes my hand over dinner and
whispers "I'll always love you,
soon you won't be able to remember that,
so I'll say it as much as I can."
He squeezes my hand.

He leaves me crossword puzzles on the table
I'm able to do a few but across and down
leave me confused and sudoku is a lost cause.

I pause when I see him,
not because of his old age
but because I'm having trouble
remembering his name.

And Washington thinks this is all a game
that stem cells are more
precious than my memory that
embryonic studies are murder as
I get further from myself
because some Texan's religious convictions
have turned church into state
and takes a life for a life.

But I'm not really dead.
My heart still beats,
my lungs still breathe
and maybe this isn't even a disease
it's just all in my head.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Trading in my Beauty

I'm trading in my beauty
to be pretty
or hot, if I'm lucky.

I remove my ponytail
and instead use a straightener
making no waves.

I look at my eyes
then line them with black
take my glasses off
add layers to my lashes

My baggy, torn jeans
I trade for a skirt
after shaving my legs
(bleeding a little from a cut
above the ankle).

I've started running in the morning
in the time I used to write
in hopes of losing my figure
coaxing curves to disappear,
in favor of hardened edges.

I’ve cleaned the room, easing
creases out of my blanket
and washing the saliva stained
pillows, no record of dreams.

I packed away the notebooks
that used to outline the bed,
filled my chest with wrinkled pages,
had to sit on top to get it closed.

To loose some baggage,
I’ve emptied my library
of chapbooks, dictionaries
and instead put conversation pieces
on the shelves.

Oh, yes, I’ve read the new Dan Brown novel.
I found it most engrossing,
didn’t you?

Chinese New Year (draft)

Rising and falling softly,
sleeping with your eyebrows knit
against the wall
pins and needles
my arm is
pins and needles

This is the moment
where I should wake you
where I should admit that
I'm trying so hard not to fall in love with you
but I'm silenced by
your sleeping frame, a painting
canvas heavy with layers
and it hasn't dried yet.

As I watch your skin get goosebumps
with the touch of the morning breeze (Chi?)
I think about how I should
clean the house
sweeping away last year's
negativity so that good luck can
creep in and have room to breathe

(Don't forget to hide the broom and dustbin
so it can't sneak out again)

Maybe later we'll go to Chinatown (Cermak)
have passerbys hand us red packets
and if we're lucky they won't find us odd (reserved for death)
but rather like Tikoy, the brown sugar
of your skin mixed with my Irish powder

Laying here, I know that there's
one thing the Chinese got wrong.
The color of love and luck isn't red.
It's yellow.

I want to kiss you,
but when I open my mouth
yellow comes out filling
the room like a great Tsunami
of my gut-grounded-feelings.

But I can't wake you.
I can only marvel at the gold
of your hue, my fascination
with your pigmentation, the
predicament of dawn
in a city never darker than dusk.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

EB fun.

Nick: Dostoevsky gets me hard.

My response, via email:

Note from the Underground:

A Nasty story of the insulted and humiliated Idiot possessed the raw youth as dictated in a writer's diary in the village of stepanchikovo, poor folk. Pulled a double on Netochka Nezvanova, so he had to take some crime and punishment, but he always was a gambler. Now he's off in the house of the dead.

What a major piece of work!

Monday, June 18, 2007

"Oh, Canada" (draft)

I have lived spread eagled on the border
Between desire and empire
Dreaming of your territories.
Je me souviens, very well,
When you were between my thighs
My strange Northern Ally,
And I touched your maple leaf.

I have heard your white noise,
And compared to American boys,
There’s something I enjoy about those
I found in your home and native land,
From the BC man who fucked me and
Stole my poetry to the Nova Scotia
Lady who let me travel her Saint-Lawrence
River of blonde belly hairs to the locks
Of her seaway.

Canada. I want you. I Seskachewant you.
I want to dribble syrup
On your snow white mid-drift and
Nibble it off when it gets hard –
You know maple candy always melts
In your mouth.

And hell, if you want to carve stars
Out of bite-marks and stripes with
Your nails on my spine and shoulder
Call me in October when the weather’s
Colder and we’ll have our own
Sugar shack.

On the first of July we’ll celebrate
The dirty act which made you
In 1982, and named
My foreign soul mate who knows
Dominion on my affairs of state.

In the room women come and go,
dreaming of Toronto.

Oh, Canada. I don’t mind being under you.
I flirt with the border patrol, the royal mountie
Can mount me anytime he wants, thinking common-wealth
Thoughts as he plays with my loony and two-nie and hails
God save the Queen.


You’re my strange situation, my fascination,
Your vowels so round they fill my throat
Like poutin, Molson, and sin,
‘til you make me scream ‘EH! ‘eh! ‘Eh!
My darling canuck, ‘til I make you howl
Like the Habs just won the stanley cup,
Je ne sais pas que je te desis mais,
You’re what I’m talking aboot.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

We'll All Go Together (beginning)

Wednesday night in Tigh Coili
Aeonghus and Ronan tend the bar.
Nestled in a corner, I practice
my Irish with Majar,
my throat grumbling with
the guttural sounds and
vowels too round with my
pseudo-Canadian tongue.

Majar sits next to me,
Aran sweater peppered with ash
cheeks gashed with wrinkles.
The kind of face that's an acquired taste
like the Murphy's stout I sip.

His cracked lips relate to me
in perfect Irish, the story of a Quebecois
lady who got away, due to an unprecipitated
twist of fate (the maid washed her lipstick from the mirror)
the sad syllables weighted with drink.

The crowd has handled as much
as they swallow, the trad stops,
door closes. And feeling like I'm imposing,
the boys invite me to stay
not paying for my pint on the house.

Majar stays at the bar.
Beer mats glow under bar lights,
the sound of sweeping as he sighs.

Only the O'Flarhertys and I see him
wipe his eye, frown, and
sing softly into his glass

And we'll go lassie, go
and we'll all go together
like the wild Irish rose...

the verse, his curse, fails him.
He lays his head on his arms
hugging himself and his glass
crashes to the floor.

Ronan pours me some more stout
as Aeonghus sweeps up the pieces
of Majar's cure. It crunches
beneath his feet.

I lean back in my seat,
heat from the drink flushes my
cheeks, and with a glance at my
friend, I find my timbre filling
the air

and we'll go lassie go
and we'll all go together

from behind the bar, Ronan joins in
a high tenor, Majar
snores a brilliant bass as Aeonghus
takes the lead, dancing with the mop.

and we'll go lassie go
and we'll all go together,
like the wild Irish rose
goes with the bloomin' heather

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"Potential Heartbreak" revised

Unsatisfied and a bit used
Nursing a hangover in an empty room
I think about the words I wasted on you
Potentials now lost, the adventures we’ll never share
Each appearing as invisible tangible as the air
Surrounding me.

In a dirty Red Sox cap,
Rediscovering cribbage with my Dad at the Lake House
(Although he rags on you for being a Canuck)
Your smiling face
Looks at me from an empty picture frame.

Farther down the wall is the collage from
Our non-existent road trip, the time I didn’t meet
Your family, (your mother loved me, by the way)
Our uncelebrated anniversaries, undefined magic moments,
Next to ticket stubs of the visits you won’t pay,
As the silent soundtrack of CDs I never made plays.

The table in front of me is cluttered
With drafts of poems
I’ll never write as you sleep.

My cupboards are full of meals
We’ll never make and eat together.

My head is brimming with answers
To all the questions you never asked,
As my secrets stay hidden behind all the things
You love about me but haven’t

These are the last words I have for you
no longer will you haunt my sentences
hiding in the spaces between the letters
or sneaking into the dots of my Is.

As I clean out this room of potential,
I think of the reality.
I think about what you didn’t give me.
I think about what you weren’t.

It’s silly at best,
At first,
There were things that you said,
Ways you moved, pieces falling into a puzzle that
All seemed to fit (despite my logic).

But I guess the finished product
Looked nothing like the box.

But, it was only potential, after all.
Does that count as a loss?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Windy City Blues

5pm, a massive evacuation from corporations
to public transportation, I catch
the 22 bus up Clark street
and brush shoulders taking my seat
crushed by the bodies of suits and skirts
feasting on their blackberries, juice of business
staining their mouths, focused on Microsoft
outlooks, or just lost
in their pocket books unaware of the buildings
passing by.

From the corner of my eye a bouquet
of flowers walks away on a shoulder
followed by a man wearing a chaise
as a hat (he kinds looks like a play horse –
human feet stick out beneath) but no one
is chuckling except me.

Loneliness, I confess, is riding with me.
Today at three, counting ahead six hours,
across sea waves tuned into your frequency,
I can fantasize about your itinerary, if I’m
remembered, and what you’re wearing
(Here’s hoping it’s the sweater that highlights
your double feature of green).

The loneliness is something old, yet this brand
is new, heart worn and liver abused, I’ve borrowed
your blues as I transfer to the CTA red line.
Searching faces I find they’re all different.

But that’s what I intended,
that’s what cities are meant for. Diversity. Multiplicity.
But Chi-town has swallowed the whole
of me
and spat nothing out.

So waxing romantic trans-Atlanticly
I know my particle waves are not
travelling seas to your station.
But rumination substitutes well in
lack of communication – in this not
tragic but bathic tram (existence)
crammed with people I’ll never meet
each headed home on one way streets.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Today - revisited

The corners of my vision
Crusted with the night
I met the day with dark words.

A flame extinguished
With his own breath
Fall to the floor, drop the phone
Bereft (a small heap of flesh)

A tone.
And then you were back.

How does one rise from the dead
With such ease
Not knowing how close they were?

I existed without you for half an hour.
Now I won’t again.

More poetic spam mail

I have been lowcarbing for about 3months (had a week off over xmas) however,back on induction....If i do a small amount of cardio e.g 30 - 40 mins Bike; after - the endorphinsseem to flow and i don't feel too bad. However, if i do resistance training iseem to feel really drained of energy and i am overcome by a generall feelingof unwellness.After resistance training today (feeling drained)i went and ate a low carbbreakfast, which seemed to pick me up but throughout the day i have still feltpretty shitty...Help anyone? I know this post is prob a bit vague but im hoping its just acommon hurdle that people know about...........Wayne>!HAHAHAHAHA. This cross-dressing loony is turning out to be a godsend[message truncated]

A Toast - Revised another time

"A Toast"

Though I have been interrupted
and in bad taste
my lips still hunger for yours
and linger in your memory.
Because as our awkward adolescent
faces kissed our glasses clicked
and made a silent toast to our love
the unspoken words lay sweet
on our tongues the syllables
tumbling over
and under each
shouting silent sentences in our shared breath

You're a fiery one
and like a moth twice burned
a taste of chocolate and the light behind your blues
Draws me back every time
and with a laugh
I’ll convince myself that
I knew
That this was nothing (to you)
But after imbibing the essence
Of your existence
I will leave empty handedgladlybecause I have stood in your shadowat least through your spectre
I glimpsed the outline, the corona
of something that felt like home.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

After Watching the Evening News

My brother asks, "Why write poetry?"

Belly swollen with hunger,
hands and mouths empty,
a little boy climbs into his bed of straw
during a commercial on TV.

Down the street, the corner shop
owned by D & M,
where I used to walk the dog
closes its doors as the light
pores from the neon Walmart sign.

Darfur. Colombian floods. Abducted children.
Gun laws. Rising housing costs, wars neither won
or lost, election candidates that all look the same,
a new reality TV show. Divorce rates. All escape from the
MSNBC stream of verbal ambiguity.

But when my brother looks at me,
I reply with all my heart,

"I don't want to live in a world without poetry."

Lightning Bugs

Little lights dart through the air
between little outstretched hands
a bug, caught between index and ring
brought the the eye,
the thing longs for flight

I'll stay,
but only for a moment.
There are places to go and though
I am but a speck in this vernal land
there are places to go.

Little light, little bug
flickers off into the night

Come back! Come back!

But it's gone.
Made for the air.

Not the Bell-Jar.
Not this place.
Not these hands.

Fodder For Poetry

A fruit stand, oranges under water
breakfast with an old demon,
stumbling drunks on shop street
the way the wind plays with leaves
bonfires. sunsets. the Burren.
Lake Michigan. Lake Titus. Adirondacks.
Croagh Patrick. Le Blanc Potat.
(Although those in the know call it Pee-Vans).

Heartbreak. My foot falling alseep
the way he keeps texting me song lyrics
as I sneak glances at the bar man's delicious
backside the grace in your
slumber. half boiled eggs. Full Irish.
McDonagh's fish and chips
sitting in the Spanish Arch while she
rambles about summer jobs
odd shaped bagatelles in the quays
Nights at Bk's. The noise you made
when I grabbed you in the empty living room
(our bodies fit together perfectly)

finding out that everyone is exactly like me
like they've been hiding all this time

the way Indiana and I sat for hours
in the lobby of the Europa
without needing to speak
how my driver's license is well travelled
seeing old faces in new ones I meet
having someone curse at me
learning that I still have the ability
to make friends. Liddy. Ailise. Both.

the way you spoke when you said
"Do you reckon we'll see each other again?"

Deciding whether to stay or go
to kiss. to say, I'm here.
For you. For now. For always.
laying on my back with Katch
and learning each other through sleep deprivation
Chasing boys, chasing girls, chasing words
trying to say what it all means
to me.

Tigh Coili, the boys. Sitting in an empty pub
but knowing it's full. The rafters moving with our vibes.
Feeling alive.

With all of this, can I not be inspired?

You're all fodder for poetry.
You all live inside me.
Breaking the silence,
making me dance.
Thank you for the chance,
to be with you.

It means the world to me.