31 December 2012
30 December 2012
THE cows would have to wait. She unpacked the perfume (mail order) after locking her daughter’s bedroom door. The bottle had a baggy thingy (like a docked blimp or a tiny punching bag or one of those Ambu bags that medics used in ambulances and in emergency rooms): that is, a perfume atomizer. She took off all her clothes and milked a small cloudlet (is that redundant?) of fragrance, closed her eyes, posed her arms as if they were about to take on a load of split firewood or scatter the chickens, and paraded through the mist. Arching her back and lifting her chin, she could have been a model for a hood ornament.
29 December 2012
WE live in the big city where everything happens and nothing ever surprises us and the sound of sirens just means someone else notions of angels bore us but we still collect the perfume samples from slick magazines and from the Sunday papers striving to recall
28 December 2012
27 December 2012
My mother was a looker (of the Nashville lookers) and men injured their necks whenever she breezed by on Charlotte Ave. And some even whistled while they were out walking with their very own wives. Especially in the summer. In the winter, on the faintest hope, I kept to the window and waited. Momma’s blue-bulbed candoliers (the melting wax running down molded right into the plastic) we taped to the sills because the electric cords tended to pull them onto the floor. And since those cheap blue lights – probably a fire hazard since they always overheated – were her only luxuries in that entire house, I kept to the window and waited, hoping for snow to fall and added more painter’s tape as needed.
25 December 2012
it’s been a long night what with the neon singeing NO VACANCY and the artillery shelling in the near distance (that is, the heavenly hosts) and the unexpected guests smelling of lanolin traipsing in one muddy- rugby face after the other and all their other buddies that they’ve rousted out of bed: coal miners and wildcatters and lantern merchants (noisy and oily all) not to mention the birth of the boy and Joseph’s only tunic soused – but dry now – with midwifery so yawn Mary yawn (the guests are all gone or passed out on the periphery of the dying fire) it’s been a long night and it’s almost dawn almost
24 December 2012
23 December 2012
red rover red rover send the shepherds right over and so at first slow and then fast and then faster the dull and the dusty most doubting some trusting they ran yes they ran all at once yes they ran they ran toward the glint of that heavenly band their harps on the ground and their hands linked to hands but the dusty ones knew that none would break through in this crazy game this starlit game this dangerous game how would any get through but right when they reached that marvelous wall each angel released each hand in that wall and each hand that was held was now held at each side and each shepherd passed through to seek and to find
22 December 2012
yes, her lips are like lollipops except for the ways they're not no, they don’t come wrapped in cellophane and that handy dandy paper stick — they don’t have one of those for convenient pacing and they don’t get small and sharp, enticing a bite before dis- appearing altogether but other than that her lips are just like lollipops more than they’re not
21 December 2012
She is way past fear- less. Her sandals are birds taken- off into a green sky. The same sky where her hands are buried. And for an instant, as she plays at Atlas, she holds up every- thing: expensive black cars, golden trees, and Chinamen jumping. Off chairs.
20 December 2012
19 December 2012
18 December 2012
This is their field for falling down just beyond that strange black river with those long yellow fish. And since they were built (all legs and lungs) for running, they continued to run from memory (even after those moving moons and that brighter lightning struck their ribs, their flanks). They are now like wheelbarrows abandoned from behind and so they finally fall (and for the last time) just beyond the black water, after clearing the ditch. And since the mowers could not (or would not) mow over the bones, the scrub cedars are left to grow.
17 December 2012
I am still awake and the fuzzy grey dawn is just is It is just coming in like an old t.v. screen warming up and the earliest trees begin to announce themselves as filigree not night fingers not mittens and fire escapes unveil their cascading Z’s against their buildings
16 December 2012
15 December 2012
Mary, or the woman playing Mary, was the best soprano in the church, and when the spotlights were trained upon her, for her big solo number, there were then a total of four Marys: the soprano and the trinity of wavy cast-on-the-backdrop shadows, back-up singers who moved in perfect synchronicity with Mary, the best soprano in the city of David.
14 December 2012
the heart is supposedly a lonely hunter except the times when it isn’t and that’s all the time the heart doesn’t want to hunt it wants to be pursued tracked sniffed heard hounded held seduced sundered soothed I’ll grant you lonely as the adjective but the noun is nonsense
13 December 2012
Reporter: We are so pleased you could sit down to answer a few questions for us. Maestro: Not at all. My pleasure. R: You have recently come forward to acknowledge your role in creating – and correct me if this is not a fair description – perhaps the most widely performed ballet of all time. M: That is correct. My reputation, of course, is wrapped up with this one work. But only my closest friends knew about it. They insisted I “come forward” as you put it. To receive the credit they thought I deserved. R: Can you tell us a little more about this work? M: Certainly. It is performed by amateur and professional companies, and by beginners and seasoned dancers. R: And the movements, I understand, are exquisitely suited for a spectrum of abilities. M: Yes. The movements are both simple and elegant – and take into account improvisational elements. R: That is fascinating. How did you come to design this dance? M: Hours and hours of watching. R: I think you are being modest. M: Not at all. Just hours of observation, refining my vision, and then seizing the opportunities as they presented themselves. R: And I understand there is no music. M: That’s right – another tiny innovation of mine that… R: And... Sorry to interrupt. There is also no applause – and this is across all cultures? M: O, yes. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. It’s been quite moving actually – there is an almost sacred silence surrounding this artistic endeavor. I have to confess, though... R: Yes. Go ahead. M: Sometimes I am tempted to stand up and applaud. But, I stop myself - given the strong conventions of silence that have established themselves. R: I have a confession, also. I have to confess that before now - before meeting you - I was not a big fan of ballet – I’ve heard of The Firebird and The Nutcracker, and something about After Tea with a Faun, of course. M: You mean, I think, The Afternoon of a Faun – debuted by Nijinky, quite a scandal. R: My bad. And before we go off the air – we almost forgot to mention the name of your wonderful ballet. M: Indeed. The title is: Danseurs d'étirement et réglage leurs jambières. R: Sounds beautiful. But I’m so sorry Maestro, I don’t know French and probably most of our listeners don’t either. Could you translate for us? M: Certainly. Dancers stretching and adjusting their leg warmers. R: Maestro, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule – I understand you will be present at two other performances this very evening. M: That's correct. R: Thanks again, Maestro. M: My pleasure.
12 December 2012
11 December 2012
I admit it. I was out of my league. I had never ever even heard of a moth auction before. Never mind been to one. My date had her own magnifying glass. I’m not kidding. She knew what she was doing. I didn’t know anything, so I just watched the crowd mill around. Not true. After I touched one, I watched the crowd. Strike that. Once I got caught touching the big blue one, I started watching the crowd. Not sure if my date was more angry that I had far more exotic and expensive eye makeup on my finger- tips than she had on her eye- lids or that my fingers looked like those of a preschooler.
10 December 2012
Carpenters, over here and listen up. And all the rest, you guys can go on home. Don't you worry, all you clowns who showed up will get paid for the full shift, and then some. First off, all of these roof beams need to be lowered. Not altered, all the way to the ground. What about the pavilion? There is no pavilion, get it? No roof, no walls, no nothing. No skylight neither. There is no building, you dunces. You just needed to move the manger a few hundred metres further out from the town. Was that so hard? You geniuses even unroll the blueprints? And no, you can't put fresh straw in it.
09 December 2012
08 December 2012
07 December 2012
my childhood was magical like when everybody in my family disappeared at the K-mart and I was the Blue Light Special or like when I fell out of the attic and almost broke my back that was almost like rabbits out of a hat (except for the direction) and speaking of ears sometimes suddenly things would appear from behind them like the senior’s accelerating middle finger-nail (on a bitter cold waiting-for-the-bus morning) flicked against my bare skin and then my lunch money coins floated out of my pockets (but not the marbles and rocks) and my auricles burned brighter red than Rudolph's nose throughout first period
06 December 2012
05 December 2012
I could do these things especially if you asked me like follow you across a strange and dangerous city at night in the rain of course it’s raining and windy too and huddle beneath an awning (tri-coloured like somebody’s flag) when the rain became too much and when the first bolt of lightning struck I would actually run and pull you after me like Eurydice I think that’s the one can’t really remember but I would try to while you pulled out your cigarettes and tapped one out and that’s when you would ask and that’s when the glinting Zippo would appear from my jacket (I almost wrote magically but I didn’t) like a knife and then the flame would follow your face would be beautiful (and I did write it, a form of it, this time) in magical shadows and we would both guard the fire though we didn’t need to as you drew in the first draw like the first taste of a strawberry milkshake (notice how you don’t even need to use the word “straw” since it’s already there in “strawberry”) and the end glowing orange and the lighter clanking shut as you turn-tilted your head to blow the first puff up and past mine and I would wait while you took a tiny bit of tobacco off the tip of your tongue whether there was a tiny bit of tobacco there or not and I would notice your pink lipstick on the cigarette and remember the flavour of the milkshake but you don’t smoke and I don’t own a chrome-plated Zippo but these things I would do so maybe you should take up smoking and these things I would do I would __________________________________________ By the by, all the "ands" are on purpose. If you don't believe me, take a re-peep at stanzas 1 and 3 and 6.
04 December 2012
serrated washers totally worthless as coins and feathers with futures containing neither pillows nor flight beer bottle tops like crowns too small for my head or yours and smooth stones with no Goliath in sight so the things I pick up they are small and useless and light and easy to hide
03 December 2012
1. we'll take our verse well-cooled thank you black lava not orange magma antique tongs hung in the shed not tindering tongues dancing over our heads well-formed and safe-to-the- touch with touching ironic turns hammered in at the very end to advertise the icy brain at work with words that pinch emotions worthy of state recognition