Mrs. Hall told methat I was to bethe valedictorian of the class!Had to write a sentencefifty timesfor talking today in school.Am reading Mark Twain’sThe Innocents Abroad.It’s better than any geographyor history I ever read.
To be a childriding in a backseat,watching cornfieldsfade into drivewaysand suburban lawns,wonderingwhether it’s all Imaginaryand she’s the only onewho’s really Here--Even the car, this roadand her parentsare outside herself,so they don’t actually existif she is AloneHere.
Am mad at Carrie.Not just exactly mad,but we’re not on speaking terms.Gave Caroline a compactfor a birthday present,because I had to.She’s trying to make up.Made “B” in the Latin test.Caroline and I have “made up”after two weeks!I guess maybeI will go on some of the thingswith Russell,if he gets a boy for Caroline.Russell wrote a notesaying he loved meand things like that.I hate that kind of thing.When Russell sees me at schoolhe’s afraid to look at meand he never speaks.I don’t know what to do.Carrie and I went to Westieand got a sundae this afternoon.We do that almost every Sunday now.
(Happy birthday to my most wonderful old man.)My Love, I will follow youcross arid paths, the universe,in your wagon to the Stars--To you, I will be ever Truedeliciously, and never cursememories uniquely Ours.Embracing, like Lovers do,you plus me, better or worse.Together, we’ll keep fear afar--Some Dreams, it seems, do come true.
Pour me one more glass, lady bartenderThen I’ll take my leave, my mistress calls meTo populate the night; never-endingQuestions swirl after the fog of today--Cross-examination: How can this be?There no convincing one who’s gone astray.I wish I could escape this happenstance--(Can’t live with women & can’t kill ‘em, see?)Instead, perhaps I’ll ask my girl to dance.
If crawling ‘cross the Universeis required to show Devoutness,here I suffer on hands and knees,proving that Integrityought not be blessed--Devoted, I shall demonstratefruits of Fealty toleratethrashing abuse, abundant Loss,returning only ample causeto Celebrate.
Inspired by this week's music prompt to the Real Toads, featuring the works of Tim Eriksen.
In those lost days,crayfish waited under the bridgefor the erection of mud motels,kids fished the crick & burnoutsclimbed the trusses threateningto jump, someone’d yell Kinger!as a German shepherd lapped the yard& a shirtless girl’d prostrateherself on the sticky-hot blacktopof that one-lane bridge, shriekingcome’n get me my days are all done!waiting for cars to run her over.
In the backyard darkest night,bougainvillea speaks to me;Or perhaps the wild rose hedge,cuckolded yet somehow free--Bright light exits, whispry tunessung alto, brushed with whiskey;Only this hour resonates,trembly limbs are somehow free--Lover, I will follow youthrough inky night, faithfully;Risking falling overboard,drowning amber, somehow free--In the backyard, darkest night,somehow free on trembling knees.
A girlgoes to the hospitalfor a brain testbecause the doctorsmight want to change the pillsshe takes for seizures.They stick wiresall over her headwith what feels likebubblegumand she wonders how she’ll everget all that gum out of her hair.She doesn’t knowwhat they are measuringas their machinesstart their scribbling,but she hopes to hell it’s truethat they can’tactually read her mindbecause she can’t stopher thoughts from racingwith monstrous imaginings.
Penned for Write on Edge: Bubblegum
What if it were as simpleas knocking three times, blinkingrepeatedly, & clicking your heels?
You’d be on your knees, luckystars kissed-blown, dandelionsconserved instead of holding breath
Because this could be your last.
with profuse apologies to Allen Ginsberg
Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder!Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder!
The earth is wondrous! Her people are wondrous! Her seasand trees and landscapes are wondrous!Everything is wondrous! The eyes and lips and hands are wondrous!Everyday is wondrous! Everywhere is an eternity! Everyone’sfull of wondrous ecstasy and gin-juice and cunt-power!Wondrous sweat pooling under breasts, wondrous the cock, yesespecially the cock is wondrous!The typewriter is wondrous, words flying across ether is wondrous,all the mundane shit of everymorning and everynight iswondrous, tucking kids in bed at night is wondrous!Wondrous dreams! Wondrous sleepless nights wondrous amber liquidsipped from a jelly jar wondrous!Wondrous the farmer’s market! Wondrous children on the bike path!Tasty Top Soft Serve is fucking wondrous!Wondrous the people protesting violence and tyranny! Wondrousthe students facing down tanks! Wondrous tweeting throughtear gas! Wondrous the people of Istanbul!Wondrous protests!The Internet is full of wondrous wonder!Television is wondrous! Communication is wondrous! Wondrous yourwhisper in my ear, wondrous a phone call from my father,wondrous songs handed down generations, wondrous booksof poetry passed hand to hand, wondrous Edith Bunker singingLove Can Make A Hero From A Chump!Wondrous a lecture from a child about how trash can be useful!Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder! Wonder!Wondrous the children the love the sex the earth the super-goodnessof the soul in the face of evil the notion that lovetrumps it all!
Kerry asked the Real Toads for an homage to Allen Ginsberg, whose birthday is June 3. Special favorite! And rest in peace, dear Jean Stapleton.
Yesterday,my name was Snidely Green.Today, it's Guardedly Optimistic:Requiring External Validation.My real name is Mama, Mama, Mama!Tomorrow, it will beBellowing My Poems From That Rooftop.My secret nameis Tender RootsQuakingToward a Half-Centuryand WonderingHow I Got Here.
A reprise and gentle re-write of this poem I wrote a few years back, on the advent of my forty-seventh birthday. Ahem.
They walked,seemingly amiably,apparently a motherwindow-shopping arm-in-armwith her adult daughter,laughing,until the young one said,loud enough for passersbyto perk up and listen:I’m not going to saythat you’re emotionally stunted,but I am going to saythat you owe me an apology.
My birthday.Got a bracelet,one dollar, a box of candy,and silk stockings.Am fourteen, now.Another birthday.Got 2 boxes of candy,two nightgowns,a pair of silk stockings,choker beads, and a compact.Sweet sixteen!Got a pink silk combination,a pair of silk stockings,a pair for fancy garters,and a compact.Seventeen.Mother baked me a cake,Dad brought me a box of candy,and they both gave megreen & white silk sport stockings.
My grandmother would have been 103 today. These are excerpted from her teenaged diary, 1924-1927. Silk stockings, who knew?