Monday, January 20, 2020

Women Over Forty Anthology

I am very pleased to have two poems in this amazing anthology from Beautiful Cadaver's Social Anthologies series. It's called Is It Hot in Here or is it Just Me?

Poems below:

Don’t Call Me Grandma

When I am old I might
            live in a commune
Smoke pot
Eat tofu and brown rice
or a juicy red steak
Share everything

Wear other people=s clothes
Maybe even their teeth
Stomp my walker to psychedelic music if I can
still hear it
Wear granny glasses
and high top sneakers

Don=t call me Senior and don=t
call me Dear
I=ll change my name to Starlight
and shine
Tint my hair purple and gold with neon
Stick rhinestones on my belly button and
my earlobes
and wattles

When I=m old I=ll still be me
Let the strobe light shine
Let the music blare
Pour the good wine
and kiddies beware
I=ll drive my Mazda Miata with the
top down and the sunshine pouring in

When I am old I will still be
me, only better and badder and don’t
  call me Grandma.


Our New Normal                                                                                         

Diana calls
to say Joanne has died, this
is not a surprise
or a mistake
It is a part of our new normal:

Doctors, hospitals, old lovers
Friends who had nothing more
to say

Now Donald rearranges the shrine
that is her study, books
on the desk just so
Zafu for sitting zazen
This is unlike Donald, who is usually high
in the tops of trees, apple, pear
oak, majestic redwood
trimming them aesthetically—

Careful! Joanne would caution—Don’t
disturb the golden crown’d sparrow.
Or—Donald, the spirit of the old magpie
Lives up there    Leave it be”

Today, the wind
sings in the trees,
the finches call to their mates,
apples lie uncollected on the ground below
in Joanne and Donald’s backyard
where we gather to remember
and feast and drink pink wine

Diana makes the toast—
To Joanne in the Bardo
Gati gati paragati

and we layer one more example
of our new normal,
one more familiar sadness of age
to the heavy pile of losses
we each bear on our separate backs
even as we dance among the fallen apples

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Holding Pattern in MacQueen's Quinterly

A very Happy New Year to All!

Thanks to MacQueen's Quinterly for publishing my prose poem Holding Pattern. It's an Ekphrastic poem based on a lovely and mysterious photo of a cow, a sheep and an airplane, called U.S. Air Force / Restricted by B.A. Van Sise. The photo can be seen here:

Here is the poem (a little de-prosified):

Holding Pattern

In the field are the cows, standing as they do, waiting to be milked,
to be taken in for the evening, for grain to be thrown to them,
to be cleaved and eaten.

We don’t see any of this from our airplane.

We fly oblivious, buy things online. If we are coming from abroad,
we can pick our purchases right up in the duty-free shop in the back of the airplane.
What do we know of Guernsey cows, or Jersey cows, or fat Delft cows?
For dinner we have burger; we worry it might be Chinese
like the clothes we are wearing, the new blue jeans and the softer
than any cotton, any cashmere, sweater. An Impossible sweater,
but the burger was brought to us by the cows. And then t
here are sheep, chickens, and, we think, people, there must be people.

We squirm in our too-tight seats in the plane crossing miles
of ocean of prairie of mighty cities that glitter like stardust below.

Beyond our vision now, cows are transformed; become gods,
not to be eaten, milked, or bothered on their ambling way.
If we could see them, we would be blessed.

Meanwhile, we are stuck in the Samsara plane of never getting it right,
caught in an artificial environment, held together by steel
and fat molecules of Fate.