My lover did come home, with the blood
of a knight of columbus on her fist,
drained down her arm,
guttar cheeks, gladly
She portrayed her swinging a knife
grabbed off of the far table, used
it to demonstrate the scene, pushed
forward, the stabbing of the knight,
she pushed forward the knife again,
ooof, she said and mimed falling and
rolling hands over his belly,
ooof, you’ve got to help me
split across her wool
I’ve got a story in the special issue of A cappella Zoo. It’s making me very happy. Best of, baby.
It’s snowing and 50 years ago Plath put her head in an oven.
I see people refer to her as Sylvia, like they know her.
I won’t do that.
I know the boundaries of our relationship, Plath.
You fought hard against diminutive familiarity and lost.
Every little girl with a dark thought thinks that she’s you,
thinks she should call you by your given name, like a darling dear.
I won’t lie, I’ve been that kind of dark girl for 31 years.
I can say Lady Lazarus at a party, sad on wine.
I can say Daddy at a party, angry on vodka tonics.
I can trace my hands over scars I gave myself and say you,
call you, like you’re me.
But you’re not me, you’re not Sylvia,
The poet Plath died today, 50 years ago.
The stress was in her bones, not fractures but vibrations, she buzzed around the office.
She picked things up and dropped them. She tried to make it look like dancing.
It really didn’t look like dancing.
It looked convulsive, ticish.
She squeezed her thighs together, “They will think I need to pee,” she said. “Everyone needs to pee.”
And maybe it would have looked peeish, if she hadn’t already thrown a water bottle and two pencils and twerked a few times.
“IT’S OKAY!” she shouted. “I’M EMBRACING IT NOW!” she announced. “I HAVE STRESS IN THE BONES!” she declared.
“DID YOU KNOW TWERKING CAN BE AN EXPRESSION OF STRESS!” she shouted. “BACK STRESSED AND ASS STRESSED!” she said and showed them.
She massaged her co-worker’s shoulders. “IT’S OK. I AM TOUCHING YOU ANXIOUSLY WITH STRESSFINGERS. IT IS NOT SEXUAL.”
She slapped her own ass a few times. “I AM REALLY STRESSED OUT!” she said. “MY HAND IS STRESSED AT MY STRESSED ASS!” she said.
She stomped like there were bugs on the floor. “MY FOOT STRESS IS SMOOTHING OUT THE FLOOR STRESS. IT’S NATURAL.”
Her co-worker dodged a boot. “I AM NOT KICKING YOU!” she said. “LEG STRESS!” she explained. “IT’S A WILD RIDE!” she said.
I live at the edge of disaster, between disasters, concurrent of disaster, neighbor to disaster, and sometimes in the cool, calm place just after and before the next can be conceived.
Remember when we were just colors,
you a smear of greyblack, and me
a navy that I thought was black
until we stood in the sunlight?
Remember when I threw
my navy into the steelgrey and you
thought I couldn’t swim?
You came in after me,
greyblack thrashing against steelgrey,
and I decided to let you save me.
I decided to sink and let you save me.
Remember greyblack to red
when you found out I was only a liar?
I wanted to be saved,
and I thought it was my only chance.
God, make me brave for life: oh, braver than this.
My grandma’s bunion surgery was her inspiration for posting this poem.
Let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain,
Shining and lovely again.
TREES DON’T SLUMP IN THE RAIN.
Gold doubloons are shiny. So are disco-balls. Trees are not.
God, make me brave for life; much braver than this.
Again, bunion surgery.
As the blown grass lifts, let me rise
From sorrow with quiet eyes,
Knowing Thy way is wise.
Where the FUCK is that grass going?
My eyes have never been noisy. Are your eyes sometimes noisy?
If your eyes were too loud would they crowd your head?
God, make me brave, life brings
Such blinding things.
Your noisy eyes are super useless.
Help me to keep my sight; Help me to see aright
That out of dark comes light
If you had noiseless eyes, none of this would be a problem, I’m sure of it.
You would see things, and know things like darkness is an absence of light, not a producer of it.
My book of poetry, I Don’t Want to Die in the Ocean, is a collection of more than sixty poems and images composed over the last five years. A pdf copy is $5.00, (paypal to gm.leuning at gmail dot com, with print copies coming soon.
I am having difficulty, since the other night, waking up to
a scream and arms wrapped around my head, I dreamed
you are going to die on December Tenth, I try to peel her
off, I dreamed you were dead in an accident, I let her hold
on to my head, I dreamed that you were dead on the tenth
of December, and now, here I am, having difficulty.
It isn’t more likely that I’m going to die from an accident
on the Tenth of December, just because of an omen.
I don’t think that a dream is so impressive an omen any-
way. But I can’t stop the measurements that have riled
me since, bullshit odds, calculate bullshit odds for an
omen, an omen doesn’t make it more likely, it is null,
but no other days have any omens, why shouldn’t it be
more likely, why shouldn’t an omen mean something,
the smallest fraction, more likely, calculate bullshit odds,
regret playing at magic and seances, even for fun, feel
churlish. Only haunting I’ve got, these fucking calculations.
(I am an omeneer)
We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly! — yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost for ever:
Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.
We rest.— A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise.— One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:
It is the same!— For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.
There weren’t any good Pasta Muldoon recipes on the internet, so I thought I’d post this old one, from John Clermont’s 1813 Art of English Cookery in the Current Style.
Receipt for Muldoon’s Noodles
Gather together your spelt and barley on a dry day, when the grain is full-grown ; strip them,…