oliver larch

Posted: 10/25/2014 in house of crazy

don’t bother looking for oliver larch.

he didn’t die.

he’s been here with me,

counting frogs that fell from the sky.

mama washed out my mouth with soap

for tellin a lie,

but oliver larch

calls and cries

from under the snow where no footprints go–

with a look of surprise

instead of eyes.

______

herotomost says write about something that was “your thing” when you were young. I used to scavenge the bookshelves at home, in hopes of finding paperback books about strange and creepy (but supposedly true) occurrences like the disappearance of oliver larch, or rains of frogs, or such like. i found three or four, over time, and would curl up with my new find and devour it. i never forgot those stories, and have never lost my fascination with the unexplainable.

Summer

Posted: 09/14/2014 in house of weather, house of women

she came and stayed too long,

talked too much,

and was too touchy-feely,

coming around corners when i was half dressed

and short on sleep.

this morning it turned chilly and she was subdued,

sitting at the kitchen table with her hands around her coffee mug

and her suitcase open but empty on the bed in her room.

she will head south,

and i will have my house to myself again.

everybody likes her and she will light it up some other place,

while i feel a little guilty, but

mostly glad to see her gone.

_____

for real toads mini challenge.

Gem3

“forgive,” said the chick with the crystals and candles.

“it’s the only way to heal your heart.”

she’s as soft as a broken egg.

.

mama, i don’t forgive you.

you blew a disease into me with every poisoned word.

i thought you hated me for being not enough like you,

but you hated me

for being too much like you,

and for screaming at the top of my lungs

the things you swallowed down and choked on.

.

kill that girl

kill that girl

kill that girl

but dress her nice so the neighbors don’t talk.

Oh, but mama,

I talk.

.

I say here’s my heart

for you, mama,

now that you’re as soft as a broken egg.

here’s my heart,

every piss-yellow rock hard sharp spiky bit of it

for you.

.

a gift.

i’ll leave it on the table as i leave

and your friends will say,

“who’s that girl? one of the staff?”

and you will say,

“yes. i don’t really know her”

so they won’t think badly of you

for raising a heartless daughter.

_____

for artistic impressions with margaret

aunt sticky

Posted: 07/27/2014 in house of crazy

aunt sticky poured froot loops on the griddle,

followed by the empty box.

she had, with tender care, put fruit sections in my juice glass,

and emptied the pencil jar into my cereal bowl.

 

mom and dad are in san antonio

trying to turn blue back into red,

and i am here, watching the cereal box go up behind aunt sticky.

 

factors to consider for my future:

1. it takes the fire department seventeen minutes to get here.

(at least, it did last time.)

2, aunt sticky always looks so crestfallen when she realizes that she’s made a mistake.

3. it’s good to live.

 

let’s go eat in the front yard, i tell her,

and she likes the idea. she smiles and grabs her art box.

when the firemen arrive, i am trying a dog biscuit (they aren’t very good)

and aunt sticky is trying to turn blue into red by adding yellow.

colorful, that is what people call my family

when they’re doing the lying called kind.

_______

for play it again toads #7 at real toads. i used some words from grapeling’s list.

johanna

Posted: 06/01/2014 in house of change

lipsjohanna was a big girl,

my best friend back in seventy-something.

johanna was a funny girl,

could mimic anybody and crack me right up.

johanna had a nice mom–

“she thinks you come over to see her.”

johanna open and parse out the cold pills,

then bang a gong.

sleep well, johanna,

johanna so long.

_____

for Flash 55 at Real Toads, hosted by the super superb Hedgewitch, and also for Mag 222.

life in the theater

Posted: 03/23/2014 in house of crazy

Cloudsbeing with you is like life in the theater–

who am i this time?

who am i fucking, that i didn’t know i was fucking?

life is complicated enough

without the whacked scripts you cook up in your head.

here’s an idea–

keep accusing me of crazy shit.

keep bricking yourself up with all those stupid self-help books

that never make any difference anyway.

i used to spend hours trying to understand,

trying to shore you up, to soothe your worries;

then i’d get up to get a coke, and when i came back,

you’d be back to square one and basic crazy.

what do the radio waves tell you today, sugar?

who am i fucking, that i didn’t know i was fucking?

myself, i think.

see you in the funny papers–

i’m sick of this circus,

and i’m writing my character out of this play.

don’t be sad,

don’t complain to the stage actor’s guild–

you’ll always have the made-up me inside your head,

and that’s the only one you ever really saw

anyway.

______

photo “clouds” by kenia cris.

for play it again toads 3

red shoes

Posted: 03/09/2014 in house of change

suzie's shoesi wore red heels for you

to that italian place where even the busboys act mobbed-up.

the band sucked hard, and i had haffa mind to walk up to the bandstand,

wearing running red super gloss on my sweetest smile

and coo a request for one of my own songs.

i wanted to see the dumb look i’d get, and share the joke with you.

 

they had those cheesy meshed glass candles on the tables,

like mrs paul had just been there, recycling the nets and whipping out the matches.

when did you stop loving me, babe?

why’d you make me be the one to have to see it,

to have to say it?

 

when i left, it had started to rain

just like in some 40s flick where blondie finally gets a clue.

i waved down a yellow cab and snapped a heel cos the pavement was cracked from winter

and they hadn’t patched it yet.

when i got home, i pitched those shoes in the vestibule;

heartbreaker red, they were, putting a real fine point on it,

like mama does when she lets loose with the i told ya so’s.

 

well fuck you, dagwood, cos i’ve still got my stage boots.

whad’you got except a cheap sinatra raincoat with empty arms

and your crew of phoney buddies?

drop dead,

and by the way,

i took the cannoli.

_____

for real toads. art by Vandy Massey.

written while listening to B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone”, courtesy of Hedgewitch at Verse Escape.