cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)
My apologies to those of you who've seen this announcement elsewhere. My social circles are small and overlapping. Think of them as hugs, rippling. 

My short fantasy poem "The Messenger Ensnared" is now available at Polu Texni: A Magazine of Many Arts. It is very different from "we come together we fall apart," which went live at Stone Telling yesterday. But it too has plants and magic and transformation. Enjoy!

~

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (book)

I've been reading The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban to Tweetie. It's only a children's book the way most fairy tales are considered "for" children; were the main characters not tin toys and talking animals, I don't know where this book would end up in the stacks. For a synopsis of the events thus far, we can refer to father mouse:

"War," muttered the father. "The trash can, the dump, murder, robbery, and war."

Recently I finished reading Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. It employs two formulas I'm familiar with. One is the typical zombie narrative, believe it or not: we begin with status quo, but quickly note something is amiss, illness is identified, epidemic rages, civilizations breaks down, hero must form alliances, search for and secure basic resources (food, water, shelter) all while avoiding contagion and attack, until the sun rises/a miracle occurs and we start all over again.

The other formula at work: young person pitched into unimaginable hardship endures insult and injury until s/he simply cannot go on, at which point the sun rises/a miracle occurs. cf The Devil's Arithmetic by J Yolen, Life as We Knew It by SB Pfeffer, maybe Catching Fire by S Collins. (I don't think it's any accident that in these examples, the main characters are female and their only escape is self-sacrifice.)

Right now I'm reading The Cloud Sketcher by Richard Rayner. This line about 1890s Finland struck me as sadly applicable to the current United States:

"It was still a time when any kind of change in the arrangement of wealth seemed to the rich unimaginable..."

But I'm not reading for the political or historical elements, just for the story of a man who thinks if he builds a skyscraper beautiful enough, he will somehow win the heart of the woman he loves.

Next up are Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To by DC Pierson.
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)
~

Morning
all she had left:
an empty shell,
the tiny twine leash

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (Maggie with Coffee)


~

Amid cantilevered stacks of crap
in the secondhand shop
I found a rotary phone.

I huddled over its portly body
heavy handset to my ear
and plugged my finger nearly to the knuckle

in the plastic ring for six,
then dialed the first digits
of my old number

My "home" number, first and never forgotten.

I held my breath like
a sophomore making crank calls,
giddy with impatience

as the finger plate spun
into place after the final nine.
If I'd had a third hand

I'd have had it pressed against my mouth
stifling giggles lest the clerk
overheard my game.

There was no dial tone but my pounding pulse.
No string of rings but in my memory.
And when I answered

I didn't know what to say.



~

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hansel and gretel)
~

Throat thick with wildflower grit
the beast growled out my name.
Though he yelled, he wrought no spell;
the sound was not the same.
No command could force my hand.
Now I needn't serve him.
And yet he wept, so I crept
out to ease his burden.

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)


~

The house looks ready to take off
as suburb queasy as the kids
smoking around its empty hot tub.
Sunset glints off the solar panels
like its butterfly roof is flexing
and in its greenhouse foyer, a ficus
quivers from the bass of the highway.
Gone tomorrow, what will they leave behind?
An opalescent dust of discarded scales
and unrepentant apology, half a garden fence
for missing-kid fliers.
We'll miss them, anyway.
They'll try to forget us.

~

Based on photos of the RainShine House in Decatur, GA, which received the Grand Award for Custom Home (of less than 3,000 sq ft) from Custom Home magazine.

~

The Haze

Jul. 6th, 2010 02:14 pm
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)
~

grey goddess draped
over the sleeping city
her embrace a spell
One child chokes on her fogged breath
One man wakes in a cell

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hansel and gretel)


~

in the woods
little girl with a rabbit
in her mouth

~


The Inspiration )
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (hansel and gretel)


~
caught by the cake dome
she scarfs strawberries n creme
then, sugar spun,
she waltzes an escape hatch
right
through
the
glass




Photo of strawberry creme cake, topped with strawberries, powdered sugar, and carmelized sugar, from cooking blog cherrapeno.com.

~

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (chevy)


~

caddy for sale
outside the curandera's house
detailed y limpia

~

The Inspiration )

Cousins

Jun. 5th, 2010 10:52 am
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)
~

One night
I crept from my bed
inched across the moon-tangled carpet
to where she slept.
My brother's penknife
clutched in my fist
held my heat, like another bone,
as I leaned over
and sawed through her
thick brown braid.
It was harder than I thought;
I cut my thumb trying not to tug.
Maybe she was awake
but she didn't open her eyes
and I left her my brother's knife
in exchange for the bloody prize.
The next morning she shook out
her newly cropped hair and giggled.
"What," I said, waiting.
"I feel lightheaded," was all she said.
Gran had more to say
and much louder
but I kept the braid under my pillow,
bookmarking my dreams,
and she kept the knife under hers
to slay fern-headed monsters.

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (crap)
~

Doves demurely fret
their way into my dreams
of giant, lazy birds
flapping muslin-colored wings.
Sunlight spears my eyelids
and I squint up at trees:
my dress balloons in a pin oak
my bra winks in the breeze.


~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (lightbulb)
~

Midnight:
a milky puddle
coiled in the ditch
New moon, no light
just shed skin,
your monthly bait and switch.

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (drink me)
~

basketball ditched
in the darkling grass

At midnight, a pumpkin

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (chevy)


~

her skirts:
Floofy, he says.
Crinoline, she corrects.
They'll get dirty, he warns.
I don't mind, she replies.

weeks pass--
She doesn't mind.
He's astonished, watches
her skirts brush engine blocks,
his tools tarnish her hems.

his smile:
What smile? he bluffs.
That one, she says, pointing.
I can always hear you coming.
You can? She looks at her sneakers.
No, he says. It's your wrecked crumpet.

She laughs.
My crinoline?
Yeah, that. He blushes when
she test shimmies, patina-ed skirt
flaring against his smudged coveralls.

Like that?
she asks, head down.
Yeah. I like that, he says.

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (I need coffee)
~

Who nicked whose tiara
and "Where's my magic wand?"
To endure Stinkerbell drama,
add pixie dust to coffee grounds.

~

My response to Tweetie's recent fairy-themed party.

It was a success. And I'm never doing it again.

La!

~
cafenowhere: teacup brimming with mysterious violet liquid (psychedelic tea)
~

Kiss your crystal ball goodbye
Watch it smash upon the shore
Don't miss the glitter in the tide
You won't need it anymore

Look into this whirling pool
No surprises are in store
for stupid fish or simple girls
Only death and dark galore.

~
cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (dingo ate my baby crazy)

~

There once was a wretch of mother
who drank to get drunk, or drunker
she belted back whiskey
from a little pink sippy
and drove her poor children to murder.

~

I usually get my poem-a-day up before noon, but today I took my time, as a present to myself. :)

Today I got to sleep as much as I liked. This afternoon I went to a showing of The Princess Bride with the extended tribe and then we had dinner at a little Italian place. Very nice.

cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (lightbulb)


John Wayne Gacy Jr Heartbreaking. And the idea that he's gotten the audience to sing this ode to a serial killer...god, the empathy.


Seven Swans The first line is clipped, but the video is the best of the ones I saw.


A Good Man Is Hard to Find And so is the meaning of these lyrics, but it's Sufjan, so who cares?





cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (neon sign)
OMFG, SHE WON!


~

Two girls
locked in a trunk
tossed overboard
--no more or less
than I expected--
so, disgusted yet resigned,
I crawled into a corner
and debated in the sinking dark:
Death by drowning, or asphyxiation?

You bothered me
all that fumbling and scratching
I mistook for panic
You crowded me
as you maneuvered for leverage
and let the ocean slither in
I swore: our odds lurched toward drowning.

But then you snapped the hinges
you grabbed my sleeve
you gulped a breath
and I did too, self-preservation
kicking in, like a canary waking
in a coal mine
You slammed the lid back
we kicked free in a muted blast
and churned through the bubbles
to the shimmery surface.

I thought the moon was a mirage
the light at the end of the tunnel of
my deluded, dwindling consciousness
but you broke through the sea's elastic ceiling
and you pulled me up, too
The moon glossed your eyes
made you wild and bewitching
but it was the cunning I saw
bright as salt on my tongue
that made me believe.


~

Oh, yeah. Poem #190. :D

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