Spilled engineered energy drinks evaporated on the ground as the citric fumes caused purple cataracts of chemical intoxication. The mouths of the crowd unhinged viperous as a cacophony of cheers swirled above their heads accumulating into a foreboding fog. The billowed haze consumed the energy of the crowd as it formed its own teeth and claws. The long talons reached into its own black mass and tore open the void exposing the glowing red eyes of the beast.
On stage, swirling smoke took the form of a man. The red eyed beast met his gaze and the man consumed the wretched creature. It soon flowed through his atria and capillaries like a blazing back draft. His body boiled and bloated. Eyes bulging, skin amphibious, his gullet expanded as he released his guttural command, “Abrocken!”
Drumsticks met the tight skin of its beaten mistress as a train spewing smoke and flames emerged and plunged through the crowd. The frog man smiled as maggots and saliva poured out of his mouth, forming a festering pool at his webbed feet. Hoping over to a cage bound in barbed wire and bits of flesh, the frog man’s tongue wrapped around the padlock and with a quick flick released the banshee.
A piercing scream filled the theater as the banshee emerged, violet eyes blazing with its talisman of power. Raising the six-stringed demon into the air, it screeched, and an explosion of chords and pitches hit the crowd like a tidal wave as a young boy hit the cement floor.
The boy panicked as boots bombarded his body. Terror flashed across his face as he succumbed to the mob. Blood oozed from his nose as his left eye bulged purple. A panicked father flailed his arms as he tried desperately to dig through the crowd. The frog inhaled deeply preparing for the climactic howl when the ruckus caught his attention.
“Hey what the fuck? Are you stupid or something? Pick his ass up!”
Like a marionette, the boy was lifted by his limbs and passed over the tops of the crowd onto the stage. The frog wrapped his webbed hands around the bloodied boy grinning a salavic smile, “Sorry kid. These people are fucking animals.”
I was late today because I was on the phone with my sister planning a two week trip around Europe. We haven’t seen each other in four months. Way too long considering we lived an hour away from each other, more like ten states, or two vodka shots, or one broken jeep and a trench full of rain from each other. I was late today to plan for some sisterhood. I was late today to make time for myself, herself, and ourselves. I am late today which on other days isn’t late.
Other days, it’s thirty minutes right on time. Other days, it’s a photograph of two lovers embracing in momentary perfection. Two pints in one conversation. A biographical account and a pitied confession. On other days, I wouldn’t be late today. But you see, it started because my sister and I are planning a trip, and our minds are already on vacation. We are already freed from the “traditional” form of life (if there is such a thing!), and we have been freed from the inescapable: time.
So I am not late today,
and I won’t be considered late
Ha! Poetry is what?
Comparing a flower to the complexity of a woman’s face?
Taking the magnificence of a sunset and lowering it down to the level of a canvas’s paints?
Or taking something catastrophic like a combusting star and comparing it to a high schooler’s day?
Or is it the ability to rhyme?
To be able to chime,
with other words,
so that it flows like a song sung by birds.
Or is it finding something small?
Something not really there at all,
and bringing it to life
with such expression that one begins to cry.
Or is it made to make one shout?
To speak against the trends,
the ongoing bends
in the road,
never righting itself?
Well then, I must be a poet.
(Originally published in Toyon magazine 2005)
★ ★ ★ ★
(Published in “Seven Countries Poetry Anthology” by Arroyo Seco Press 2017. Originally published on 06/17/2016)
(Published in “Seven Countries Poetry Anthology” ” via Arroyo Seco Press 2017)
(Originally published on 06/03/2016. Image transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by BanyanTree using CommonsHelper.; source: http://abadan.net, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6081274)
(Published in “Hell Bitches #3” via Radish 2017 & “Seven Countries Poetry Anthology” via Arroyo Seco Press 2017)
Originally published on 06/03/2016
The silk nightgown hung loose ending
just above your knees
as you frantically run between bedroom and closet.
You have a house now, all your own.
And two dogs, all your own.
You’re not married,
but you were never one for
You have five children,
just like your mother.
And you can make people laugh,
just like your father.
You have green eyes of the emerald isle,
yet the life behind them is from a different place.
Who were You?
What names were you called by?
What were your hopes, dreams,
What drove you?
Who were you?
I see the Annie in the pictures with the pink.
I see the Anne in green.
I see the wife in white,
and the mother in red.
But who were you?
I know the stories.
Do you see yourself in me?
Were you, too, the square whose that hurts itself
moving like a circle?
You have seen me as I was, am, and will be.
But who were you?
Is Annie gone never to return?
Will I see her on the street and not recognize her?
Would I like her?
Would she like me?
When were you divided?
The woman sawed in half,
The hopeless housewife,
The stubborn independent,
Who were you?
So furiously standing alone,
So desperately wishing someone would hold you,
stroke your hair, and tell you it would get better.
I see myself in you.
I love you, with my voice, my soul.
You still wear that nightgown,
but you have long since shed that skin.
(Published in the Matrix Feminist Literary Magazine 2009)