Tag Archives: poetry

Regular Poem: The Daring Old Lawn Mower on the Flying Trapeze

22 Apr

on the upside
i did mow before i had to weedeat
my entire lawn

but you know me and yardwork
we’re a bad combo

like mixing your liqors
when you can already feel a migraine coming on

like a bull in the china shop
he’s just caught his wife having an affair in

like the gas stove with a faulty burner
in the breakroom at the dynamite factory
where it’s 1926 and pretty unregulated safety-wise and everybody chain smokes

we’re a bad combo
in almost all circumstances
but especially
when i’m already on the tightrope
over the waves already playing on the wurlitzer

they could say i’m making a mountain out of a molehill
but have
ever accidentally run over a molehill
with a shitty push mower manufactured in 2005
and just barely clinging to life as it is

(that ambiguous phrasing was deliberate
the mower and i both
are grasping at threads
chugging seafoam
sputtering upon waking and
coughing up half-mangled sticks
billowing blue smoke
tires ragged and catching in the soft earth)

i didn’t cry this time
at any rate

but the circus music is still playing


Regular Poem: Not Sure About Former DAs Who Are Now Ambulance Chasers, Either, TBH

21 Apr

don’t get the wrong idea here
on the two points you’re probably worried about

1. i do know how a lot of professions work
2. i do have friends who are not imaginary

but that said

every time i’m talking to someone
who’s asking me a lot of intrusive questions
that i’m uncomfortable answering
and i can feel myself getting

riled up
worked up
torqued up

(i gravitate to the slangy partitives
[verb-preposition combos that work together as a verb–evidenced by their unit’s synonimity with a single word]
from an indiscernible old-timey western and or/southern dialect
they seem to fit the best for the kind of
[see what i mean about synonimity]
i get
just a lathered frenzy
where i want to julia sugarbaker rant
and point out every personal professional moral intellectual and financial flaw i’ve ever noticed
about the person i’m angry with)

i imagine
the former da who’s now an ambulance chaser
standing next to me
in a kind of ugly statement necklace
sloshing a little scotch onto my shoulder as she half-drunkenly advises me
“you don’t have to answer that
nor should you”

thanks counselor
i know
that’s why i made up a version of you to say it to me
a version that’s like a lady version
of my erstwhile dad
and ain’t that a kick in the head

i ought to invest in a regular ghost
and be done with it

Regular Poem: I May or May Not Have Any Idea What Realtors Actually Do, Part II

20 Apr

as it turns out
i was right
partially anyway

or maybe i willed it into existence

probably not
that’s never worked for me ever before
it was probably all just fortuitous
just some personalities luckily flung together
just how you have to be when you’re in that business

like you don’t have to be a priest and therapist as a chiropractor
although a lot of them i know are
you could get by and prosper
just adjusting
asking no personal questions
giving no hugs
saying no prayers
but God sent me to mine because she does those things
and i need those things

but a realtor has to know your sins and your troubles
so she can absolve them and ameliorate them
to sell your stupid house for a reasonable price
has to be kind and personable
to gain you as a client
has to be caring and honest
to buy you a house you’ll like

so i feel vindicated

i did confess
and i did ask about houseboats

i didn’t cry in her arms
i’m sure that comes later

Regular Poem: I May or May Not Have Any Idea What Realtors Actually Do

19 Apr

don’t worry
i’m still hating rosebushes and feeling romantic about the full moon
still saying plenty of weird stuff to plenty of middle-aged ladies
still being super good looking and mad that no one will turn their brain on about it

just out here
and being known and unknown
and being scared and aggressive
and being loud and reticent

just over here
sort of

i’m meeting a realtor tomorrow
and i’ve been thinking about how our conversation will go
like will i start with
“i read a book recently about a suicidal ex-beauty queen realtor and–”
or will i start with
“how do you feel about fratricide”
or will i be normal
cool collected professional
or will i stutter and ask stupid questions

it’s a crapshoot
nobody to blow on my dice either
and i just today lost sixty bucks at the casino
so my luck’s not looking so hot

“what are you looking for” she might say
“fuck rosebushes” i might reply
“i’m sorry what” she might say brow scrunched pen freezing above her clipboard
“what i meant to say was do you have any houseboats”

of course she doesn’t
this isn’t fucking sausalito

i’m kind of excited though
a new opportunity for a new friend
someone new to look at and tell my troubles to in a new context
i feel like i’d be the perfect best friend for a realtor
she could call me and be like
“this house i’m thinking of listing might be haunted
will you come with me”
and i’d be like
“duh girl”

it’s probably a bad sign
that i’m fantasizing about
an instant connection and intimate friendship
with someone who just wants a commission out of me
but it’s so sexy to me somehow

she’ll know where i live
literally and metaphorically
what mental emotional journey i took to get there
what i want out of a home and why
it’s personal

but i’m the girl who makes her chiropractor her priest and pychiatrist
so why shouldn’t i do the same
to a realtor

it probably goes without saying
i’m intrigued by old-timey medicine
the kind that’s half alchemy half superstition
herbs and poisons and potions and bizarre theories
no training no regulation
just ideas and pluck

i feel the urge to confess a lot of things to this woman i haven’t even met yet
and she’ll scroll through her offerings
she’ll be wearing attractive reading glasses as she does so
and she will find the perfect thing
she will read my mind and fix my problems

don’t worry
i’m still very stupid about so many things
but at least i’m trying something new

Regular Poem: Bad Girls Book Club

18 Apr

i think tomorrow
i’ll get a haircut and a new dress

but also

i think i’ll get a fresh new notebook and a new pen
and treat my next book as an assignment

do i remember how to do that though
is my brain still elastic and athletic enough
for symbols and themes and important quotations

there was a work quiz thing this afternoon
and the girl beside me
was twenty
and knew all the answers verbatim
i wasn’t jealous or annoyed
(i’m competitive but really only
against people i don’t like
these days
she’s a nice girl and competent and thoughtful
she deserves to be listened to and lauded
she deserves more than just that
and she’s young and likeable
and might just get what she deserves
one day hopefully)

so much as nostalgic
i remember being the girl
who could help a friend study for an exam
go over notecards and ask sample questions
and come out remembering more than the friend who had actually taken the class
eidetic memory is rare maybe a myth
but for a time
people swore i had it

but it’s ok
and even good sometimes
to forget

i’m not complaining
just wondering
just thinking
just half-translating half-formed thoughts into half-stupid words

the book is not an assignment
it’s an option and a challenge
an intellectual exercise
a shared hobby
a connection

a connection
with an individual i’ve connected with
already in myriad ways

i shouldn’t feel the need to compete with myself
outdo myself
over-exert myself
to impress her

she’s the one who suggested we should
read this book together in the first place
she’s already impressed
enough to include me in her reading list

but still
i think
i’ll buy the notebook
and try

because the ways we’ve connected
previously have been

yes they have been
i can’t deny our brains’ compatibility

but there’s also been so much emotion there
so much vulnerability there
so many confessions
resulting in
wet eyes pretending not to be
clenched throats groaning out jokes
in order to obfuscate the obvious

it never works
we always know

we always know we’re the bad girls

because we don’t obey blindly
we obey because we believe in a cause
we obey because we are we and
things must be done
and we are loud about it all
because we can’t be silent

i want to treat this book club
because we are so irreverent

i want to be the english major i’m purported to be
because i don’t know if i am that still

i talk about books so much
because i want to be the kind of person who reads

but in my bad girl heart
my competitive contrarian heart

i want to read so i can argue

but i want the new notebook
because i don’t want to argue
i want to discuss
and i want to have something interesting to discuss

a real actual dialogue

these days
i want to listen and be listened to
rather than
argue and be argued against

make no mistake
i’m still a bad girl
red lipstick and black patent leather pumps
bad girl et cetera
riling up working up
push-ups and bourbon

but a bad girl

is often just a good girl
who is angry

and so exhausted

Regular Poem: Oops! All Sauerkraut!

17 Apr

i like sauerkraut as much as the next girl
who likes sauerkraut exclusively as a condiment
but it’s no wonder no one eats at this diner
except for me when i’ll be late to choir practice
if i go to a good diner

in what universe
does a reuben have less corned beef than sauerkraut
and no discernible thousand island whatsoever

oops! all sauerkraut!
i had a dream once
that instead of my alarm ringing
it was showering me with sauerkraut
that’s how this reuben was

i’m not worked up about it
i’m not mad at the diner
i like the waitress who may or may not be the only person who works there
i’ll just know next time
not to get the reuben
or the bierock

it really serves me right
for trusting diners with german food in the first place
like get real
and get a burger

but i just get so excited
when i see a bierock on a menu
and i didn’t even want a reuben
i wanted a tuna melt
on regular rye not marbled rye

come to think of it
i still want a tuna melt
who even serves those anymore
what was i expecting

certainly not so much sauerkraut

i’ve been having a lot of diner issues lately
i ought to cook more
but that would result in
a half can of sauerkraut
molding in my fridge after i ate exactly one
and exactly one
hot dog

another sauerkraut story
my mom used to make her own
it’s fermented rather than pickled
you know
and she would make it in a bathtub
like a ’20s bootlegger
if only we’d delivered it to side dish speakeasies
out of the back of a dodgey model t

i love that a popular
french term of endearment
is my little cabbage
if anybody ever called me that
it would have to be ironically
knowing that i’m really more
of a sauerkraut
kind of girl

Regular Poem: Femme Fatale BTS

16 Apr

She walked into my office a few minutes past closing
and a few hours past my being sober.
Even through the whiskey, I could see
she was all sharp angles and soft skin;
there was a secret on her red lips that was
different from the secrets in her red head.

“I don’t usually take new clients this late in the day,” I said.
“And I don’t negotiate. Ever. You either
agree to take my case or you don’t,” she said, her voice a hiss of steam from
the radiator of her mouth

a mouth I very much wanted to tap on,
make hiss more.


case local cut-rate gumshoes’ offices
assess for degree of misogyny, alcoholism, impulsivity, receptiveness to feminine wilesspreadsheet?

buy new red lipstickmatte, long-wear
have mourning dress altered to specs of chosen detective
buy eye drops

kill husband
hide and obfuscate evidence

apply eyedrops before cops arrive for questioning about dead husband
assess detectives for degree of misogyny, alcoholism, impulsivity, receptiveness to feminine wilesspreadsheet?

rest day
hole up, pretend to grieve
brainstorm ways to pit police detectives against private detective
yard workallergic reaction will make voice husky and sexy tomorrow

use eyedrops again
chain smoke in case allergic reaction to yard work hasn’t made voice husky and sexy enough

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