NaPoWriMo // Week four

Another week and more very rough drafts…

Day twenty-two // The impossible happens

A pig breaks physics

It stamped its stumpy leg into the ground before it launched
unfurling wings that were clear, that branched from the bones
buried in cutlet & butt & shoulder, feathers like fingers reaching
into another dimension pulling it upward on strings unseen,
riding the tension of the bright afternoon sun, upward still until
physics were forgotten & the rest of the world tumbled with it
houses & cows & people & cars edging skyward to meet a swine
that shook its round haunches at its pursuers and lowered
its nose to root in the wandering center of a star.

 

Day twenty-three // sounds

Blue midnight mode

Swing-time lullaby,
why oh why do we do be do
why do we split & scatter
with so little provocation?

Seven-four or four-three,
minor-third with a major feel
legato legs & staccato hearts
why oh why do we fall apart?

 

Day twenty-four // elegy

Sarah, main character for half of the book

Mother may you take the stage
terminal in all your grace
the king & queen & all the lords
silent gasping at your words
a woman’s hand to grip the sun
a woman’s throat to sing its song
gown like the river, parting in waves
dear mother may you take the stage.

 

Day twenty-five // warning label

Workweek

You’re right, they were solid.
Eight plus for fifty years,
a couple strikes held by the union
cost them maybe a month & then
vacation days like teeth in a jar,
even little bones grow heavy.
Contentment worked on some, age
on others, bad food on many more.
Highways clogged & clotted around
the sound & in the places where the
sound once rattled through, ears
yellowed in a bad imitation of skin.

They have been talking & we have listened.
So many well-meanings, so many contradictions,
then the ill-things they whisper when
they just want you to get back to work,
so they can get back to dinner & the wheel
like they have for a solid fifty-five; I’m there.
I have three gigs grating my limbs, haven’t seen
my husband in days, got a lady blaming feminism
for end-stage capitalism & messages saying
nothing demanding returns before I find ways
to make the ends of this tight-pulled wire meet…

Catch myself in traps laid on better days,
two toes too far into the red. It’s poor form
anymore to put your heart into the things that
cannot & never will sustain you.

 

Day twenty-six // senses

Rotten apple

The park is excited, each leaf quivering along to
the whistles & steps of fryer-tenders & grillers
new again in their sameness, opening up their trailers
like the blooms have opened on the trees. It happens,
the winter storms out as the guy who got the last word
& life gets lighter. Shoulders exposed to winds carrying
oils & cinnamon, so warm & so unnatural. Casual conversation
melting into hymn into mariachi into a middle-aged blues
guitarist who acts as king to the queen, not yet eighteen
but she has the wave down. This is us, folksy & regular,
pissing in the Beltane fires & commenting on how summer
is creeping up, like the devils & the illegals who are
here but they’re not. Look how we tolerate, look how we
legislate the seasons to their places & the people
in their bodies that are right or they’re wrong.

Yeah, it’s April & the lilac outside my window has grown
so strong I can taste it as I sit here & listen to the band
practicing on the green. But I’m still not ready to make good,
to peel off this sweater & speak in measure & play at
another spring gone to court.

 

Day twenty-seven // tarot

movement

Water is the conductor,
six pillars, six blades,
six stars falling & then
with no more than a splash
they’ve gone cold. No more
than a plot & a prayer,
knees tucked under, eyes
on the hilt. There is no
over the shoulder glance,
there are no hints of
deliverance, just calm &
mountains and the sword
that sticks in my back.

 

Day twenty-eight // postcards

Scenic Swauk Pass

Camus creep, valley void
the wandering spirit of
nineteen seventy-seven;
manifesto in olive-avocado,
any old place to break down,
a strip of rubber like a snake
coiled black in the chain-up parking.

Yodel-yay-oh well,
the canyon is calling,
nailed to the sign at
the summit, our answer.

 

Day twenty nine // Plath

Eventually

The angle of the stars like a knife
that pries our eyes from their sockets,
exploding on the ground like overripe fruit
apples & cherries & iris & pupil,
all the same to the famished spring soil.

This is a dance on broken legs
each step hurts & still we writhe
under the cold halo of the moon
both puppets & people, animals aware of
desire as a flame & a tooth & a body.

Our awareness like the blear of sunset through
a dirty window, once the mountains intercede
we will relax, limbs failing as we tumble onto
our backs, tall grass receives us as its nurturers—
oh, goddess why has the sky gone black?

 

Day thirty // promptless

Batting three of three

Octagon or pentagon,
more walls than
comfort allows on
a house that just
could not stop moving.

Walls like limbs
writhing & digging into the ground,
a scene of seizure, eyes closed & scanning
nothing, nothing again & nothing now
& before the sun rises.

This just has to go away,
I just need to close my eyes &
let the magic take over,
this body knows the world better
too many walls scan to nothing.

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