Is there somewhere we can talk?
About life and the universe
the big stuff I mean
hand over your heart
red, white and blue
and all that—
walk over my grave
spit in his eye sort of
tarnish an already
but Simon says
smarmy is your
Shut the Damn Door
You’ll let them in, that’s what—
the despair and agony
of a thousand splendid sun-ups.
The one thing they don’t tell you
all through childhood
is how they’ll break you down,
and plane you out, and
plank you up like plywood.
my morning said
love had a lot to give
but couldn’t cut it as
a philanthropist, taking me down
white flag and all
stuck in that sandy beach
and on that sharp-toothed mountain.
I want to leave
and be left
and start fires
and bring rainstorms
that flood the rooftops
of your merry days
and wet my wistful nights
on dusty porch steps.
No more pretend,
let’s build this tragedy
A Still Life Play in Four Short Acts
A consequence of time:
tap dancing on a linoleum floor
and using hot sauce as a weapon.
A consequence of trust:
wearing a gypsy man’s jacket,
throwing over the keys to the car.
A consequence of courage:
crying into scrambled eggs,
raging at a red light.
A consequence of love:
two deaths, long after
one song in the mountains,
one dance in the city.
Play with the scenery
I’ve been praying, says Eliza
as she rises from the sun-drenched steps,
smoothing all those wrinkles from her skirt
with unlined hands,
both white and trembling.
Then you’re a fool, says Jonathan
coming up the walkway, stepping
loudly from one cobblestone to another,
always in a hurry,
ignoring the morning bloom of
red and violet summer flowers
framing the lawn like the the gilded edges
of any Victorian portrait.
Did you have something to say?
Listen, there’s nothing to it
and let’s not get into this again
having been down one road too many
and too many roads too short
in temper, I mean, like a fuse
on dynamite that’s set and ready
or chutes and ladders laid down
u n st e a dy
against the fire-painted siding
of a burning house.
Damp and Heavy
Many hands on deck,
scrubbing the snow
white flanks of a long
buried battalion in
the prickly ash, knelt with
one knee bent on moss
dew-soaked straight through.
Book of Judith
This is no book of happy endings. All
unresolved cliffhangers and bitter diatribes.
Jonathan Swift has nothing on me and as
one generation passes, one generation rises.
Always unsteady, they run headlong to death and
Here I stand, daughter of the king of the world,
speechless, head in my hands.
His head in my hands.
There are only so many mountain songs,
only so many honeyed words. We’ve used them up,
the air is stale with milk curdling humidity,
yellow-white algae down deep in our lungs
and we choke on every swallow.
The ocean recedes, the sun (the holy ghost)
conspires against us. I can only play
for so long and then
forgetting myself, stumble on a word or two and
incite a rage that burns us up like wildfire.
Mika Lorien - Scene 1
In the black tower, Mika Lorien closed her eyes.
Silence. Like a calm before a storm, before the sky turns grey as cinders, before the clouds break and pour their wrath upon a dusty and parched earth. Her unlined hands and delicate fingers too, customarily moving, over a bit of cloth, over a piece of fruit, over lines on a page, stilled. But then she heard it, deep in her head, growing louder in her ears, the sound of hooves against the plains. Low in the distance like thunder, but there was no mistaking it. A horse and rider riding fast to Grendl Castle.
Epherius? The snow white flanks of the horse and the proud posture of its rider took shape in her mind’s eye. How long since she had seen that stallion in the flesh? Or its rider? She could not answer her own questions with any clarity and opened her eyes.
And there stood Lord Craven, watching her intently from the doorway. She hadn’t heard him come down the hallway, had not felt his presence. Her mind had been too far away and she too clumsy in letting it wander. The expression on her face must have given her away or perhaps the master of Grendl Castle could slip into her mind without invitation now.
“For one once so talented, Mika, you have fallen far. From unimaginable heights. Your mind wanders and I hear it doing so,” he spoke deliberately, with an edge of malice and ridicule behind his words, as if she were a novice once more. He steeled his expression.
Mika felt a burning sensation near her eyes, on the sides of her head, and unbidden, salt water momentarily blinded her vision. And she could think of nothing but green hills, and gilded chambers and grass rolling in westward winds. A solitary hemlock tree stood outside the city walls on the side of a hill. Two little girls, twins, in matching green dresses with black trim, sat beneath the hemlock tree. The first, Mika’s sister Freyja, held a doll with button eyes and yellow hair, the color of wheat fields at harvest. The other, Mika herself, grasped a bouquet of blood red flowers in her fist. Trilliums. The caustic flowers that grew on the graves of their forefathers.
Get out of my head!
A small sound escaped Mika’s lips, the short intake of breath, but she said nothing and did not let her eyes sway from Lord Craven’s, even as two lonely tears marched down the sides of her face. He tipped his head slowly, mocking her with abandon, “Be careful, my dear. Soon you won’t have any secrets left.”
He turned and walked from her private chambers. Mika covered her mouth with her hand and for a moment more contemplated absolute silence. But the thunderous sounds in her head would not stop. Indeed, Epherius, the son of the king of Baerhim, her own nephew, crossed the plains to Grendl Castle. Disgusted by her weakness, she brushed her fingers across her lips, as if wiping a bad taste from her mouth.
Father of my fathers…she rose and walked to the window, looked down upon the steps leading up to the black tower. Save me from myself.