INTRODUCTION Rebecca Lu Kiernan Biographical/Bibliographical Information CONTENTS The Poems of Rebecca Lu Kiernan When A Snake Bites You In The Ass THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN Pre-emptive Math In Leon County Of This World It's Saturday Morning, Can't You Fuck Me Instead of the TV? LOVING THE ALIEN Put A Bow On It Midlife Circus Damage God Of Thieves The Stranger The Ghost Of Leon Country Persuasion For John In The Otherworld Damage Control Detanglement The Gentle Robbery Vacancy Sheet Lightning A Kiss In Dreams (For Victoria) The Man Who Remembered Too Much To One Who Went To The Woody Allen School Of Love A History Of Blood WHY ALIENS MAKE VERY BAD PETS DEMONS IN THE WALLPAPER To The Bat With The Broken Wing Ambivalence Space And Time Spill If I Fail To Show Up In My Own Skin Red Tree Prophecy Sex Addict In Therapy I'LL BE READY FOR MARRIAGE... Milk At Last The Curve Of The Earth POST SCRIPTUM Portrait of Rebecca Lu Kiernan
Rebecca Lu Kiernan's fiction and poetry have appeared in ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION, MS. MAGAZINE, NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, SPACE AND TIME and other political, science fiction and literary magazines and books. She edits the print magazine, GECKO. Her collection of poetry, SEX WITH TREES AND OTHER THINGS EQUALLY RESPONSIVE was published by 2River Press. She lives on the Gulf Coast with her stunningly beautiful (not to mention, genius) chocolate labrador, Rocky. Writer's Quote: "When I wrote my first poem, the time of false gods was over."
The Poems of Rebecca Lu Kiernan When A Snake Bites You In The Ass ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When a snake bites you in the ass The nurses won't let you sit in the Waiting room. They put you on You on your back and show you a chart Of 137 poisonous snakes and ask Which one was the culprit. For a split second of communion Running through your bloodstream You don't want to turn it in. The One you pick out is always one of The most venomous and deadly in Your vicinity. They give you a Stabbing shot right in the middle of The fang print and you must rest on Your side until the nausea, dizziness, Blurred vision, tremors subside. They warn you not to drink, alcohol Will counteract the anti-venom. Gasping, you stagger to your car Which they warned you not to drive, Weave your way to the nearest bar, A round of rattlesnakes for everyone! You slither every inch of the room, Coil in the darkest corner, sniff the Air for the one with the deepest fear, Flick your gold tongue for body Temperature, listen for respiration. Your fangs milk themselves on a Shot glass and suddenly you can Fuck with your eyes and kill with a Smile and you wait because somehow You know the most delicious skin is Puppeteered by telepathy. Ah, the Sweet twitching surrender of the one Who sees your ambivalent eyes, feels Your icy flesh and charges down on You naked, throbbing with full consent.
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ By accident, I fucked an angry midget, A control freak with a cruel streak Who made a hobby of fracturing Women In quiet, persistent ways Until, on ordinary mornings They would rise from his cock To flip pancakes in flowry robes And he would leave without a word Brushing fragments of their flesh From his tiny demolition hands, Rubbing blood out of His surgical eyes. Knowing this I put on the dragonfly sheets And slicked my raven hair Into a tight French twist And scooted down in bed So he would feel tall And sometimes in his eyes Softened by peppermint candles, I saw a regular sized boy Begging For his angry mother's Affection, Shrinking with every way He planned to crush her When he grew up Big.
Pre-emptive ~~~~~~~~~~~ I will have a rib removed And mail it to you In a sanitary jar Saving you The trouble Of robbing me In my sleep. Incision Is Easier Sewn Than the slow jagged Tearing Of stealing back A bone.
Math In Leon County ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am the heart's lusty whore Writhing in black fishnet stockings Back arched, lips parted, feet twitching Behind your neck, and if that doesn't Do you, I'll spread out on my knees Opening in curious new ways. You are the heart's nervous litigator Dragging me to the witness stand Hands at my throat, barking inquiry Finding holes in my story Stopping just short of clamping a car Battery to my genitals. And what stops you there? Perhaos the chance that we pass in the Courthouse, somewhere between the Marriage license and the prisoner Torture, and I adjust your lemon tie And you tell me my slip is showing And there is a moment over hazelnut Coffee, a polite challange requiring a Percentage answer andI won't go Above one hundred because My tongue makes your temperature, Fingers calculate your blood pressure, I watch your chest for rate respiration And this is a day of you needing the Comfort of logical math So one hundred percent is the answer As I let you underestimate The strength of my surrender, The zeal with which I would have Bowed to you.
Of This World ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I walk the docks without him. It is much like swimming Without an arm, Like getting your fin caught in a hook And having to choose between Being whole or caught, Free or torn. Breaking free being instinct No matter how much damage, Regardless of how large a portion Of the self Must be Left behind. I must have seen the Gulf of Mexico Before. This slow, gray ship Has surely crossed me. I stumble on Starting to enjoy The taste of my own blood. I walk the docks without him As if I were Of this world.
It's Saturday Morning, Can't You Fuck Me Instead of the TV? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My love won't ride in your Boxter Looking destructive as a goat Eating your silver seats, cell phone, Little black book. Gentler, it comouflages into scenery, A canopy of bent cobalt willows, An icy bridge in lavender fog, A zig-zaggy tunnel, lights flickering Off. You Zip down my dangerous curves Too fast, No back-up plans For the Acme piano Crashing your roof, The fourty foot drop into A shark infested fish bown, My high heeled ostrich go-go boots Smashing you like an accordion.
LOVING THE ALIEN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ you ring from your childhod home gingerbread and chalk lemonade and vodka sweat and honeysuckle blood and ear wax sudden memory of a cold platinum table, hot needle fracturing your brain, "come over here, mother's dead!" i pack an overnight case lacey red gown, tarot cards. the door is white chocolate i eat every sliver. i find you fetal positioned in a tie-dyed bean bag. mother comes through the lancet window in smeared red lipstick, blue smoke curling from a trembling cigar. it can ruin the nerves children trying to buty the undead. ten card spread, don't touch the hanged man, my hard nipples stretching out in your mouth, maybe only ghosts can see ghosts, so many things i would say to you if you couldn't talk back and laugh and ask me how i could ever love someone like you.
Put A Bow On It ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I hit my knees to worship Unblinking emerald eyes My new religion, His body So light in the cupped hands Of prayer. At his request I hooked Him to the plough, Wore a lacey white gown. A carriage, said He To the centre of town. On a vicious, shrill song, Frantic, elfish, He did the grasshopper dance Stampting down the remnants Of my romance. He barked His inquiry, My illogical affection. Because I could not turn away Even after He made me crawl, Because He had been Watching me through The soup of space and time, Because once He was inside me It was clear He had always been inside me. Words are my greatest gift. Fold the shiny paper, Save the ribbons. These are the last I waste On the likes of him.
Midlife Circus ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wild eyes, trembling, as if to some maiden Train track rescue, he drives from Tallahassee Silver Porshe Boxter hugging low with Compulsively crisp white shirts, kacki pants With razor creases, a custom made Armani Tuxedo in midnight blue, pretentious ruby Cuff links, little red book of numbers of Women who would vomit at the sound of his Voice, two scallop shell wedding bands, a Marriage license taped back together, cologne Worn by few heterosexual men, photographs Of children who will never see another dime Of child support, orangewood cigars, a blush Mermaid cut bridal gown that missed its final Fitting, jars of Vasoline, pearls soaked in witch Hazel, Yanni CD's, nipple clambs, Pecan-white Chocolate coffee beans with a German grinder, Seven page prenuptial contract, two stone gray Great Dane pups with emerald eyes, four guns, Two antique, one for self defence, one used in His second suicide attempt, passport, maps, lists Of contacts to be declared lagally dead in Haiti, Dive-master certification study guide, Prozac Starter kit, tarot cards. He calls from a cowboy bar, promises to get a Tattoo, she wrote a poem, he is seventeen again. Feels her magic Everywhere.
Damage ~~~~~~ Outside your wreathed door I wither Fogging the lancet window with my breath. You raise a gold monogrammed brandy glass. Twice today the gun has twitched in your hand. Don't speak, prowl to the hexagon sky light. I long to see your slumped shadow tremble. I circle you, sharp, unforgiving sun Until I see your eyes and behind them. Your hypnotic pocket watch ticks telltale. I walked barefoot to say I won't return. My pale wrist holds a terrible secret, We hold common this tantalizing burn.
God Of Thieves ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ He vomits again on a lime chessboard floor Soiling his indigo hospital scrubs, aggravating His football riuned knees, sober enough to feel The metal pin in his arm from the accident. One court order, one coma, one suicide attempt, Third try at getting clean. Barring religion To whom does one pray in the darkest hour? Sub-genius IQ, master's degree, the Greek god Hermes comes to mind. Hermes, the god of Erections and thieves. He misses compulsively Ironed crisp white shirts, onyx and diamond Cufflinks, super bowl ring, gold monogrammed Brandy sifters, the obedient purr of his silver Boxter, the lullaby of a woman's somnolent Breathing, any woman, casual relationships, Prostitutes, strangers from bars, strangers having The edge, hint of mystery on hesitant lips, dark Secrets on the verge of disclosure, impenetrable Eyes. He misses the thrill of his frail mother's Enthusiastic disapproval, the family feel of Happy hour at the local Irish pub, the bleached Blonde woman from work with too much Mascara and too little self esteem. He figures his Odds a good fifty-fifty, the best so far, worries About his sober self, the one he abandoned thirty- One years ago, the little things that were Unbearable, the bump of strangers' flesh in Crowds, the mind numbing crawl of the work Bread hour, endless details people tell about their Boring lives, the sounds of barking dogs, the Ambivalent stare of cats, the audacity of tiger lilies In window boxes dying of inattention, rotting right Under one's nose, the bubbling sounds of aquariums, The icy wind fingering the collar of one's sweater. He dwells on his most recent love at first sight, a Sweet thing he met on holiday, eternity band, Beaded blush bridal gown, mesmeric introduction To anal sex, all in seven days. For her, he went Briefly, tragically sober cold turkey. He remembers The look of loathing as he asked for the ring, the Same look of disgust in the reflection in the stained Glass lancet window, the sickening feel of being Known. He never knew a woman to park a car so Fast, having seen more than his fair share of luggage Fly. Hysterical, she took his meat grinder and all of His navy socks, left her makeup and all of her shoes. She. His mind still insists on using the feminine. Memories have been stolen selectively, mercifully, Brazen clues so easily washed down. This is what Will be missed, the delicious blur of things, the Stripping of clothes on a runaway train, the gentle Company of theives beneath the trap door.
The Stranger ~~~~~~~~~~~~ He smiled adoringly at me from across the room Never knowing me at all, head bent slightly as if In prayer, unblinking eyes stripping my clothes, Tongue remembering me from the future. He Rose from his table and approached. I poured Him a Mona Lisa smile and turned him away Slightly amused, this one's got balls. When I Glimpsed him returning I guessed his intentions To be honorable, or he was an unrelenting Soldier, ny politics on quiet conversation. The Next time we met, we were pulled together, Some necessity to embrace madly as we had Done a thousand times before, as we had wept And laughed and whispered in other languages, Other ages, on parallel universes, dark stars, Exploding suns. I lived with this man in a house Of shadows on a dead end street. I was constantly Surprised under the covers, delighted when his Passion could not rest the night, astounded at the Delicious methods in which I could be taken, Frightened by the unusual adventures he taught Me to crave, puzzled at the pulsing thrill of pain On pleasure. One morning, my wedding dress Hanging on the door, he told me he was sorry, it Was done, the maid had begun packing my things. Years later, married with two sons, I ran into him On holiday. He siled adoringly from across the room Never knowing me at all.
The Ghost Of Leon Country ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As you have long suspected I never left your house I haunt your bed I know you know I feel you feel me I walk through you Everywhere you go So easy now Ghost of ghost You in the canopy oaks of Tallahassee, Me on the Emerald coast. In a parallel universe, your Carriage comes for me and Your blinking eyes finger My lacey gown. "Every molecule of you Is mine.", you whisper panting. "All of your tomorrows are Insode me.", I confess. I take you in my mouth Tearing my beaded veil My hair unwinding from a Tight French twist. I swallow every drop of you And lick for more. We love like this for Thirty-one mesmeric years, or Before the first anniversary Both of us cunning, impulsive Destructive, genius, each of us Loving a good riddle, An apparent murder-suicide With one missing body, A lipstick scrawled letter In a shade I never wore Brilliantly worded with The most bizarre poetic clue. We may never know. When Does that license expire?
Persuasion ~~~~~~~~~~ The painting, "Persuasion" looms over his water bed Nude female back in torn jeans, entangled alabaster Male dropping a rose, left half of the closet bare, two Drawers of the cherry dresser empty, kitchen scrubbed Smelling of bleach and blueberry pie, leftover shrimp Fettuccini from last night's dark Italian restaurant Boxed in refrigerator, cobalt Mustang erased from the Cobblestone drive. There must have been signs. Soft Spoken, polite scorpion ferrying guests across silver River cannot fight its nature. Perhaps this engineer in His fragile elegance designed a woman who could Sparkle ghostlike against flesh, bone, chose to cross The water at any price, easier than pills or a bullet to The head, nine wet nights of movie quality sex, the Culdesac people slapping his back for the trphy Snatched from emerald neon waves, a sugar beach Paradise. One gets what one deserves traveling back In time to the Gulf of Mexico for the one that got Away. Beware the fish brought up too quickly without Struggle, insides explode from the change of pressure, Any head that fails to fight is damaged, must not be Consumed. But this kind of seed is delicious, has a Prescience for the hunter's craving, his missing rib. Amermaid cut wedding dress is missing. She will Wear it with wings of Holloween with a bee keeper Who took her on a single sailboat journey under a full Crimson moon and let the pre-hurricane wind decide, Moving slowly as one who had salved enough stings, Cradling her teary face in his bronze hands, waltzing Her across the Gulf, showing her the curve of the earth As no man had dared. Pity the soul who relies on acts Of persuasion, he will be forever sliced by one who Waits for destiny's haphazard strike, turns against the Card cut prophecy, this woman is a hornet's nest, flicks His tongue expecting honey, wrings his stinging hands As her raven hair cuts like glass fragments, finds his Knees in an uncharted forest and wills the angel, "Come to me."
For John In The Otherworld ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To be naked with you again, your sweat on my tongue, What could I do to you that I have not done before? Leave you undone? Wrench my breast from your mouth, walk away, look Just half over my shoulder and erase. Your slow eyes would dance against me and something You would confess right out loud in spite of yourself Would turn me to stay unblinkingly with you. Your hands would cup my face and I would not be Painting your ghost in poems, kissing your transparent Flesh in dreams, waking in a cold sweat full of longing And loathing, tenderness and knives, fingering your Vacancy on the bed like a lake reflection of myself I must Fracture.
Damage Control ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A copper lamp blinks from the paint chipped gazebo. Pre-hurricane night air blows the cobalt willows. Now I see my choices are black lacey nightgowns In a fortune cookie. As a child, I fell in love with a ancient Doctor's doll, a pleasant jade woman, nude On a bed or a coffin, never knowing she revealed The ailments of a thousand women, killed by modesty. I waited for her to rise, lips swollen for her lover. Our lives run parallel, You, a tourist on this sugar beach; Me, a damage assessor, Slicing the shells of petrified turtles, Nursing the slick formaldehyde skins of frogs.
Detanglement ~~~~~~~~~~~~ From a desert diner in New Mexico he calls. Heads down we shuffle through the details of Our detanglement He says he will load my Furnature in a warehouse, even pay for the First two onths, he will cover my indigo Sofa, tenderly wrap my grandmother's blue Onion chine, suspend my giraffe rocking Horse in popcorn, pack everything up real Nice. I ask if we could hire someone to do it. Genuinely puzzled, he asks "Why would you want that?" He wants to know if I am going to leave Sooner than planned, makes me promise I Will tell him exactly when. He keeps clearing His throat. The weather is nice and he had Chicken and dumplings for dinner. I had Pancakes with peach preserves. "For dinner?" he asks. "Yes, for dinner." He wants to know if I watered the window Box tiger lillies and if I remember planting Them together when we first moved it. I have never met the woman who moved her Whole life into this cobblestone house. I've seen photographs. They remind me of a crazy woman Who chases me in dreams.
The Gentle Robbery ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I took our pictures down from the refrigerator And packed them so carefully, the old happy Us cheek to cheek, bear hugging on the sugary Beach, smiling like lottery winners on the paint Chipped porch, neon Gulf of Mexico lapping at Our backs, hand in hand on the dock of the bay Beneath a cotton candy pink sunset. I copied the CD he always played in the Mustang, the one With "I Love You More Today Than Yesterday" And the bedtime selection, Righteous Brothers Hits with "Unchained Melody". We always Began making love to that. Out of the hamper I thieved his favorite shirt, the blue one with Lighthouses all over it. I took the flamingo cup From Okaloosa Island with his name on it and The stone duck with the broken bill from the Fireplace. I took a brush with his honey blonde Hair and the eyeless stuffed bear he had kept From childhood. I took a bar of soap with a tiny Pirate ship inside and the chess piece I had Broken the day I moved in. I had secretly glued It together. Crazy Glue is nice for keeping out Of trouble, for making broken things blend in, For pretending everything is fine, for denying Damage, for rendering a crippled jade horse Picassoesque. I removed these things for the Clenched fist and curled lip of my heart, that Perhaps in time I could return them by post With cupped hands and a closed mouth kiss But no return address.
Vacancy ~~~~~~~ I had planned to leave the house A disaster, dishes in the copper Sink, almond bed unmade, Garbage piling up. I could just see him angrily Cleaning, cursing me, twirling a Mop, picking up old newspapers. I had a change of heart. I did the usual chores, except I mopped with plain water And wiped everything down With a damp sponge Careful not to leave A cleaning smell to hit him. I imagined him coming home To the new silence Eyes dancing over the vacancy, Walls where my Klimt and Kandinsky hung, sqares of Space where my cherry desk, Red leather sofa and chessboard End tables had lived. I removed the pillows from their Gray eyelet cases and spurted Them with a microscopiv hint Of my perfume. Spreading myself out On the comforter I made myself perspire. I smile just thinking Of such perfect haunting Almost imperceptible, My skin, my sweat, my sex, My arms, my lips, my hair Fingering his dreams With unbearable restraint.
Sheet Lightning ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Grinning blonde weather man in a stone gray flannel suit, Neon cobalt eyes, wire frame glasses, eye-popping red tie, Licking my lips I think, "I'd fuck you blind." I shock myself at this pathetic hunger for a stranger. But how much more complete was my knowledge of the Whimsical one who slept beside me in the almost rice Bed and t-shirt sheets whispering unbearable pleasures Wetly against my neck, groping me inside him, writhing At the whip, breathlessly whispering, "Come for me." pinching, trembling, crushing Clawing at my soul Crying out my name in shameless ecstacy Baptizing me with sweat, saliva, tears, Charging relentlessly with every intention Of turning me inside-out. Seventy-five percent chance of sheet lightning, Uncalculable risk of actual strike. So much hinges on geography.
A Kiss In Dreams (For Victoria) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I watch you sleep for the last time. You were to be my Stepdaughter, laughing angel, fragile pixie, I have been Planning my getaway for months, feeding and dressing You, trying to detach myself. Forgive me someday for Not warning you, helping you let me go. I feat you will Forget me in your slight six years. Your father will surely Never tell you how I cherished bathing you, the way you Relaxed your head in my hands when we dipped back in The tub to rinse your hair. Thank you for painting my red Car in the cobblestone driveway of your seafoam green House, for curling in my lap when i read to you, for every Magical time you rested your head on my shoulder and Smiled up at me, or put your tiny hand in mine, or brought Me the brush and barrettes for your gold brown hair. I kiss Your forehead mostly for myself, guessing this kiss in Dreams may translate into a peck on the head by a giraffe. When I think I have successfully forgotten you, there you Will be in the smell of honeysuckle at a coral cove, in the Gossamer pink wings of a dragonfly, in the warm sand Becoming a crocodile in my cupped hands, in the silver Starlings dancing in the lilac after rain. And for the record I would have been a terrible stepmother, for I could have Never brought myself to prepare you for growing into a Woman. How could I have told your wide, gray eyes, Under every tiger lily there is a scorpion, beneath every Kiss, a welcome razor for the wrist?
The Man Who Remembered Too Much ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 19 in braids and hot pants I lived with a truck driver/ Poet/Harrison Ford look-alike. Dyslexic, he tickled me awake To take down poems that Came to him in dreams. We took our dinners to the Picnic table in the gray-blue Light of our evening yard And basked in the pending Darkness like geckoes In the sun. He kissed the back Of my neck and rubbed my Cherry curls all over his face And watched unblinkingly As I undressed, dressed. He remembered everything I ever said and it got So I had to be careful. He had trained himself To remember, as he could Not write things down. I know where that house is. Sometimes I think we could Dance there. His arms would Not forget me. We would eat Strawberries with whipping Cream in the claw-footed tub And wrap ourselves in A marigold towel, watch The bats fly over The Gulf of Mexico from The porch swing and giggle Skipping into our almond Sleigh bed and never notice The house had been So efficiently demolished And never remember The things we can't Forget.
To One Who Went To The Woody Allen School Of Love ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A neon cherry moon, diamond edged Speckled silver, center pulsing Wedges itself into the broken cobalt willows Encases the sandstone gate Says, "I am coming But I have to knock everything down." I put up my hand and will not let it pass. A distant gray arced moon Shaved down to a brittle tusk Chatters its one tooth Against lavender mountains Insurmountable pines Shivers behind the icy hollyhock. I cup my hands to catch its feeble light. Your fingers that have never Bobbed inside my mouth, My tongue that has never danced Inside your ears, Your eyes that have never closed Against my kiss, Thse are enough to stop the world.
A History Of Blood ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I was always bleeding, pale, naked, in crinolines In lavender gowns and crisp navy suits, over vanilla Candles in midnight bistros, on starched luncheon Tablecloths and lacey picnic blankets. I bled into chocolate rasberry truffles, ostrich fettuccini Neon pink cotton candy and kangaroo pie. I bled over champagne flutes, goblets of cakebread wine Lemonade in Dixie cups, chicken soup in chipped bowls. I bled through wishing wells, silent green lakes Shark infested oceans, French antique claw-footed tubs. I bled over swollen lips, quivering stomachs, arched backs Drumming fingers, unblinking eyes, crossed arms. No one even winced, but kept twirling me to organ music Egging on the tiger as he held his jaw, his breath condensating In my ears, throwing fire and knives into my juggling act Shouting from the trampoline, "Higher, harder!" Finally you opened my fist and cried, "My God! What's with All this blood?" You pulled my rusty nails from my palms, washed The linens, stained and soiled, put lions up at my gate, lilacs at My door, kissed my shivering forehead and said, "No more."
WHY ALIENS MAKE VERY BAD PETS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhere between Collecting my eggs in a platinum jar And bananas flambe You probably forgot I reached for your icy hand at the red light A silent prayer leaping from Swollen eyes, You gasped in your alien tongue, "My god, you're shining!" I got the better of that deal. Such unconcealable, excruciating luminance Belongs to the beast that bears the burden Of loving. Take that back to the mother ship And yes, bananas often do burst into flames So, don't you forget I'm a dangerous world Seeding yours.
DEMONS IN THE WALLPAPER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I know an emperor (in His own mind) Who adores me because I am The only one who will tell Him He is completely nude (And in flourescent light), The only one in His company Who will raise one brow and bark "DON'T do that!" He is demolishing His fifth wife, He 53, she 32, a weaning baby involved. His secretary has given Him Perfunctory blow jobs for twenty years. (Her wrinkles have started to disgust Him For the last five.) But she is such a loyal employee And NEVER Has anything more important And LIVES For the moment between grunts When He whines, "You look beautiful with my cock In your mouth." Vehicle blow jobs, Warm flesh as convenient As a blow-up doll. I worshipped him for three hours In a shadowy hotel After a confusing meal Of shrimp fettuccini That had a metallic under taste. I saw myself in his fractured eyes And turned my back And left without my clothes. "You're looking for demons In the wallpaper!" he wailed. Easy With the Dark One's Montblanc in your hand.
To The Bat With The Broken Wing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Bruce, I have left you flash-frozen praying mantices spinning in the lazy Susan, leeches suffocating in the sugar bowl, grasshoppers, each with one broken leg writhing in the crystal gravy boat, indigo spiders jiggling on a silver tray of Crazy Glue, a fire ant farm damp with kerosene, and a licorice candle. I have gone to the store for surgical tape and a kite. Get well soon.
Ambivalence ~~~~~~~~~~~ What may I leave you for misery When your cheetah paced affection Has turned on a dime? Perhaps I will give you nothing But take instead One string from your violin One key from your typewriter One nob from your stove.
Space And Time ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What will you give me for comfort When my time comes A lock of your hair in a ring box? The seed of a plum? The foil blanket for Ganymede's nights? A holding tank for telepathic Octopi or Carme? A syringe for extracting immortality Microbes on Metis? A steel gathering jar for Brainworms on Callisto? Intergalactical reply coupons For thebe? What will I send you for remembrance When the earth's shadow Falls between us? Tons of unmined amber diamonds Beneath Europa's icy sea? Shapeshifting gold on Io? A stone postcard from our old moon?
Spill ~~~~~ You're often sixty seconds Or seven words From even meeting them at all Having turned twice to leave the party, Going out of your way to observe A lightening-struck willow With pearly orange embers Where everything would change, Something calling you To watch gray rain, Squint at a stained glass window Or stand longer in the impossible Silence of a swirling street corner, Dizziness, longing, recognition. They're always coming at you With Norman Rockwellish grins Translating your map, showing you Shortcuts, pointing you to home style Diners and souvenir shops full of stuff You can't get anymore, book stores For your out-of-print tendancies In their sleepy vampire towns, Touching your arm To raise a vein. But you're the one in hot pursuit Brushing sleeves with them, Meeting their pale eyes, X-ed out people in your address book, Sullen photo of a long-suicided love In your wallet, Pulling over to watch Their mesmeric laleidoscope leaves, Steely cobalt lakes and cotton candy skies, Begging to be marcifully spilled.
If I Fail To Show Up In My Own Skin ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When the soup of silever fog and cobwebs is ladled over my vision, I tend to avoid an icy bridge, watching my feet as I descend the slick cave wall, calling the x-ex out numbers in my address book, a serial killer with a comforting smile, killing the red eyed ceiling spider with the subhuman face. When I know I am dreaming, I wait for a mare's ivory ears twitching against a vein blue sky, the soft pink belly of a cat, our old warm bed while sleet drums the roof, cicadas dueting with the whistle of a train, fireflies rustling in a thicket of stars, a bloody hunter's moon to soar against. If I fail to show up in my own skin I will be the inviting smile of a computer generated companion, the hypnotic gecko flicking a cobalt tongue, the snapping dog with broken teeth, that might have to be put down. If you return, with uncertain hands I will make a cobblestone house with a glass door, a bat's nest, a stingray coffee cake with octopus tea. If there is anything left of me at all it will be the five seconds before we kissed, the photograph of you in the hat too big for anyone, taken on our last day together, a lock of your hair buried in the hyacinth patch.
Red Tree Prophecy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I imagine you alone at your desk Shifting your long legs beneath The cage of the work bread hour, Appendages tingling against the Pins and needles of blood begging To course, head propped on your wrist Closing your eyes against the tweed And faded denim and cherry wood and Ancient creaking floors and the smell Of dust on books and ink and The forgotten whiff of skin when my Sleeve brushed yours and nothing more, Scrubbing your face with my feathery Branches, pressing your nose to the Back of my neck, knees bent to my root Trying to cup your trembling tongue For torturously slow morning sap.
Sex Addict In Therapy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Does my desire unnerve you? Crawling over you Like a jaguar Muscled for The strike Down on my haunches Unblinking, lips Parted, my breath Condensating in Your ear? Are you happier to hunt me Over a half scrubbed Toilet, oblivious to you In yellow gloves, Pinned hair Woefully accommodating You, bending like Wet, underfoot Grass? I miss slow swollen lips. Bring fresh lilacs Pulled, not cut Moist from dirt Dragging through Sand, Delicious orange melon To drip down our Elbows, chins, a Blood crimson Sky buoyant On ocean salts at Eclipse, bring your Poems written on Scrap, bring Tiger balm Handcuffs Nipple Clamps, we Sink Away.
I'LL BE READY FOR MARRIAGE... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ at some point in the Future when border collies have colonized Mars and Orgasm comes in a pill and mind control has numbed my Nerves and the Russians have broken my Will.
Milk ~~~~ The pregnant peach moon spurts Down my elbows and chin, stars Are equidistant, blinking in unison, I can see their wires. I razor off fraying edges of a perfect Van Goth-suicide-indigo night and Hide the threads in my pillow. Giggles will be crushed there sweet As blueberries in whipping cream. I will kneel over him and when his Mouth opens for my breast, I will Sprinkle his tongue, making the Night stick to him In ways that cannot be Washed...Mistaken...Denied.
At Last ~~~~~~~ I waited for you in a pink Wonder Bra, Black fishnet thigh highs, peopard thong, Lacey white sun dress, denim overalls, Peach kimono, leather teddy. I waited On bearskin rugs by crackling fires With brandy and chocolate cherries, In sleepy airports near the lone guitarist Or the screaming child, at midnight bistros Over-peppering my ostrich fettuccini, By ticket counters behind the slow talkers, On pirate ships behind the cannons. I waited in friendly tourist town by Rubber alligator stands, in dirty cities Next to chalk outlines, at dangerous Intersections with ambiguous traffic signs, In zig-zaggy tunnels with lights sputtering Out, through the wide, unblinking eyes of Abandonment, behind the bitten lower lip Of impossibility. Finally you arrived, slicking back your Widow's peak raven hair, fingering your Teeth with your own cold flesh as you Had gone so long hungry. You moved me into your dusty house, Furnature covered with sheets, Prussian carpets rolled back. You entered me in surprising fashions By pure bees' wax candlelight And the splinters of the lavender moon Through long scratches in the curtain. I set the table for you, thick coffee, stale Wedding cake. In absolute silence, through The cross of your arms, with a slow, amused Smile, I cracked open your ribs And ate your bitter heart. I was despondent, not because you had Transformed me into such a savage, But because you could not remain conscious To see me eat the last icy sliver. Not unexpectedly, your heart tasted Like chicken Shit.
The Curve Of The Earth ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Even today I blush at how I worshipped, Learned to love being spread out on my knees. You gave me everything I could not ask for And nothing on my list of basic needs. You washed up starving on the Guld of Mexico Your unblinking eyes fingering my blouse In a thatched roof bar where the next James Taylor Dabbled in the old Fire and Rain. We left our remote sugar island For a house of shadows on a dead end street But my name never got on your mailbox Your initial never added to my monogram. I put my unworn mermaid cut gown on Consignment and went sailing with a once Platonic friend So deep we saw the curve of the earth, So far we had to consult the stars To get back home. Everything old is new again. We plant belladonna and tiger lilies In the widow box, talk about the Fragile needs of flowers And joke about your fancy silver car Once in our driveway.
All Poems Copyright 2003 Rebecca Lu Kiernan
Rebecca Lu Kiernan
Welcome to Newsgroup alt.centipede. Established just for writers, poets, artists, and anyone who is creative. A place for anyone to participate in, to share their poems, and learn from all. A place to share *your* dreams, and philosophies. Even a chance to be published in a magazine. The original Centipede Network was created on May 16, 1993. Created because there were no other networks dedicated to such an audience, and with the help of Klaus Gerken, Centipede soon started to grow, and become active on many world-wide Bulletin Board Systems. We consider Centipede to be a Public Network; however, its a specialized network, dealing with any type of creative thinking. Therefore, that makes us something quite exotic, since most nets are very general and have various topics, not of interest to a writer--which is where Centipede steps in! No more fuss. A writer can now access, without phasing out any more conferences, since the whole net pertains to the writer's interests. This means that Centipede has all the active topics that any creative user seeks. And if we don't, then one shall be created. Feel free to drop by and take a look at newsgroup alt.centipede
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. REMEMBERY: EPYLLION IN ANAMNESIS (1996), poems by Michael R. Collings . DYNASTY (1968), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken . THE WIZARD EXPLODED SONGBOOK (1969), songs by KJ Gerken . STREETS (1971), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken . BLOODLETTING (1972) poems by Klaus J. Gerken . ACTS (1972) a novel by Klaus J. Gerken . RITES (1974), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken . FULL BLACK Q (1975), a poem by KJ Gerken . ONE NEW FLASH OF LIGHT (1976), a play by KJ Gerken . THE BLACKED-OUT MIRROR (1979), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . JOURNEY (1981), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . LADIES (1983), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . FRAGMENTS OF A BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1984), poems by KJ Gerken . THE BREAKING OF DESIRE (1986), poems by KJ Gerken . FURTHER SONGS (1986), songs by KJ Gerken . POEMS OF DESTRUCTION (1988), poems by KJ Gerken . THE AFFLICTED (1991), a poem by KJ Gerken . DIAMOND DOGS (1992), poems by KJ Gerken . KILLING FIELD (1992), a poem by KJ Gerken . BARDO (1994-1995), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . FURTHER EVIDENCES (1995-1996) Poems by Klaus J. Gerken . CALIBAN'S ESCAPE AND OTHER POEMS (1996), by Klaus J. Gerken . CALIBAN'S DREAM (1996-1997), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . THE LAST OLD MAN (1997), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken . WILL I EVER REMEMBER YOU? (1997), poems by Klaus J. Gerken . SONGS FOR THE LEGION (1998), song-poems by Klaus J. Gerken . REALITY OR DREAM? (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken . APRIL VIOLATIONS (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken . THE VOICE OF HUNGER (1998), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . SHACKLED TO THE STONE, by Albrecht Haushofer - translated by JR Wesdorp . MZ-DMZ (1988), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . DARK SIDE (1991), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . STEEL REIGNS & STILL RAINS (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . BLATANT VANITY (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . ALIENATION OF AFFECTION (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . LIVING LIFE AT FACE VALUE (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . HATRED BLURRED (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . CHOKING ON THE ASHES OF A RUNAWAY (1993), ramblings by I. Koshevoy . BORROWED FEELINGS BUYING TIME (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . HARD ACT TO SWALLOW (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . HALL OF MIRRORS (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . ARTIFICIAL BUOYANCY (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . THE POETRY OF PEDRO SENA, poems by Pedro Sena . THE FILM REVIEWS, by Pedro Sena . THE SHORT STORIES, by Pedro Sena . INCANTATIONS, by Pedro Sena . POEMS (1970), poems by Franz Zorn All books are on disk and cost $10.00 each. Checks should be made out to the respective authors and orders will be forwarded by Ygdrasil Press. YGDRASIL MAGAZINE may also be ordered from the same address: $5.00 an issue to cover disk and mailing costs, also specify computer type (IBM or Mac), as well as disk size and density. Allow 2 weeks for delivery. Note that YGDRASIL MAGAZINE is free when downloaded from Ygdrasil's World-Wide Web site at http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.
All poems copyrighted by their respective authors. Any reproduction of these poems, without the express written permission of the authors, is prohibited. YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts - Copyright (c) 1993 - 2003 by Klaus J. Gerken. The official version of this magazine is available on Ygdrasil's World-Wide Web site http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken. No other version shall be deemed "authorized" unless downloaded from there. Distribution is allowed and encouraged as long as the issue is unchanged. All checks should be made out to: YGDRASIL PRESS COMMENTS * Klaus Gerken, Chief Editor - for general messages and ASCII text submissions. Use Klaus' address for commentary on Ygdrasil and its contents: email@example.com * Pedro Sena, Production Editor - for submissions of anything that's not plain ASCII text (ie. archives, GIFs, wordprocessored files, etc) in any standard DOS, Mac or Unix format, commentary on Ygdrasil's format, distribution, usability and access: firstname.lastname@example.org We'd love to hear from you! Or mailed with a self addressed stamped envelope, to: