Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuesday Poem: an earlier version published by Poetpourri in 1994

One Summer I Read 

A Biography of Emily Bronte

And suddenly I noticed
the ornamental cabbages
penned up too close
to the houses, their ferocious
color, their variegated heads
crenellating gorgeously
despite their captivity.
The fences around them are
just a little too high,
so that they have to
stretch on precarious stems
to be seen, or to see out.

Their leaves show such largesse,
reaching out to one another,
trying to hold hands across the mulchy
darkness, as if it threatened to
swallow them whole.

And they take the frost,
like troopers, holding firm to
that ethereal companionship
as long as they can, 
despite the worms
living inside them,
the slow hollowing
that leaves them feeling
like shells caught in their longing
for the ocean, a whisper
that echoes a roar.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday Poem: previously published by The National Library of Poetry in 1992

The Biggest Apple

grew far from Eden,
the tree that bore it
stunted from too many prunings.

No one watered or fed the soil around it
and yet this one fruit ballooned out
big as a baby's head

and tenacious enough
to cling to its stem through a hurricane.

The tree held it out like a lantern,
this single ridiculous pippin
brilliant as Einstein.

The tree said, Here,
here are all my dreams
enclosed in one glowing skin.

May this opus that no one
expected from me
light your way.

Forgive me if it’s not sweet enough.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Previously published by The Nerve: a Writing Women Anthology, in 1997

During His Lectures He Notices

that her back is a straight garden 
wall from which the breasts
cascade like clusters of heavy blossoms.

He imagines God's head resting 
there on the startling blue of her dress,
God's hand that sweats
and wrinkles what covers her thighs.

His eyes follow her pencil.
How lightly she holds it, how she resists
putting his gray interpretations across
the white expanse of her notebook.

White. White moons in her nails. 
White sliding down a sheer stockinged leg.
Her shoe like a narrow 
black canoe with a bow:
he will take her across 
the lake of his desire some day soon.

He will begin to plead with her on paper:
Without you, he will write,
I am the soul of a rat, 
a crimson abnegation.
Without you -- nothing 
but a hammer
striking the Pieta, shit
on the head of the Buddha.