Here we go gathering mush in May–Chapbook selections

This string of mushy, confessional poems, written during my ’30 something’ years, follow a pattern of longing, lust, love, and letting go—and repeat; this may sound familiar. But what did I know then—what do I know now about the biochemistry of desire and despair? These poems were influenced by a set of female poets that included: Parker, St. Vincent Millay, Erica Jong, McGinley, Angelou, Moore, Wylie, Levertov, & Teasdale…. Hope I haven’t committed too many rhyme crimes! I read countless male poets as well—everything from Shakespeare to Brautigan (Trout Fishing), however, when it came to succinctly capturing the anguish of lust/love and everything in-between, the women poets went to the heart of the birds n’ bees, flowers & trees, and a thing called love… Which poets inspire you?

PURPLE HEARTS
She had a particular propensity
For the color purple–
Pansies and violets and lilacs grew
In wild profusion, in pretty purple hues;
Garments in her closet, sang of purple shades:
Lavender lovely, marvelous mauves,
Damson and crimson, and azure dawns.

Rings on her fingers, rang with amethyne love,
While the puce on her pale eyelids,
Prophesized the perfect plum she was.

In a magenta margin she endured,
Many blue days, red and sore;
And bruised, a brilliant bloom,
Then dyed, a final faded flame
For an iridescent heart
She could not purple stain.

THE CATCH
The time we spend apart
Is like sitting at the bottom of a lake;
Occasionally I bob to the top
To check for your hook, or
Rise to your bait.

But I get so very hungry
I begin to think
Even a fish would taste good;
I throw myself a line
And I write.

Mostly I write squiggly worms
And wads of yeasty bread,
Though every now and then
I write a prize of a fly,
And cast off loneliness.

It’s hard to hold ones breath
And watch the world above
Sitting at the bottom of a lake
(Though I love the water so),
Waiting, waiting to be hooked
Never letting go.


PILLOWS BETWEEN US
Such soft, feathery things…
Isolating dreams, politely dividing
This bed; while
Comfortless blankets on designing sheets
Hold the warmth we keep
From each other.

Traitor’s our toes—that frequently touch and
Occasionally exchange pleasantries;
Yet too cowardly are
To cross enemy lines, and officially
Will be the first, to march us on
To other sheets, other beds,
Other pillows of unrest.

Shall we listen to our feet
Which bear our weight and faintly hear
Our pillowed beat, or
Smother all with a cushioning?

Never mind—just
Pillow me softly as you go
Let it be morning before I know
Your love has fled, and there be—just
Pillows between me in this bed.

The Operatta
Overture:
The furious fanfare
Of a full scale downpour
Banged and hammered
Raged on and
Slapped the streets
Outside the restaurant
Where we’d agreed to meet.
We ordered wine
A bottle each;
And sipped our fates
Mutually relieved.
There was little to say—
Anyway, beyond the drapes
The storm spoke
With purposeful eloquence.
Crescendo:
While we drank I
Unobtrusively watched you
Orchestrating a glance
From a girl in a chair;
I wanted to blurt
Bravo! I approve.
But I didn’t know
What octave to use.
Intermezzo:
Playing on within our souls,
Were old familiar sighs
Which I suppose resembled
The jagged, gutted skies;
And were accompanied by
A stiff rustling of sheets,
The drying sound of ink
And a dwindling drip of rain.
Finale:
Our glasses empty,
Our futures free
We parted on a note
Of flattest courtesy,
And separately hurried outside.
As we walked into the mist,
I uncomposedly called “What if?”
The rain replied
In symphonies of misery
And a single splash of fortitude.

Or it might have gone another way…

The Picnic, Part I
The air is beginning to sweeten
And I with my wine am beginning to weaken
The sun’s slipping so quietly on
Soon, the others all will be gone
I’ll be alone with memories of you
Mirages and memories I flow into.

The Picnic, Part II
Love came in at the lips—the sound—the sight—the touch
Almost more than I could bear—and seldom ever enough
Such simple rites—as morning mists of rain—
A glance at a ghost of a face—or zephyr like breeze
Brought you, in phantom form—to me again and again.

Years have passed—since our picnic—our feast
Yet still I pour the sweet intoxication of your memory
And lay the blanket under the tree
Devouring the thick, deep nonsense
Of a love so strong–as to put
A picnic summer heart in me year long.

She Rises
Tabasco hot
Smart as a magic eight ball
Unknowable as a Rorschach ink blot

Anxious as a new mother of twins
Hurried as a green lights’ jealous gleam
Blue blooded, supple as a surging stream
Snaking underground;
Light snaps from fingertips
Satin shudders near bare skin
Air cleaned by meteor showers

Find her there, the corner of
Infidelity and libido
Just after dark—when
The Dow goes down
She goes to work.

Stay tuned for more heart felt poems, and ditties from my Chapbooks: A Year of Drinking Dangerously and Velcro Arms—Teflon Heart. I’m blown away by the poems I’ve been reading by other WordPresser’s—keep channeling the inner essence of your being!