Posts Tagged ‘Lynn’

These are the days we tell ourselves to stay in the house.

We wish for brighter days, sunlit days, days our grandmothers

would recognize. When I was a child, I spoke as a child,

but now….we long for childhood, hours spent beside the warm stove

that always produced sweetness. Should we consult the oracle or almanac,

find out the science behind these dark days? Everything ends in tears.


We do not watch the news for fear we will break down, tears

streaming down our faces, not fit to write or cook or leave the house.

Instead we consult poems as if they were oracles, we read the almanac

the way we used to read the internet. We find ourselves deciphering grandmother’s

recipes as if they are cryptograms with news on how to use the stove

to create happiness. If only it were so. We long for our time as a child,


running, running, with grass-stained knees and a red, red mouth. No child

should have to know what we know now. No, children’s tears

might result from accidents with the swing, a bee sting, a hot stove,

not an encounter with a monster who is all too real, or photos of the White House

and the horror therein. We long for another time, for the President of grandmother,

an old man with white hair, too senile to be dangerous. According to the almanac,


the End Times are not yet upon us. Let us give thanks. But no almanac

contains prophecies of the future. For that, we must consult a child,

the Dalai Lama, or an ancient rune. Remember what your grandmother

told you: If you can’t say something nice…shh! The salt in your tears

might foretell dementia or the coming of a great vision. In your house,

you have the ingredients for a chocolate cake. Look at your stove,


it could be a portal to another universe, a method of time travel, the stove

can move you through the miracle of fire. This information is in no almanac,

nor any Holy Book nor is it found in your mind. In order to live, leave the house,

find the way laid out in the sidewalk, in hopscotch trails drawn with chalk by a child.

There is no other way. As you travel, you will encounter memories, your first tears

shed into the blonde hair of a doll, or left on your mother’s shoulder. Your grandmother


is no longer of this world. You must accept that. Now you become the grandmother,

the mother, the sorcerer, teller of tales, the witch. Stir your caldron at the stove,

mix wine, the juice of lemon and orange, the blood of strawberries, your own tears,

with the strains of some old Psalm. You must survive. Consult the almanac,

plant daisies and kale and thyme. View the garden of the world as if you were a child,

craft a bed with your own hands, sew your own linens. Your body is a house.


Stitch together your tears to make an emotional almanac.

Be a grandmother, ruminating before the cold stove.

We each become a child again inside this dying house.

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Provisional City

I’ve built in my mind a provisional city

one that satisfies all my requirements

with hills covered in soft down

trees like tall, thin men


Every building gleams with tears

that reflect the joy of sunset

and children build the sidewalks

out of paper and chalk


Work is a scavenger hunt

that always ends at a park

filled with dogs that bark

and lunge, but never bite


My provisional city evaporates

every morning only to be rebuilt

in the same place day after day

like the Temple of Abundance

that is always the same

though the materials change

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Consider the Leech

Consider the leech, either with a jaw,

or not. It’s just like an earthworm, except

the leech feeds on blood. No big deal. I saw

my friend peel one from her skin as she wept.

After that, I wouldn’t swim in the lake. She

didn’t seem to mind, her skin weeping blood,

our ideas shifted a few degrees

to the East. I thought of the flood.

Why did Noah bring the leeches? Did he

believe the world needed parasites?

We don’t, though even doctors once believed

in their healing properties. We must fight

the belief that giving too much is good.

The urge to take and take is in our blood.

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There once was a girl who was blue

and she didn’t know quite what to do.

The constant spring rain

caused mold in her brain

And the sunshine felt somehow untrue.

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There’s no fool like an old fool. Does

that mean that for the young,  foolishness

is a disguise, donned like a pair of gloves

meant to conceal motive and skin? In a sense

to laugh is to dissemble, rather than

to feel something real, to feel the fool

as when we inhabit the mirth. A span

of breath expelled, the inhale that fills

the lungs again with deceit. A man

walks into a bar and asks, Where’s

the bar tender? Wait. Not a man,

a termite. No point in ducking, there’s

a punch line coming. These days I try

to be the fool, the laugh that’s not a lie.

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Over at Jim’s, across the street, they are still

asleep, but the trees dazzle, blossoms

blowing in the Sunday wind. The soft

down of grass has been culled into shape,

the dandelions removed, the pansies trained

into neat little rows. Even the maple seems

to be obeying some grand design.

In the mid-day sunlight, the greens glisten,

the yellows sparkle and pop, the oranges

blaze like dying suns, the reds bleed and bleed.

I observe Nature here, in the urban garden,

a blinded muse, a bound dancer, a slave.

I am no master.



(beginning words of each line taken from This poem.)

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Alone in a world that so cold

But when I woke up this morning

Coulda sworn it was Judgement Day

Dream if you can a courtyard

Electric word life it means

Forever and that’s a mighty long time

Girls and Boys

He died without knowing forgiveness

Instead of asking how much of your time is left

Joy– oh my private joy–


Life is just a party and parties weren’t meant to last

Maybe I’ll die young like heroes die

Now tell me what you’re gonna do

Once up a time

Paisley Park is in your heart

Questions in my life will be answered

Round and round

Sometimes it snows in April

Tell me baby where did I go wrong

U will see my point of

View– even if I have to scream

Why should you wait any longer

seX seX

You say “what have I have got to lose?”

go craZy

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this poem as my body

My head, heart shaped, a brain that rhymes

inexactly, an ache in my neck, web of tendons

muscles that constrict like hands– I only find

the collarbone loveable, its horizon unbroken,

the vulnerability of the nape, I’ll ignore the breasts

as they are functional, unremarkable, in the way

everything is: all the fat, the skin, the nodules

the bumps and sags. What about my belly

Button? Surrounded by scars, surgery, more,

let the red flesh speak itself, I won’t bore

you with facts about the uterus, half-made,

the children not thought of or feared, denied.

My knees, elephantine in crease and bone,

we will pass without comment. Leave my feet alone.

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to fast: v.

to go without, to postpone, to defer,

she fasted that she might be furthered

to hasten, to proceed quickly, to heighten,

she fasted that she might arrive

to increase, to displace, to prolong

she fasted that she might want

to hunger, to yearn, to need,

she fasted that she might desire

to bind, to fetter, to fix,

she fasted herself that she might persist

to worship, to mortify, to meditate

she fasted that she might be pure

to elevate, to seek, to pursue

she fasted that she might find

to arrive, to discover, to escape

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Lynn Poem #9

Wants (found poem)

Woody Allen said, “the heart wants what the heart wants,”

to justify man’s ways to woman. I ask, what wants

do I contain, to justify or otherwise? I want

to ask my husband what dessert he wants,

to know chocolate ice cream, who wants?

To make up my chocolate stash, because when I want

chocolate, sweet as chocolate is I want

it.  Chocolate especially on a rainy day, I want

richest chocolate, a first passion want

to drink 12 oz of chocolate milk then run one 400m lap, want

to be able to spend more time on chocolate issues, want

the depth of my love for chocolate, want

flourless chocolate cake, for instance, really want

a “chocolate” New Orleans, want

spoonfuls of chocolate, my number wants

to make sure it’s chocolate wants

The Mama wants what the Mama wants

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