poetry

the birth of lowercase and a ditty for shmummy     

in seventeen or eighteen minutes a single ray of light ransacked the balding lawn around back and shmummy was kicking lowercase out.  

 

lowercase tried like heck not to tear through shmummy’s muddy surface as she pushed, laced her toes through a slat between her ribs, curled her double-jointed pinkie around her kidney.  

 

as shmummy stopped for an irked breath while a hefty aunt who smelled like chicken cutlets massaged her feet, lowercase plopped an eyeball against that stench and scrutinized her future: 

 

pea-green table legs, empty carton of temptee cream cheese, crocheted doll-head toilet cover cozy, and a paint by number of the last supper hanging above the hifi in the dining room.

 

eviction pressed on. shmummy pushed with the force of an orca, blew a bloody vessel in her right eye and grunted through the sateen bedspread stuffed into her mouth like a gag.  

 

but when lowercase slipped on shmummy’s torment and squelched through a molassesy sadness that saw no end­­­––shmummy was pissed. she inhaled lint and cat fur from the sea of shag carpet, and exhaled the lay-z-boy with the broken lever.  

 

the force was too much. lowercase never wanted out. she grabbed and grabbed and held nothing. she clawed without claws, without bones, without muscles, and held nothing.

 

lowercase busted a tiny gut trying not to upset ol’ shmummy, and soon enough this tug and pull became their song.

first appeared in great weather for MEDIA

sunflowers remain's

 

sunflower’s remains

 

the season of lava and anguish

is gone, and she is nothing

but feathery husk. 

 

l.c. sweeps the porch. 

a light spray of frost 

crosses rotting boards, 

and there she is,

everything on mum’s face

eaten, half-eaten. she has

finally become the uncolor 

 

l.c. desires; if only gray or soot 

could fully describe this. 

if only l.c. could have been there 

as each incisor pierced, sunk, 

her fairness giving in, her sepals 

bucking, the horror of the clouded light. 

 

l.c. stops sweeping to hold her.

mum’s crisp head warbles

on a tress of shriveled wheat.

l.c.’s fingers whiten, thunder into numb, 

 

and with this raw unfelt  

she will edge into every fissure 

of autumn until the weeping begins.

first appeared in Permafrost

 

the orange,

the orange 

 

sits on her dashboard

it has been there for 1 week

 

it has become a slouch, a pucker, a color lowercase doesn’t know, a demented tangerine, an explosion of magenta-rot, odorless and cold, a burst of citrus-vein, a flabby dimpled ass, a cup of stringy soup

 

the orange sits on her dashboard

it has been there for 2 weeks

 

it is trying to say something meaningful, losing pocks by the millisecond, giving her bad advice about bed skirts, drowning in regret, leaving her again and again, ignoring her puffy eyes, moving to a different state, slobbering down the dash, no longer sweet or round or there for her  

 

the orange has packed its things in a mini-valise, hitchhiked to ocala, and refuses to forward its new address

first appeared in The Boiler