Whore in the Eddy and Other Poems

From my book Three Blocks West of Wonderland, forthcoming from Ekstasis Editions in Fall 2009

HOW TO REMAIN

How to remain
thin. Abstain. Abstain from eating
food. Calories kill
the fat rats first. If she could say No
and balance Belgian truffles
on her tongue briefly before spitting
them out, she might remain. Live
long. Enjoy fruition. By shunning
urges, she could linger—dainty as a colt’s
foot—deploying her charms raw,
dogtrotting a straddled chocolate Arabian
through mazes of lane. She could retire
to her body.

Alas, ankles thicken, braids recede,
the old mare conjured whenever she dare
look. Fight back. She may be forced to
cover the grey, yellow, but refuses to swallow
diet pills. Amphetamines in the olden days.
Dinner in the garbage rouses niggles of guilt.
She snuffles it out before Buddy can,
barfing rather than blowing
calories on fusty pizza
or molding, olive oil-sopped arugula.



WHORE IN THE EDDY

Gazes up at ballooning clouds
as if imagining
frogs. Giraffes. Corvettes and barns.
As if Neptune’s head has heard
her pleas. Sent me.
She looks like a mannequin.
As if by law of nature,
a stripped woman’s body
looks like a mannequin after it floats
to the surface in a rainforest
denuded by steam donkeys
and timber sales.
All matter from the depths
is netted by log jams.

She stares at me. Cannot see
the pebbles embedded in my knees.
Or my face, not so sweet.
No bubbles, just the stillness
of standing water. No trace DNA.
No hard earned cash.
Only cool airstreams
of aspen leaves. My grasping
hand takes hers,
skin gliding onto my fingers
like a glove. A device. We share features
any porno-masticating, regular working stiff
joe wants in his garage
between the red pickup and the Crestliner.

We watch the rim of night, a spiral arm
of stars, their slow light two million
years too late. Naked eyes decipher
Orion the hunter. Cassiopeia. Bright knots
of the Double Cluster. Mars appears.
I look the other way, to the North Star.



HABITAT

We plan, like architects
to bring the outdoors in,
parrot like realtors
the charms of a tree house,
for up on this hill,
birdsong is tangible.
We always get
what we want, camouflaged

within our mossy cabin, high
above the threshold
of discovery. Open sky.
360 degree views.
Proximity to water.
Reliable food sources. Plenty
of nesting material. Gravel flies
from under the foot of a rabbit

fleeing a resident eagle.
Ravens and stellar jays battle
over kibble, shit bomb the deck.
They want in,
past windowpanes that trick them.
Frenzied. Talons flashing,
they enter
through a door
in the firmament.

I guide them outside, stunned
at the feel of wing bones.
Banging hearts. A hummingbird goes
stillborn in the cup of my hands,
then, buzzers off, leaving a tang
in my throat, a ring
of ruby dust on my finger,
incriminating as pollen.


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