Is this you?

quote-i-said-wouldn-t-it-be-nice-instead-of-having-these-women-fight-with-each-other-over-men-which-jennifer-beals-13767

Portrait of man and two women in orchard --- Image by © Robert Recker/Corbis

Is it you?

the girl who knows lustful eyes are on her back

is it you?

talking to your female friends

when a man enters

you reveal your choice every time

the man comes first

women only afterward

is it you?

thinking they don’t notice

when your eyes drift

from female conversation

to a man’s deeper tone

as if attention were garnered toward

the male of the species alone

don’t you see? you put down women

with every favor you give a man over

she

and whilst you may say

no that’s not true I am an equal opportunist

an observer will note

the change and variance of your attention 

you are a creature of men

owned by their regard

choosing them first in every scenario

sadly undermining

the worth of women

it is surely what lets us down most

the value we place on each other

being less than the other gender

call me an old embittered dyke

biased in her choice

if you need to

but truth speaks

louder than worship

and I must ask

is this you?

Third time lucky

006-alfred-eisenstaedt-theredlist

The proverb

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Was in my mind when

I chose to forgive a third time

it was easy to say “if you hurt me again”

fill in the blank

but promises only matter if the person intends

to keep them

with your borderline posed to strike

it was impossible to calculate

if I would be cast again into fire

the only chance

how I chose to see the play

sacrifice the Pawn

save the Queen

it’s not that I’m especially important

but cruelty

cruelty is perhaps the last sin

unforgiving as karma

shows you the way out

you didn’t know it was only you I forgave

the other one who scratched I cast

far into the ocean

didn’t need their infernal clamor

they, just wreckage from a bad storm

I unfortunate to pass by at the wrong time

you were different

there was always something in the depth

of your eyes and quiet strength

yes I confess

I wanted not to lose you

but I could have said the same

when my mom closed the door quietly

packed her bags and went

see, you think you have me figured

maybe you do

aside one element I keep pretty tight

I’m stronger than even I know

it’s what happens when you get used to

let-downs

when you came and went third time and said

I don’t believe in you anymore

I don’t trust you

I think you’re shit basically

in the clear light of day I could see

this wasn’t about me

this wasn’t factual

sometimes others will believe

oh you must have something to do with it

just as the shallow person who told me

you’ve got a track record of being left

tried to leave her barb

what did she with her haikus know

of patterns? she needed rules to write

I had fucking wings

now she’s just

a taste in my throat I want to spit out

I grew up then when I learned

accusations may sting

but they’re not truth and those

who are weak enough to seize upon them

are just fools

with hypocrisy in their veins instead of blood

but you were different

you were my sister of the plains

we shared French blood

I admired you

it wasn’t enough

you cannot force someone to feel

or undo the damage wrought

in their mind before you met

it’s only necessary that you know

when it’s not because of you

which can be hard if you’re prone to guilt

that’s how we grow and develop armor

perhaps we won’t even trust

the next person who comes up

palms flat

asking for succor

or perhaps we will

because to shut the door

hurts only

the one who is left standing

when you tried to blow her down

erase her

when you hated yourself so much

you had to try to destroy

the mirror image

who refused

to shatter

stubbornly she still reflects

what you hate

about yourself and

what she loves

about you

Joanna

56akpbgJoanna

I never knew your last name

Benjamin wanted you more

than he ever wanted me

for your madeline face and framing water fall

of black hair

Joanna

as thin as if you only ate thought

your knees could not hold together you

came apart like a dearticulate doll

everyone felt so sorry for your ragged sorrow

though no one knew why

looking perpetually like you would cry

a Picasso blue girl of faraway gaze

Joanna

if I had not envied you the heart of a boy

who had bewitched my own, or felt your ability

to balance upside down on monkey bars

making you superior in the rules of horse chestnuts and marbles

I may have seen the threadbare grief in your eyes

how from the hollows came the cry

it is apparent now in a way a child refuses

blowing her rage with swollen cheeks

as if temper lost her place in a world of shut doors

why wasn’t I kinder to you?

why did I try to compete when all you wanted

was respite from the terror of being

Joanna

Felix (part of the memory series)

0f43a8692e2f903f820b1a40a7add30cHelix boy

green was the color of your insight

you thought you could trust the girl who stood by your side

before your fame

and you were right

my back made a good drawing board and I knew the rules to

Dungeons & Dragons

when you called leaning out of your window in Earls Court

watching the washateria fold n’ smooth in your Judge Dread shirt

you’d ask me questions you didn’t let others hear

why are we here? what’s it all about?

we were philosophers in children’s suits

fame struck you as an unnatural quill

you learned and you unlearned playing base

with the rigidity of adults rules

some days you fit in like a diamond in the rough

Jewish boy with a blonde quiff and James Dean turn-ups

other times it felt all wrong that’s when you’d call

tell me ordinary things so I can come back down to earth you’d ask…

let’s listen to telegraph wires buzzing in the night

the B side of that Springsteen LP where he

refers to love and madness, escaping down a dark road with chains

terraced and quiet in our honeycomb middle

breathing the air of normalcy and my dad’s bad cooking

switching the globe of the world on to illuminate dark

in our Batman PJ’s a joint under the pillow

what you didn’t know what I never told

you held me up when I was drowning

it was the tender of your soul that you recognized

pain and didn’t shy away

even in the show-biz world of false and fakery

they may say oh he’s just a player who has no scruples

different woman every week, he’s just like the rest

I could dispute that if we bothered to believe idle talk

I saw your heart

beat

one night

when I told you I couldn’t go on

and you said

yes

yes you can

I’ll show you how

and we planned our revenge

in pretend knots until the sun rose

and school began

vanquishing dreams of

escape and super heroes

That made us three

wdfgI did not question my worth

I did not say stop this is not necessary

ego needs no increase

it is not an egg to crack and drizzle

leaving bright stain on good intention

we lived

on the breath work of shared emotion

they loved me and I knew

where afterward I could not duplicate

in any drawer in any sea

as if all the stones that made us three

were thrown too far out

a necklace reliant upon string

to loop meaning

 

she became an actress

of a stage for one

and he

continued to wander

until he ran out of doors

and I

gave away my legacy

and my dancing shoes

thrice mended, never substantive

we all of us turned to leather

under a foreign sun

wondering

what became of those three souls?

who linking arms

laughed with heads up high

thinking all the time in the world

was theirs to choose

(for D & J)

Frozen music

16003205_1833113303616542_7912161581201337846_nThe ice storm

swallowed sound

as suddenly as calm was lost

trees became music

weighed with the tongue of cold

if there is one time I should think

letting go and lying down

to bathe in clarinet wonder

it would be after ice

has swept clear our pretense

that we are in control

that our little lives are not

at best

fragile

liable to

freeze and thaw

by the whim of storm

Steady in the walk

xxxxxWhen she was very young

younger than the reborn

who climb out of shell

lick themselves shellac

for fear of bombs

before those days

in a cradle among men

the oracle told her

you are thursdays child

doomed it seems to go far

the road will not always be there

to see among weeds

at times

crows will fly down

try to peck out your eyes

at times

the sun will bake you still

in mid-stride

at times

your heart will be shredded

and make a good meal

on desert floor

for pudding you will bake yourself soft

open up your latched doors

for night to sweep clean

such your journey will seem

endless and sharp

like climbing through thorns

touching your blood

as it writes out the will

fate has bequeathed those

unable to stand still

every once in a while

a friend will offer you shelter

sit you near to the harth

bandage your hurt

do not forget

those who protesth loudest

are often spliced souls

seeking revenge like tempting

mirage beckons hungry traveler

however much you may seek

this gentle solace

it comes with a price

take off the journey and inherit

their destruction

better you stay on the road

act as you are treated

for death in rehearsal

makes soldiers of the acursed

soon they will sink into sand

you will find yourself

with those who remain

holding your hand

steady in the walk

Dominique

photo-2They took away the girl

everyone would bend to touch

her shiny black hair and

brown skin looking like

peaches had feasted inside her DNA

they took her to Hollywood

after a month put her in private school

because the crips and the bloods

fought over her peaches

she turned instead to

white powder and a fine gram

of friendship

her letters became erratic

once she called at 3am

I’m in town

qua? qua? you mean the city?

Yes I’m here! Can you see me?

It’s 3am, where are you?

I’m at the house of some band, they’re number 2 in the charts, I can’t remember I can’t remember

the line went dead

like a cat leaning in to lick its fur

once when working behind a bar

mixing paltry tips and bad cocktails

she came by, her eyes all moon-glazed

with three stingy young men

who looked like they could

bathe more frequently

we hugged and she still smelt

of patchouli and faraway loss

my chest ached

meet me at the party she said

waving with her finger tips

like a starlet biting into pomegranate

I knew she wouldn’t go

turning up wearing my best

pretending my old shoes were new

most of the band

snorting off each others wrists

like cats with cream

I asked

have you seen Dominique?

they offered me a line and said

who?

 

I ran away from camp with a girl

called Selene, the child of an

Italian Viscount

after I called my grandma reverse charge

from the countryside pub

he came up with his chauffeur

thanked me for getting his daughter out

offered me a ride home

my father asked

how do you know those kinds of people?

 

a week later she called

we have someone in common

you know Dominique?

you mean the girl with peaches in her

cheeks?

I grabbed my keys

we met outside as the sun went down

Selene was the kind of girl

Dominique would mooch off

I had nothing to give

my hands were too wide

my shoulders freckle

I didn’t look good with bare legs

or see-through tops

they danced near the stage

like two jars of honey

I knew then I’d watch from afar

girls like Dominique marry

stars and future heirs

still unfulfilled looking for the

next train to take them away

out of their pain

that’s why she always calls

early morning before

the sun has risen

in the same voice

sounding like all the records we played

until they crackled

under scratches

she laughed in her whiskey tone

I stole a rich man’s wallet

I’m calling on his Gold Card

we can talk until the sun comes up

in your part of the world