Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shelley's Last Word

Now smile said the cameraman as I puckered up my lips
I did my level best, but I'm telling you dear reader, hanging high over ground
With a shepherd's hook levitating me by my clothing
Did not afford much comfort. Hallelujah, baby!
The shot was snapped and I could drop down to stage
Except the pulleys were tangled and I was stuck

A dozen feet looks more like a hundred when stuck
in mid-air. My shirt hung askew, my lips
turned blue as the dutch boy paint that the stage
crew was using on the set. Green for ground
and blue for sky. Simple-pimple, baby!
I was ready to squeal like a stuck pig as my clothing

began to rip. That's one way to make a scene san clothing.
But not one that I wanted to make. "Hey, I'm stuck!"
I yelled. Then Arden Mulski howled, "I can see your baby
fat!" I leveled him a stare to grow hair above his lip
if he'd been man enough to do it. Little blob on the ground.
But he had one over me, he was standing on the stage

while I hung like a treed kite. A real stage-
hand saw my predicament, my rapidly ripping clothing,
and raced to the control pit underground.
"No worries," she hollered, "I'm flipping the switch--stuck!
I'll be jiggered, it's stuck!" I saw her lips
mouth words that even a baby

would blush to hear. The pulley shifted, O sweet baby,
and I tilted, head now aimed straight at the stage
and a cold breeze fanning cheeks not attached to my lips.
Into the theater walks a Romanesque Zeus, his clothing,
but a toga, a prop from another play. I am dumb, stuck
like a mute, wordless, beguilded. From the ground,

he looks up, chuckles and says, "Feet not touching the ground
when I walk by, huh? Happens all the time, babe."
His narcissistic words unpeeled my helpless, stuck
brain. I twisted and grabbed the rope, pulled the stage
crew's attention as they admired my amassed strength. Clothing
notwithstanding, I looked like a cougar with ruby lips.

A thick pad was produced and I stuck the landing as I grounded
myself center-stage. My lips curled upward. "Baby?"
I said to Mr. Aztec. Upstaging him and his clothes, I riposted, "Call me M'am."

Prompts for January 20, due January 26:

The story needs to take place somehow off the ground.
Include an Exposition in your story
Use the words: level, amass, dutch, and hallelujah
Someone needs to do something non-verbal with his or her mouth such as hiccup, cough, sneeze, your choice

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thirteen Ways of Looking at God

Among multifarious gods,
The only one offering an invitation
Was the God of Grace.

I was of one mind,
split like a trident
Into past, present, and future.

The Savior story piggybacks and
Assimilates, eager to stand out.

A shaper and a specter
Are one.
A shaper and a specter and a Nazarene
Are one.

Test me not for I can not chose
To live in corporeal presence
Or to strive for the ether
To drink dandelion tea
Or imbibe celestial wine.


Rainbows, full circles, when
Viewed from the other side.
Promises given, but no more
No blood of the Lamb.
No unleaven bread.


Your opulence shields you
From the starving Calcutta waif.
Your nescience portends
A future spent in purgatory.


Brass coins, bells,
The slender neck of an oud
All sing in unison
But you are the
Ultimate rhythm.


When god remained entombed,
Even Peter fell silent.
Interspersed with his denials.


At the sight of god
Ascending on golden stairs
Even the double-tongued pharisee
Bent to prophetic omens.


His donkey stepped to Egypt,
Hiding even his scent from Herod.
Once, a leper touched him
Believing in miracles.
He received nothing less.


The throngs are praying.
God transcends.


It was twilight his entire life.
Dusk prevailed
And did not abate.
God lingered until dawn
When the sun rose.

Earthly Beliefs

There's a few things about me that are beautiful,
but you don't know them. First, I live on this Earth
as a human being, but before I lived here, my friends,
I was an angel. Maybe I ended up here because of lust.
Lusting to eat Braeburns or to hold small, furry animals.
I'm not sure, but lust is powerful. Look it up at the library.

The name of the street where I live is Library
Lane. Down the block, on mornings replete with beautiful
sunshine, I walk to that reverential place, spying animals
along the way. Believe me. Look it up on Google Earth
if you are too incredulous. Some people actually lust
after the name of my street, but not my friends.

Second, I find that I am lonely for friends.
Again, that might be hard to believe and no library
book will confirm it, but I am lonely. I lust
for deeper friendships with souls that are beautiful.
When looking for friends, this small world becomes a giant earth,
which no ship can traverse. And friendless, we act like animals.

The irony is, I am the cruelest of all animals.
So if you can, please send me a legion of friends.
Third, although I am a Christian, I love this Earth;
its splendid woven sky and manufactured libraries
and synogogues, all of it is exquisite. All is beautiful.
Yes, I know. Love not the world for the world is lust,

but if so, then I dive into the glories of earthen lust
as the pious dive into earthen vessels. God made animals
the same as me. Why spurn the handwork, the beauty
that is the Lord's? Instead we ought celebrate, friends,
how perfect Life is. Pour out of your churches, your libraries,
your Starbucks and sing praises of our planet Earth.

Fourth, I believe there is no other Earth
like this one, but that there is drudgery and lust
and salvation in abundant measure. In the Library
of the Universe, I believe we can verify even animals'
souls. Don't be fooled by others, not even your friends
who decry notions like mine. Know that you are beautiful.

It is written in God's library that this very Earth
contains redeemable life, both beautiful and lustful,
both animal and human. Read it in the Book, dear friends.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Crack Baby

Larry's lips form a circle as he blows
a smoke ring into Keleigh's pasty grey
face. Coughing, she opens the window a crack
to breath in the frosty air. It is winter
although no snow has yet fallen.
Larry's bright eyes dance with a song

playing on the radio. "What the name of that song?"
he says. Kel shrugs, "Give me a puff; quit blowing
dry air at me and give." Her resolve has fallen,
like her grades and her hopes, into a grey
pulp of ashes. She looks out the window into the wintry
sky. She feels as if her heart will crack

like a pumpkin after Halloween, crack
like her voice when she sings a song
that's too high, crack like the first ice in winter
when she steps gingerly on its glass. Blown,
Keleigh has blown her chances. When she's grey-
haired and wrinkled, she'll look back on this fallen

day and ache like a mother bird whose chick has fallen
out of the nest, too young to fly. The shell cracked
but the wings still folded. Its only hope is its grey
plumage to cammoflage it in the dirt. No song
sings from bird's beak or woman's heart. No blowing
winds of hope lift either spirit. It is winter.

Larry hands her the pipe, "Here's your woolie, you winter-
strawberry." Keleigh cradles the pipe, looks at her weightless, fallen
man. Abruptly she wants neither the screw nor the crack. "Blow
it yourself; I don't want your Love," she says with a voice that cracks.
"Bitch," he breathes and turns up the radio. Wainwright sings a song
while strumming his guitar, in his nasal twang, "When it's grey

in L.A., I sure like it that way..." "Effing country, all gloom and grey
music, that sh..." Larry starts, but looks at Kel glowing in winter
white shimmer, winter white glory. Humming a new song.
"What the hell...", but his voice whiskers away, falls
into silence, like snowflakes at night. He cracks
his pipe on the counter, sneers, then takes one more blow.

Each bird sings its own song, flies on its own grey wings.
Battered by the blows of wind and the bitter breath of winter,
the timid become lost. Fallen feathers sift between the cracks.