waiting on the front porch

she just stood there on the front porch waiting for her will to come and get her she was packed she had a suitcase full of noble intentions she had a map and a straight face hell bent on reinvention she was learning about please and huge humilities then one day she looked around her and everything up til then was showing and she wondered how did i get here without even knowing where i was going? ~ani difranco

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Location: montreal, quebec, Canada


Saturday, November 11, 2006

3 poems for a saturday

for the real post for today, you can skip one down...but i realized i haven't posted any of my poetry in a while. it seems strange, considering that i a) belong to poetry thursday (oh? what? i'm a member? whoops!) and that b) writing's all i've ever done with my life, to the extent that i've enrolled myself in a university program to learn more about it.

the answer is truly simple...this is a place for me to figure shit out, to think about the big questions, or remind myself of beauty...my other 'work' feels so separate, somehow.
...interesting thoughts...i want to go read...

To Kate

Kate and I spend our grocery money on pedicures,
sitting in the maroon chairs at the Island Sun Spa,
pretending we are celebrities drinking coffee out of paper cups.

In the windows are dyed orchids in vases; framed
pictures of women in sunglasses, their bleached hair upswept;
piles of fashion magazines, wilting in the sun.

Kate sits, poised as porcelain, her fingers folded in her lap,
as the esthetician, a fat woman wearing pastel,
rubs her feet with the pumice stone.

We don’t talk; this is a sacred occasion,
one incensed with apple-scented fly paper,
framed by the ticking ceiling fan.

Kate dresses her toes in mango sorbet, I choose
vintage rosee; and we have our nails filed, our cuticles tucked
to a discreet distance, and then dried under lamps

and then we pay, and leave, passing Loblaws
on the way down Meadowlands, and open beers
to celebrate, sitting in our first backyard.

Later, I will wake at midnight to find Kate
eating three crackers in the dark, her arms
gleaming like the scales of whitefish on the counter.

Failed Love Affair

When we met, it was a Tuesday, and I was twenty-three,
sitting demurely on the bar stool at Darcy McGees.
There was a mean rain outside the window.

We went back to your apartment off Somerset.
You told me that from your front window, you watched
a prostitute being beaten by a policeman, how her head
sounded like fruit, hitting the hood of the car.
You poured rum and cokes for us, and we drank
side by side on your love seat,
listening to Perry Como,
until my head hurt from the sugar.

You were the first man I kissed who bit my lower lip,
who pushed me against a wall and held my wrists
as your mouth went to the freckles on my shoulder.
You whispered “you’re such a doll” into my neck,
until I felt strangled, until I felt the mask slide up,
with its clicking eyes, its rambutan eyelashes.

In the morning you made eggs with salsa for breakfast,
I set the table neatly, fussing over the placemats.
We ate quietly, alone with our earl-grey tea and hangovers,
until you said, “You know I’m never going to leave my girlfriend.

I just felt tired. My head hurt, I wanted black coffee,

I wanted to go home.

A Seizure They Call Petit Mal

I find out by falling out of bed:
the carpet on the ceiling, my tongue tripped,
hanging loosely in my throat.

My arms and legs, slackened like gunny sacks
full of soft mud, thump,
useless metronomes against the wood floor, my bed frame,
my eyes, which suddenly have blinkered minds of their own.

Then Dad rushes in, leans over me
so I can smell his sour dream breath, he calls my name
his voice slow as syrup in my ears
and I lean forward, commanded,
into his palm.

The hall light undulates around me like
an eel, a moray, some order of anguilleformes
sliding, surreptitious, clean-cut as a knife.
I perform the dance it wants, stepping with feet
gone mad with rubber,

as Dad holds my back,
and Mom, on the kitchen phone,
screams for a doctor.

I walk like this for hours, a drunken marionette,
until the room
becomes once again the clear space
with white walls,
book shelves,
a piano
standing muted in the corner.


Blogger Superhero Activist said...

You, dear, amaze me.

When you write, you WRITE. I've read two of these before, but seeing them here, with the new one, I'm amazed. Delighted to have such a talented friend to call a peer.

You have such a beauty in your words, even in the tragic ones.

I don't give compliments freely, but with these words...these images, how can I know where to begin and where to end?

It's quintessential Bee.

4:27 p.m.  
Blogger b/sistersshoes said...

Bee...good lord! You must share your poetry much more often love, it is so outstanding...all 3!
xox darlene

4:34 p.m.  
Blogger Deb R said...

I think you can have more than one "real post" a day, because these seems pretty darn real to me. :-) I love poetry where the words make pictures unfold in my head and that's exactly what yours does. I'm so glad you posted these!

8:01 p.m.  
Blogger melba said...

What a look into you, your life.
All I can say is wow.

8:01 p.m.  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

All three so very powerful in such vastly different ways. You are an incredible talent sweet Bee. Thank you for sharing yourself again.

love to you..xoxoxoxo

9:44 p.m.  
Blogger Lydia said...

Ah, the computer ate my comment-and it was so thought out! I won't write it again but just say that i think these poems are wonderful. Really. I want a whole book of you to read. The after images here are wonderful-crackers at midnight-biting lips and drinking earl grey while wishing for coffee and fruit smacking cars-amazing. The last ended like the slow awakening from madness-white walls and a piano. I'll be back.

3:48 a.m.  
Blogger tournesol said...

Your poetry is very well written, you're very talented.

10:54 a.m.  
Blogger Spiky Zora Jones said...

Hey Bee...grab your guitar and i'll get my cello. let's put music to these poems...they would make fabulous songs. and i'll get my harmonica just in case we decide to bridge with a harmonia solo. can you hear it?

Kate and i spend our grocery money
on pedicures
sitting in the maroon chairs
Ta...ta.ta...tatata...dah dahhhh.
at the island Sun Spa.

come on, give me that hollywood magazine smile...dahlink. i love these poems, they are fabulous. later babes...

2:08 p.m.  
Blogger Jessie said...

i got lost, completely, in your poems. your poetry speaks easily to me. i want to find a very thick volume of your poetry in a bookstore or on reems of paper...i could read your work all day long.

6:09 a.m.  

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