Posts Tagged ‘fictional characters’

I have no record
left of him
but the little card
announcing “Best in Show,” the remnants
cast off from his armor –
mocked out in foam and glue,
rust down from rivets
brushed like the lines
in a porcelain iris –
and the second bear I bought
to craft one of my own,
still unarmored, tagged and settling
on the sewing room shelf.
Plain plush polar guards
half-made Starbuck BDUs,
cigar-box guitar with its neck never done,
Mod Podge and mesh
cracking in a frame, their failed
screen transferring only five
illegible heroines,
bird-white stream onto cornflower cotton.
My intentions snowflake-drifted,
collected until the chasms’ crusts
crumbled with their weight.

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Anne and Jo

Inkwells, blots, drafts
in the fire,

impulse to vault the split
rail like a boy at the first

suggestion of the question ahead,
at the enveloping wait for an answer.

Refusals bubble like leavening,
like a simmering stock, like a spring,

like the resilience of a still
pond under rain

as its silt lifts, drifts,
rests and roots.

The books will keep.
The bread will rise.

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To Pockets

Like the shell
of a blue crab just
past molt they cradle
my hands, bind my skittering
fingers until each one can only quiver
like a newly exposed heart
that tries to hide behind the gills.

My pockets carry treasure like secrets
humming in the folds
of my throat, buoyed by breath
until they’re called to show themselves.

Tucked in are needful and forgotten things.
Birthday presents. Memories.
My restless hands. My knife.
A piece of string, or nothing.

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A century gone
out and back,
regular as breathing –
deep-sleep breathing
like clockwork ticking
out our dreams, while
we await the wakening
that follows fallen villain,
scythe through brambles.

Packed in with me
are years disguised
as months and maybes.
Memories. A life deferred
on an off chance and
a persistent hope.

Thirty or ninety or never,
we levee against
both time and distance,
the stretch of decades,
the swell of moments,
the patience at the prow.

For now I’ll build an us
for both of us,
enough of us to keep
the navigation true,
my brief view the switch
between the blank of space,
the promise of blue.

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A slippery sage,
like butter left too long
in the refrigerator,
then too long out,
ferrying found flavors
into a pool that
advances over plate
like a cautious army
sure its spread
will leave its captured
ground untended.

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I want water hauled in wood,
stone stairs, a choice
between sticks and floor, to bloody
knuckles knowing
I could punch my way from a coffin.

I want cruel tutelage,
vendetta and a yellow tracksuit.

In the loneliness of my side,
in the wake of broken oaths,
I want to hear the bamboo fill
and empty at the last
look across the snow,
to be a lioness, to always win
the fight and call him mine.

(Bang, bang.)

On the striped green strip
between window and weights,
while the trainer counts to five and back,
I lift hips and hold, grit against serrated turf.
Given the choice between delivery
and death, I think, I’d choose to die.


Liner note

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In memory of Elisabeth Sladen

Inevitable as invasion
of mint through the rose,
ivy crowding out the mortar:
the moment of companion left behind,
every instant after buckling
under fragrant weight of stem and vine
rooted in a deep transcendence of time.

Unpullable tenacity,
from under leaf and stolon to decide
to love an absence from next week and yesterday,
from the outer fling of time and space, and say,
“I can save the universe without you.”

Yet, processions of moments still precess,
the thread of time,
the hedgerow trained in vine,
all spiral out, undone.  The instant of companion gone
beyond the reach of age: inescapable
as mint usurping rose,
ivy undermining wall,
inevitable as invasion.

Liner note

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