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spider's versions 1-3
Katydid clings on midnight porch rail
confused by her afternoon-sized shadow
she wonders what happened to the morning
hides in a dark corner
tries to sleep it off
~11:07 pm spider whispers to poetess~
just tell them to go outside
read it for themselves
skip the middle man
poem-hustler who hawks
desiccated translations like flies
wrapped with invisible wire
go on, tell them
the spider has all the juice
states mapped in dark slate patterns
of the flagstone porch
Hawaii nestles under Arkansas' arm
and a concrete river cuts between
Tennessee and Utah
New Hampshire and Vermont remain inseparable
they always fit together
A cricket hops in search of a legend
to deliver him to Jersey
Black beetles circle
confused by conflicting signs
to "Wall Drug" and "South of the Border"
which seems to have been moved North
Spider and Katydid look down from white paint heavens
sticky feet above it all
Safety strapped and counter balanced,
the centrifuge spins the dark, densest parts
down to her secured feet.
He pulls the lever until friction
slows the rotation to a stop
then snaps off each one of her toes.
Like vitamins, he grinds them
between his teeth.
They taste of kohl and mercury,
copper, almonds, red wine.
Even before the swallow
blood thins and begins its return
to numb extremities.
With vertigo vision she watches him
and return to blank canvas.
He paints her titanuim white.
Sidekick Camille never seemed to mind
playing dog, pony and the village idiot
who always winds up
on the soft side of the pie.
He finds her in the troupe wagon
under a blanket of black body suits and
baggy Chaplin pants in sizes of girls past.
As usual he requires a drumroll introduction
for his record-holding cock that disappears
like magic into many dark spaces.
Camille knew, despite the choking finger grip
and cruel disregard for dryness
it was good he was here. At least here
he could only pick up the generous gifts
already delivered to her:
itching bugs with sticky white eggs,
aching disease poured down like poison to
sinful parts in a communal wrath of god.
Yes, better here than in the town's hunting ground
with the local push-up slut disguised as lady
Beg your pardon, Sir.
But with just a short drive down the river
strings loosen and formalities drop
like panties in the mud.
Head hanging from passenger door
she takes his trick cock down her open throat,
no longer surprised by such intrusion.
Up on the hood, open wide and pre-primed,
invites him full on plus two fingers.
Camille submerges into shallow sleep,
waiting for cramps to signal the inevitable splatter
of cum-softened stool and retch of gin-flavored bile.
Bucket between her feet, she empties herself of him
from both ends at once, remembering how mother
held her hair, rubbed her back.
Okay Camille, okay baby.
she paints her best Marcel Marceau face,
rolls the drum to announce
the next greatest thing.
I wait for you to show me
the best rocks for building
a bridge across the creek.
We select the large flat ones
for easy balance and step,
but I know it is a favor, this slip
that takes my suede into cool water.
Whenever I get homesick
I find a small Piedmont stream to walk through.
They are all pretty much the same,
a shale bottom slippery with sediment
and algae, tadpoles that hide
among fallen branches, minnows
that do not know which way to dart
to escape this stomping creature
that disturbs the waters. They wind up
figure eighting in opposite directions
before organizing a dart behind the rocks..
It is pretty much the same everywhere.
Gnats fall into the bright lure of my notebook,
the fish get bigger and fewer
as the water deepens.
You must have been in this stream
at some time, its cool waters still sting the fresh
bramble scratches on our legs,
trees hang on with roots
and not much new ever happens.
nothing moves except this river
that defends its borders
on a relentless patrol
three ferns hold their green
arthritic knees of sycamore bend
around rocks of the eroded river bank
roots gasp for soil
unburied alive, gnarled fingers
claw the air
you don't need a weather man
pass the butter
save the salt for superficial wounds that we groom
like so many (primates) before us
slap tack and
tickle the blue from your sky
don't ask me how I do it
baby don't ask me why
mother was a war funk silent skirt
let's re-invent her, amplified
with girly legs all
into this hard edged
suit case with marimba
mallets & flame resistant
brassiere. She drives me
a w a y
you know how to find me
stepping out the answer
how do you do what you do when you do that thing to me?
hardwood tree rings--
c o u n t b y s e v e n t e e n s
you got your poem
you do not need my needle point
or wind farm rooster,
just a skyward index finger and
you know when Mary will be back
tapping out the roof top weather report,
spit dry evaporation cooled,
I know you have seen me walk away before
with my svelt side step
eel skin bound
set out, propped up by reputation
he makes a note:
onion skin eyelids filter more
when open wide.
pupil slits narrow
and tongue flicks the air
for a taste of pressurized jasmine
that sends the masked signal,
there is nothing worth biting here
and certainly, it is a well known fact,
verse bound in eel skin
stands more of a chance
of being fondled by lady fingers
that linger over perpendicular lines,
upright and leather tight
straight to reptilian brain.
she makes a note:
to thick skin a bite is as good
as a kiss...
his finger holds his place
as he traces fragrant verse
tattooed on the inside of translucent skin
stretched tight over the hollow of her back.
With degrees and a former career if science, education and instructional
technology, Jennifer now does volunteer work while raising her two children
in addition to writing poetry, creating digital photography and producing
the web-based journal of visual and literary arts, Mannequin Envy.
Living in Baltimore, Jennifer takes advantage of the many benefits of city
life, but also enjoys camping and hiking in the Maryland woods, climbing
waterfalls, skipping stones and attempting to lure songbirds into her tiny
yard. She has found many good homes for her poetry and art in print and
on-line. For more samples, visit http://home.comcast.net/~the_editors/
Jennifer can be contacted at: jkvanburen@comcast or through www.mannequinenvy.com
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