As A Child I Did Childhood Things 

As a child

I did childhood things

I packed a small bag of clothes

A journal, my one-eyed doll

and fled from war

The fireworks popped houses off the streets

Shattered and exploded

I hide among the debris

When I was raped and beaten

I was the cold mud and the roots

beneath my body, rustic roads

The maggots of the dead were my citizens

The worms, the trains

My blood, the smoke from the chimneys

In the darkness of the ghetto street

I was a ninja in a forgein land

guarded by red branches hiding

as the gun shots ran on window glass

I snuck across the ground under abandoned cars

hid behind old burnt out homes

Flipped over piss stained mattress

A child with missing sneakers

had penny candy by his side

with a bullet in his brain

So I took his candy and savored the sweetness

as I hid in a mulberry tree until the hungry blue

zombies came and went

When my belly was swollen and empty and my back

bare I was a monkey girl and searched

for apple’s and pears and blackberries and goose berries

I scavenged wild morel mushrooms and dandelions and greens

I sucked up tiny green sour grapes

I climbed and swung

when I found a fruit I’d eat

the core and worms and all

If I fell and got bloodied, I hid it

It was a curse.  I didn’t limp

When I found nothing to eat

And a warm AK 47 in my hands

I was a great hero

when I killed the hawk men

and freed my homeland

The people would throw me a feast of roasted

venison and turkey and pies and cakes

With juices and butter and sweet red wines

with songs and dances with large walls and warm fires

I’d have a dry warm safe bed one day,

I would have people, I dreamed as I aimed into battle

felt the sting and pound of the ground

And my fallen brothers coming at me

In the winter snow with frozen toes inside plastic bags

I was the first to explore so far north

I followed the smell of bear and stole into old ice caves

I made a house under the great pines

broke the ice and fished with my hair and beer can

I followed the river and stole north

I stole bitter acorns from squirrels

when I found a dead thing it did not go to waste

Covered in scraps of lost artifacts

I was the last of my exploration party

My one armed doll chewed and rotten

my journal wet and dirty showed the map of my trail

well beyond where dragons or fairies ever go

I pushed on until the trail softened underfoot,

There I stepped into sinking brown mud

grasping for the first of wild leeks,

with rocks in my in mouth

I was beaten with bondage

I was warrior captured

forced to labor for the enemy

I would not shame self by crying out

When the demon goats shoved me in a bag

And throw me in the back of a pickup truck

I did not panic like the screaming

children under me

I found the seam and breathed slow

I did not cry for help

I saved my energy for the chance to run

when I had it, I ran in the shadows

barefoot with only the rope

that bound my hands behind my back

I ran til the city was new

and my legs strong enough

to kill and the rope a bracelet of freedom

I stole food and shoes and diamonds and life

I was a master spy behind enemy lines

I stole until I had enough to find home

In middle of a concrete street

I gave birth to a blue dead jar

it was a tiny fluffy head SOS sent out to sea

riding the waves and currents to bring back aid

It’s dark eyes searching for an island of refuge

a man of honor

When it came again and lived I hid it

and gave it all I could

I gave pieces of myself for coins

to buy it blanket and food

I gave everything

still, I sent it out to sea

Four times I sent an SOS

Until my blood found the riptides and the sea turtles

met the mermaid queen on the corral of the sea

When the sickness came

I could not walk, my knees swelled

my body ached and my scalp was a drum

for the great wolf chief to beat with his tail

I was poisoned by the evil hound

who wanted me for his bone

Under his jagged teeth

I pounded my fists into his mouth

I splintered and my marrow filled his belly

Covered in dirt, wearing lice

I walked hand and hand with my sister

With one miss matched sandal each and bone thin

I was blessed and happy

When the nights were cold I was her blanket

And She, my pillow

We ate avocados and little fish

when luck and pennies were on our side

We were best friends, ladies on a stroll

In the darkness I heard her scream

I tried to hold onto her

Her finger nails dug into my body

Tore my flesh

her hair was in my clenched fists

Her blood under my nails

the dark shadow lizard

Dragged her away screaming

and left me alone in our rock pile home

I was in the shadow of a great temple

writing my name with my wand

To bless the yellow dirt
when a blast went hard and heavy

I could not hear but the ringing of ice cream truck

At the park where children yelled and played

I could taste the metal in mouth

concrete and salt in my flesh

I was buried under the rubble

the stick still in my hand I was a wizard

becoming all powerful but first I had to fall

through the black hole to other side

and find the evil wizard

who had blasted my temple

let blood magic into the world

I had no hair, on a sheet

I laid hooked up to robots

my body shook with cold sweat ache

The vomit came out my mouth

shit and piss was cold and sore on my body

My eyes could not focus

Blurry and heavy all around me was tiny grey

hands holding me down

I could smell their copper and plastic spaceships

The aliens were inside me

trying to harvest my body

I had to fight so I made a clone of myself

climbed in my nose and slayed the creatures

until I could no longer

badly wounded I found my heart

kicked it when slowed

I kicked until my legs fell off

then I punched until my arms rotted off

Then I head butted and finally bit

Until their beeps and buzzing stopped

And I could not feel myself

Nostalgia for War and Peace

I get it.  It was a simpler time

A sweeter time for rivers and old trucks

and tongue flicks

 

Or it was the music

Or maybe we are magnets

and memory aligns us back

to the crystal structure we were before

I’m not sure.  It doesn’t make sense to me

I’m aware of my ignorance.   I don’t need

everything to fit into hard little rows

 

It doesn’t have to be simple or straight for me

to swallow it whole and let it keep my stomach warm and new

 

I love winter. There I said it.  I love the cold, the snow

The bundling up with sweaters and blankets

I love hot beverages and rums and scotches

I love cedar in the swamp toppled with clean white snow

And hot steam from my mouth when I breathe out

In steam visions, touching your cheek

As my feet make a trail along a doe’s path

Over the creek into the meadow under the apple tree

Pausing to breathe and breathe, happy and sad

I like feeling the relief when I step into a warm home, when I stomp my feet and take off my boots and scarf and hat and coat, the hot fluster on my cheeks. And then smelling the wood burning fire,  the chimney puffing up

like my heart for you and our world

I love you.  I can’t help it.  It’s the music.  The step.  The waves.  The past or the future

It doesn’t matter.  But its here. It hangs on.

It doesn’t leave.  It isn’t sick or destructive

not disparate  or selfish.  It doesn’t hurt.

Its not a spring flower, nor a brown crumpled leaf.

It’s a rustic road that runs up north along lake Michigan and never seems to end

That leads to lake superior and cools all the fear out.

 

You can’t own or  fight it. There is no need.    Its here, in my poetry

These silent odes, from an old fat human woman

who is learning to walk soft and dream expansive peace

I don’t want to go to war.  But the war is here too.

So now I dream we are holding hands, like little laughing children

Who have not learned to hate or mistrust.

I am transforming myself.

I am focusing my intentions on life. I am forever restarting with me.

I am learning to live free of ego and hate.

I am eating the fear and panic one breath at a time.

It will take times.  There is times for you to learn too.

 

Put your ear on my heart, I am alive with you.  What more could we ask for?

 

[AL1]

Well Meaning

Well meaning humans

friends and family members

tell me to write a novel

something I can get paid for

They ask if I write

if I write at all

if I do, why don’t I show it

to them

they say with ups at the ends of the words

I mumble about the poem

about the line

about when I sit down and write

a poem  I do what

I can and hope

their war will be lost

on my ability to write a

decent poem

Of course I have a lot of

horse shit that I don’t

finger until it becomes apart

of my identity but the

process of writing a poem

I’ve put everything in

I’ve excepted

that I will never get drinks or licks

in exchange for my poems

But if I don’t write these bloody

stumps, if I don’t fuck on the mother

tongue and smear her ideologies

in my gruesome fantasies

her neat and organized world

may beat out the orgasmic

and thirsty

Bedside manners Aubade or a poem for U.S.A

 

I’d love to hold you to the end of time

I don’t know why, You’re heavy and suffer

from temper tantrums. Your gun has entered me

many times but you’ve never pulled the trigger.

Lovers quarrel, but that’s not us.  We’re more like

friends that kiss and help the other dress. 

In the end I’ll put you in a uniform.

Some days are just like that. I still don’t know why.

 

 

John Donne Help me write this poem.

I’ll play it on my guitar and sing off key.

If the message is easy the people will clap.

I’ll get paid. And in the night I’ll lay my head down

on a pillow that is used to being split in two. From me and you

in the coffin there will be skin cells and fingernails.

We’ll hide the pain by stoic love.

Say, “I loved you just because your human,

now your grass and beans, clay and a heart sack.”

 

Hands can hide the deepest pain.

Just by waving smiles come.

Tonight I’ll fake it for you. 

I’ll drink some ale and  steal the covers.

You’ll sigh, forget tomorrow you have to split

in two, break the bonds and get the sticky job done.

All pigs die. And it never made me cry

One of us will dress the other after death

The body won’t bend, the skill saw will come.

The gentle wet spots will dry.

 

I still don’t know why.

I’ll lie tonight, and tell you there’s nothing to worry about.

A glass of water is free and so are we.

Nothing can steal touches.

I hate memories.  They come to smack me.

I saw a man shot in the head on TV

His back shoes still stand out at me. 

Photographs used to be easy to take.

Now its hard to see the fear, anger, and frustration

in your cheek

 

I was never in Iraq, I like sand castles just the same.

The war will never end. But lets pretend

Tomorrow the boat doesn’t leave

Tomorrow the planes don’t fly

Tonight the solar system will save our bloody souls.

Wash away the guilt that one of us will lose.

I bet its you.  I’m much to bad of person

I’ll live forever in mourning. I’ve had fun in your mouth

Your tongue is velvet and lavender. Hold me

through tomorrow. I’ll sacrifice nothing after

Old age never comes to friends of the sea.

I wish we weren’t children of sailors.

At least in the rest,  we be at the place of our birth

Salt water wash over us and the last sea otter. 

 

I afraid to turn a page. That will mean we are

older, gray and more adapt to decay.

When we first met I was barely 20.

Now I’m happy in the morning

and restless at night.  If this big

world keeps spinning, I guess so will we.

Hold me in your words, lets pretend

the world has ears and the lessons are just slow

to come around. War is just antidote and hunger

an empty jar, a blown off arm, A piece of freedom

 

I was never in Afghanistan but I like cinnamon just the same

The war will never end but lets pretend

Tomorrow your boots won’t slip and go

Tomorrow you collar won’t be blue and starched

Tonight the windswept pines beat the anger out of our hearts.

Suppress the damage of the homemade bomb of our fear.

One of us will smell the others rotten flesh. The other

will gag and sway as the end moves a little farther.

If it’s me it will be ironic. I am the poet and never

do anything with danger on it.  You’re  the soldier.

I’ll be the crushed petal in your breast pocket.

Smell me while you die.  I’ll wash you while the apple pie bakes

in the oven.  And in every love song I’ll place your name

 

 

 

 

 2007