Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The Ballad of Jennifer Rollins
This one’s old. It dribbles its Cornflakes.
It mixes up slippers and buys lottery tickets.
But the story’s new. And it starts at the gate
in front of the house of Jennifer Rollins.
Saturday morning and the breakfast plates
are left wabi sabi on the kitchen table.
A cell phone plays “My Favorite Things”
in the pocket of the jacket of Jennifer Rollins.
The cell phone sings, and buzzes and jumps.
It flashes and winks in Jennifer’s pocket.
The cell phone hides, and peeks, and rings.
Calling “Come on, Jen!” out of the denim jacket.
The cell phone pauses, then starts again.
But Jennifer’s not wearing her denim jacket.
It’s Spring again. It’s the first warm day.
The jacket is hanging in Jennifer’s closet.
The day’s got dogs, a sun and cars.
It’s dried out the lawns by eight o’clock.
It’s emptied the bars down by the docks.
Jennifer won’t need any denim jacket.
The sea’s gone hazy. The garbage stinks.
The ice-cream vendor’s made love to his wife.
The body of evidence is overwhelming.
Jennifer won’t need any jacket at all.
In front of the house, beside the gate,
under the trees, next to her bike,
Jenny is quiet, and cool in the shade.
She cannot hear her cell phone playing.
Jennifer’s smiling, she’s looking up,
She cannot smell the rotting garbage.
A breeze whistles through her small pink ears.
And the grass is staining her shirt.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
A Coo-Gee Autobiography
In the street where I was born,
on a hill overlooking the sea;
the story begins, small at first,
wound up like a garden hose;
wet as a snail, raw as a chop,
it then rolls out, and down the hill,
towards the sea, and through the waves,
a first page curls, an then one more,
and then another
chapter after salty chapter,
wraps into an old newspaper,
oil and vinegar, mayonnaise and mustard,
French and German, steamed and battered.
Column after salacious column,
revealing secrets, implying fear,
swaying opinion. Above the sea,
on the hill, a lonely voice,
in the street where I was born,
sings a song, dumb as hell,
it fills our ears with soft ice-cream,
and builds a house with chocolate chips.
It crumbles when the story ends
and shines like snot along our sleeves.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
A Sabbatical Minute (Give or Take)
For a minute, take a sabbatical minute
in the middle of the day.
Now you can sit back
and eat that apple someone left
on the table this morning.
If they ask you
“where is it?”,
point to your belly, and say
how you enjoyed it
during your sabbatical minute
for little while after too).