Archive for September 2015

Forgetting the Mercurochrome

September 9, 2015

Forgetting the Mercurochrome

He became infected with greed. Neosporin did little good but it was less obvious than mercurochrome. He smeared it over his fingertips with his fingertips.  Greed was like that–tip-fingered–and he rubbed until the rub became a caress.  Rubs are like that.

And soon enough he was caressing his fingertips over non-fingertips, over the tops of tips and the lengths of tips and all the between tips–and he felt something that was not exactly relief because it just didn’t feel like enough–so that soon he was massaging his whole body against itself, as if he were all finger, as if he were all tip, as if he were even the oil he thought he’d try instead of the neosporin–it came in bigger tubes–no, bottles–no, whole jugs–

and he rubbed himself against her jugs and between and through them and really how could you call it an infection?  It felt good to be able to pay for her, but not too much;  he did not pay too much for anything even when he could leave against it that mark of oil and self which he had grown to think of as his own tip, extended–it was all so much better than mercurochrome, which would not have come in his shape and size but would have had to be painted upon him, and

who cared for painting the town red when he could paint it “me,’ he thought, and tasting the tips of his fingers, he realized he had not yet rubbed his insides.  So, set to work.



A little I-don’t-know-what.  Mercurochrome is a a strong, cheap and traditional antiseptic that is a bright red color (although it is now not much used in various parts of the world, such as the U.S., due to its high mercury content.) 

Fresh Flesh of Vowels

September 9, 2015

Fresh Flesh of Vowels

“A” was ample
as a calf, the underbelly
of a leg, something that in a crazy mood you’d lick
preceded or followed
by chocolate.

“E” for the fear that wheezed
through bagpipe lungs, squeezed dustily
under a bed, eyes spidering rafters
that were actually just mattress slats

“I” for you-know-who: King I, or Queen Little i–
for a queen must have little fingers that crook
around a tea cup, only not the queen who licks
the calf, the underbelly of the leg before
or after chocolate,
who is allowed a big I, a capital I
with rafters both at top
and bottom.

“O” for oh-oh–the Queen has been seen and King I is not
so happy–

Oh (also) for “U,” who better run,
as in, it will do no good
to slip under a bed
in such circumstances.

And sometimes “Y”
is what you must ask yourself when, in exile,
you crook your little finger
and no one comes–not the Queen, not the King, not excitement, not even
a terribly good cup of tea,
because they just don’t do tea well
where you are exiled, though the chocolate
could be worse.


A rather silly drafty little poem based on the phrase “the flesh of vowels” as my own prompt.  I wrote another more serious one on the same prompt that I may post in the next day or so.  (I don’t think of the poems as linked particularly so will not burden you with two!)   The picture is mine–all rights reserved.   I may link to Real Toads open platform. 

August Night

September 5, 2015


August Night

The mist would not show
the full moon, but glowed
outside the window
like snow just fallen
and about to fall,
the night both pale and flushed
as if it had snuck out to a dance
for which it was far
too young, shoulders swathed
in a stole borrowed
without the owner’s knowledge–


55 for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads. (It was also my first try for Hedgewitch’s tonal prompt on Toads, but couldn’t quite decide it was done.)   Pic is mine; all rights reserved.



Thinking of the Picture of the Syrian Child, Drowned

September 5, 2015

Thinking of the Picture of the Syrian Child, Drowned

One knows instinctively what it is to carry
such a boy,
let’s say from a car
after a long trip’s drive,
the slumbering dangle
of the little lower legs
weighted by shoes that look almost as large
for his feet (fine as a chirping bird’s)
as his small child’s head
for his small child’s body,
the rims leaden
about the slim ankles–

Someone strapped them on
so carefully, bending down
before the boy,
someone wanting to keep those shoes
from getting lost, someone wanting to keep
the boy’s feet warm, safe.



Draft poem about the very sad story of the Syrian refugee family, capsized off the coast of Turkey; the photo of one of the drowned sons, Aylan Kurdi, age 3, has become very famous.  I am not posting a pic here.  This poem is still being revised; I am linking to The Bardo’s 100TPC event. 


(Not Completely) Befogged

September 4, 2015

(Not Completely) Befogged

My face, increasingly tired
of glasses, just lets the world meld
mornings, cabinets open
to doorways, hand touching wall
stairwells, sometimes mispouring
my tea, more than slapdash
when it comes to dishes,

seeking, when outside, mist
over water, cloud cover
impaled by mountain or just nestling
about the land–diffusions whose beauty seems magnified
by my blur,

which makes me wonder if that is not why
I more and more love you,
whose kindness hovers above
that movement you animate,
an aura not so much like cloud cover
as the shine on the bubbles of soap you quietly apply
to the dishes I’ve just done–

more light, in other words,
than fog–
not dissipating
by day, though come to think about it
you too nestle about me
as cold nights fall.


A sentimental attempt at an atmospheric sort of poem for a prompt by the inimitable Hedgewitch (Joy Ann Jones, blogging at Verse Escape) on Real Toads.  (Hedgewitch’s prompt is much more complex than that, as it deals in tone in poetry, but this is where I landed.)  The photo is mine.  I am having a number of internet issues so may be slow returning comments, but will get there!  


What I Need to Tell Myself is This:

September 2, 2015

What I need to tell myself is this:

you live inside
a body;
and oh it wants to dance;
and oh it cramps;
(and sometimes feels nothing at all,
which is almost the worst.)
And you’d like to think the mind thinks it,
but it (also) (pretty much) thinks
the mind–

And where does the mind go
when it’s all ash?
(Goodbye body.)
And where does the body go
when it’s all smoke–never mind
no mirrors–
only our heated reflections
genuflecting the air,
the curves of the body
and all those waves of the brain barely wrinkling
earth’s brow–

And here I am, already asking questions
to take me away from what I’ve meant
to say–that I live inside a body
that dances and cramps and sometimes
feels nothing at all
(which is almost
the worst.)

Another very drafty sort of poem.  I call them drafts when they are written and revised quickly and I don’t think they are done but am too impatient/indecisive/stymied to keep working on them.  Image is mine, made on the iPhone with the “Brushes” fingerpainting app.