Friday, October 31, 2014

Medicine

There's a lawman on my step,
filling my door with white worries,
bending my ear with white noise,
but hesitant.

Three little girls, just little girls, messed with, murdered down at the camp.  We got the son of a bitch that did it

I am wrinkled and old and I piss myself.

sure as shooting, he did it, but no one saw nothing, no one heard nothing. All the evidence was circumstantial

I am blind, but for my dreams.

and he was acquitted.  Got off scot free.  And, well, there's been talk that he used the Medicine.

Liquor swishes sweet in a bottle.  Tobacco press prickles my hand.

And, we'd like a little, too.

***

I could have told the lawman to take his white
worries and whiskey and leave,
but I didn't.
Yes, I am old and wrinkled and I piss myself.
I have one ratty room, government cheese, and no teeth.
Dead white girls are nothing to me, but the Medicine . . .
the Medicine is my last breath,
and blasphemy is a blackened lung.

***

There is no dance; I'm too old for that.
There is no chant; I haven't the voice.
That's all just tourist trap trappings, anyway.

It's just will

to be wind,
smoke 

to be smoke,
and letting

the leaving
stop the breathing

and stop a heart.

I start.

***

And in other news, accused killer, Joey Elkhart, was found dead in his home last night.  Elkhart, as you may remember, was tried and acquitted for the grisly murders of three young girls at Camp Morgan last year.  Elkhart died of an apparent heart attack.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Process Notes:  This piece is based VERY loosely on the 1977 Girl Scout Murders that took place at Camp Scott here in Oklahoma.  The prime suspect in the killings was a Cherokee Indian named Gene Hart.  Hart eluded capture for ten months, and rumors began to circulate that Hart was using Cherokee Medicine to elude capture (he was eventually captured in the home of a Cherokee Medicine Man).  Hart was tried and acquitted of the crimes in March, 1979.  

At the time of the trial, a local (different) Medicine Man that had been assisting the police prophesied that the Great Spirit would strike Hart down if he were guilty and acquitted by the white man's court.  On June 4, 1979, Hart suffered a fatal heart attack.  He was only 35 years old.

For Shay's prompt at Real Toads.  Happy Halloween!   

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sleeping Dog

Sleeping dog, I'll let you lie
if you'll do the same for me.
Don't wake me with your whine soaked breath;
don't pretend you need to pee.
Don't wet nose my ear
or take my covers in your teeth.
Sleeping dog, I'll let you lie -
now, do the same for me!

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Crybaby Bridge

I had scarcely made it home, wet with rain,
shivering, cold,
when my lover's longed for steps
creaked across the porch.
Hurriedly, I dried my eyes,
smoothed my hair, grabbed the wine;
then, took a breath and took my time
strolling to the door.

I'd met him not that long ago,
but it was before I'd begun to show,
and his travels quickly took him
safely far away.
So, he never saw the belly.
I never felt the need to tell him
that another man had had me
and had me in the family way.

He's a gentleman of quality;
wealthy and above me.
No trick with a mewling bastard
could ever wear his ring.
So I hid myself away
from prying eyes; no one could say
that I was anything less than a lady
or hint at impropriety.

I labored and delivered
all alone in early winter.
Christmas brought his letter;
he'd return on New Year's Eve.
Infant at my breast,
I counted myself blessed
that I'd get what I deserved - the best!
Just like I'd dreamed.

But what of my mistake?
I knew he'd never take
me and some farmboy's leavings
to his mansion on the hill.
Should I weep and beg forgiveness,
or, knowing there's no witness,
should I resolve this ugly business
in whatever way I will?

I waited for a wicked night
to keep all ears and eyes inside,
and when the countryside was quiet,
I took the ice kissed road
and made my way to rot wood bridge
just the other side of the ridge
took my sacrifice to the edge
and let it fall to the dark below.

Now, the future's at my door.
Everything I've waited for.
Nothing binds me anymore.
I slowly turn the knob.
But standing there instead
of my love is old Sheriff Ned;
hat pulled from his head, he says,
"I'm sorry for your loss.

Found your man's rig in a ditch
just t'other side of the ridge.
He was standing on the edge of the bridge;
I tried to talk him down.
But he didn't seem to hear me.
He kept hollering about a baby.
Then he jumped, and he went under
and, God bless the man, he drowned."

Of course, they ruled it suicide.
No one else heard a child that night,
and none was found though they dragged
the river edge to edge.
But late at night ever since
I went mad and he went in,
you can hear that brat wail witness
beneath Crybaby Bridge.

Process Note: Nearly every state has at least one Crybaby Bridge, it seems.  Versions vary, but the tale usually involves some sort of accident on the bridge that results in the death of a child.  The cries of the child can then be heard on dark, stormy nights, etc.  This is my take on the Crybaby story for Grapeling's prompt at Real Toads.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fey

Sunrise sweetens the old ash tree;
brightens the blonde autumn fall of its leaves;
lightens the face living heartwood deep
till I swear I can hear a laugh

drifting past
playfully
four winds free.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Grain Of

A grain of need
nestled
in the oyster.

A grain, a seed
that germs
a sick soil weed.

A grain that bleeds
blue black
cloistered commerce

and feeds hunger
to swollen hunger
to harvest greed.

Written for Kerry's Mini-Challenge and submitted to Open Link Monday at Real Toads.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Greek Slave



Beauty makes me angry,
the way it crawls inside my head,
the way the things it leaves unsaid
echo.

She

stands like a summer full of shine,
all thighs and fine
sinuous lines;
a soft, curved belly,
fed well breasts -
blemishless.

There's no suggestion

of stink,
starvation,
an itchy cunt,
a blunted scream,
or anything
to shame a deep pocket
or blink an appreciative eye.

She

is flawless,
voiceless,
and naked,

but not by choice,
so it's all right.

Process Note:  If you're the less cynical sort, you may believe the Greek Slave's back story.  Powers claimed her to be a Christian woman stripped to be sold as a slave by infidels.  Viewing her nudity is not scandalous or immoral because she is not naked by choice.  However, you may take a more jaundiced view and believe that Powers doth protest too much, that the Greek Slave was accompanied by such an extensively thought out tale only to provide moral cover for prudish Americans who wanted to look at a hot, naked woman without feeling any guilt, and that the notion that it was okay to look at her naked body because she wasn't naked by choice is deeply disturbing on more levels than can be named in one sitting.

I'll let you decide which side of the feminist bed I woke up on this morning.

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Climate Change

I thought the angst of my 30s was long gone,
and I was feeling mighty fine.
Looking at 50 and soaking up the sun,
forgetting

there's a storm for every season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Worse

Barricaded in a basement with beer belly guy
(he hopes "that the dark meat gets et first"),
two smokers, and seven
upstanding members
of Rev'rend Revelation's
End Times Church -

the zombies are bad,
but this is worse.

Holed up in a house with a half can of decaf
and a blonde with a yippy little Pom in her purse
that she baby talks
until each "puppy wuppy"
scrapes and scalpels the stretch of my nerves -

the zombies are bad,
but, damn!

This is worse.

For Izy's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Freak Flag

Got my freak flag wrapped
round me like a cloak
of visibility.
Can you see me?

I'm a mutiny
of sexes and shades

on the periphery,
but steady making my way

to that righteous place -
that sweet spot

in the center.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rut

"Buy One Pair,
Get One Free!"
"Do You Know Roy Random
or Suzy Who?"
No lust.
No thrust.
No throbbing member.
Even my SPAM is boring.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Oklahoma Made

Prairie grass hair.
Storm season eyes.
Flatland meeting sky;
you can see forever.

A pulling unit heart
steady, slow, and strong.
More guts than brains -
can change quick as weather.

I'm Oklahoma made
and made better.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Kittens Coming

Poor little thing!  How sad you seem!
Not a runt, but sick in some part.
Perhaps, it's an ache in your heart.
Let's nap here
in the quiet dark.

I have kittens coming.

Child, I've watched you prowl at night,
and test your tentative milk teeth bite.
You're not quite like
the rest of your kind.
More like

my kittens coming.

I think I'll curl in the soft of your side.
Steady myself on the steel of your spine -
the strength that you have yet to find,
but will.
Now, feel

the kittens coming.

Process Note: The summer I was 9 or 10 years old, I was sick and had to stay in bed for what felt like an eternity (it was probably 2 or 3 days).  One of those sick day afternoons, I woke from a nap and found my cat Tutu curled up at my side and giving birth.  If you know anything about cats, you know that this behavior is pretty much unheard of.  I've never forgotten the wonder of it, and I've always felt that Tutu honored me with an incredible gift.

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads

Monday, October 6, 2014

Peel

This poem is an impossible thing;
a hummingbird hover,
an orbiting sun.
Peel it to find
the fruit of my heart.
Peel it to find
the worm.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Faithless

I will pray with you.
I will speak
in the tongue you taught me.
I will stitch supplications
from stars and half-remembered psalms.

I'll offer the alms,
and bait the switch.

I'll be faith
in your faithless night.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Blues Singer

Got a shiver scream that shatters the scale-
a banshee wail rising up from the blues,

but it's the breath behind the beat
that havens truth.

So, I give gravel and guts to the girls up front -
I've walked in their high heeled shoes.

And the barefoot sigh on the B-side,
I save for you.

A Flash Fiction 55 Real Toads

Friday, October 3, 2014

Explorers

We stumble into a marriage of wind and teeth
and call it discovery,
even as we're tripping over altars
and Buddhas left behind.
We love to find.
We love to name.
We've claimed the moon,
and soon we'll claim heaven;
displacing God,
parleying with the saints,
and sending all the angels to reservations.
Repentance and reparations
are for after the smallpox.
Today, we are explorers,
and every world is new.

For Hannah's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Watermelon Festival

Royal Sweets and Black Diamonds
under every shade tree.
Sticky faced kids and
hallelujah bluegrass bands.

Spit your seeds to win a
prize. Flies on the
rind;
I still want a slice.
Nothing beats a home-
grown melon come
summertime.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Upon October

Once upon October
(she lets me be on top),
I lean into her full moon lips
and lose September in her kiss.

For Words Count at Real Toads