Monday, November 8, 2010

The Wizard of Oz

BF watched The Wizard of Oz for the first time on Saturday afternoon. Yes, the first time. Don't you think he's missed out on MILLIONS of references in his lifetime? Like, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" or "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!" or, the classic, "We represent the Lollipop Guild"? I told him that the allusions are as pervasive as Greek mythology and that it has possibly affected his law career. I might have been exaggerating...Well, he certainly would've missed the reference in this poem.

Heavy Metal Drummer Part II

Verse One
It’s more they fall for me than I for them;
they’re not my type,
or even my favorite archetype.
Drummers are the woodsmen, 
marching us,the reluctant, 
to a chorus of dwarves, in Snow White’s case,
or new, loving parents in Corinth for Oedipus,
saving us from instigating mirrors and caves.

The orphan Dorothy’s tin woodsman 
had too much heart but not enough for her.
That chopping robot wept rusty tears
only for himself.

Verse Two
Me, I’m a sucker for the forsaken, 
a Snow White who needs an Oedipus to slay with, 
not a predictable woodsman 
or a shepherd who can’t even kill when told. 
Don’t get me wrong, 
we are indebted to the woodsmen, 
our keepers, 
they have their role, 
but I’ll takethe damned lead singer every time.

This poem first appeared in the sixtieth anniversary issue of The Fiddlehead, Canada's oldest poetry journal.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Broken Leg

One year ago this week, I broke my leg.

After the Break

Cast off, her legs are asymmetrical.
They don’t appear to be from the same girl.
The fractured right is fat around the knee
but wasted, dented in above the thigh
like it’s been hit. Left tapers as it should.
And though she shaved them both this morning, Right
is dotted prickly black while Left feels smooth.
Right foot’s edemaed, scarred and bruised. When not
concealed, it sunburns easier than Left.

Both limbs are cursed or blessed, she isn’t sure,
with veins beneath the skin in cinder grey
that look stagnate but hide the gush inside.
They trace lines to her heart like termite trails
ascend to bulbous nests on mangrove trees. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

O'Malley Wins Again

Today Maryland voters chose to stay blue (or green) and re-elected Governor Martin O'Malley.

Missed Calls

Each Saturday at two p.m., your voice
would walk me from the Center to my car,
a chance to reconnect since I’d left you
in bed. They took away my Saturdays, 

so now I work the Wednesday shift from five
to ten. Tonight, some kids looked up the sex
offender site and found a hundred hits
in our zip code alone. I walk behind 

brick buildings to the gurgling goldfish pond,
remember once when walking by I saw
a mallard that I swore was stuffed until
it twitched. I tried to make you see it, too. 

Green feathers shone like broken Christmas balls
beneath the tree or shamrock garland on
St. Patrick’s Day when Mayor O’Malley winked
and made me blush. What if I hadn’t gone 

to Ireland? I ask aloud. Would you
have found a different girl, another time?
Or was it not too late to fix the things
that had gone wrong? Two figures wait beside

the unlit bus stop I must pass before 
my car. I hold my phone against my cheek,
pretend to talk to someone else. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Moustaches & Halloween

In honour of Movember, and the fact that aLookingGlass designed the t-shirts for the BVI event, I offer this poem about my only experience wearing a moustache. It also happens to be about Halloween.

UFO Lands on Bourbon Street

Without a single double take, we strolled
down Rue St. Ann the night of Halloween.
Your Cher was flawless, robed in sixties green—
a backless number stitched with flecks of gold.

My Sonny wore a vest of the same fur
as my moustache, attempting to conceal
my femininity. It was surreal
to see myself a him and you a her.

In the Quarter, though, we were hardly freaks.
Authentic vampires, freed from coffins, drank
red wine with a band of tipsy, toga-clad Greeks.
Curbside, Catwoman shared a joint with Frank-
enstein. Some rusted sutures stitched his cheeks.
A ghost floated by. Her entire look was blank.

Queen Amidala, Prince, and a fool held court
with Dr. J who’d clearly hit the sauce.
Above their heads, on iron balconies, played
some werewolves, witches, imps of every sort.
Jesus staggered by twice, one with a cross-
dressed Billie, sipping strange and fruity ade.

The aliens that descended should’ve guessed
they’d go unnoticed in the Vieux Carré.
They showed up practically as underdressed
as each employee of Ritz Cabaret.