Wax (poetry)

Every two weeks I pay a college senior
(engineering major I believe) to rip
most of my eyebrows out of my face.

The right one always comes out higher,
arched more elegantly than the left.

“It’s the way your face is constructed”,
she tells me, as if an accusation of
the original engineer’s design.

I nod—a permanent inquisitiveness
in relief
over my right eye.

-M. Ashley

Blue Light Therapy (poetry)

Artificial light blue to beat the blues
Try no sugar in your cookie, Cookie
Cutter approaches don’t often
Help problematic inflammation in the gray
Matter of fact exercise
Is another lever we can pull
Me closer Dr. Beautiful Blue Eyes
Blue—nothing artificial about you-ooh
Tell me again
How the mental health benefits of exercise
Cap at thirty minutes so I can
Lap my sad to death in the
Beautiful chlorine blue.

-M. Ashley

(Found this one buried in my notebook. I had almost forgotten about it. One of my very favorites.)

Hear me read it:

Rib Tat (poetry)

My bestie’s cousin–they call him Sketch
Pad–has a tattoo on his penis
But was too pain-shy to finish
The right half of his left-right
Two word rib tat. He was supposed
To be “Black Sheep.” He ended up

(Ellipsis implied, not actually tatted.)

-M. Ashley

Conception (poetry)

Purple kangaroo wine, cheap and bitter
Gratitude shouts louder than a flash flood warning
Climax withheld for one notch less drunk than this
Red solo cup abandoned on the windowsill

Gratitude shouts louder than a flash flood warning
Half full of wine–collecting rain
Red solo cup abandoned on the windowsill
Pajamas and flip flops in a tangle by the bed

Half full of wine–collecting rain
God’s body happens where lightning strikes something
Pajamas and flip flops in a tangle by the bed
Only one window opens wide enough

-M. Ashley

Missing Frank Bidart (poem)

Oh my poet-y friend… how I have missed thee.
I have missed myself defacing your books with
Purple ink notes like, “Love it!” and “Scary.”

Remember that time I humiliated myself on a
Plane pompously overblowing poetry to a
Stranger who turned out to be a PhD in poetry

My nose in your book
My ass on my shoulders
Me talking out of it

But then you were there for me
For that—for my ass face too
And my starry eyes for you.

-M. Ashley

Yogi Poodle (poem)

My poodle does downward dog
Ten times a day at least
Farts a slow fart
Presses her narrow chest back
Yawns with a long lolling tongue

Lord Shiva—First Yogi—Master
In a curly coat showing us all
How life and farts should be done

-M. Ashley

Caramel Vodka Cocktail at 3am (poem)

Dreamtime craving for alcohol
when you’re not a drunk
means Bacchus is having a crisis
of consciousness tossing
the nymphs and turning
the maenads out of his bed


they hit the floor and


he comes to your window

because you have your own bed
and won’t sleep with him in it
gravity isn’t a threat then
and he has the whole carpet to himself

because he enjoys thrusting
his head under your box
spring and tying your
mismatched and long-
forgotten shoelaces together.

Also, he thinks you’re fun to drink with
mostly because you don’t much,
don’t have the stuff for proper cocktails,
and while you’re craving his liquor
he’s craving the sexy way
you pour it into a diet root beer
and drink it all down.

-M. Ashley

Poetry Goals (poem)

I would love to swan around and
say dusty things about poetry and
have everyone give a damn and
have groupies who show me their boobs
and read at Carnegie Hall to 53,000
screaming teeny boppers in poodle skirts

and all that other shit
that real poets do
and don’t actually do

but always do
in my sweaty
glory hogging
little mind.

-M. Ashley