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

thump
thump
thump

they hit the floor and

tap
tap
tap

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
shrug
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
jealous
glory hogging
little mind.

-M. Ashley

NaPoWriMo: Worst Poem Ever

I trace your ribs
In cerulean ink
Dewdrops of blue
On the skin
A connect-the-dots
That somehow
Resembles a unicorn
In calligraphy lines
A unicorn with the stripes
Of your bones
A child of myth
And the Serengeti
A mythical zebra with a horn

They must have had unicorns
In the Serengeti too
And your ribs
And my ink
Must have been
What their pelts looked like
On the walls of mythical hunters

If they had pottery
In the mythical Serengeti
And this cerulean ink
Would stick
I would trace your ribs
On the pottery too
While you are sleeping
The rise and fall of your abdomen
With your sacred breath
The reason the lines would be blurred
Not my tears, my love
Not my tears

-M. Ashley

NaPoWriMo: We Talked a Lot of Shit When I Worked at WalMart

Where we gassed and gabbed
we ground our cigarettes out

on the concrete window ledge
in front of the bustling store—

in front of our managers, what
kind of fuck did we give? Our

feet and backs were killing us and
somebody pissed in the fitting room

again. Someone left a dirty diaper
open in a shopping cart. Literal

shit. You customers deserved
every dirty thing we said.

-M. Ashley