Humor, Love Poems, Poetry

Controlled Substances (NaPoMo Day 4)

My pharmacist’s assistant boyfriend
gained weight.
It brings us closer as our fingers
touch over the Hydrocodone
and our wrinkles show
and our noses shine
under the fluorescent lights.

I say in a low voice
You know they’re for my mother.

He leans forward and says
so gently
I know. I remember you.

I tell him they’re for my mother every time
to prompt his sweet nothing.
I am unashamed. I flounce
out of the pharmacy with my narcotics
and swing my hips with purpose.

-M.

(I’m starting a little late for National Poetry Month’s 30 in 30. I owe you three. I’m on it.)

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Elegy for My Empire, God Poems, Poetry, Uncategorized

Ghost of San Berdoo

Serrano, Latino
Sunburned dark

Jeans
baggy T-shirt
train soot gray

Trenchcoat
patched leather
slain ranchers’ tack

115 degree morning
blacktop risen
shining
son of god

Round shoulders
Clinging glass
windshield clear
beer bottle green.

-M.

God Poems, Nature Poem, Poetry

God Nature

Young Son Virile Boy
Humps his way through the underbrush
Eats out every night
Comes home for dinner
Head grows into the crown

Granddad Limp Limb
Back in the cave
Waits for ointment and
His good bitch to come back

Dad gone
to town for pussy and heartburn
Where’d all the good ones get to?
Loin cloth at the dry cleaner’s
Drags dick and briefcase along the jagged path home

-M.

Nature Poem, Poetry

Scruffy Bird

Dying in paradise
he still has stories to tell.

They get caught in his mane
like spittle.

An aging Hippie.
A mountain man gone metaphysical
in a California town.

A youngster by the pond
watches the koi and willfully
deafens himself.

The scruffy bird goes on

chatters to the heavy
dropping rain.

-M.

 

 

Elegy for My Empire, Prose, Still Life Prose

But for the Grace of God Go I to the San Bernardino Greyhound Bus Station at 4:00am

348s.jpgFrom the low, brown hills at 3:00am, urban coyotes sang and yipped their eerie cantata to the full Snow Moon as she presided over an inland California landscape decimated by February heat. The lean beasts are starving, I thought as I crested one of the hills and looked out over the wearily glowing city below.

Down in the valley, the commute crawled. Twenty-five in a school zone, it was all school zone. And what wasn’t school zone was torn up streets, reflective orange pylons scattered unreasonably, disaster preceding a fancy new city bus line that promised to proceed, expressly, from nowhere to nowhere. I reached downtown by 4:00am and pulled into the Greyhound bus station at 6th and “G.” The two corners opposite me were both weed-eaten lots upon which the ghosts of condemned early 20th century houses hulked, listlessly reminiscing to each other about the long-gone days of the city’s glory, when the scent of orange blossoms and the low whistling of Santa Fe trains permeated the predawn air. On the corner next to mine loomed an Economy Inn—the skanky rooms of which you could smell from the street. They did not smell of orange blossoms.

I awaited my friend.

I leaned back in my seat and yawned. The light from the motel sign cast everything in gold. The streetlights added a flickering orange. A damnation on this place of perpetual electric sunset.

To my left, a stocky, bald man in an Ozzfest T-shirt strode back and forth in front of the station’s locked gate. He smoked a butt he had found on the ground and muttered to himself between ashy inhales. His tennis shoes were white as the Holy Dove.

To my right, a teenage Latino boy rode a children’s bicycle to a trashcan on the corner and began rummaging through it with his bare hands. He pulled one store-brand cola can after another out of the bin and rattled them into a white kitchen trash bag hanging from his handlebars. The moon and the motel light caught each one as it breathed briefly in the open air, and cast their multicolor reflections on the boy’s arms. But for the reflections, the boy was dark. His hair, bicycle, and clothes manufactured from shadows. He was attired so as not to be seen, but I guessed very few people looked at him anyway.

Under the motel sign, a passel of brown-haired angels. Each wore tight yoga pants and a hoodie at least two sizes too big. Each had her arms crossed over her breasts. Each flipped her hair on a steady count. Each joked with the others—a stream of swears, gallows humor, how small that last John’s dick was. They were cold. They were obviously cold. In the afternoon, while they slept, it would reach ninety, but now, under the cruel Snow Moon, it was a biting fifty-five.

Their faces were lean, their hands thin and graceful, their legs slim enough to be easily broken.

I flicked my eyes back again to the stocky man still enthralled by demons and the teenage shadow who was on his third trashcan now. Someone, I thought, should write about these. That would be a great help—a harrowing social cry. Someone should write about these, because, “Who needs food when you have art?” say the artists who have never been hungry.

-M.

Albinism, Writing Life

On Being Albino in Southern California

Photo on 2012-06-07 at 18.06Last week, out to lunch with a friend, a pack of neo-valley-girls blustered in and sat down in our section. Not too long after, one of them pointed at me, they whispered to each other, then all laughed loudly. It happens. It is an extreme unpleasantness that goes with the albino turf.

As galling as it was, however, I think the thing that galls me most is realizing that these idiots, obviously students at CSU Berdoo, are probably the same type who shout diversity and inclusion from the rafters all day, every day, as they flit from class to class. I see tolerance only goes so far. Only certain types are worthy.

One interesting thing is that in the thirteen years I lived in Nashville, I never encountered that. Not even once. Since I have been back in California, however, it has happened several times, and has always come from adults. In Nashville, if someone were curious, she or he would just walk on over, strike up a conversation, and ask. They’d most often want to touch my hair and ask whether I preferred “an albino” or “a person with albinism.” I found this pleasant and endearing.

While I’m not prepared to make any sweeping conclusions about the virtues of southerners as opposed to the vices of southern Californians—individuals are individuals after all, and hypocrites can be found under any slimy rock you care to turn over, regardless of geography—in my heart, I feel those conclusions beginning to boil.

Uncategorized, Writing Life

Olden Days Tough Cookies

54e14547b172c.image.jpgI just saw a post that my Vanderbilt U. cancelled classes because of the snow. Bunch of pansies. When I went there they ne-e-ver closed for snow. Never. They didn’t even close when, in my freshman year, everything was covered in so much ice, we could have ice skated to class. We never got any Mondays off for anything either. Ne-e-ver. I remember the rumor was that the only time Vandy had ever cancelled class was in the 1870’s when a bull broke through a fence and was chasing students around campus, (which I’m sure was awful, but sounds hilarious, especially because I’m imagining really old-timey students wearing black robes, running around like headless chickens, going “Eek! Eek! as their robes flap in the wind).

They didn’t even cancel class when a tornado hit downtown Nashville and ricocheted off the corner of campus. I remember I was in “Great Works of the Wester Tradition” at the time, in which we had been reading some very atheism-heavy books. A girl was giving her presentation on Thus Spoke Zarathustra while outside it went black, then green. “Man is Superman,” she said.

“Boom! Boom! Boom!” from outside.

“Man is the measure,” she said.

“Boom! Boom! Boom!” the tornado said.

The lights flickered and went out. My professor raised his hands to the heavens and exclaimed, “God forgive me for making them read these heathen novels!”

State of emergency nothin’. Go to class!

-M.

(That tornado story is one of my all-time favorites to tell—and every word of it true. No joke, yo.)