Sunday, April 15, 2012

Taking care of business

Had a crazy seven days with ridiculous emotional swings caused by getting some really good and really bad news in close proximity, several times. I'm pretty even keel normally (although all my girlfriends have claimed I was the moodiest man they'd ever met) so these kinds of swings are way out of the ordinary for me. Whatever, I'm still here, still grinding poker, still scribbling lines of poetry. One of the swings involved my heart getting dropped like a porcelain plate onto a marble floor several stories below. Fun times, fun times. I know what you're thinking, more grist for the mill. Except I'd sworn off writing broken hearted love poems (stupid poet, should've sworn off getting my heart broke), so I'm not writing about this, I've been there and done that, as I'm sure most poets have. I know it's really bad form to pass up some excellent inspiration during National Poetry Month, but whatever. Instead I'm gonna post a revision of a poem that was just an exercise when I wrote it, but now rings pretty true. The details are all fiction, the emotional details are all fact. One thing I will say, I learned so much about myself and dealing with women during this last three years (and got some really good poems) that I almost, almost, (almost) feel like I owe this woman money. Dealing with her forced me to confront some lifelong issues I've had in relationships and work on them. And believe me I was working, like a Jamaican with six jobs working, but in the end I just had too far to go, too much to learn, too much to try to master. But it's been mad beneficial for me, changed my life so much for the better going forward. Anyway, the education was invaluable (thanks Miss Prissy), but there's still the problem of all that shattered china on the floor. So here's the poem (which is connected to her in a tangential poet way), enjoy.


floods the room,
on a flash of moonlight,
the interrogative of night rising.
He feels taut strings plucked
by hands soft enough
to wreck religion,
hears sharps and flats,
the alternate fingerings
of her signature,
feels indigo ventricles
improvise emotions
they can't contain.
Sees the saucy hips,
the twin legends
of her legs,
that cryptic tattoo
the tresses braiding rumor
and myth. Sees
how she pimped mystique
into solo and chorus
inside a blouse.
Her skirt flashes through his past
like Billie's final sigh
inflating hopeful lungs
in a haunted torso.
He hears her halo
tilt to kiss the curve
of the ear, chords born
from the marriage
of catfish and cornmeal,
from lacquered brass
and that last goodbye.
He checks her thick thighs,
how they resolve into
an ankle's passion
for expensive bracelets
and the foot's five types of finesse;
the sweet tonic of each toe.
The daughter of possibility
and pain, an onyx angel
skips like a rock across
his river, conjuring
the holiness of dragonflies.
Only he knows the nickname
hidden like a curse word
under her scarlet tongue.
How can he forget those lips
whose low moan caressed
his neck all night,
when their prints
burn bright
on his throat?


EXTRA, EXTRA BONUS (for Maxwell or Sade fans)

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