While not writing like I need to, I decided to go ahead and put things written up. These are the poems that were in my poetry portfolio; written after years of having not written a poem. Anyway, I am proud of it all.
It’s been ten years since you wrote the sestina for us.
As young lovers we’d meet at the tracks and would
listen to loose rhymes and music notes.
We’d take the long way home, avoiding
Chicago means of transportation.
I think about all this from my backyard; Louisiana.
the long way home
She walked where wolves moved less frequent; where they were less likely to lurk in the shadow and dark. Albeit safer, was darker, and it gets later. Even on that longer, safer way home there is always that one street. The streetlights, broken by delinquent-throw stones, and the light from the basketball court already dimmed out. The wolves were the stalking kind that didn’t howl, but followed close and quiet before they pounced on you, peeling you like a grape and leaving you exposed and spilling on the sidewalk like a paper-bagged bottle of gin. She forgets that after an epic race home, once she’s laid in bed all alone, a familiar wolf would crawl in and eat away at her. He’d tear at her like a rabbit or deer and he’d growl low in her ear, telling her to stay quiet or they’d wake her mother.
chicago means of transportation
Bodies move from metro station to station.
Downtown, yellow cabs hail pedestrians.
C.T.A. buses redistribute patrons. And then
there are the lines: red, green, orange
brown, yellow, pink, purple and blue.
Construction on the Dan Ryan stalls
the pace, the seven lanes rat-race
at each side. The train carries me to the Southside,
where buses run whenever, but never on time;
small families haggle prices with gypsy cab
drivers; resourceful in getting across the map.
The red line goes that far, but ends at 95th;
on the southside, the city goes into the hundreds.
Sestina for us as Young Lovers
The trees hissed as we tiptoed off of the dusty road
and moved between the wooden bodies, beneath their branches.
Our feet followed a makeshift path that lay
near a large poison oak, and you held my hand.
The night grew colder as it got darker, so I closed my coat.
I stared up at the diminishing blue.
Emerging from the trees, we met the blue
and green of the murky aquatic road.
You laid down one of your blankets to coat
the plush hunter green that branched
out to where rock met lake. You hand
me a kiss. Your body moved near; we lay.
You took your eyes off of the stars and laid
them on me. Cricket chirps came out of the blue,
and you sprayed the bug spray that you had on hand.
You touched my hips, and I pondered the road
that we were going down. For you, kisses were branches
and you wanted the whole tree. You craved to coat
me with sweat, comforting me while coating
my body with yours. I told you, “we should just lay”.
Your fingers touched close, like tips of branches.
You complained in whiny words, “things are turning blue”.
I laughed, but you didn’t hear because we were close to the railroad.
The look on your face made me sentimental. I took your hand.
We dropped our gentle embrace of hand to hand,
and I let you unzip my coat.
I felt like a car on a bumpy road.
I kissed you, and when I leaned against you and you laid
back. Lips touched lips, and hips touched hips until we saw blue.
You stood to button your jeans and stepped on a branch.
I stared up at the spaces between the branches
Just before sitting up, and you grabbed my hand
to help me up. I tugged on my t-shirt and my blue
jeans. We folded the blanket and put on our coats.
The grass was stubborn where our bodies laid.
We shared one last kiss before we hit the road.
We stepped back onto the road, arms bowed together like branches.
Across the way, I laid my eyes on my father’s hands
on his steering wheel. The coat on the old Crown Vic was blue.
At the Tracks (Santino Blvd.)
Bicycles glide down the concrete steps
and zip down the sidewalks of Santino Blvd.
Two red, one green, one blue and one pink.
They stridently move downhill, beside
the sleeping homeless and their concrete dreams –crushing
them beneath their spinning rubber tires.
They wheel effortlessly around pedestrians, sometimes
in and out of traffic, the pink beach cruiser trying to keep up.
They hear the click-clack and squeal of steel wheels on rails.
Bravado is what keeps them moving down the sidewalk of Santino Blvd.
They go faster and faster, and they force their frames
to skip over tracks. They do this even though the level crossing
is screaming and the long warning arm is going down.
The sun is going down.
There are screams that continue
from where the level crossing has ended, but a silence.
The pink beach cruiser’s back wheel is on its last rotation.
The body is twisted and torn, and dark color pours
all over the pavement.
Sirens and shriek scurry down Santino Blvd;
The others watched by the roadside.
The palm of his left hand sat
in the center of my back after
an uneasy embrace.
I waved to my mother
from the back window;
my bookbag packed for the weekend.
Music notes crawl from my
headphones and rest in my ear.
The treble clef leans against flesh.
Half notes shake down like flakes.
Whole notes fall slow and linger.
The gathered company whispers a melody
and I nod my head to the tune.
I turn my ipod up louder,
the girl beside me hears the music.
The notes parachute toward her,
but the they cannot reach,
and she cannot make out what my music is saying.
She stared at my profile and the broken sound.
Auditory sensation sheltered me from her approval
or disapproval. She touched at the pages of her book
but was distracted by my noise.
I couldn’t turn it down though
because it was my favorite song.
this is not a poem. but walks the line of something. it’s cathartic though, and had to be written.
spoken from the underside.
I am sunk, like the rock in the lake, the grain in the jar, and nothing can give me safety when I am lost. I know not a lover or a love with reason or skill to heal me, nor should they, because they cannot. My trouble is my own, not to burden others. I must remember to be selfish and not to share.
There is no time given that can make me whole, because I am forever a deficit, with a missing piece.
I am knowing among strangers, unknown among friends. Only bitterness rules me, like the reign of a charismatic leader in a confused domain.
My manic-depressant mind slips like discs, and I cannot stand it, or stand straight.