Poetry Archives C-D

Chemical Peel (a WebMD cento)

A reaction
Caused by
Any history of scarring
In your life
The effects are often dramatic
Also more complicated

How deep it was
And you may have to return

The most appropriate type of treatment for you
How much risk you are willing to take
Depending on the type of problem being treated
You need to prepare yourself

A controlled wound
Removes several layers
Elevating the head
Followed by a stinging sensation
Soft tissue
Burning
Some people may be more likely to scar
This can make regrowth
More difficult

Complete healing
To reduce pain
This procedure destroys parts
As needed
 
 
Cracked

Ask me about the glass now
empty full half or whole
I say cracked
cracked to the side that no one sees
the one turned toward
the center of the kitchen table
the family gathered round
as the drops slowly fall
forks against plates as I reach
to grasp to stop
to mend the leak as I watch
the ice within breaking down
becoming what surrounds it
and all falling out
amid the mashed potatoes and laughter
standing to the side
of what should nourish me
I reach out again
and holding what contains
all I have been
feel it shatter in my hand
 
 
For Dale, on his birthday

I have this friend
I’ve never met
who feels sort of
like family
in that way
that people
sometimes do

like that cousin
you never met
until you were both adults
because you grew up
in different states
but then you did
and immediately
recognized
one of your own

in the way
your jokes were got
and your weird interests
didn’t seem so weird
and you were made
to think of things
you hadn’t before
but that seemed so obvious
in retrospect

in the way
you suddenly wished
you hadn’t grown up
so far apart
 
 
Doggerel

Dogs don’t get poetry

They don’t get the need for quiet
during the agonizing indecision
as one fights the battle
between “but” and “yet”
what they get
is that squirrel won’t bark at itself
either will the mailman
or the neighbors
they get that
if not for them
you could be murdered
in that chair you spend too much time in
and they don’t get your lack of gratitude

Dogs don’t get philosophy, either

You’re here because
you’re the one with the thumbs
you can reach the cookies
and the place
between my chin and my belly
that I can’t quite
and in return
you will not be murdered
by that squirrel
or that mailman
or those neighbors

Dogs get Communism
surprisingly well
 
 
Drunken Love Notes 1

I want to write you
an angry love poem
take everything
I’ve never said
and throw it in your face
RESORT TO CAPS LOCK
SO YOU KNOW
I’M SCREAMING
and weak and wordless
and incapable of better
right now
and somehow
make it seem
more like it’s your fault
that you never knew
I felt this way
 
 
Drunken Love Notes 2

You called me “loyal” once
and I thought of all sorts of
poetically bullshittified replies
like
“would you call a moth
loyal to your porch light?”
and
something about a drop of sweat
being loyal to your skin
and
blah blah the air
in the tires of your car
and
a bunch of other things
that all had in common
things that need
other things
are drawn to them
and don’t function well
in their absence

Which is a kind of loyalty
but not the kind
where you really have a choice
 
 
Druthers

More and more lately
I’m finding imperfection
appealing
more than
any well-polished
marble-cold smoothness
finding necessary roughness
exactly that
finding even the worst
sort of first person
preferable company to all
the tragically magnificent thirds
no one has ever met

I’d rather read
elbows calloused from
too much time spent
leaning on the brick wall
that backs the Denny’s parking lot
than the silkiness of
resting on 100-year-old inlaid rosewood
once seen in an antique store window
and now imagined
as a base for every word

I’d rather read
blackness like burnt coffee
tolerated for its unlimited refills
blackness like licorice
but darker and whipping twice as hard
but babe, you’re worth it
you’re worth the blackness
the pain
you always were
and if I burned
my last Bauhaus t-shirt
on the sidewalk in front of your parents’ house
that light and warmth would never be
like your eyes
in winter

I’d rather read
teen angst by teens
than Victoriana by 30-year-olds

I’d rather read
sincere dreck
than eloquent hypocrisy
 
 
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