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Whoopi Will Always Be Center Square

Right now I am on a plane and there is nothing mundane about it. Cumulus looms, surrounding sky. Surround Sound in a dimming place. Laughter, Twizzlers, moving light. What was then was then, is very important, but not so much that we can’t have now. Gertrude Stein loved tiny words, she caressed the nouns till they came in waves. Outside my plane is a Care Bear house, and nobody cares but me. Rainbows have never bloomed from my abs, but at times I have felt that way. One night I heard your manly voice and imagined your boyish sleeping. That night I slept so happy I felt as though I could vomit stars. Have you ever felt that way? Do you love the life you waken? My best friend Jake knows a lot about culture, at least the kind that counts. Sometimes we talk about Hollywood Squares and ardently swap our childhoods, how you stare at the blacktop flat on your stomach stunned at how it smells. You wonder, how badly have I been hurt? Will somebody come to check? What I’m trying to say is, being this high doesn’t hurt my ears anymore. I have heard the call of ambivalent birds and still fall fast asleep. I have stared at a word like laughter until I know it’s spelled correctly. I have left the curtains open, always, and I have faced the face of the kindest man.
Posted 03/09/12
Runner-Up to Sonora Review's 2012 Poetry Prize, judged by D.A. Powell. Forthcoming Spring 2012.
Comments (1)
It?s Not Only in Texas That They Hold Em Right now I am fresh from a nap and the time is dusk and there is nothing in my refrigerator but a quarter wedge of lemon and a spring roll. And it has—the spring, rolled back into the wall like a hide-a-bed, receded like Allen Ginsberg?s hairline, been capped and recapped. The time is nigh and the loss is fresh and the boss is not Who?s but—God knows, how. My cousin Carol had a poster of Bon Jovi hanging over her twin the first time I ever saw him and he looked dangerous in his sky blue tank top, inflammatory as a good sun going down. We listened with the same degree of enthusiasm my father expressed throwing torsos of wood onto a stump. He chopped and stacked them in the hoop to keep us warm come winter, smelling of chainsaw oil and locust dust. Are you being creative enough about happiness? Are the things you say true about yourself? When I came back from Disney World in sixth grade, my best friend had started a club at her mother?s beauty salon. All the other kids who walked to their parents? shops after school were in it, including the red head I crushed on who smelled like Dove. She never even gave me a chance to give her the Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt I knew she wanted. And I still know she wanted a Volkswagen Cabriolet, but not how the cards we were dealt would play out one hand at a time.
03/09/12 5:15pm