Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stone Sculptor

Stone Sculptor
by Fran Varian 

They walk each other
past the end of the tether they

go out walking after
midnight                  it is a two-step love affair

then dawn comes on,
a sweet persistent cramping
of every muscle they have ever flexed

for one another

They are a dance in black and white
Fred and Ginger with a twist

look at the girl

swaying red nailed stone sculptor
she is a tone poem                call her by her name

call her land and set sail

Her badge of courage read as blood smeared
across lips

before lowered to his ears

she whispers into the granite
of his night

"go on home boy."

She is the house of cards that
mercy built

she is a harder stone
for sure

so hard he cuts his teeth on her
and when she drinks his blood
he is the body

She says:

Boy, if you were your charm
I would take these potato picking baby shelf
hips & turn tornado for you

I am hypnotized by the music of
your scent which I carry on my tongue


you damn the serpent who
sees you

as though she lost you paradise by
way of the fruit

we are a two-step love affair
we are a dance

I am no less for the lipstick
I am no less for the lipstick
I am no less

for holding the music
like I hold you

up in the granite of
the nights we tumble through together

and when I arch my back to the work
of you

you are the body you were
born to be

I am a house of cards
impossibly built to
shelter your fickle intentions


I may be charmed
and I may be dancing for you
but I've got a mouth full of venom
I am a hard thing to break

so look at the girl

swaying          red nailed        stone sculptor

she is part of the dance
whether you claim her  or not

call her by her name

call her            hard blood smeared thing

who cuts through the granite of your night
like a diamond

(Note: This poem was posted on Fran Varian's essay, "This Girl Is On Fire")  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trajectory of the Traveling Susan

Trajectory of the traveling Susan 
by Marge Piercy

Round Susan, somewhere Susan,
Susan with suitcase and Berlitz book and stuffed shoulderbag
flies in the air sitting down.
Your spices are waiting under the falling dust.
Strange pussies are sticking their paws under the door.
Gottlieb sits in a corner with his head loose in his hands
and plays at poking out his eyes.
The ceilings are blackboards he has scrawled with
The mailman fills the box up with nothing.

Quail Susan, pheasant Susan
riding an aluminum paperclip
between the cold stars and the jellyfish,
remember us in the broken net,
come back to the wooly strands of the caring web
stuck between jammed weeks and waiting testily.
Each love is singular.
The strands hang loose.

Apricot Susan, applesauce Susan
stuck up in the sky like a painted angel,
you think the web is a trap.
You see mouths open to swallow you in pieces.
You see gaping beaks and hear piercing cries of fill-me.
Susan, you are a hungry bird too with mouth wide open.
The nets we build never hold each other.
The minnow instant darts through the fingers
leaving a phosphorescent smear
and nothing else.

Jagged Susan, enamel Susan,
Susan of sullen sleeps and jabbing elbows,
of lists and frenetic starts,
of the hiss of compressed air and the doors slide shut,
you can't hang in the air like a rainbow.
We are making the revolution out of each other.
We have no place else to begin
but with our hungers and our caring and our teeth.
Each love is singular
and the community still less than the addition of its parts.
We are each other's blocks and bricks.
To build a house we must first dig a hole
and try not to fall in.