poetryrepairs 15,06:069

KELLY JEAN WHITE : With apologies to Gerald Stern
KELLY JEAN WHITE : The Year I Discovered Rondele

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With apologies to Gerald Stern

someone is handing out cigars to all the street people on my walk, the gray man who sits on the steps at Tangís Dugout, the dark shaman with the duct-taped stick, the duchess with the found flowered hat and gloves; they turn their faces up with pure benediction, hands move generous circles, and the voices, oh these songs, such sweet rasping praise

poetryrepairs #212 15,06:069

The Year I Discovered Rondele 

I still walked around this ghetto at noon. There was a cheese shop, and a rather nice little sandwich place, frequented by one of the Black Panthers, aging gracefully, writing cookbooks. I thought I made elegant parties, serving soft flavored cheeses on elegant crackers with special little knives. I thought I was grown up, twenty-seven, with a real job and a husband and friends whoíd drop in of an evening for a little wine. I saw a future of decorous motherhood, dressed in dresses to match my perfect daughters. Iíd step back from full-time work, volunteer in civic causes, support peace and breast-feeding. Quiet activism, and Iíd age gracefully too, making presents of my husbandís money. Iíd collect local pottery and handi- crafts, maybe be an actual art patron, like the other surgical wives. Iíd be good at it. So good I could be my husbandís conscience. With my work for the oppressed and underserved. He didnít want a conscience. He wanted someone who believed he was right. The cheese shop closed. The ghetto became full of men with guns without a political agenda. Friends stopped coming over. I slept a year in a bed that grew colder and more silent. I did not know what to say. And when I did I did not say it. What an odd girl I was, to see an elegant future in cheese.

poetryrepairs #212 15,06:069


Her father used to call her "Leptir" Which is Serbian for Butterfly Because she used to chase after the Monarchs Flapping her chubby little girl arms In an effort to fly just like them. Now her thin hands flutter like Butterflies Working quickly Over her project While there is still Light of day. Critiques and Croissants We sit in the coffee shop where he slowly butters his croissant as he speaks emotionlessly about how sick he is of poetry I clasp my red parcel of works to my chest holding back disappointment and the urge to tell him that fourth latte is not good for him He bemoans his very successful career telling me all the tragedies that will befall each of us in life sorrow is no respecter of persons, apparently I hang onto every word although I sadden more with each new revelation he has to offer until he reaches out a hand fingers shiny with butter "Let me see them, Little One" He takes the red parcel from me, carefully and thoughtfully reading each poem with the patience he put into buttering his croissant "Is good," he concludes, "But never say what can be implied". Quickly, he slashes out mistakes with his ever present nubby pencil He does in seconds what I could not do in three nights He leaves his mark on my poetry, More visible than that of the oily fingerprints left behind With his act of kindness Even though he is sick of poetry. He makes his mark on my poetry As visibly as the oily fingerprints he has left behind He smiles sadness But leaves gladness in my heart With his act of kindness Even though he is sick of poetry How To Not Write A Poem See how many chocolates you can eat Without biting into a single one 11 miniatures Gag on a sugar high See how white the faded denim fringe of your cut-off shorts Looks against your tanned thigh Turn your arms this way and that, Compare them against the aforementioned thigh See which is darker (it's the thigh, it's always the thigh) See if you can make water bead up on your forearm Count the vitamins left in your bottle sitting on your desk Play with toe ring Tap a tune on your keyboard See how it comes out looking like 3489ut9 foesdvx790eiritr9u043903 Deep condition your hair Polish your nails Take up crocheting Happily pick up ringing phone only to find Irate editor at other end Looking to pick fight Yes, you understand the meaning of deadline No, you don't need to look it up Yes, you will quit procrastinating Immediately become brilliant Write something witty and dazzling Sparkle on paper All the while vowing not to go near the candy section Of the department store again. New York Cocktail Party In a sea of little black numbers And perfectly coiffed bobs I am the Only one Wearing red silk And long, misbehaving curls. In panic, I say to you, "I am the only one not in black!" You smile, lean forward, Kiss my neck And wickedly whisper, "I know!" Lazy Afternoon You say, There is no better way To spend a Saturday afternoon, Than having your back rubbed By artist's hands. As I massage and knead Your already limber muscles, I notice streaks of raw umber And cadmium red paint On my busy fingers, And wonder If you are grateful, I was not making pottery Instead.

poetryrepairs #212 15,06:069

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