poetryrepairs 16.02:024

RALPH MONDAY : Reality by Rabbit Ears
RALPH MONDAY : au revoir mon amour

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Reality by Rabbit Ears

I love the rabbit ears on her TV set, double-mint aluminum towers gobbling up vanished airwaves sent out before she was born. Modern Delphic images genuine as a gypsy’s fortune, these are the forms of things unsleeping. This the analog angel without wings said to her while she sat on the sofa sipping a drink. You must be born again of rock and air, not of human mother. Then you will know all have been robbed, theft of supreme sky where a change of names is nothing more than the moon’s wane, hoarse ghost hobbled by the same towers on top of this brown box telling that consciousness must be whetted, thoughts honed on a stone knife that will cut away the poisoned flesh reveal it is more wise to understand hatred, love much much harder to win. Know this when maiden bodies lie entangled, where the womb becomes warped by love’s triangle fused into cracked pottery burnt in an unseasoned kiln. Become now a wise woman in a bad hour, a jewel-eyed woman seeing that bottled futures like blood-loving weasels are shards beneath the cathedral towers, and this love is not wisdom. This is demoralized sand, twisted, turned, ground by each breaking wave into mist-gray thoughts and once gated loyalties become thin ghosts. Now is the time to wish for granite forged deep in earth’s undying uterus, to walk beneath a recurrent, fantastic moon that makes joy a trickster. It is not a long island tea that you drink. It is a reality.

poetryrepairs #221 16.02:024

au revoir mon amour

this time when you walk away don’t go into the forest you might get lost but you’re there already make a shelter of hemlock branches or find a cave to crawl into build a fire if you have matches try to find the light as a guide to your blindness reflection upon your ruined mind know that an owl flying in daytime has lost its way do not follow like the many stags whose trail you sniffed upon only to discover they broke off their horns in you left no velvet to soothe reddened thighs marked you with their yellowed musk stay in the underworld that you carved out with sophistic eyes its safer there and if you hear dogs baying in the distance do not worry they are not looking for you

poetryrepairs #221 16.02:024

Pancakes with Maine Wild Blueberry Syrup

Just an album of old snapshots that had belonged to my aunt and uncle, now passed two years. Rummaging through them I ran across a timeworn photo of you in black and white, a polka dot dress in the time when we went to drive-ins and hamburger joints where girls served us on roller skates. I heard that you were still alive, but I don't know. You would be old and silvered as me now. Just as broken and decrepit, just as hard to start up in the mornings like a junkyard ford. In the photograph your smile is as bright as the sun backlit through the open door of our house that we passed through many times, the same home that burned, I heard, a number of years past, taking with it all the dark karma that we left. The photo meant something once. You meant something once, so I paused on your face like a man stopping to catch his breath after a two mile run, drawn to the picture, to those moments the way people slow down on the interstate to look at wrecks, hoping to see the bleeding. We were young then, without children, and I remember that I took the picture after breakfast at Cracker Barrel. You had pancakes smothered in Maine wild blueberry syrup; me, three eggs over easy with biscuits and gravy. This was just before we were married, and I was gone for two years marching toward Hitler’s Berlin. I carried this glimpse of you with me as hope against the empty box, the dead in the fields, lost shoes, crumbled and burned houses, all the fragments of insanity, and the shard that was you I held in my pocket as a mortared force. After 1945 nothing was the same. We drained one another through lies, deceit, rationalizations that our actions were somehow noble and right. We were sick. Everyone was sick. The divorce was not amicable—are they ever? But your eyes in the yellow photo, saying something then as now. Like years ago in the rain, the mud, the snow, the dark forests, I put your picture in my pocket and closed the album with my cane.

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RALPH MONDAY is Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee, and has published hundreds of poems in over 50 journals. MONDAY is a poetryrepairs regular. A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014; a book Empty Houses and American Renditions was published May 2015 by Aldrich Press; and, a Kindle chapbook Narcissus the Sorcerer was published June 2015 by Odin Hill Press.