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