poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:029

RALPH MONDAY : 'Bergman's Island' & Other Poems
Dirty Moons
Consumption
Through These Spaces

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Dirty Moons

A beer joint in Kentucky deep in the mountains is no city of mystery, maybe for a boy dragged in by his drunken father to drink more and ogle the tight- skirted whores. I guess he thought the place was some seductive burrow but you could smell the piss and the blood, the landscapes of bigotry years-ground into the angry floorboards. The whores giggle and laugh and wait for some body to finger them under their skirts if some roughneck will buy them a drink or two— laughing through ambition’s cradle dancers on a dark delta where the men with their cold fingers dreamed they were stroking cold virgins. There is clear meaning: love has stopped breathing. Hate is a dead skin that cannot be sloughed off where only bleeding kisses provide a sermon for transportation of all the dead left coffin-eyed on these numb floors by knife or gun or haunted wife who would cauterize the memory and rebirth through emotion’s pastiche—long married to terrible sounds—this scene played over and over, movie credits endlessly rolling like dirty moons.

poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:029





Consumption 

All her life she has been eating herself. As a girl beginning with her feet where she washed the feet of others with her long hair. Only at certain times was the taste palatable. At adolescence she consumed her breasts before others could take them. Always she remained silent in the agony. Though there was a little blood, letting no one know, because they could not understand, except for the watcher following when she slid from her mother’s loins, always hushed but ever conscious moving among shadows, among dreams. When she married she ate her heart before it could be served as a red roast to an unworthy diner. She ate her children, three of them, one by one, a child flesh-trinity lest the world consume them as a sacrifice to self. At the end there was nothing left to eat, not even a thought.

poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:029





Through These Spaces

Each month drops of her blood mirror the color of the Bradfords in the backyard. She would walk among the rain soaked leaves as though moving to catch a train to a space long lost. Childhood teachers treated her as though she was a puppet, their bourgeois manners reflected in long skirts that trailed about the floor. She made the pillows soft for her first husband, hard as a cemetery stone for her second, for the tumults of the years made her brittle, her apron replaced by nettled thoughts. She stopped looking at the photographs of her dead children, remembered only her first love affair where they trekked through frozen snow to the dirty motel, drank Mateus, listened to Sinatra singing “My Way,” had a kind of fumbling, embarrassed sex. They talked of meeting again in the spring when the trees bloomed. That was all it was—tongues making useless chatter. The trees never blossomed. She would think of these things at the morning mirror, knowing that the space between the stars is dreadful, cold. Comb out her long hair sing all through the morning light. Sing as though calling the sun to light the trees full in the disheveled spaces.




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read more poetry

RALPH MONDAY : 'Bergman's Island' & Other Poems
Dirty Moons
Consumption
Through These Spaces


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