Will you be satisfied with thawed stars or will you demand fresh ones? I'm not sure if fresh ones are available or freshly killed, or frozen; how do you like your stars, well lit? dim? lightly chilled? I don't have electric ones. Five pointed stars are out of style, archaic; Stay awhile and I'll find one less blinding. I've dipped scores and scores of my stars in black paint so as not to offend We must placate placate A world of men wearing sunglasses But beware of thawed stars They drip.
Last night I stole the night sky I wanted a long long black cloak to sleep in I was restless and couldn't settle down You are probably wondering what I did with the myriad of stars I wasn't intending to dazzle I only wanted to lie down with the comfortable weight of the dark night sky Wrap myself in its deep dream, The silent splendor of darkness If anyone missed it, I do not know This morning I released the sky, tied it to its moorings, the stars, saw it turn blue again in sun None the worse for the wear.
Random messages float in the air like dogs making slurping noises waiting for their masters and we strain to hear Some smell like bothered skunks and we avoid them, close our car windows A woodpecker calls to us from his rotten tree The bullfrog has plenty to say The poky donkey makes us pull him along Old people take notes to remember and repeat questions over and over Who finds these poems and writes them down? Or over there as the Great Blue Heron takes flight from one tree to the next warning the woman in the canoe of a coming message she would have to snatch from the sky Perfectly formed, like his wings spread in a whoosh, flying soundlessly The poem is looking for its landing place Under that turtle's furtive head darting back into the water What should be said? Here or there or anywhere? A small impression formed from dew on early morning grass, a plop the cat left A hundred different insects the fox on the hill Or maybe just the thought of you A rumbling starting in my head a trembling hand a motion to retrieve this song before the sound is lost An excited jitter, a flutter of joy as the mind takes hold Of what can't be held or caught A spider's work is easier to keep her threads more taut than this fleeting moment that can't be found in a photograph But can be seen in invisible ink or in the pounding rain You cannot hesitate or it is lost It has no cost but fuels my heart An endless source that disappears and comes again with simple thought
GREEN HAS AN ATTITUDE
The green smears itself against gray sky and clutters everything with green Green has an attitude It takes over It doesn't ask permission Green slaps itself all over Bushes trees grass creepy vines People try to fight back by painting houses white yellow and blue by filling the air with dark smoke and smog Building whole cities with only a few trees Crisscrossing the landscape with industrial junkyards no green would be caught dead in No, what you don't realize is, It's a war Green's got an attitude People have to show green who's boss
Company regulations forbid that men visit with the minds of fish unless on a scientific expedition and then only in the company of men with degrees who have the credentials that plumb the depths of whatever the fish might be thinking. It is absolutely impossible to conceive that a fish could think of anything, so please don't bring that subject up again. When we have made a fish meter we will discover that they do see certain odd shapes up above the surface of the water that may affect their mating habits And after we have observed this for thousands of years, we may be qualified to make a public statement in a scientific journal; until that time, any conclusions are only tentative.
Hearing the rain falling, falling, falling I am drunk, soused I am taller than the trees wiser than the birds I roar; there are no lions I take the rain in teacups, float in the pines, forego the company of men dine in flowers Jumping in the rain rolling, rolling, rolling in leaves dripping I am under the influence, intoxicated, totally wiped I speak in tongues Rattle on with toads and slip with underwater tadpoles I store moss under my stones gloat with spiny things down where no man has ever gone Only fools know what I have known I am drunk drunk drunk in the sullen rain Unclothe your creature comforts and come You will lose yourself in the willing wet You will forget and remember You will drink the rain
TOLUCA LAKE SPRING
Flowers, so sweet, the smell clings to the skin Sidewalks glitter, grow mica The sky coughs a dry haze Distant mountains slow to a brown crack Women pull neon skirts out of closets High heels scratch cement walkways Cats shed houses like fur Houses fling open their shut eyes then close them tight Air conditioners are revving up their engines The days aren't ready to be smothered in smog They are still pretending real clouds They blink patches of blue The hard ground resists my spade The sycamore has finally decided to clothe himself after a long winter's nakedness Ivy, clipped to a neat edge, waits politely for a drink Palm trees stare straight ahead as usual Blenders whip up strawberry froth near open windows There are those breezes, can't make up their minds, hot? cool? Gardeners blow away bird song Poets put the roar of blowers into poems The flowers are playing sweet silent violins Profusion of confusing pastel sounds Little old ladies take their cars for walks around the block, find pennies to buy eggs My head cracks open, sprouting poems Hormones bend logical minds Leaves are jealous, watch for starlets in tight pants Trees are getting it up in green fast before the coating of smog dulls their senses Smog, LA's permanent excuse for irony My old car grins and winks We ride to Pasadena to find the real spring
When you rise to kiss the moon do not lose yourself in her craggy crevices or flatten yourself on her smooth contours Keep your distance lest you float into moon's delirium Do not ponder her thoughts Ride in your own dimension You have no need to tangle in imponderable moon threads or dance in her folly When you rise to kiss the moon consider only her craft Though she may astonish you with her cool beauty Admire the carvings of millennia, the many faceted shards of her surface, the intricate patterns of her nubs But do not linger in moon's heady swoon or breathe her quivering air Keep your eye calculating the radiance Know the luna's luminating kiss and steal away before you are stolen by moon madness
IN SLIGHT PROTEST OF MUPPETS
I am not immune to the sight of a plain tree out in the open air, Yet I paint it streaked, curled and the cows I see are not of the domestic variety; Three small flecked toads do not satisfy my wandering eye, They must bark, in perfect sixths. Muppets are too real; they do not appear and disappear without a trace. There are strings. And gadgets. Oh roll with me down my hillside. It is fairly slippery and is made of vibrating flute tones, low and soft A color of plums will float you aloft; Your keel is as steady as grapes on a still day. I am not pacified by the sound of tolling bells, flowers, shapes entombed in real... from them there's no escape.
Copyright © 2003 Alice Pero All Rights Reserved