Black Tulip Reminiscence
We went out our in best black tulip suits
washed our black tulip diner-ware, painted
all the red tulips black, the pink tulips—white.
The black tulips grew rampant and right
as the night they contained. We mouthed
words into the wrong mouths for too long
and then again always. We were ironing our
collective shirts, sighing into our collective
soup, we were collected for a time, then donated.
For one season, beyond belief, we were all the rage..
Good Friday We Drive Around the Synagogue Geese
the deer not yet bounding across the lot, into a stand of trees
the light suggestive of spring, the air recalling winter and it’s good,
Friday, us, the strange new year we’ve opened like a suspicious package
bore a new facet to our friendship that were it a day would be Friday
a day sipping at the rainwater puddles at the edge of the weekend pool.
A day caught like a kite in the hope-tree of the possible, where Saturday
is a breakfast served in the mind’s little cafe, the stack of pancakes
rivuleted in real maple syrup, the pats of butter--pillow-plush, your face,
Friend, Brother, Dear-Heart, Weird One, better for our ever-Fridays
when I drive the hundred miles back to where for four years we shared
a lifetime and if once one of us wished a forever tucked inside
those times, the other trafficked in Black Tulip Time, an infinite
minute if imaginary.
Angry Black Cloud Pretends to Tulip
He rainbowed me, abhorred me, man-o-warred me,
Then bestowed me, (then just stowed me,) What was owed me?
Who can say? Yesterdayed him then unprayed him,
If betrayed then, let it lay.
Misconnected, no one objected.
We undressed and then redressed it
Left ourselves out on display.
Sacrificed it, sliced and diced it,
Then we left it, so-bereft it skulked
towards home then lost its way.
30 Goodbye too, Love: Elegy for Karen Carpenter
Only yesterday when you were sad and you were lonely,
Your alto-range lovesongs put the pop in popsong.
That smile in your voice, like a good receptionist,
kept the better part of the seventies
pleasant. Karen, forgive us, we hadn’t yet seen that strained
look on the faces of all the women to starve themselves
after you. Didn’t know that a body could be both dandelion spore
and scarecrow-headed in bellbottom jeans with a t-shirt, embroidered
with many colored flowers and glinting with a rhinestone at each
of its floral-cores. Yesterday when you were sad and you were lonely,
to leave the past and all its tears behind you, you emptied yourself,
like a pill bottle found irony on labels that instructed you not take them
on an empty stomach. Wondered how to otherwise when you were emptiness
embodied, singing your even your own dirges in a voice careful and sweet
as a greeting card. Jagged-Girl we saw you, the gothic self, running behind
the trees in the forest—recolorized by Disney in shades that were synthetic
imitations of color—that was your soul, your slip-self creeping between pines
And watching that other-you in her bright pastels pull another smile from her
handbag and swallow it whole. Superstar, you’ll go too far, not far enough,
you’ll shoot and fall, and for a split-glitter-torn second the heavens will recall.