Mary McCray is the author of Why Photographers Commit Suicide (poems available on Amazon) and the co-author of St. Lou Haiku. Her poems have appeared in Ape Culture, Phoebe--The Journal of Gender and Cultural Critiques, The South Carolina Review, The Wisconsin Review, Switched-on Gutenberg, Literal Latte, Natural Bridge, Tintern Abbey, Eye Dialect, and Mudfish.

Her essays have been published in Book/Mark, Ape Culture and Hermenaut, The Journal of Heady Philosophy. Mary is also the creator of her alter-ego, zine, blog and resource site for Cher Scholar. She was also co-editor of the award winning pop culture zine Ape Culture.

Mary blogs about poetry at http://www.bigbangpoetry.com/
Mary McCray is the author of Why Photographers Commit Suicide (poems available on Amazon) and the co-author of St. Lou Haiku. Her poems have appeared in Ape Culture, Phoebe--The Journal of Gender and Cultural Critiques, The South Carolina Review, The Wisconsin Review, Switched-on Gutenberg, Literal Latte, Natural Bridge, Tintern Abbey, Eye Dialect, and Mudfish.

Her essays have been published in Book/Mark, Ape Culture and Hermenaut, The Journal of Heady Philosophy. Mary is also the creator of her alter-ego, zine, blog and resource site for Cher Scholar. She was also co-editor of the award winning pop culture zine Ape Culture.

Mary blogs about poetry at http://www.bigbangpoetry.com/

(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 30, 2014)

Poetry up all night
unwrapping gifts,
a marathon of unwrapping,
unfolding, untaping,
dodging the gaps
or the bonds
(as is your temper)
over this whole box.
Feline curiosity,
don't count your chickens yet.
Chickens! Don’t you know
money is everything.
Motivates everything.
This even when
the best things in life
are these unwrapping
moments with our feline hands.
The more that come—
come with a fine price,
that long-short day of joy.
Cool little cat,
Christmas comes only once.
That is the day all the best
of friends must embrace and say
adieu.

(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 29, 2014)


There is no honor among words
but they are criminally necessary.

Fools rush the line
where auteurs fear to tread.

He who hesitates writes haiku—believing
description is the better part of valor.

Thieves will tell you no news is good news
because most con men are theorists,

stealing us up, ransacking testimonies.
They have left us only fears.

And fear of the word cliché
is worse than the cliché itself.

Mary McCray
Mary McCray
Apr 28      Apr 29

(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 28, 2014)


It takes 2 to tango
1 to lead and 1 to twirl
1 to catch the falling

U the crazy and U the sane—
who teaches whom?

It takes 2 to tango, 2 to waltz
getting nowhere

It takes at least 2
to do the Boot Scootin’ Boogie
they are frayed around the edges
but done 4
the energy discharged
by those many arms and legs

Jazz hands!

2 heads R better
4 eyes R better
4 feet R better
to read with than one

more emoting, more plummeting,
more butter in the cookie

weak link in the telephone game
ineffectual spy
gumshoe detective
gaaaaaps

Jazz hands!

bygones are never bitter

(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 27, 2014)


Live and receive
the past’s mistakes,
errors in trench coats,
the false face of experience.
She is the best pontificator.

Failure teaches, most often,
envy. Gertrude Stein teaches
that Gertrude Stein teaches
despite herself. She is the mother
of the wisdom
side-step.

We are experience
and we drop a dime
every time.
We share. We don’t share.
We give every ingredient of the recipe
but one. And still sometimes,
the soufflé is a success.
This teaches miracles.

Empathy is learned
when one is thrown
into the hole.
But keep your sentiment
in little wire cages and tear-
drop the ink of mascara
into its eye. What
have we learned?

Authority is useless
as permission.
Don’t I say so?
She more helpfully gives
able help: the sermon,
the tutor, the backdoor
confidant, intervention
into the mess of struggle.

It’s never too late
to learn the cliff is a cliff
and the ground is the ground,
to be spared experience.
It’s never too late to accept
a tender mercy.

(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 26, 2014)


The more one knows, the less one believes;
He who knows nothing, doubts nothing:
theoretical aphorism, deliverance in the dictum.

This week my father fixed our sliding glass door.
We had no oil for the dried out runners.
He used an anti-stick, cooking spray instead.

His idea was a tango: part knowledge
and part belief. You use what you can
to make the door open or close.

Trillions of videos on the Internet,
tutorials and poems
to step-by-step you through.

Has it all been said, though?
Has too much been said?
Can you never say enough—

trying to make the parts work
between the known and the unknown?
You believe in words

like canola, the oil that keeps us together
and keeps us apart. The doors stick
halfway open and halfway closed.

Trillions of ideas to nudge us north or south.
Knowledge is power and yet you yield to belief.
What you don’t know can’t outsmart you.

(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 25, 2014)


Walls have ears.
Read your poems to the walls.
The hills have eyes
and study manifestos over your head.
The trees are not poets
but let them have their say.

(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 24, 2014)


A few nights ago my parents and I watched an HBO movie called “Phil Spector” starring Helen Mirren, (did you know she’s the same age as Cher?), Al Pacino, (in one of his best performances IMHO), and Jeffrey Tambor, (for those fans of “The Larry Sanders Show,” “Arrested Development” and, if you’re old enough, latter-day “Three’s Company”).

The moral of Spector’s involvement in the Lana Clarkson death-story can be read as “appearances are deceptive.”

Being beautiful, being rich, being happy.

The moral of this HBO movie could be read as movies themselves are deceptive. The HBO narrative tried to tell a story about how to tell a story about reasonable doubt. The movie itself left out some pretty pertinent facts about the case, such facts as Spector’s defense team might have left out, facts that may have been used to convict Spector later on… in the part of the story the HBO movie did not tell.

Facts around the periphery and facts mingling in the mix.

(The bloody towel in the bathroom, evidence of attempts made to clean up the scene, incriminating language said to a driver and then later during questioning by police.)

Shaky, addled hands can make mistakes. But then, appearances are deceptive.

Then there was the doubt, somewhat reasonable, a kind of doubt that hovers around the line, quavering, moving both ways.

Experience would indicate that sometimes barking dogs do bite. The headless and the dog-bitten will tell you that. The infamous Wall-of-Sound gun-pointer. The boy who cries wolf often finds himself in a pickle. Or a prison.

See? I use my experience to argue a point, to “sway the jury,” in another words to “deceive.”

Reconstructions are stories are usually deceptive.

A bullet in the mouth is less so.

Whether Phil Spector murdered Lana Clarkson—that is neither here nor there. A story will not tell you that.

So then what will?

 
To comment on this poem, please log in or create a free account
Log in or register to comment