st64 Jul 2016

Little Box talks back
With a new set of teeth
And pink gums
A fake nose and a wax mustache
She disguises her voice
To sound like Groucho

Little Box opens up
And cries to her psychiatrist
I don’t know why they hate me
I’m such a sweetheart
I volunteer at the zoo
And teach Mandarin
To their bratty children

Little Box is not happy to see you
So she closes herself up for months
Years, decades, and two millennia!
She tacks up a sign that says

Little Box is undead
She sleeps all day in a coffin
Hands over chest
At night she cruises the mall
For juicy victims

She prefers type A
But AB if she has to
What can you say
Vampires can’t be choosy
She likes your stupid brother

Little Box is on the psychiatry couch
Everybody hates me
Nobody loves me
Little Box lies on her side
And spills her guts

What’s in Little Box
A perfect orchid
A chocolate-covered strawberry
A new iPhone
With a glittery sleeve
Amber earrings from Pushkin

Keys to a new Porsche
A retro Chanel brooch
A Getty scion’s left ear
A Czar’s penis
Gifts so rare
Please don’t stare

What’s in Little Box
Rancid chow mein
A sliver of cold pizza
Last week’s hummus
You’re a starving orphan
From East Brooklyn
And you’ll eat it

So you want to fuck Little Box
You want to know her secret
She won’t open up
She won’t give it up
And you are genuinely repelled
By her filthy ribbon

You want to DO the Little Box
You are a sorry story
You big creep
Why don’t you get off the couch and find
A real girlfriend!

Boss Box
White, square, and without a soul!

Please don’t analyze Little Box
She’s just cardboard clogging the landfill
Her mother Precious Jade Purse
Has been regifted

howdy :)
st64 Feb 2015

To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.

                       - Arundhati Roy

blessed be.
st64 Dec 2014

on windy plains
flattened panels beneath tight-pressed scarves, they stand
on the edge of the highway
seeking the last streaks of eve's sun
bodies on windy plains where, in the lap of poverty, kids play and listen
the dirty little words mothers spill
a hapless world in flats steep, laundry billows on higher
than most dreams can possibly reach

song to be sung, yet youth's golden mouth swift-ripped away
by hungry-crones topped in white hats and over-spiffed lines
poor boy couldn't hold it together, they fell apart
scatter the crowd in fold-up chairs to make it look less empty
spread the tea-garden in the hall, circulate those tiny packets
so much damn noise, is that all we waited for?

revolutions were built on disparity's hand thrust in the face of the poor
pity the drug of current day keeps all so well glued to the system
somebody wise once said that royalty awards knighthood
                                                exactly for the same reason
to keep gentry where they are seen fit to belong: below
                                                           ­                   the swirl of understanding
so, there won't be enough cake for everyone.

when saviours ring in the new, for a short while
and new heads bring down the old names
and gut the bastions of the past
surely, when we destroy the ugly parts of history, we conceal truth
with pompous new plaques and road names for petty achievers
even bad press is held up as recognition these days
and too many are numbed, hopelessly foiled by the feed
peck, peck.. nice, little chikken
                         (mind stuffed with trash, mouthpiece occupied)

some content to catch a few crumbs on the way down
while others tread lightly on their way out the back exit
the more we so blindly buy into the whole mess
the less we see the big pic
                           (the real one)
nebulous covers the screen so well: away from organic life
life on a farm, growing your own stuff
       needing less of plug-in
       more of play
I steadily tire of the filthy streams we're led to wade in
thick and viscous with the stench of decay
and no way out but the meeting with barbed-wire walls

oh, for days of simple pleasures.. walking in the park
                                                      swingi­­ng high into the blue sky

with eyes on the rim of the planet
a ten-cents pineapple-popsicle
and no fear of the unknown
       but beautiful discoveries, good and not-so-good

now, a man will die in the hands of a stranger's care
at the mercy of their kin's timetable
busy, busy, busy.. loved ones moving on
ah, no time to enjoy a tot, some oenomel.

say, God.. you got a moment? I'd like to address a grievance or two
are we forgetting what you told us?
what was it again -- on the day, we tried to understand your identity
                                    in a tongue this world's memory suffered lapse
there was a time we understood your meaning
today, I hear your voice in the rustle out my meadow
right here
in the green leaves

I think I can hear you right
loving your remembrances.

silent anger brews in the streets, common folk took enough
tired of threats and crumbs left by chunks others gorged on
retaliatory mountains grow, a surge in march
a touch too late to retract some acts.. for haste & judgment hurt
where many struggle to breathe, so hatred cements its template
slowly, time may crumble them to stones, then dust
            or hope build a rope from heart's twine
            or love blow breezes of care on this fiery circle
faraway, where queens live on ginger cakes and ale
on windy plains.

is there really not enough cake for all?
odd how easily media OVERcrops reality.. perhaps a slice if that pie is bein' filtered down, after all.. who knows.

welllllllllll, perhaps a li'l look-see back into the annals of history to remind us how greed will end in a head-chopping.. or two.

sub-entry: drumstick

I hold up high.. parapum, pum-pum
the banner we swore in.. parapum, pum-pum
but we do not know how.. parapum, pum-pum
drumsticks and games got shoved in
to keep us quiet and busy

surely, the graves of liberty-warriors TURN
in horror
at the grand-scale daylight-robbery
we allow and DEFEND.. parapum-pum-pum!
st64 Nov 2014

it saws old rain in my skull
and your thoughts take a tour; wet and heavy
and quietly, the dirt shifts in the metal tracts

you break me every single time
my internal spilling is entangled

my summer-psyche enmeshed in your season
and forever swallows a few more ribs
don't wake the children of the light
for their feathers will burn beneath my nails

a storm hangs patiently on the wall
like a delighted painting made from frantic crystals
and I skitter from your towering moods
yet the moon dances in and out of every calm abyss

the lid is no more vacant than my veins cursed with
your silence
like algae, I slip on

my terror squeaks like a vehicle possessed
cheeks go ashen in my gay smiles
you will blush, in secret at what I will do
to you

sails lift on garlicky air in a port where ships don't wait
and my tongue loosens another melody only doubt hears
I'm completely in your hands
and willing for that crush

my acts for coins fall meaningless in embedded frustration
       don't come to the table, then
       keep the shades drawn
only the sense of phantoms
will be hanging in my smoke
intoxicating me to radiance
racing through to the ripples in your day

I'll keep lancing pebbles across the ocean's surface
they will never really reach the riverbed
frosty comes in agonising diamonds
a feast of distress sitting urgently
a shudder flutters through me, imperceptible

reduction of sweetness
a date with the cherubs from a netherworld
my nose feels the snows you carry
and I know you constrict still
my language falters and thinking shatters
and although slumped and vulnerable, it flourishes.

  Sep 2014 st64

the weight of a hand
resting in yours
the resistance to the touch of a single finger
upon another
the sizzle of a thousand hairs between fingertips
the dampness of breath upon your cheek
the redness of pair of lips
...or of a blushing forehead
...or of cheekbones under droplets of perspiration

the silence of an empty room
the sense of someone close
...who is a thousand miles away
...and thinking of you

st64 May 2014

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

English writer D.H. Lawrence’s prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, and literary criticism. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization.
In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, human sexuality and instinct. After a brief foray into formal poetics in his early years, his later poems embrace organic attempts to capture emotion through free verse.

Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile he called his “savage pilgrimage.”
At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as, “The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.”
Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical “great tradition” of the English novel.
st64 May 2014

How it is fickle, leaving one alone to wander
the halls of the skull with the fluorescents
softly flickering. It rests on the head
like a bird nest, woven of twigs and tinsel
and awkward as soon as one stops to look.

That pile of fallen leaves drifting from
the brain to the fingertip burned on the stove,
to the grooves in that man's voice
as he coos to his dog, blowing into the leaves
of books with moonlit opossums
and Chevrolets easing down the roads
of one's bones. And now it plucks a single
tulip from the pixelated blizzard: yet

itself is a swarm, a pulse with no
indigenous form, the brain's lunar halo.

Our compacted galaxy, its constellations
trembling like flies caught in a spider web,
until we die, and then the flies
buzz away—while another accidental
coherence counts to three to pass the time
or notes the berries on the bittersweet vine

strewn in the spruces, red pebbles dropped
in the brain's gray pool. How it folds itself
like a map to fit in a pocket, how it unfolds
a fraying map from the pocket of the day.

Joanie Mackowski (b. 1963)

Joanie Mackowski’s collections of poems are The Zoo (2002) and View from a Temporary Window (2010). She received a BA from Wesleyan University, was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, and received a PhD from the University of Missouri.

Her poetry is marked by precise details and attention to the sounds of language; the lines of her poems echo with slant and internal rhymes. Sometimes eerie and often grounded in scientific facts, her poetry scrutinizes insects, plants, animals, and the self.
Of her work, Mackowski has said, “I try to ask questions about what makes us separate individuals and also about what brings us together, in love or in community.” She lives in upstate New York.
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