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Kara Rose Trojan Apr 2011
My personal déjà-vu-time memory-prompts that frame
The blurring patterns of today’s hubcap-wheels, spinning
Kaleidoscope flashbacks of bathtub playtime.

A gaggle of giggling girls babbling about
What used to matter : umbrella-popping chewing gum
With gallivanting jargon laced in crushes-hushed : boy-talk.  

Pillows : Comforters morphing, swarming like
Womb-entranced, half-cupped palms calmed
Palpitating mouths motoring off self-pitying rumble-grumbles.

How the clopping ball of opted-birr was a bent-mouth birdcall
Over-relished, over-zealous imploration : a round robin
Jumblemix of a jejune bombast for slap-sticked power.

By-and-by polysyllabic buds bloomed, baked, and wrinkled
Past-Gas’s long-gone jokes : those balmy snug-hugs guarding
Doltish vulgarity among the begrimed-glitch and old-grown-boring Jive.
Kara Rose Trojan Apr 2011
All my friends are tortoise-shelled Merlins stalking statues
with their walking canes at dusk while
I pad behind them on all fours
as the day breaks the clouds like wet tissue.
And, Garrett, you broke the picket line –
Once the spotlight’s beam with that grin wider than yours and mine’s minds’ intangible illusions – Now the rustle of an intermission between stage and applause.
Our afternoons were spent *******
nicotine out of burning daily afflictions
between raspy exasperations and half-laughing
declarations about how we couldn’t catch a break.

I would ask you why, but it’s not my place.
It’s not yours, either.

I’ll tell you The Why about me, Garrett. I’ll tell you the right
and proper Why I had to pause and stifle
my cigarette break before my wrists broke
                before my wet-eyed babbling witnessed your last wave’s exhalation on all our friends

The Why I was 40 when I saw the shady What If [the same
                that stalked you] linger round my mother. And
                I heard your exhalation of “Mama Kara” and
                I remembered how to act.
The Why I was 13 when I begged the ambiguous How Do I out of you
                when I felt lifeless and pale within UIC's Courtyard -- all of our eyes spread white and feverish.

We can never pay for it -- too much of one thing is
Our buckled knees dragging the question to the fountain to make it drink.
Garrett – although so distant, the brush you had on me is the echo of a “Yup” and an “I know, right?”  and "Yo, lemme get a square,"
that drowns out the reverberating sound
of grief-clapping palms,
and cries, of everyone’s “Why?”
It took me a while to finally find the words to accurately write this. Like many others, I was shocked when I heard the news. Although I cannot even compare my grief to those who were closer to Garrett, I was affected by his suicide nonetheless. I will always remember Garrett Short. [November 26, 1989  -- December 28, 2010]
Kara Rose Trojan May 2012
There's a private, invisible flock of comedians chanting soapbox knock-knocks in my parking lot
            Noisy, clang, boom thingy aloft and clipping the air around the slimy snow
And why does ajax keep butting its nose into everything I’ve got?
They’re all just boom-lost facades in a canonical, sly-faced rant.
So slanted, frankly, and poised toward a milder pace that the clang clipped the frosty branches beneath a drunken frat-house party.

Ah, the dandy-clang : native to the sandy graves and morose olive branches.
            But only on the night of the dandy-clang, candy dances
for the branches are not partial to missed solid caches
            of want and woe
            of tongue and toe
and seldom shaken beneath the overbearing heat of a white-faced predator
for times it was that here and now, because
the wind had bitten harder
What am I saying?
That if the dandy-clang came. And if it produced the branches of the dancing eve fame...
with but not together. The clouds up in the ether
that lake and earth should wither
Kara Rose Trojan May 2012
Friend Rockstar,
            Listen, yield to a robust think-tank,
            earlobes skidding against wheat and grain.
Terrible story, yes, what happened to that little girl.
Sterile teddy nightgowns weeping in the squad car windows.
Teacher – Teacher, do you harken my yodels for grace?
            I’ve never been maternal.
            Put the game on. Abortion.
            That’s what I’m about.
            Grab a bra. Sling some weight.
            That’s what I’m about.
Some housefly wings on a weathered corn cob.
Some downhome, homegrown twang for those fancy, fussy britches.
            Muddy workboots. Sweat-soaked collars.
            That’s what I’m about.
Him done made me read, sir.
What sacraments did we write today?
            I can still remember my first broken bone.
            I can still remember my first broken *****.
                        That could be what this is all about.
Mary, Mary, you can be contrite,
            so knife – so critter – so laze – so stalked.
    Who fertilized your seeds? Who reared your sprouts?
            Cockle shells and silver bells, honey,
            can’t grow up
            to be pretty little maids all in a row.
Sterile teddy nightgowns – green bells in gaseous gardens.
Friend Rockstar, you may have to sleep.
This restless harbor is a shivering anecdote spilled from a belly,
            a vast, deep cavern with love notes written in milk.
Your fried, stern smile was a flaking fingernail adjacent to the crack in the flowerpot.
Some garden, I say.
Kara Rose Trojan Aug 2012
And we all shine on.
            The thorn of love that is invisible to strangers.
            Here comes the husband’s attitude again. Pass with Care.
            Here comes the husband’s paycheck again. Pass with Care.
And here we have the husband’s mistress again. And she passed with care.
Now, we have this baby girl. One more piece for the puzzle-family:
“And you know I ain’t never want no half nothing in my family.
My whole family is half. Everybody got different fathers and mothers.”

Sacrifice, Mama. Ain’t that what it’s all about?
Rose. Rose. The one who is already risen.            

When you banished him from your bed, did he contort his frame
and slug his way toward the door,
continued down the hallway
and down the stairs
to leech away the ghost of that emotion that Tallahassee-big-hipped-girl gave him?

Give your daughter, now, the hungry fatigue that you had to acquire. Pass with care.
And now you stand with this goblet in your arms.
Goblet of light. Golden flower in your heart and in your brain. This baby girl --
            Breather of the goodness in the world.
DISCLAIMER: The character Rose is from August Wilson's play Fences. Rose is a wife who learns that her husband Troy has a child with another woman. Rose reacts by banishing Troy from her bed but taking in the child after the mother dies during childbirth. I quote Rose as well because her voice should be heard just as much as my voice in order to develop her identity.
Kara Rose Trojan Jan 2013
In the caste of what the fir trees denoted what should be or what should not be,
I clasped the fig twigs and watched them split as if to say that all must come to an end.
And in the end, who can the charred leaves blame if there should be tire rods and hubcaps strewn  
                               across the forest's floor?

After totaling the costs of what should not be,
the last mast of yesterday's trade boat could skiff along the shore,
with flag flailing like the playground children's hands.

Irrationality piquing: birds dip and dive like a boxer's fists made of shadow
from one powerline to the next.
Training for the changing, biting winds, watching the unconscious cars staring.

And the skiff oozing through the unmentionables littered in the creek : what will
become of him?

Lodged in stale, fossil bones -- floundered between the swingset and the droning, dusty traffic at 3 a.m.
Metamorphic scarabs stolen from the gusts and pants of too much play.
Basketballs stained with carrion, precarious gusto in the wake of money suckling and ripping alongside                            
        the skiff.

Cross here with two pennies.

Goaded by the solitary abandonment of the 1930's, the used ******'s mouth gaping open like hungry carp, dusty trails of light from the past lamplight hanging in the air

Birds measured up along the powerlines, moving mindlessly along with the flock
Bird drones, feathery spines
Birds perched along the playground.
Bird play so far as to say
        does this not look familiar?

Bobbing, weaving, slathered in cadence and involuntary muscle jerks.

First we were here
Then we were not.
Kara Rose Trojan Dec 2014
Were you alive when the
bricks began to crumble
beneath our hand-held, picket line
across the parking lot in front of some
school that no one bothered to name?

Our exhaustion-mumbled whispers
skipping across lips dropping to the street
that tapered ladders on gargantuan gadflies as the summer heat
etched the tear lines into mud tracks against
our ruddied faces.

Cohorts torn into flip stands
layered toward standing political sores --
tell me how to cross my t’s and fill in scantron circles before
the suits step over brown-bag lunches
to stretch the yawning yellow tape over the students’ lockers.

We were strung up the flag pole, almost posted as decapitated heads for the public.
The political analysts call this “The biggest school closing in decades.”

Under teeming hammer-strikes :
glasses shred to paper-splinters
before a young boy’s diploma
crying white chalk bricks
from university’s doors instead on to
prison yard orange jumpsuits.

Can we call this a school improvement project
or can we call this the Same Salem Witch Hunt
As unwashed teachers and students alike deck the sidewalks like
Either Christmas decorations on Michigan Avenue or
Inmates on the gallows platform

I’m completely unable to read the television marquee that told the neighborhood that City Hall was too stuffed with paperwork to defend the mothers and invisible fathers.

I’m completely unable to write out of respect for these children’s already-carved in stone pathway to the gutter, graveyard, and/or prisons.

In the first wink of dawn
We will all scatter
To our respective positions
Carved out in concrete before the
barricades fall
to flood the street.
Kara Rose Trojan Dec 2014
My personal déjà-vu-time memory-prompts that frame
The blurring patterns of today’s hubcap-wheels, spinning
Kaleidoscope flashbacks of bathtub playtime.

A gaggle of giggling girls babbling about
What used to matter : umbrella-popping chewing gum
With gallivanting jargon laced in crushes-hushed : boy-talk.

Pillows : Comforters morphing, swarming like
Womb-entranced, half-cupped palms calmed
Palpitating mouths motoring off self-pitying rumble-grumbles.

How the clopping ball of opted-birr was a bent-mouth birdcall
Over-relished, over-zealous imploration : a round robin
Jumblemix of a jejune bombast for high-brow, White-men polemics

By-and-by polysyllabic buds bloomed, baked, and wrinkled
Past-Gas’s long-gone jokes : those balmy snug-hugs guarding
Based-vulgarity amongst the begrimed-teeth-******* and homegrown-Jive.
Kara Rose Trojan Dec 2014
My Second Letter to Allen Ginsberg
Dear Allen,
Almost five years ago, I wrote you a letter, and in
That letter, I purged my drunkenly woeful cries
That seem so first-world now and naïve –
The things I grimed over with luxuries I didn’t
Realize that rubbed against my plump limbs
Like millions of felines poised at the
Tombs of pharaohs.

Oh, Allen, I’m so tired –
These politics, and poly ticks, so many ticks that
Annoy my tics. Allen! I smear your name so liberally
Against this paper like primer because the easiest way
To coerce someone into listening to you like
A mother
or predator
tugging or nibbling on your ear –
Swatches of velvet scalped from a ****’s coat
Are you and I talking to ourselves again?
Candid insanity : Smoky hesitance.

Dear Allen, I’m so tired –
Yes, I love wearing my ovaries on the outside like
Some Amazonian soapbox gem glistening from beneath
The iron boots of what the newspapers tell me while
I cough at them with the hurdled delicacies of alphabet soup.
Give vegetables a gender and call them onions, Allen.
Sullied scratch-hicks pinioned feet from slapping
Society’s last rung on the ladder.
Ignore the swerve of small-town eyes.
Scapulas, stirrups, pap smears, and cervical mucus – now do you know who we are?

That fingernail clipped too short, Allen. We’ve all got AIDs
And AIDs babies, haven’t you heard? Hemorrhaging from the political
****** and out – they haven’t reached the heart.  
Since when have old white men given a **** about some
13 year old’s birth control? I’m riding on the waves of the
Parachute game and I swear this abortion-issue is just a veil outside Tuskegee University
Being further shove over plaintive eyes, swollen and black.
Pay up and
shut up.

I still remember my first broken *****, Allen.
Can you tell me all about your first time?
The vasodilatation that made veins rub against skin,
Delirious brilliance : unfathomable electricity.
I made love during an LSD experience, Allen,
And I am not sorry. I see cosmic visions and
Manifest universal vibrations as if this entire world is
A dish reverberating with textiles and marbles, and
All are plundering the depths of the finished wine
Bottle roasting in the sink like Thanksgiving Turkey.
The patience is in the living. Time opens out to you.
The opening, between you and you, occupied,
zoned for an encounter,
given the histories of you and you—
And always, who is this you?
The start of you, each day,
a presence already—
Hey, you!

Ah, Allen, if you are not safe, then I am not safe.
And where is the safest place when that place
Must be someplace other than in the body?
Am I talking to myself again?
You are not sick, you are injured—
you ache for the rest of life.

Why is it that I have to explain to my students that
sometimes what I'm spouting is prescribed by a pedagogical pharmacy --
but all they want to know is "what do the symbols on the television mean?"
I am completely aghast against the ghosts of future goners --
I am legitimately licensed to speak, write, listen like some mothers --
I am constantly cajoling the complex creations blamed on burned-out educators --
I am following the flagrant, fired-up "*******"s tagging lockers --
Pay up and
shut up.

Yes, and it’s Hopeless. Allen.
Where did we get off leaping and bounding into
The dogpile for chump change jurisdiction, policing
The right and the left for inherent hypocrisies when
Poets are so frightful to turn that introspective judgment
Upon ourselves?
We didn’t see it coming and I heard the flies, Allen.
Mean crocodile tears. Flamingo mascara tracks
Up and down : up and down: bow – bow – bow – bow
Buoyant amongst the misguided ******* floating around
In the swirlpool of lackadaisical introspection.
What good is vague vocab within poetry?
Absolutely none.
Would you leave the porchlight on tonight?
Absolutely, baby.

Dear Allen, would you grow amongst the roots and dirt
At the knuckles of a slackjawed brush of Ever-Pondering Questions
Only to ask them time-and-time-and-time-and-time-again.
Or pinch your forehead with burrowed, furrowed concentration upon those
Feeble branches of progression towards something that recedes further
And further with as much promise as the loving hand
Attempts to guide a lover to the bed?

Allen, I wish to see this world feelingly through the vibrations of billions of bodies, rocking and sobbing, plotting and gnashing like the movement of a million snakes, like the curves collecting and riding the parachute-veil.

Ah, Allen! Say it ain’t so! Sanctified swerve town eyes.
And everything is melting while poets take the weather
Too personally
And all the Holden Caulfields of the world read all the
*******’s written on the walls and all the Invisible Men
Eat Yams and all the Zampanos are blind and blind
And blind and blind and blind and blind
Yet see as much as Gloucester, as much as Homer,
As much as Oedipus.

Oh, Allen, do you see this world feelingly
and wander around the desert?
Colored marbles vibrating on the curtailed parachute paradox.
Lamentation of a small town’s onion. Little do we know, Allen,
That what you cannot see, we cannot see, and we are bubbling
Over in the animal soup of the proud yet weary. I can see,
However, how the peeled back skulls of a million
Workboots and paystubs may never sully the burden
Of an existential angst in miniscule amounts.
Pay up and
shut up.  

My dearest Allen, there is always a question of how
The cigarettes became besmirched with wax to complement
What was once grass, and
What was once a garish night drenching doorknobs.
The night's yawn absorbs you as you lie down at the wrong angle
To the sun ready already to let go of your hand
As you stepped, quivering, on to
The shores of Lethe.
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