Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

Cryptic, Random, Strange, Senseless Poetry

Aug
21

poetry

A Non-Name

 

Who influenced you?

They ask you

did you name yourself?
How did you come up

with these complicated stories

about the heart that asks

questions about the nose?

They say you can smell your life

better than you can think it.

 

Remember when you and I played

on the monkey bars

and we thought we were

important people when we fell

and scraped our knees

and cried the ugly cry for ourselves?

I remember the stink of your red shoes then.

 

Click, click, Dorothy wants to go home,

ET phones it in.

Big bird sings the alphabet

and you and you and I flip channels.

Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson!

The scent of your cookie dough is better than

when you bake yourself in the oven.

Sylvia Plath, I call you when you cry.

 

We didn’t know how to cry for other people

then and we never really learned

that we are matter and matter doesn’t die and it does matter.

And we are no different than the stars

that make a dozen mistakes while looking pretty.

You ask me how can a light

be wrong? How can you smell a light?

 

I tell you, you are a light,

just because you don’t notice the scent, does not mean

You don’t have one.

Why is it that you think you are none?

The black hole even knows

I can breathe it in my nose,

and it has a name, somebody gave it one.

 

*

The Fly

 

We sat on the porch

watching the firefly’s

rehearsing a ballet in the sky.

We didn’t need to see them

to understand that beauty

can be annoying,

A buzz near your ear.

Or a black fly trying to make it

in a world that hates tiny faces

that have no name.

We plot to kill you and you know it.

I will name you my friend

you are the first to notice

that world is burning down.

You don’t know

You don’t know

how hard it is to smile while

faces and places are all around me

but I barely can recognize myself.

I’m a girl

who cannot see the nuances

you see.

I think I cannot fly.

 

*

 

Are you Free?

 

Do you think you own yourself

or do you see even that as a

betrayal of your freedom?

You cannot own beauty

So how can you be beautiful?

I think flowers in the rain

are freedom and in essence

your pain is a form of oppression.

By nature, by your mind.

 

I changed my name

so you could pronounce it.

I changed my hair

so you could like it.

I walked to the left

instead of the right

so you would know where I stood.

 

I am compulsive.

Politics aside

do you think I’m pretty?

Do you think I’m sad?

Do you wonder if I could dance

with you in a garden

of purple hyacinths?

 

Step this way and that

use your words, see your rhythm.

Don’t trip on the wire

everyone always forgets

about the chord,

in the way of our Wednesdays.

We are always in the middle

Never be too shy to fall down

in the middle of the week.

In the middle of your life,

when you can see forward and back.

When else will you be you?

 

*

Fruit

 

I was thinking of making sense

that day, when you said you

brushed your teeth for me.

And I didn’t notice that biting

into apples creates our lives.

That we need nothing more

then a fruit and a fairytale

to keep us occupied.

With lies and flies and

and strawberry lips

you kissed me with your watermelon

goodbyes. And the way

you looked at me

I could have sworn I saw the moon

in your raspberry smile.

There is a seed in your mouth

That tells me everything I need to know

about growing a garden.

 

Slices of orange and the way

I peeled a grape only to feel

its essence in my hands.

 

I felt dirty that day

And you knew what I didn’t say.

You stood there in the doorway,

singing a song you made up.

None of us are clean

like the dirt that makes the fruit.

We are also made of earth

Even though we don’t know its name.

 

 

*

Re-runs

 

I sat with the TV on watching a surprise party on a Friends re-run.

Then I turn to you and say, this one is like Golden Girls

and you look at me as if I told you the earth was triangular.

And you say how many times can we watch this episode

before we memorize the ending, know all the jokes.

And I ask you what will happen next.

You say wait until the applause, you’ll figure it out when you hear yourself

in their voices over and over again.

You lit a cigarette that time you watched the Cheers finale one more time.

You said you wanted everyone to know your name.

They don’t. You will have to tell them over and over again.

 

nina

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