CALL ME BARBARA

You said it was always easiest this way,
your way, roses in your eyes- no, it’s the big cloud
hanging over Hiroshima. A heart of gold glass, heart eyes
like nuclear summertime. We call you Fallout in wintertime,
listen, I got my eyes growing from the ground, thinking we all need to start somewhere. Me, I’m middle earth. I ask you how it could be so
hot in the middle of home, melted glimmer gloss on the glass window, when it shatters
I say, I hope it shines like barbie’s dream Home.
Inside Home, I feel her crying, a big balloon blown up so big, an explosion
might do her some good, they keep on giving her that white glass to keep her
cold in core. Heart eyes, I think Home could be somewhere else. A boat treading water in the middle of a glass red sea, I beg I don’t want to sleep in water.

You said, it’s the only way,
your way, boat eyes, the big white one! It’s you!
Watch me spin around in this dress made
up of fire flies, can’t catch you yet, big one.
Bit at the knee makes the gold glass shatter, Heart eyes,
Big one, look at me! I’m neon white, a billion bees quake in my heart space,
doctor won’t let apiaries grow up in an aorta.

Look Home, It’s neon white in night time, stolen wrist watch time. Turn the sand upside down, backwards, whatever you got to do, meet Columbus in the glass sea, bit at the knee, get him before he gets you.
Her aorta as big as the core in middle earth, neon white heat escaping from those big heart eyes. Your liquid voice underneath the Home door, whispers loud as bee buzz, pollinating the glass floor cracks,
‘smile baby, the world ain’t so bad.’

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THE SKY DID FALL

Was it always bluebirds?
Upside down, a paradise
left golden hot red?

Could it be the fur
on the belly of a rabbit?
The deep glow of an iris
tie died blue green together.

Creek of the grasshopper
outside the blue window,
clementine sun-sky
sometime early morning,
humming iridescent opal
hanging on its side, the deep
blue dark night time, the leonids did call
for you, the bees asleep in their cribs, the buzzing,
it’s you, deep dark voice like night time,
paradise golden, the big boom of the sky falling
for november, just like Lincoln saw too, baby moon
the sun burns hot red, your feet
burned, bluebirds singing,
tied together, the sky does not shatter,
the big bloom of the circle sky opals,
the leonids did call on you, me, tied together.

 

(how to) Continue On (the moon)

You never looked like the moon
Had I always been good at turning the conversation
upside-down to me, about me?
I get so ashamed that Ashbery is sitting on a table
covered in wax, he says something about big bad hollywood, the parallel
universe of tiny baby little new york,
a big tree covered in yellow acorns, he reads my poetry
and he thinks it’s funny, the bad kind of funny louis ck present-day, the cackle squad, always invoking
his echo, he will say.
You never looked like the moon?
A big crater in the space-sky, backlit by somebody else’s
flashlight, why would anyone want to look like the moon he asks,
as if I am supposed to know, am I supposed to know?
Are you proud of what a moon sees of you, tiny new york?
He asks me once, until he is melted all the way through to bone, his mouth
waxed out of his own face, tiny puddled fingers, a body stew, wax everywhere now
even on the moon.

Toxic – Or, An Imagination of What The Sun Looks Like When She is Exploding, Imploding

The sun is imploding, or does she
ex-plode like the core of a rat
twisting insides out?

It is the end
of something, sure of it.
She has turned herself
upside down to that Britney
song, outstretched like an ostrich’s
arm, reaching for the devil’s cup.

No, it wasn’t Britney-
when the core is frozen over,
they prescribe that American Idol
girl, that’s how they do it, too much ash –

It is time to turn on
the rope, it is the hum,
no, the purr of a mouse,
upstairs it is not the sun,
they decided her stinger would melt
in the white with the bees,
instead the grey collapses in, yellow
or the color of stone, the cat is waking up
the neighbors barking, it is the end of something,
sure of it, it is the sound of static, no –
she could talk to the moon, an old friend, heart is
so heavy like a bandaid, is it still buzzing, too much ash,
she’s toxic, she’s slipping, upside down under, the sun does explode,
they’ve decided on that, sure of it, no, it was Britney, sure of it, do her eyes still
look blue under the microscope, don’t be absurd, it’s all viscera now, whatever-
do we feel sorry for her now.

We Will All Dance

upside-down inside a vase filled with your
water, and when you speak, it will sound
like math, solve for x you will say
as if it has always been that easy, then we dance
and dance with your hair twirled around us
building us up like mummies without tombs,
let us out I will say and I will try to scream it too-
but it sounds like the bubbling of a tea kettle you
left on while you shower, mindless, always
mindless, but we keep dancing even with your hair
suffocating us now, the tea kettle screaming so quietly,
take a deep breath, you say, and we do, again again
until it is redness everywhere like a horizon squinting while
our lungs fill with red, your hair pivoting, bubbling
stops, screaming, fire out, turn off the shower, wet feet,
dripping, a match, slowly, easy, no, quickly- enough.
the redness everywhere with you squinting.

It Is Black Everywhere Now

I.

Mom is looking sad again-
I’ve got a bad back, she says
but she keeps working
at the restaurant even when it turns
to midnight, one am, two.
She makes lunch and tells
brother it’s iguana, he cries
he’d rather have chicken than iguana.
Mom thinks she’s funny even though she has the sad eyes
again.

Time to go to work says the brown eyes
that look like brothers eyes too.
He cries because she has to leave
mom don’t go
he says, two fingers running away through the holes
in the blue shirt.
When she escapes behind the big white door,
all brother can see is her hair
up in the butterfly clip again, hair like sand
if you’ve never seen sand before.

II.

She paints the walls pink like flamingos
upside down in ash. Brother runs inside,
slamming the big white door behind him
I want walls red like ketchup
he says.
Ok, you want walls red like ketchup.

Sad eyes washes brothers red hair in the tub
with the blue bucket and the yellow
stain sad eyes can’t scrub out.
you are my best friend right mama?
brother is afraid of everything now.

Yes I am your best friend,
brown eyes says when she drains the tub,
she sees black everywhere.

It smells like plastic when mom grabs the needle,
I don’t want to die mom
says brother.
Ok, so you won’t
she says.

Brother pinches the moon
between the index and the thumb
until it disappears on the car ride away
from the biggest white room-

you will be ok now
sad eyes says
even if it is a lie blown
up like a big balloon.

I will be your best friend forever
brother says
even if it is a lie small
like sand.

III.

Sad eyes has cigarettes
in her wrinkles now,
even when brother says
Time to quit now, time to quit,
time to.

Brother is on the floor
now, red over his face
when his body shakes
too hard that his head
forgets to come back up again.

you will be ok now
sad eyes says,
with a big white milkshake
and the plastic smell
shaking in her hands
again.

Sad eyes sits outside
plus one more wrinkle
plus one more shake
in her hands that she can’t shake
this time or the next time-
ok, time to go to work now.

I Know You Can Hear Me

You are the pilot of our rocketship
straight to the earth’s core. Me, I think we can
beat the heat, or hope Lehmann is wrong.

You say you’ve never been afraid of anything, I say
me too.

The best therapy is a bad idea,
but I spill my guts – it doesn’t work.

I am scared there isn’t cell
reception in hell, I’ll have to write a letter,
but the postage is too much from here
to there-

I think of myself in parallel universes,
there I am happy.

OTHERSIDE

I.

It is morning in your voice, I don’t like the way the otherside looks,
the desert has taken All of it.
I build myself big enough so you can see me from a moon, at least the outer layer
of earth, but you colonize mars and cannot see me.

II.

I am Arizona now, my air is hot, I say I am lost, you don’t
run closer, instead, you turn from the hot sun
burning your pale skin, I’m sorry. I imagine
Real Arizona does not feel so deserted, I’m sorry.

III.

What have I done now? It is the moonlight in your voice,
you pull your knees up, it is a waning gibbous. I am not
afraid of Time, I am afraid of your Time, the otherside of Time,
Columbus was not afraid of anything, and look what he has left us now.

I wipe my lipstick off with the back of my hand, a universe is subsiding, it is
someone else’s fault, I assume. Here, the bees are somewhat buzzing.
Here, someone is dealing out bad luck, here, I am too occupied
with blaming Bad Luck on someone else that is not me-
Here, you wouldn’t think of kissing me here. Arizona is gone now,
are you sorry.

I wake up from a dream where

I am the skee ball
champion of the world, but I spend all my winnings on spider
rings and finger traps, and you still don’t call me back.
It is very lonely being the skee ball champion of the world,
it is very hard because being the best at anything means there is no
room for failure, and I am very good at the failing part.

Hello, it’s me, I won it all. I’m the champion of it all.
I get free reign of the whole lot, the whole arcade, I could get you
in for free, I could get you lots of scented pencils.

But the line goes dead, so I decide instead, I will move to Cape Canaveral,
where astronauts pretend they don’t get homesick. I am on the moon,
or I am circling around a satellite and I can still pick you out from the lights
on the planet, even when you are very far.

Los Angeles is very far, but it seems the moon is closer than
California, because at least I can see it. I would build one hundred thousand apiaries
for you, so you could hear the buzzing from New York. Do you hear the buzzing?
But all the bees die out, in the winter, in the summer. The association warned me of that, too much bad luck, it will all die out.

Your voice buzzes in my ear in the Skylark diner in Juneau,
the light makes your eyes squint at the three in the morning.
I can’t make out what you are saying, instead, I pick up the phone and I call you.
You are sitting next to me and you ignore my call. Your voicemail mocks me,
can’t pick up the phone, buddy.

It is the fourth of July at the end of June,
and your spirit guide has committed suicide
to a Kelly Clarkson song, the bad song, they’re
all the very bad song. She looked like Stephen Hawking
without the ALS, but now she’s gone.

The sky flashes upside down, I want to tell you that everyday
feels like taco tuesday when I am around you,
but it doesn’t feel like the right time,
so you mourn Miss. Hawking. I tell
you to not worry, we can use my skee ball
winnings to find you a new guide. One with a better
head on her shoulders, one that won’t choose an American
Idol winner to hang herself to,
and it is the first time you speak here, and I hear you clearly,
even with the sky cutting into coral-clementine and the moon hanging by its side–

no.