poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

Blog Archive

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Theory of Sugar

Salt gave you a canine thirst/ love is a feline sugar-hunger.
Paw, sniff and wait/ for love to wrap you in a jacket

then you will know the right way to struggle/ what to wear
so your outfit will say it for you. Say it lumberjack loud/ in red plaid.
Frye boots. Tank top. Say it with a drunk face
full of Momma’s vodka/ singing
wild, wild horses/ couldn’t drag me away...
What kind of shit is that? Ladybugs distract you to wandering
while your boyfriend’s father beats him with a belt buckle
and later you will kiss /his welts

get higher/ and drunker/ go down/.../ and as the car slides back and forth
like Momma’s face shaking a “no”/
on the black ice of the main drag/ such a fucking shit town/ didn’t even salt the road.
No. No. Nothing, nothing./ Sweets or salts./ You eat nothing
to prove that you are nothing. You tell him salt
is just another kind of sugar
and sugar/ is just another kind of cocaine.

(But that’s not what you mean.)

The accident tastes like bloodsalt and grit. You can’t spit any of it out.

A deep peace/ be with you./ A deep peace
I stole from a taproot
to rub on your wings.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lost Bear

Sometimes everything stops.
Sometimes fish skeletons cross
to indicate danger/ on your underwear.

Tell me about that dream
island we live on/ wherever we are./ I don’t care about the name of the ocean
just tell me the address. Without it I might drown.

Instead of television I watch salmon
jump up the ladders
to swim through the dam

/some get chopped/

and some are saved by their velocity/ saved for the mouths of bears
low in the dark forests behind the superstores
where the buzzing electric signs attract away

the bugs that might otherwise get stuck in their fur.
Small reasons to be grateful/ always small/ always grateful,
and somewhere in this country a bear is loosing the scent of her home

and dies on the highway/ that world of nightmares.
You are not her/you have
such a family/ such a home.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Where Bones Go

Morning hurts my eyes/ it's like trying to look through a one-way
mirror of new maples and old moons/ it's a drag getting old/ less meat
and it's getting harder to pull the teeth/ out of all the bad mornings. So I sit
in the public park and smoke myself invisible/ while the flowers push
out round/ coffeehouse cabbages/ cauliflower cream and gold,
pumpkin orange and crimson/ I can hear their roots hitting small drums underground.

Bones turn into roots underground but aboveground things turn into bones.
The spokes on bicycle wheels are almost already bones. The leaves on these big trees too.
I pluck a shovel-shaped bone and dig/ displacing colonies of insects/ killing their heros,
I killed my own hero once/ I bury him again/ clump by clump. Then I rebuild/ plant
I see the clouds with smoke and pray for a painted rain

to coat the velvet of bumblebees. I keep chanting the word miracle/ until the swam
hums out of my sleepless/ horrors into daylight/ in all the colors of rain
and I have to choose/ public library/ museum or a hundred thousand stings.

They teach weaving techniques with clippings of pubic hair
held by baskets in circles and baskets in bells. Tunics of porcupine quills,
shirts of pain/ in grassfields where they mutilate women.

Pottery/ ancient and modern./ One gourd
is shaped like a penis with a handle.

Raffia/ pigment/ pattern/ I will paint
a leaf/ somehow/ on my ear/ and carve geckos into the side of my belly
then triangles for balance/ elephants for luck.

I need a direct pull/ wood-brushed dung, grass and the strip.
I will never be a gown. A showpiece waiting

on the wind to dance through my tortures of lace.
I am a container or jar. Filled with palm wine or indigo.
Studded, painted, covered and whole.
Mouth, breasts, belly and vagina.

This is how you make tye-dye:
the dye does not penetrate the fabric that has been bound.
Think about it.

Each individual pain has it's very own nest.
Plush velvet women are breastfeeding caterpillars/ black and tan
cheetah and bumblebee/ chessboards of pain/ black and white,
big-bottomed and serpentine-necked.

Whole acres full of fire/ calling for China's weight in rain
represented by a crimson-glazed bamboo clock.
If someone wants your things for free he is not your friend
and he is maybe Castro. Enough with the communists already! Remember:
there is enough happiness in the world for everyone.
Look at all the different Buddhas: fat Buddha/ skinny Buddha. Both Buddha.

Ganesh the elephant is here and the one with all the arms
here the turtles are all stacked on each others backs and biting/ lucky coins.
Singing bowls and prayer flags/ big pots and tiny bells for sacred toes,
thumb pianos for gypsy music and finger cymbals/ shocks of bells
to tie around ankles for stomping/ Native flutes/ walking sticks with carved faces.

The homeless lady starts singing in the lobby/ the sacred
objects do their various dances/ the elephant mama, for example,
has a carved-out back/ see the baby stone elephant inside
as they raise their trunks together/ rocks split open/ the shimmer comes on
in purple pokes and old fire. Vending machines
feed the homeless who wake up outside, wanting a breakfast of Skittles.
Pretzels if they are being healthy and Doritos if they are depressed. Never bottled water.
Much better to have something that gets stuck in the back teeth
for licking later/ especially rainy today/ if the singer gets us all kicked out.

Homeless are not allowed to sing/ in the spaces of the public. Library and museum.
Railway platform and truck stop. Remember:
poor people always die first in a flood.
But the opposite is worse: acres of grassfield fire
where there are no vending machines/ no rain.
Here we are just bones with no where to go.