poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poem at the Uptown Cafe

Sit with me next to the most beautiful limestone vagina,
she says, "I'm still there" but she's not here. Three beautiful blueberry
corncakes for the pretty little lady. (It hurts less when they are actually beautiful.)

"An ass like two apples in a sack," says the man in the booth behind me.
It's not that I don't understand,
milk, eggs, butter, cream and babies come from ladies.
Setting the vagina on fire, I realize it is plastic and it smells bad.

Broken beasts dance to the jump-edge of rooftops in every city in the world.
The perfect always think they are god-birds
on pretty plastic feet they jump,
vaginas burning and corncakes so sweet.

The best part of the naked girl
projected behind the band on the screen at the concert
was when she hit the cymbal in time with the music and Wayne hit the symbol too
as if to say, "It's not that I don't understand," but

and the man behind me says, "Her idea of the out-of-doors
is going to Bloomingdales." And the man sitting across from him says,
"Oh, okay, walking the streets." I am confused by their exchange.
I want to tell them that Wayne is the naked woman.

First her necklace (projected twenty times as large)
said Brooklyn in cursive gold and then at the end of the concert
(after she gave birth to the band on her back and had a child's birthday party for them)
the necklace spelled out B-R-O-K-E-N.

We're all her, that's what Wayne is saying. And Wayne says stop the war.
Someone on their cell phone says in that silly one-way talk:
Children are expensive./ Living hand to mouth./ I didn't say that./ I didn't even imply it.
The Norse word for great-grandmother also means: story of how the world began.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Sea Wolves

Part One: Ask the Cowboy

When you die and your body is put in a coffin, you turn into water and then one day someone is digging out the earth for a grave next to yours and their backhoe scratches your coffin and all your deadbodywater pours out into the new hole and somebody's got to pump that out of there, so they can have a nice-smelling funeral and put the new body in next door. (Howdy neighbor. Sorry about the mess.)

I bet if I read the Bible, it would be just like watching Caddyshack and realizing all the comedies I had grown up watching were based on and borrowed moments from a much older story.

Even the Sargasso Sea won't be there forever. It's not there now. When was the last time you saw it?

A nice-smelling funeral is a lie.

The cowboy works here. He knows everything about the house. He knows the family and the history and everything. Ask the cowboy. Go ahead, ask him. See what he says.


Part Two: The Sea Wolves

Feet in sneakers are washing up on the shore/ he said/ at the wedding
(magic) mushrooms can fix the oil spill/ he said
(I know the answer) don't bother me
about nerve gas, mushrooms can fix that too.
He said disco vs. rock and roll (made me famous)
and now that battle is faught at sea.

The dolphins fight the sea wolves/ the bear growly teeth and tag-team
all the way through the foodchain: dolphins, sharks, whales
and when the females are in estrus (his word)
they lure the domestic dogs into the sea, they go willingly
but not the deer, no/ once he saw a doe fall/ into the ocean
and a dolphin flipped her out/ with his snout.

That's when he realized they're all answers
I mean, he didn't even need a question.
The answer is:
disco dolphinss
and the answer is:
feet in sneakers (the sea wolves ate the rest)
and the final answer is dancing on the teeth of all the lesser answers
(don't call them 'shrooms) psilocybin.


Part Three: What is grace?

What is grace? The child asked her mother and her mother said, grace is being able to walk in a pair of high heels for a really long time without falling over. Then the child touched a dress and the mother said Hands Off.

Amazing grace.

(It seems shocking to the New Yorkers I know that anyone would want to live anywhere else. There is ample evidence that people do it, but still, it seems the rest of America is more or less a leper colony and the citizenry are living like lepers without the grace of a diagnosable disease.)

I thought it was raining but really the incessant tap-taps on the glass were hard bugs, flying toward the light I read by. Bugs carry disease, so we must be sure to keep the fear of them alive. Make it a ladylike quality, make it a condition of grace; small feet and certain, specific fears.

If you think people on the beach with you don't know the word for shark, put your hands together like you're praying and put the praying hands on top of your head. Hunch over a bit and run around in graceful circles, like you're swimming. If you want to be understood as a sea wolf, the gesture is almost exactly the same, but you must also make a distinct howl: ow ow ow-oooooooooooooooooooooooooo