Thursday, October 1, 2009

Susan Slaviero

changelings, we

burn phosphorus & sugar, ringing
globes of violet liquor for wisps
of warmth; burrowing, beets
& apples, veinsevered stems,
suckroots, sometimes a filched
shawl; we are thin thin, limbs
unstrung; names uncalled; speaking
the language of fins; fed snapdragons
& demonbirds, spitroasted
under moonbellows, looncalls; flute
& flirt; this altar stump, embering.

-previously published in caffeine Destiny

Live Nude Girls

. . . . says the marquee, so I enter,
and it’s about what you’d expect.
Watery gin, or scotch, a skinny
bottle-blonde with clownish
tits peeling off her pasties to the beat
of some ‘80’s dance tune. A bunch
of sweaty old bastards at the front, tossing
away the last tidbits of paycheck, swollen
bellies hanging over those big,
shiny belt buckles―evidence
that the fast food industry is thriving―
and they have the rounded shoulders
of sherpas, but they’re only carrying
beer bottles and wallets. I’d like to tussle
with the brunette that follows the pastie-girl;
she reminds me of my eighth grade
English teacher. (Mrs. Woods, who I wanted
to walk in some morning, rip off her glasses
and shake out her hair, like some music
video babe. Never happened.) I gaze
at the pole she’s shimmying on and think,
(inexplicably), of those tight,
bored women you see
in the grocery store . . .

-previously published in Black Petals

Take This Medicine On An Empty Stomach

Can’t we share your prescription?
The mechanism of sleep eludes me.
I tempt you out of that cannibal
jacket with the hard red welt
on my watch-strangled wrist. I think
you are baroque and broken. Smoke-
drunk and glistening. Can’t we find
the value of absolute zero? Handcuffs
and cigarettes are the system (or the method)
for disintegration. I need a man who is
ambidextrous, musically-inclined.
You fit the bill. Undress me.
My point is this: I like it
this way. Don’t look. It only hurts
for a minute.

-previously published in Kill Poet

The wife of coins, at supper.

For this, I gave up
laudanum, raspberry cordials.

Friday night, I skin
a rook we found in the chimney,

bake him on a bed
of stones. I rumple

your brandy-papers, place
your monocle in my mouth

as if I could swallow it
with butter and pepper.

You tell me Poe died
of rabies, but I say

it was parlor slippers
& biscuits,

tin rings, viola music.

Where did you put that
tureen? Did you bury it

with my cerise ball
gown, in a book of grass?

Yesterday, I saw vellum
sheets speared on the hedgerows―
damp, curved tongues, tasting.

-previously published at Flutter Poetry Journal

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