They said there were caves
Along the banks
Further down Spoon River
Where the Twilight Sisters
Lived. Find them, spend
The night, you’d never
Come back. Kept
Looking. Never found
Them. Always came back.
—Photo by Cynthia Linville, Sacramento
They think we just strap
It to the back of the broom
And take off. Ever tried that?
Nah. Toss it all, caldron
And all into the back
Of the black El Camino
And head off to the next
Just across that
Last berm in the
Stripmines back then
Follow it, you’d come
Back at dawn pale, tired,
Dripping of shale mud.
—Michael Cluff, Corona
the choral leader
always heard Sinatra,
and Lanza serenading
the puce-purple panel walls
as she left the lift
as she called it
but when inside she endured
Jagger, Cher, Cobain, Madonna and Fergie
in ghostly person singing "The Time Warp" again
when the electric bill
went unpaid by the slowly sinking
and she was between levels
Cabochon sleuths milling
these creatures seeking
ever-vigilant and dogged,
sometimes crossing their legs
to slip by.
Ugly behind the eyeballs,
lacking ethics and propriety.
Repugnant to the core
and bafflish, too.
(Willy-whimpers, all of them.)
adding injury to their insult.
(first pub. in Poetry Now, 2007)
a large black spider who waits above my chair
as I sleep and dream of a lover's hand.
Among my gray he finds a light-red strand.
He weaves while running fingers through my hair.
Among the locks of auburn, gray and dense
he finds a strand more pleasing on the crown. And—
—Carol Louise Moon
This piano’s thrashed and trashed—
sittin’ on the sidewalk, FREE to anyone
who can afford to pay a piano mover…
burly, strong, trucky. Let’s move it, Boys.
I can’t wait to play a little honky-tonk.
When I was a young-un I heard a piano
at school. I was headed for the asphalt
to watch the tarantulas migrating across
the playground on the first day back to
school, movin’ to the music of the piano.
Music teacher’s fingers movin’, toes
tappin’, choir singin’, tarantulas walking’
and me jumpin’ on hot asphalt.
Now, I want me a free piano from just
down the street. A FOR SALE sign, broken
keys, spider webs with spiders livin’ it up
on the back side of this new, old piano.
Bring back the good old, hot August days
on asphalt, honky-tonk music, kids singin’
happy songs, big fat spiders hoppin’ on a
hot playground, and me runnin’ around
in circles laughin’—with thoughts of my
own, new FREE piano.
The witch smiles. She knows
She’ll sink. Or float. Whichever.
She has spells. She thinks.