Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Carnations—Or Are They Poppies?

—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock, Antioch

—Robert Lee Haycock

The hills are green
The new year, too
I'm off the bus
Riot of poppies at the Park-and-Ride
Orange as marshmallow peanuts and as big
More to come
Carrot-y leaves among wings of yarrow
Knots of white bloom as high as my belt buckle
There's that red-headed girl I've loved so long
And my Sassy yellow dog
I'm home


—Robert Lee Haycock

Drawing a blank
For the life of her
Morning couldn't recall
What she'd gotten up to last night

Sand dune eyes
Morning wondered
That taste on her teeth
Banana pudding and meringue

Snarl of tule blankets
Morning pulled them up
Over her frosty shoulders
Decided she wasn't rising today

And told the insistent Sun
To go fuck himself

 Yogini Contemplating Flight
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Lelania Arlene, Sacramento

I used to feel a Tapestry, a plethora of caprice,
Something to grow on, a tale in every inch, not an "I’ll get around to".

Now I am something of a decrease, reduced to a piece,
Something you tore off and used to cover a hole in the sole of  your shoe.

If not to be whole, a real story, an object of plunder to yet fleece,
A sugar tit, a soother and toother, of succor to you and you and you.

My story was folded and I traveled as book cover, shyly creased,
I soaked in tears, as you fingered rosary comfort in familiar tattoo.

We were born again as a bonny pair of dolls, plump with generous fleece,
Secrets were told, sometimes atop a satin pillow, at others muddied, outgrew.

I once was the only adornment of the loneliest, onliest niece,
A headband, folded over in reassurance, smoothed until gleaming new.

I lined a nest of pinky mice, cradled them in colored thread, alas Mieces!
Pieces and pieces of value in relation to— with never a self to attend to.


—Lelania Arlene

This cat named Tree broke it down like this in drag-speech,
He says he knew it was wrong when he looked and saw her teeth were framed in black like tombstones.
He said I was in my sin gal at the crossroads of the sick corner, I was in uhh breach.
I watched them all fall to black-framed teeth and blackmail, they be yeah, jones.

Not your never-mind , they chorused as they all joined each other in their sin-leech,
Until they got into their sin, over their greedy organs and missed the upright of they bones.
Then they cried for help, but I couldn’t even hear them, man, for I was yeah, outta reach
I was far from the sick corner, keeping to my own sins, yeah uhhh outta they hustle zones.


—Lelania Arlene

The hips of the clouds opened up,
The deluge began.
Reflections of perception in shards,
Forgive yourselves, children,
You needn’t blame your eyes,
Your heart saw what was needed to be seen.
Your universe like a smooth stone that you put in your mouth,
You could not help yourself.
It was shiny and felt good.
Violently you dance in protest,
Then you calm and stretch before the majesty.
Hush, it is good, child,
It is not the red shoes of man.
It’s another womb.
It cannot be fought,
You can only seek to kick or nourish.
Hush, it is your mother.

 That Way Home
—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock

—Kevin Jones, Elk Grove
“Cheer up, sir, and
Buy a flower off a poor
Girl.” I would. I did.
Eliza Doolittle.
I was Henry Higgins,
Or rather George
Bernard Shaw in a
Play about them both
In a Little Theatre
Production, oh, thirty
Years ago. 

I’m sure
It was red carnations
Back then. Theatre
Wanted, they thought,
Back then, to take
Chances: fifty years
In a country barn
(Hey, my father’s got
A barn; you’ve got
Costumes! Let’s put
On a show!) Really.
And never a bad review.

Hubris is not good for
Theatre, nor anything else.
They bought an old
Bakery building, there
On the town square
There in Canton Illinois.

You could look it up.  
And we’ll do edgy theatre,
Or what would pass
For it, in central Illinois.

Dear Liar is the story
Of Irish playwright
George Bernard Shaw and his
Muse/lover/leading lady
Mrs. Patrick Campbell
Told in letters. Over forty
Years. Was not difficult
To age forty years between
Act one and two: baggier pants;
Loose suspenders. You walk old.

Imagined it was not going
Well opening night, when
I noticed the local drama
Critic dozing in the front
Row. She was gone
By act two, but somehow
Shaw and his paramour
Got to the end together.

We’re not talking Lear, or Hamlet,
Or even Charlie’s Aunt here.
Play got reviewed on
The front page of
The local paper: “Not like
Normal drama.”
I was flattered. 
But ticket sales went down;
Theatre couldn’t make
The payments. Lost
The winter theatre.

You can still go visit it.
A Goodwill store now. 
Still see the sets,
Buy the costumes.


Today's LittleNip:

—Lelania Arlene

The wet awakened the city and its scents,

I hear the kiss of tires on the licorice road.

Open the window to wildish nature,

Feel the illicit thrill of night’s last breath. 



—Photo by Robert Lee Haycock