Thursday, November 01, 2001

Karen Herring

Kevorkian Theory

Twenty years, twenty long years
I've shared with you
and now
I am astonished. Your suggestion?
A gun for protection. Good one!

Place it in the nightstand close at hand,
next to the rope strangling my vibrator.

Does it hurt?

Sometimes when I think,
razor blades slice the time from my watch.
Warm weather friends gather around my stove.
to smell the fumes of apple strudel. They wait
for my crust to crumble,
            to fall, as they pretend
to wipe my product from their hands.

Think of me as Mr. Ed.
I broke a leg. Stuff me like Trigger, quick
and easy. A hair behind the ear and sound
is clearly defined.
I need my eyes to know the final scene.
This story-book page stuck between
the last two sheets of verse.

I'm sleepy from the singsong rhyme
on this bro ken record.

Skipping past the hopscotch.
I'll take a double, please.
Make it two,
in a shattered glass, slightly shaken-
stirred like curiosity.

My father and his father too
wore a bible-bandage, a tourniquet
that never worked for me. This mind,
            my head
in a place far behind a bed used once.

It's all the whore-moans, I'm sure.

I'm different from the average bear.
Much like a beaver ensnared, one foot
beyond madness I gnaw this chain,
impaired, this wilderness will never accept me
as I am, so will I ever be.

Doctor do little,
      but please

do it right.

Off With Her Head!

The Man's foot sends me come-
hither, uncomely, to bleach
my hair and put on makeup
for a new lover
and a new bed,
outside he waits for me.

I'm Alice
and Alice doesn't sing.

She'd rather chase rabbits and Time.
A tea party if you will she won't, don't ask.

A Cheshire cat-
her front,
her back; a mirror
of very unbirthdays.

She breathes in her sleep.
I sleep when I breathe,
it's not the same thing.

"Then you should say what you mean."
Says a cardboard queen
who reads her own poetry
                then swoons.

I can walk away and away
and surely
      I'll be somewhere.
I can fall and fall
for two days wrong,

strong as eggshell
bumped and shattered,
pre-splattered, well humped
and believe her-me,
horses do not have hands.

Then again, sure, why not?
Missing pieces, reserved spots,
even donuts have holes and they're sweet.

With Time I'll be two miles high
and the lowing of cows will take
the place of Mock turtle sobs
and all
      will be long ago and this day
all but forgotten. Come,
my head's free at last!

The Fury of Anne (In memory of Anne Sexton)

Someone's writing poetry.
Passionate, backward
swirls of blood
across each windowpane.

Inside the pea-green house,
I saw a shadow pass,
heard a laugh
and knew it was God.

I tried catching snow
to show you.
Left to my touch
these two oven mitts
destroy the flake's beauty.
Even my dumb tongue
won't describe the taste.
I know the Nana-hex
as if it were mine,
and I know God.

Little lights encircle my air,
fire-flies strobe their butts
while buttercup whispers stutter
awkward news. I'm deaf, dumb, blind.

At thirty eight,
I'm told of eight distant cousins
dead from the too-late disease
that took you,
that wants me.
I'm nine, ten, eleven,
and twelve forever.

A good week is filled with poetry.
God is on my plate, my dish, my spoon.
God is on my pillow, my sheet.
God is on the stairs, each chair.

In my dresser drawer,
Anne's empty notebook sleeps.
God is not there.

Karen Herring: I refuse to write this in third person due to the inability to keep the first person intact. I haven't written poetry in a couple of years but my mind and speech have never ceased. Diagnosed and treated I have become braver with my ability to "submit" my poetry and hopefully will begin writing again. I have over 200 poems and a book ready to be published. (I chickened out two years ago with a publisher.) After reading the poetry published here in "Poetrysz" I feel like there is a place for what I have to say.

K. Lee Michael Workman Colin Van Der Woude Peter Tremain Rick Parsons Karen Herring Joe Hackworth

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