Saturday, March 01, 2003

Lori Williams

Crazy is a Place

Crazy is a mean place to be -
piranhas swim through saliva, teeth
pressure your tongue to tell a son
you wish he were never born, that your eggs

should have caught fire, burned black
like the ones he tries to make, ruining all the skillets,
before that drunken cum staggered its way
into your fucked-up Easter basket.
There is so much blood in the daydreams.

His and yours run together, a dysfunctional river
that covers baby pictures making cowlicks glisten,
making his Sesame Street romper orange.
In the night dreams, you cry.

How you've neglected the knife set!
The one from four Christmas' ago - they've dulled
like your hair, your eyes. Flat. Matte like the shadows
you wear as disguise. People don't look into them now,
and you know the men you'll never have.

Things like making toast and manicures become projects,
make you think of slots that pop out what you are so hungry for,
and fingernails small as sprinkles, so you drop the bread
to the floor, leave the polish open to dry.
With dead eyes it all seems funny.

Crazy is an interesting place to be, if someone notices.
Then there are pink and blue pills that you line up
on the counter like pairs of eyes winking all is well,
and doctors you picture naked with hairy balls,
which makes you laugh, and laughter is

the best medicine. If someone notices,
maybe sons will see the error of their ways,
become priests or even love you again, hold your hand.

But crazy is usually alone, going to six stores to find
the Schick straight razors dad used to use. Then you see
him shaving at the sink, nicking his cheek, sticking a piece
of tissue on it. Oh, how you fretted! The worst worry
in your life was his wound. You wonder why
he doesn't answer your prayers.

Crazy is a place where the doves never come home.

Breaking Down, Making Soup

A pockmarked life, ugly and filled
with flimsy notions of altered states
is reason enough to shed skin dead
a while, since the year full of holes.
Hung on bone (tired), teasing
like a tongue that circles pouting lips
and misses the point.
Fifteen thousand three hundred thirty
mistakes atoned for - promises, deals,
firstborn son. Like a pot of soup they simmer
until the whole schmear becomes something
with a name. Carrot shavings
and chicken feet are nothing on their own.
Sometimes he listens and forgives
but we pay with our sanity,
going crazy as we slurp poison
that does not quite reach the heart.

Lori Williams: Just your typical depressed poet from New York. I think I've had some sort of depression for most of my adult life, maybe even since childhood. People were always telling me "snap out of it", " you're so moody" and the worst one..."smile!". At age 43, I have finally put a name to it, stopped thinking I was just a miserable person. My poetry has been published in over 30 print and web zines and journals, including The Melic Review, Niederngasse, The Dakota House Journal, BlueFifth Review and is upcoming in Wicked Alice and Unlikely Stories. I've used poetry as my therapy for many years, but it's not quite enough anymore.

Coral Hull Spike Rotundo Sandy Jeffs Michael Furs Mike Katzberg Elizabeth Kelso Lori Williams Danny P. Barbare

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