Monday, September 14, 2009

Rejected Poem of the Week #2!

I just got back from a long weekend running all up and down San Francisco with Mr. Typist, so I'm beat as heck, but not too tired to post (drum roll please), Number Two in the series "Rejected Poem of the Week"! Normally, I don't go into long-winded explanations about my work (other things, absolutely!--just not my poetry), but this one bears a little explaining.

Being a life-long oracle junkie, I love psychics and fortune-tellers, divination and Tarot, palmistry, all things quaint, smarmy, and willing to take my money in exchange for making me feel better about some perceived, worrisome facet of my future. Much of the time, I feel a bit helpless against the tides of fate, as though my actions will have no control or bearing over the outcome, so if someone can assure me that it's all going to be okay, I'm enamored of them instantly and will give them cash at the drop of a crystal pendant. In fact, when we were out at the Musee Mecanique on the wharf last night--this amazing vintage arcade, complete with penny arcade machines dating as far back as the late 1800's--the first thing I did with all of the quarters Mr. Typist poured into my hand was go to each and every "fortune telling" box and collect my little card. I love watching the mechanical grandma gypsies jerk around in their boxes, looking at carefully at the cards, the pale, wooden finger landing definitively on my fate, and then the swoosh of the card in the little brass holder. I pick out the ones I like and keep them with me for luck. (They didn't help with Moon Trekker or the Indiana Jones pinball game, but I have hope).

This poem was written after a visit to psychic about two years ago. She did what she called a "rose reading". She envisioned people's spirits as roses, and then told them what she saw. She held my hands for a minute or two, then informed me that my rose was being strangled by a metal grate that was laid down over the top of it. My rose couldn't get out! It was suffocating. She said I should go home and envision the grate lifting and the rose blooming forth. Instead, I went home, fretted about this for quite some time over a glass or two of Chardonnay, then I got to wondering what it would be like if the rose and the grate actually fused together. Seeing as they had been together so long, I wasn't sure that it was right to separate them. Maybe they nourished each other. Maybe they were part of each other after all this time. Then I wrote the poem.

So, enjoy, and don't worry! Grandma Typist sees all good things in your future....


Through this wild season of flowers, I’ve dreamt
Each wasted night of the same strangled rose,
Its limp half-moon petals trembling skyward
Weak as a tongue against the unending weight
Of a steel grate that smothers its garish bloom.

The grate shields its bars against the burn of soles
With the petals' skin. The rose coils itself
Around the steel slats, nourished and fortified
By the dank metal leached to its fibrous veins.
They serve each other. But still the rose reaches

Seeking its shy way through, asking for nothing.
Rose of Hope, ardent bloom, and stoic and striving.
And I, always the rescuer, lift the bars.
The rose gives and shatters like a porous bone,
And blows away on the gritty air. The grate

Is a broken artifact on the pavement,
And I have damaged everything again.
I wake, clenching my fist in my sweaty fist,
Terrified of my most certain vanishing;
The swift unraveling in store should I dare

To push out this sour, knotted bud of shame
Wound into my throat, my heart, my flimsy womb.
Blind and furled child, we serve each other:
You keep me safe in this narcotic darkness,
And I feed you my essence, my only light.

Rose of Want, bloom of pitch, empty and most whole,
We cannot be separated no matter
The season’s lateness, nor the laser’s keenness.
I encircle you, obediently shut:
You hold the gaudy explosion of me in.

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