the alligator beneath my wings

i.

my daddy was an alligator wrastler.

i was never dangerous enough or verdant enough to woo.

i used to try to distract him from his gator grappling

with one girl synchronized aquatic ballets

or dangling baby salamanders from my ear lobes.

listen to me daddy,

see me daddy,

pappa, can you hear me,

as you climb the jacob’s ladder out from beneath our toes as we steal

your amber blush rose cross to the lotus rich marsh in the azure.

ii.

my 2 cents.

illustratins on a stool.

men hide behind words.

women hide below pictures.

word and picture, mythical, magic mirror mirage.

iii.

where is the third nail?

“get off the cross, mary, we need the wood!”

he wonders if it  is late enough at night for morning wood.

he silently admonishes him for being a have playing

he imagines what having him tastes like.

nails across buttocks.

persecution sipped slowly.

frank and fireworks

10th Street….

“Hurry, get Frank! She’s waving a pistol on some lady’s porch!”

“Where is he?”

“Just find him!’

“Honey, what’s wrong? Put the gun down and tell me?”

“Your son beat my boy and took his twenty dollars. I want it back.”

“Here, take my twenty dollars. I just want to squash this.”

“NO, I want his!”

“He’s not here.”

She starts wailing and swinging the gun around the lady’s front porch.

Grady Avenue…

“Sounds like someone’s shooting off some fireworks,” she smiles.

the university

on day one, you overwhelmed my senses.

i was a teen on my own from Culpeper,

a dragonfly alighting on your pond’s waves.

supposed to have twenty-four hours, four years.

 

my tiny talk to earn my m r s.

i fail, academic probation, twice.

disgraced, I drag discover 2 1 6.

i danced on speakers, screwdriver, hold

the vodka, in hand sloshing nighttime sun

reflected out by scented body glitz,

pink sequins tube tops, rhinestone tiara.

 

radioactive techno makes me glow.

i strut yellow, passing all brown bag tests.

i reject verdant green in my rainbow.

money’s love rots my teeth and fills my closet.

slip dresses, skeletons fill my walkin.

my heart’s on my sleeve ’cause i like the red.

scarlet poems blow my brain- a break through.

now, my new livelihood programming enters.

 

now, my closet contains an ofrienda.

and, now my broad, heart-filled chest bursts springtime.

Tangental Sounds of a Recovery House

“I’m gonna go play with dese bricks and block.”

“We po’ed all that rubar over in the cut.”

“Gonna get me some ravioli.”

“Not everyone’s bad.”

“She told me I didn’t have to take the test again.”

“All ya gotta do is ask.”

“It’s all donated.”

“This tastes like vitamins.”

“There’s no can opener. There’s no knives in case someone goes crazy and stabs somebody. Nothing but plastic like the pen. Nothing but butter knives and no butter.”

“Laughter heals.”

cop trick

“Welcome to CIT training. I have a degree from UVA in English and Philosophy. I am a peer support specialist and on the Board of this and that. And, I like karaoke. Also, as some of you may know, I have been hospitalized for mental illness over ten times. One cop ‘redirected me to the ground” colliding me naked into a Florida red ant hill, cuffed, and hog tied me, and ignored my cries for help to remove the constantly biting and burning ants. I had another officer sit with me for hours in the e/r talking to me about miracles and John Grisham.  What kind of police officer do you want to be in mental health crisis?”

 

A father’s plea

 

“Veronica, as your father, I demand you stop doing this. People get killed in their own homes. Control yourself. Please.”

 

“One of the first things I suggest is slow down. You’ve arrived at the situation. Now, it’s time to be patient and diffuse…not create another crisis.”

 

a cop trick

 

He worked for vice. She was doing a little something she wasn’t supposed to be doing.

 

He bought her an afternoon sweet tea at a bar near her dorm with medium lighting and a lot of cheap wood paneling.

 

He gave her once overs, smiled, and nodded a lot.

 

They decided to try each other out in a motel near grounds.

 

As she entered his car, she noticed his siren.

 

“You know most sex acts are illegal in the state of Virginia,” she says pretending to be coy truly being cautious.

 

“I know. I break them regularly.”

 

They had pivotal, shallow, masterful sex.

 

He taught her how to fuck with the lights on, and then they broke a lamp.

 

During the two year affair, he traveled hundreds of miles all over Virginia to be with her, dealt with pregnancy scares, and sent her a graduation card.

 

And, never fucked, saw, or called her again.

 

“Another suggestion is make it personal without taking it personal. You are dealing with a person who is not dealing with you but with themselves and their pains and their fears. Be kind even when we are unkind to you.  I believe if there is any judgment after this world… it’s about how we treated those who mistreated us.”

 

Occupy ousted; cops take naked lady.

 

they never showed me smile at the arresting officer.

they never showed me reach out to shake her hand.

they never showed her reach down and take my hand.

 

They never ask me to speak at a CIT training again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Miss Mary”

“Miss Mary, today’s gonna be a good day.”

“Yes, it is a good day.”

“Miss Mary?”

“Yes?”

“The sun feels so good.”

“Yes, it does.”

“Miss Mary- Oh My Lord! I gotta take that with my breath!”

“We’re gonna have to get you something to hide your eyes.”

“It’s just those girls are so pretty.”

“The sun is pretty too.”

“Miss Mary.”

“Yes?”

“God loves you.”

 

Our Planetary Realignment Songs

Venus rises.

9:32 AM EST, Friday, January, 27, 2012

Charlottesville General District Court, 16th Judicial District of Virginia

The Honorable Judge D, presiding.

He asks, “Why naked?”

She answers, “Your honor…”

 It’s always dark in the beginning. 

Four, she felt solar plexus’ pain when Venus’ children submerged Margot in darkness. All, summer in a, day she (who knew the sun) traced the lutescent, Helios lines clinging to the shut door’s edge. Remembering.

He came to me comforting.

Dissociative identity disorder describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities, each with her own pattern of perceiving and interacting with her environment.

This is an emotional pathology. She is an emotional pathway.

She is sometimes I.

She is sometimes you.

She is sometimes Maya Angelou.

Good morning, heartache.

Earth.

Staring at the ceiling’s brown clusters reminded her of an uneventful but riveting third grade class trip to Hayden Planetarium. She mentally recited the planets, then the constellations to relieve her embarrassment at exposing “that place.”

Does beginning at a relationship’s sunset ever conclude at another’s dawn?

What about beginning with a “routine” pap smear at student health?

Stirrups are tools of devil shame.

Sing unto me that secret song

Of kisses with futures blended

Stretching into happily ever after.

Repeat our part

When we were new,

And you brushed my closed, third eye

With your chapped lips

And smiled,

Seeing and opening my poetess soul.

Sing unto me that secret song.

Mars.

My inner brown sugar momma ignites.

You, sassy girl! He looked married… guilty… and handsome! He did this before, but you were special. Borrowed, stolen, broken. Partners in crime. You are now abandoned, a criminal, alone. You, sorrow’s girl…

Soul shouts, “Cry girl!”

Venus. Venereal.

“Miss, you seem to have contracted-”

Brown clusters blur, constellation names flee, tears burn.

My love’s gone. My love’s remnants cling. My love stains. My closet’s full. My cleanliness’ chased away. My shame envelopes. My regret of tasting the lush passion fruit bruises.

A lavender stationery square bordered with forget-me-not… She composes.

Eros, I know I said last time would be the last time. But, I need to tell you something important to us.

A lavender stationery square torn and discarded.

Sing unto me that secret song

Of us.

Girl meets another girl’s boy.

Adoration.

False light.

Fuck.

Beg.

Wail.

Silence.

It ached, how silent the cerebral monologue became when I recognized my ruination. I heard the blood throb in my ears, teaching me I could not die of shame or even faint from the weight of the grit of my vaginal and spiritual dirt.

A fling becomes a life long commitment, a death gift flung between Ramona’s web of pretending strangers.

An 8 X 11 piece of college ruled notebook paper… She composes.

Eros, I can’t find the words to tell you how much and how specifically you continue to hurt me.

A college ruled notebook paper folded and discarded.

Sing unto me that secret song

We never shared

About love,

About tenderness;

A song making miracle believers,

A song of fields

Beyond our extremes

Where love encrusts molecules

And is sighed in by all

Till everyone falls drunk with

Purity tinged with passion.

A song we didn’t know how to write

As we did everything but right.

Sing unto me that secret song.

Prescription, cold sweat, clutched and clutched again in her right, coat pocket. Two a day for seven days. Two and seven, twenty-seven. She thinks about Jimi dying in England and Janis dying in an unknown place, both, at twenty seven. Shaken, she remembers today is her eighteenth birthday. Her first day as a woman; her first day as a scarlet woman. So much for rising phenomenally.

Rage phenomenally.

A crumpled drugstore receipt…She composes.

Eros, You make me hate myself for loving you. Wasted love. I wish I could take it back! You are a killer of women! You are a killer of spirit! You.

A drugstore receipt masticated and digested.

How do I forgive myself for ever letting someone so vile fill me? How do I look into my eyes without repulsion? How do I begin?

Years and valleys later.

Good night, sweetheart.

“A woman is like a tea bag. She does not know what is in her until placed in boiling water.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

When the mean scarlet of my psychosis met the cool cerulean of the authorities, I boiled.

Another asylum’s tomb. Sweaty back to a padded wall. Trying not to kill.

Star gazing with medically glazed, half-closed eye lids, I trace the constellation phantasms arcing the blank, beige ceiling.

Brooding drool, mine, shames. Saliva baptism, mine, breaks.

I forget him. Laudnum selective memory grays then swallows his oil portrait.

I obliterate our secret song. The Holst’s engulfing, lullaby Venus’ hushed notes embitter then diminish.

Now, I hear my voice, fervently whispering my hatred of her: the bitch, the controller, the lazy.

Her. Her. Her.

The cop, the psych nurse, my mamma.

She is the cruelest thing.

A soft, still response, “So are you.”

Finally found, gasping at the answer I want to deny but know its truth. Truth, finally found.

The soft, still voice continues, “And, you are loved.”

A moment of silence. Tears of gratitude for and fathoming of a limitless grace I had not known.

I am never the same.

The naked lady’s dawn

i know why the caged bird sings.

it sings for me, mother-f…

my very educated mother just served us nuts.

embracing her drills,

she becomes.

she revolves around a tent city in a public park.

there, she finds her moon in the seventh house, jupiter aligned with mars. there, she reminds her community to love and to dare.

then, darkness permeates.

“occupy ousted: cops take naked lady.”

some call her anarchist, fat, indecent, molester, media whore, crazy, obscene, trash, con, meaningless.

she is naked.

“why naked?”

some call her angel, the light, baby, big momma, prophetess, aunty, love, an unscripted moment, by her name.

she is naked.

“why naked?”

sagging, stripping, rippling, undulating, reincarnating hottentot venus of willendorf.

she stands naked in high heeled, coal, mary janes and pink, floral head wrap.

she spans her catalytic butterfly wings spurring a madagascar typhoon.

she carries the world’s grievances on her tongue.

she refuses the media’s artificial suns.

she walks in beauty like the night.

she is naked.

“why naked?”

smiling her naked grin!

“You know your honor…”

William Hazlitt shared, “A gentle word, a kind look, a good natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.”

belly laughing her naked story!

“You know your honor…”

Maya Angelou bragged, “My life has been one great big joke, a dance that’s walked, a song that’s spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.”

dancing her naked hula!

“You know your honor…”

Emma Goldman insisted, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

bellowing her naked, honorable truth

We shall feel like a no one. We are known.

We shall feel used up and ugly. We are boundless and beautiful.

We shall feel alone. We are beloved.

Rising, we dawn, naked.

“Why naked?”

Why make this so hard on yourself?

Why so in your face?

Why so radical?

Why so loud?

Why you?

Why?

“Why naked?”

“All nonsense questions are unanswerable.”

Rising, she dawns.

She is you.

She is I.