Monday, February 23, 2009

Three by Eleanor!

Eleanor Higgins

GHAZAL

I am a dirty little girl with flapping shoes
You can wash your face
but you'll need money
to buy new sandals


I am poor, without status
They say with hard work
you can be rich but few make it


I am dark, ugly, untouchable
Isn't beauty
in the eye of the beholder?


I am scared I'll starve, disappear, be ignored
You are here
even if no one looks at you


But what if I the tree falls
and I'm not there to hear it?
We will imagine its sound together
Eleanor Higgins

BAD BOYS

most of my boyfriends
have been bad boys
but this has had its advantages

they don't work
so they have more time
to spend with you
or to make friends
and their friends
are often interesting
"offbeat" characters

because they don't work
you're probably supporting them
yet because of this
they won't boss you around
or criticize
or expect you to cook
if you don't want to
and they have time
for morning sex

bad boys don't plan ahead
are open to suggestion,
don't have much of an agenda
live in the moment
if you have a date with a bad boy
he'll ask you what you'd like to do
…and mean it

they don't seem to experience fear
like the rest of us
but this can be a good thing
they are often heroes
the kind who run into burning buildings
the only thing they are afraid of
is getting caught!

they are exceptional liars
thus great at poker
have absolutely no "tells"
those mannerisms
that give the rest of us away
when we are lying

there's a saying in recovery circles
"alcoholics want to run the bank
and addicts want to rob it"
make the appropriate substitutions,
and you have another truism

they don't have
much of a conscience
so if you want something
they'll steal it for you!

for example, during the Olympics
I mentioned I liked the colorful signs
directing traffic to the events
the next day, the sign pointing
to the beach volleyball court
showed up on my doorstep
I was thrilled

they don't contend with
Inconvenient feelings of remorse
so suddenly
no one owes you money anymore!

and a bad boyfriend can often do away
with pesky disputes you may have
and he won't feel bad about it
for instance, the guys across the street
used to park in my driveway
but when my bad boyfriend moved in
they stopped doing it!
(come to think of it,
I haven't seen their cars
at all lately… hmmm.)

another great example
of how handy no conscience can be:
The Story of the Barking Dogs
we had two huskies behind us
the neighbors and I had tried everything
talking to the owner,
calling animal control
nothing worked
it was so bad
I couldn't go on that side of the house
without starting them up!

then one day, silence.
I asked one of the other neighbors
what happened
she told me one of the dogs
had been poisoned
and the owner moved out

that weekend we had a great party
on the patio we could now use
because the dogs were gone
my bad boyfriend played
a recent song he'd written
which was a big hit
it was called
"Dead Puppy Blues"

Yes, bad boys are great,
but the best thing about bad boys is
you don't have to be good around them.
Eleanor Higgins

I AM SCENERY

a prop in your life
the unplugged telephone
with no one there
with whom you have
your one-sided
play-acted
conversation
you conjure up fake tears
for my imaginary wrongs
then disappear me
in Act Three

if I were real
I could march off your stage
punctuate my exit
with a slap to your face

I'd incite my prop friends:
the imitation pine tree
the minature frozen lake
painted on
the breakaway window

we're sick of the sound
of your studied dialect
when your back is turned
we'll move to another soundstage
you'll pick up a phone made of air
stare at a blank wall
read lines about an evergreen
that isn't there! HA!

revenge is sweetest
in its imagining

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Michelle Angelini

SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE

Hearts on her back jeans pockets
say something
I’m loved
She’s an uptown queen
striding along Hollywood Boulevard
as if she knows all those
in front of her will bow down
in worship
No questions asked

Scrunched beneath a blanket
on the bench serving for a bed
on Alvarado Street
he’s unidentifiable
Only his pants and shoes
below the dirty blanket
give knowledge of gender
I’m invisible, please recognize me
He bows down before the twin masters
of poverty and homelessness
Too many questions

And, I, somewhere in the middle
escape homelessness each month
My stature when I walk says
I’m generally happy with life
Sheets cover the bed on which I sleep
just as my clothes are no strangers
to a washer and dryer
I am equal to both queen and homeless man
neither bowing before nor slumping beneath
I question everything – learning to live

Monday, February 2, 2009

Helen Graziano

FEAR NO ART

Wandered into a New Jerusalem, a secular Vatican
A quasi sacred ground complete with Chardonnay

CCAA planted its foot in dusty earth of Etiwanda
Wrote the name Contemporary Art on winery walls

Pilgrims from banks, farmers from fields
Teachers from schools find the answer, look for truth

Satisfy artistic search amid arid land of TV
Malls, billboards, telephone poles, distressed homes

Drink in rainbow colors eternal cubism, realism
Of Andree's geometry, Fauvism of Bob Smith's trees

Art, an organizing experience avoiding boredom
Teases senses, not to do the same thing over and over

We are immune to reason, need only food, water
Sleep, sex, open arms of art gallery, colored shapes

No Pope, priest, prelate, just disciples of Cezanne, Kandinsky
Gauguin, diamonds sparkling, trees blazing orange

The eye sees prisms not prisons, kaleidoscopic broken
Images of suns spots, flowers, pristine sky

I, a poor beggar poet, selling verses in the market place
A slum dog luring travelers to Taj Mahal, bazaar of color

Climb the chakra ladder, create my own stars
Midst action of creation, debauchery and energy

Smith's California Dreaming sane with Chevy's
Historical rendition of As Time Goes By

It Had To Be You, driving the Chevy, top down, past
California orange trees on Rte.66, citrus labels upscaled

Bob's agency, technical perfection, imaginary, red sky
In dream of flying, Andre turns inward, communing

With acrylics, backwards being babe in Waikiki
Bob renders Laguna seascapes, male/female polarity

Together sets horizon high, lines into infinity
Surrealism, Expressionist Mahoney Smith

Survival of the finest, only God can really
Judge beauty, be it mountain, sea, cathedral

The moving fingers paint and write and
Having writ move on, as long as lovers woo