Monday, 9 May 2011

30/30 - Influences


if you asked me I’d probably say


but if I think about it
it’d be


doused broken hearts
with gravel and whisky-voiced men
pool sharking right-handed
maker’s rocks left
observations grow on me like extra limbs
watching more natural than breathing

are supposed to
feel for a living

but I have always been that one
thinks too fast on her feet
drags heart from chest into mouth
bites down to taste blood squirt
into brain spray painting
NOTICE ME on grey matter
just so it can get some attention
sole gut instinct
run FAST
be first to abandon
if it weren’t for the 34D’s
I might mistake myself occasionally
for a man

I’m just woman invisibility cloaked in male idiom
refusing limiting vocabulary like tightened corsets
will sit alone at the bar on the dark side of town
if there’s a good story in it
take it pock-marked hung over and ugly
as long as it’s transcendent

sing Ol 55 for breakfast
mantra for lines as achingly simple as hank’s
kayak Port Angeles to breathe Carver’s dying lungs
lost virginity in Fitzgerald’s backyard
trip that Dylan’s lyrics were written by wind
and everybody knows about me and Miller, Henry

rugged where I should be fragile
not interested in complaint
demand to define
Zorah nomading language
from dust to pulp
training our ears with her footsteps
so she could story us true spirit people

no Tess, no Zelda
have never stooped to literary wife
no “Women of the Beats”
no condescending misogyny
no blonde in the bleachers for me

Sandbloom with his sweetness should cover Joni
I cover the grit the flat tires on dirt roads
3 mile icy cold walks behind no bus fare
ain’t eaten today but much obliged for the drink
don’t know where I’m sleeping but I’m sure it will all work out

this is troubadour territory

I am pilgrimage
Malcolm not Martin
I will not polish mean neat and shiny
I will never stop at pretty to think so
dammit – that’s where the real book starts
with a shotgun in a barn in Idaho
deeper truth = better art

there is nothing small
about the language of the heart
but there is more out there
the heart needs exercise to keep beating
love needs practice in real time

enough sometimes to love
the leftover sticky of glucose
on the polished wooden bar
the felt of the left corner pocket
the sound of the cue into the 8
the way it sinks bumps rolls away
because they simply are

and people so frequently just disappear
it happens sometimes
people just

so while I write to live
i write boldly
go where no man has gone before
write woman expressed exposed
even what you don’t want to know

mother kathy acker
father de beauvoir simone
woolf drowns frightened of her power
plath asphyxiates choice but
grandmother francEyE
breathed every moment
of 86 years alive into poetry

grandfather clock
done ticking santa clauses
it is high time we defined
our ever redefining selves ourselves
surrender heartbreak to pool cue
take up life lust with paint brush
paint it paint it paint it paint it
just paint it every damn day.

c. e. amato

So, I'm now going to 100 poems in 100 days.  I'm not going to keep cross-posting, I think.  You'll have to look in in my FB notes for the rest.