Leaving by Train

September 4, 2019

Whiskered light throbs inside the station.
The chiming tunnel, its loud, lipped mouth agape.
The rough mirroring of our bodies, a brave illusion.
I’ve owned the fights, and this is it: bit his lip as he moved in,
felt tangy heat wrangle my tongue.
The train quivers away, a relentless emptying, relief snugged further in.
Trees approach, claw the windows — a branch’s embrace,
the wind in their tusks.
The seasons do not shrug each other off as easily as they used to.
They storm and plunder as if refusing knowledge of their own end.
The fields, roughly handled by the wind, make submissive bows
in unison to the spine of summer’s moving dusk.
I rest my head on the trembling window, watch the sky raise its night eye.
In the dark, a field of flowers, ribbed red petals, a globed
universe. The heart of a lion.
Even at this safe distance, a smell of flowers in the air.

Ashley-Elizabeth Best
from: Slow States of Collapse

Ballad of the liberated woman

September 4, 2019

Deep in the gloom of the cavepeople’s hall
(In prehistory times that were no fun at all
Except for the caveman who lorded it there
And dragged his cavemate about by the hair)
The female cooked dinosaur over hot fires
And scrubbed down the rocks with her angry tears
And she growled at her caveman, but she drudged away
While he strutted and flexed, and hunted prey.
Til she to her man cried, “No more! No more!”
Then joined a committee and showed him the door.

Now back in the days of the chastity belt
Under threat of barbarian Mongol and Celt
The wife was a chattel, she’d better not doubt it:
Her lord was of no mind to function without it.
Things had got better, that is for sure,
But this was a damned odd way to stay pure.
She still scrubbed and cleaned, her work never done,
While sundown to sunup didn’t show her much fun.
There was much to complain of most bitterly
But the thing most rankled was that lock and key.
So she to her man cried, “No more! No more!”
Then joined a committee and showed him the door.

Unnoticed, she moves on through history–
Yes, that’s the demure little wife you see
Still scrubbing and cleaning, but with nary a care
And plenty of time to frizzle her hair.
She primps and she preens and she rearranges
In the wake of humanitarian changes
While he takes care of affairs of state
And comes home to grouse if his dinner’s late.
Til she to her man cries “No more! No more!”
Then joins a committee and shows him the door.

Leaving history behind she now carries her weight
In every decision affecting her fate.
She doctors and lawyers and sits in the senate
And smugly smiles at the soreheads aginit.
Then when her horrendous day is done
She comes home and scrubs her own house down
and tends to the children and feeds her man
And puzzles the glitch in this long-term plan
That worked so well by crying, “No more!”
And joining committees and slamming the door.

Diane Engle

fire spreading

September 4, 2019

It is wonderful to watch you,
A living woman in a room
Full of frantic sterile people,
And think of your arching buttocks
Under your velvet evening dress,
And the beautiful fire spreading
From your sex, burning flesh and bone,
The unbelievably complex
Tissues of your brain all alive
Under your coiling, splendid hair.

Kenneth Rexrothe
Between Myself and Death

absolute love

September 4, 2019

To understand absolute love is to realise you are a more than a message scribbled in darkness.