Things in Light Poetry Series 2014: The Cast and Crew6:32 PM
"Why this combination?" one might well ask. Well, as our managing editor explains it, the poets mentioned above and published below all had the same Shakespeare class together at UNM as undergrads. Our managing editor was there, too. The group of them performed a scene from Othello as an alternative to writing a midterm essay for the notoriously rigorous professor MacPherson. Those were halcyon days, a place to begin thinking about the power of words.
Tomorrow we begin the second chapter of the 2014 series with the poetry of Rebecca Aronson. Stay tuned.
Snake Farmby Ardith Brown
Off an alley near the University
the dealer's younger brother says
my name sounds like a clipper
ship sailing away from the desert.
He says Albuquerque needs more
boats, and I pretend to laugh when
he offers me a bump. His cocaine
eyes, wild and glassy-green, flitter
and pierce me like two snake fangs.
He grabs the twenty dollar bill
rolled up near the ashtray, licking
his tongue to rid his sticky
mouth of loose tobacco.
I am not the only girl surrounded
by snakes. Posters of boas adorn
airbrushed blonds, their huge breasts
weighing down the beige wallpaper.
Harley models writhe, their serpentine
guile strangled by itchy scales on waxy
lipstick smiles. Do you like snakes,
the dealer sneers as his brother
notices my brand new tan line.
He says I look sexy in turquoise.
I could run you up, if you want,
says the dealer on my next visit,
pointing toward a coiled up rubber
band next to his nudie magazines.
Instead I ask about the silver chopper
in the parched yard. A large pit bull
is barking--its red eyes mad and bright--
at the new addition in his dusty,
weed-filled lot. The brother yells
shut up and asks if I want to ride.
Birds, San Antonio, 1992
by Ardith Brown
by Ardith Brown
The wedding was not the apocalypse she imagined.
Endtime, dystopia--call it what you will, but her dress
did not explode or combust. Late October was still hot in Texas.
Sweating through itchy lace, she could barely stand up for the vodka.
A marching band and jet fighters competed for the minister's voice,
but she wasn't interested in the Bible. It was mostly exposition;
anyway, she didn't quite believe. All the crystal and glitter
reminded her of discotheques on LSD, of tragic infernos,
sad Victorian women trapped in a muted Renoir.
She thought it unwise to get drunk at weddings,
but it was eighty degrees and the pressure was outrageous.
Booze wasn't sufficient to still the jackhammers fragmenting
her head; instead, she focused on the Virgin of Guadalupe
surrounded by roses and pink aura. Unusual to feel so totally clean.
There would be friends and children, death and monsters,
days of confusion and depression, yet God would lower
her down soon, crush the hibiscus petals beneath her feet.
She wished for great flocks of grackles, their iridescent
bodies, black and shiny, whistling sharply to settle, settle.
But there were no birds. Silence wrecked her flight.
Grass sparkled, but she wanted to forget the lawn,
how this night softened her own feathers, clipped her wings.
Married. Until today, time had worked against her--
distorted biological clocks. Grandmothers and aunts
hovered over the cake; small children danced.
Odors of perfume and coffee smelled of hospitals
and unbearable civilization. Now the bridesmaids
were poised, squirrels twitching, heart rates heightened,
each vying to catch the throwaway bouquet.
Momentarily she leaned toward the coast,
toward Corpus Christi and Galveston,
slouching a gray posture past the border all the way
down to the Gulf of Mexico where the water opened up,
a whale's mouth swallowing her delight. Smells of salt
corrupted the reception, and out on the beaches the hotel lights
twinkled and blinked, calling her like diamonds on a neckline.
I lost hope.
I wanted do die right there.
I wanted to swim away and laugh,
an atheist at the coming of the Lord.
You Don'tby Albino Carrillo