Concerning the Summer Sky in Texas

Concerning the Summer Sky in Texas

A sky this empty         is no sky

A sky this empty         is no sky but naked malediction

A sky this empty         is a pyromaniac
whose heat swarms
struggling grasses
gasping birds
the locked car
                                     cradling stifled baby

A sky this empty        devours

A sky is necessary only for marking the horizon of mortality,
just as immortality of sky necessitates the liturgy of superstition:
two pats of salted butter
a shot of whiskey
knock on wood

A sky this empty         is not sky         but decreation

July, 2016

Back to the Bone Pile

Image Courtesy of Circe Denyer

Capture Me Turning

Capture Me Turning

You center the frame upon a streetlight,
as if that false star has some sidereal nimbus

capable of dreaming lime fruit & olive oil.
There’s a Tarot book in the mail, and blood in my blue heart.

Oh! I’m too-smiling, squinting in the flash.
We both know strangeness does not equal beauty.

You mistake my dress for Anthropologie.
I mistake myself for an Elena Ferrante character.

One click, and you capture me turning
a key to open gaps between perpetual pasts.

This photo is a message from the dead,
as are all pictures,

eventually.

May, 2016

Image Courtesy of Linnaea Mallette

Back to the Bone Pile

Reading Tragedy

Reading Tragedy

Summer prose crated in hope?
      Champagne-aired sinner.

Seething, forced poems?
      Factory-stacked dreams.

Death coming from good health?
      Puritan luxuries, like meals.

May, 2016

This is an erasure poem based on pages 308 and 309 of the 1975, First Edition of Letters Home, by Sylvia Plath (ed. Aurelia Schober Plath). I cobbled together phrases from portions of three separate letters written by Sylvia Plath, took the liberty of rearranging my sections, and added punctuation. Despite this, I think the Sylvia’s spirit remains strong.

I’ll admit to having no idea what this means, but it feels true.

-Josephine
The Poet Obscura

Link to Featured Image

Back to the Bone Pile

Little Wonder

Little wonder, you are badly gone.

I was in the kitchen,
ruining the oatmeal.
It bubbled blind beneath a milk caul –

And response?

Rancid cheese, fizzing in an unction of olive oil.
That tiny jar stunk up the whole house.
A cadaver smell, but not until hours later.
Hours after I deposited
your pliant body in the copse.
Milk. Cheese. Death.

I, too, exhale rot.

***

Seven years, seven painful springs.
It was one thing, repeated.

***

One thing:

A week before Easter, my sleek Doberman brought me a bunny
with velveteen ovals for ears and an eye cauled with vacancy.

Oh, little wonder, you were too soft!

Your head hung off the shovel
like a silly looker – but completely at peace?
Maybe you were.

***

Marvel and gawk!
I was spraddled in the dentist’s sloping chair,
opened wide for the scalpel.
He cut out the infection.
He drilled out the disease.
My numb head hung.
The soup of my own death-breath fizzed –
and the taste?
Jesus knows.
He ran his decayed tongue
over his teeth on the day he rose.

***

Rabbit, I am not rabbit enough

to out-rabbit you –

whose life was bright,
whose flight was wordless,
whose surrender, true,
who’s nonetheless less.

April 2016

Back to the Bone Pile

Bloodwork

My body is the offering
to be harvested, bottled, and cultured.
I lie about smoking to keep something to myself.
Sharp earthworm –

the needle is an instrument of harvest
wielded to vint me like wine by a philosophical phlebotomist.
As his earthworm burrows, the philosopher expounds:
“Panache is what evokes hunger and color.”

He vints me. Like wine from a stone, nothing flows.
Nausea overthrows my consideration of blueberries and salmon.
Panache is syncope is static.
Gray clouds fill the curtained space.

Blueberries, salmon?
My world is a confusion of semaphores
the gray clouds fill.
I give up my greasy sweat.

My world is confusion –
I cannot will myself to bleed!
I give up my consciousness.
Panache is semaphore is sanguine.

It seems I
keep something for myself.
Blood is the sanguine semaphore of
my body, the offering.

February, 2016

Back to the Bone Pile

This Poem is a Dog Fight

Wildflowers, muddy tubers:
My girls tug at their leashes and my hangover.
I am hazy.

Humidity inside and out.
Solstice promises winter relief, but not yet.
Bleary, I walk

Homeward like a faulty Magi.
I’ve pollen-droppings and night soil offerings,
Leftover myrrh –

Bagged, but stronger than frankincense.
Nature keeps her own and rewards with smell
and sight and taste.
Coffee is what I want,
That and a North wind portent older than Bethlehem’s star.
Instead,

loose

dogs!

Unwelcome trinity of curs
Rush along the trail we wound in search of wind.
Animal anger

Suffers no love for neighbors.
My girls lunge into the charge, a vestment of hackle,
An arsenal of mouth.

Noise and fear! My legs
Are bared guilt amongst the snapping teeth.
I chose this route,

Decreed to take the trail in reverse,
A pagan unspooling of the year, a poetic talisman,
Sympathetic magic…

Demons escape the mirror.
They are silver-furred and baying for blood,
Mine, or my dogs.

I forfeit the mild commandment
Annul it with exultation and become the wind I sought:
A goddess untamed.

Inspiration is literal,
A breath transformed into a scream and horror into creation.
Fury and wonder

Declare this howl divine.
It is awareness, and it is implacable as the seasons
Threshing the years.

The revelation of canines
Breaches the eternally curved edge of infinity,
Carries me with it.

December 2015

Back to the Bone Pile