by Maureen Owen
________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ sexuality because of sexisim is a problem for most women ________________________________________________________________________ if there could be a dinner perched on a hilltop in golden ash sullen harmless & forever uneaten the one who has gone ahead could be a scene behind glass in the museum of the future Otherwise a group of men paint themselves wild purslane yellow flower with succulent leaves & the woman in the green & white checkered housedress stands in the doorway of the cottage on the island in the metallic gun-powdered salt of the sea & hollers "Honey ....... ________________________________________________________________________ Soffits & Fascias ________________________________________________________________________ wild & keen over our cold gossip why do only the saddest people want to write O Rilke log of my heart! bushy aster crooked-stem aster daisy fleabane wind knocked the locust tree over panes rushed out of the window the brakes went out on the car the dryer broke the electricity swooned into my arms "I got up & got kids to school all my life" said Alice Schroeder mother of murderer Blond Cole Hunter who shot Jane Campbell a woman on the edge of her seat woman on the tip of the iceberg woman through the eye of a needle Women were painting waves on the floor of the basketball court they dealt not with domesticity but with war, politics, coffeehouse intrigues, exploration, & murder Consider the margin the lake before the storm grand recipient of the shakes I the quaking one going from door to door in the halls of my own house ________________________________________________________________________ Blue Nile ________________________________________________________________________ Her excessive urge to plan every second of the other person's day. I guess he was inspired by her to do it. She arrived at the hotel room finding him in a white towel & dripping water -- as they talked he returned to the bathroom & proceeded to finish drying & begin dressing. As they chatted he pulled on clothes until he'd completed his attire & promptly swung open the door to the hall Downstairs they chatted even faster as he strode briskly through the lobby & once outside he told her he was glad she'd come by then he turned & bounded off in another direction. Freud told her her dreams were what he would expect of a woman poet. Becoming Famous & Powerful Careless of all advice, flowers she remodeled her basement & did tricks she'd learned in the circus referring to her life as the "Big Top" In the tablets we turn to "In white she was bathed" Betrayed by the hand that held the mirror Medusa's hair was snakes. Was thought split inward. ________________________________________________________________________ No one ever eats the last of the grapes ________________________________________________________________________ the Way the egret & the fish meet in the sky tide & rocks hold conversation wet greens from wetter blues I am not the spellbound waterskier being lunged at random! tho I notice I've written my list of ways to get through the day on the vocabulary card called "dregs" ________________________________________________________________________ tall white & densely fluid ________________________________________________________________________ one night. Starry. a young woman trampled clothes in a stream no ordinary laundress she or I to be bending at the waist as night is elegantly bent. the night as night elegant & starry slightly bent at the waist referential several churches surround the green tall white boxes sharp & quivering Several churches surround the green. Beside the mailbox a miniature angel addressed my thumb. trees jerked from the mist hunks of dark smoke Is it possible to build a house without a door? tall white boxes w/deep oblongs at center face's center trace of infinity of stars scraped the paint off the night as night a young woman trampling clothes in a stream tall white and densely fluid deep at their center center of face face's center rasp in the navied air trace of infinity of stars scraped the paint off glued the doors shut the box closed the night as night a young woman trampling clothes in a stream. ________________________________________________________________________ the lover who cannot forget who perishes of excess ________________________________________________________________________ today wasn't so bad nothing horrible arrived in the mail here in the park-like hours of wherein the leaves call all our attention & demand our constant concentration for a tree crackling pink and Paling orange gathering browns rustle underfoot and to the sail we sweep as though the sea came in and took us out No brave skiff no dangerous float no swimming lessons american crawl just the water's edge a need to be at sea awash as in the same life we know others swim ok and steady trembling and large pink trees palest orange a depraved motorist takes off down the road full of pepper and juice and trunks of undispersed paraphernalia she needs help but none of the lovers can help none of the flaring relatives too tired to skim under faultless skies under dampened hours the bottom of the plane was mirror mirror to the sea or grey of sea ________________________________________________________________________ Martha ________________________________________________________________________ She threw her entire arm over her hat while the butterflies were flung past her eyes closed lips pulled in. She caught herself against the gust swallows flipped every which way white suddenly as her dress and hat and the arm she locked straight out she was holding on to some idea ________________________________________________________________________ how I feel is cool very cool ________________________________________________________________________ cold fills the south window ice wells in the south window snow drifts in the south window icicles drape in the south window a bitter wind a frozen surge at the south window the bitter neck of winter is in the south window the bitter neck of winter is in the south window You hear the train go West in the south window & then retire to bedlam a wind would come up a wind stone of heart would flower in icy petals over the window in the south over the south window ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ So muchos the story & tale it goes into oblivion like raccoons in the arms of children bandit faces & that little nose always looking for its share so unpredictable one day he'd be so friendly you'd think for sure he had something in mind then the next time it would be all off whatever it was..... as though he'd almost.. & then decided against it So he controlled all your responses by throwing his voice in these manners calling you here then sending you there all the while setting you up to invent his emotions for him to construct a route of passion he could claim as you like a crazy person darted back & forth in the role of: both actors, the set & scenery, the wind machine, an occasional song routine, & a personal narrator who explained the feelings of both characters being portrayed as well as their dogs! ________________________________________________________________________ Always the word "love" written in vanishing ink....vanishing or Edith wharton is missing for E.B. ________________________________________________________________________ Turning the page we witness how another survives. She takes the circular staircase to the weathervane & that puts her right on top of the view the nightly ritual of standing in the front doorway breath pumping into the flat dark We are staring at a sky the color of a Parrot tulip staring back eyeball to eyeball jagged star to jagged star perfect bead to perfect bead maybe low clean fog or wet-washed air Orion Big Dipper venus mars? The door a thick slab of hard wood chipped painted & repainted strata of each layer marking an idea in progress. "I really am fine" she wrote "I went to Africa last June to see the Mountain Gorilla of Dwonda I am very happy" it's love at the base of it all love stops the heart goes on but love stops Stops Stop it! love! Stop it! ________________________________________________________________________ We watch the swimmers intermittently decapitated & reinstated decapitated & reinstated whole headless whole headless ________________________________________________________________________ love is not one kind or another is fashioned of stumps one so fleet of soup one fictive as a cushion in a foolish melodrama one gaunt garish garrulous gander another seeks potato plots & several dig famously where the map has indicated fortune one is a giraffe space bursts open in a wound air cracks a corner hissing night reclines at the circus milk takes on the color of everyday stone rebukes the finder & shrivels up toast is like a taco for the rich beer makes you stupid beer makes us stupid wine too see me about this later Stupid water has a point water deserves better water is not burnt sienna or plain sienna or blue my cup my shoes I fill my cup I fill my shoes sand is not yellow or brown or creme or white or black really sand is permanent we sit on it from here we see the bathers leave their feet at the edge of the lake ________________________________________________________________________ Copyright © 1992 by Maureen Owen. Imaginary Income was published by Hanging Loose Press. Light and Dust @ Grist Mobile Anthology of Poetry.