because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

pair of aces

The shredded hem of my skirt
drips platitudes
across the worn linoleum
of the little house on
the mountain where we
used to make
love, condensing
it to a milliliter of truth
for every lonely Sunday morning,
sad as unused Peach Bowl tickets.

The front door frame
is stained with my shadow
and the cat’s green eyes
still shine when you
come home
after dinnertime,
our contrite claws
diving for diamonds
in your unmined heart.

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26 responses

  1. a milimeter of truth on the floor…nice…and the lonely sunday morning really sets the tone of this piece…the still smiling and claws mining for those diamonds leaves me a bit of hope…and next time i will take the tickets…smiles.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm

  2. Cats eye always twinkle, know that sight all too well, then they just want food..haha, great verse!

    October 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

  3. The language is distant, formal, aloof – all too appropriate for the sense of disconnection the narrator is expressing at where life has taken her…nice work!

    October 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm

  4. The front door frame is stained with my shadow…. I love it!

    October 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm

  5. hobgoblin2011

    Excellent resonating images here- the second stanza struck me. In that stanza I love how you move from a common experience for most pet owners- but then took the image of the cat-following it up with claws, (Our), incredibly drawn. Thanks for the read

    October 4, 2011 at 8:33 pm

  6. I Don’t Know Nuttin”

    Can the poet be there and not there at the same time?
    The love maker and the sufferer and the observer–All One in awareness?
    Or is it toggling up and toggling down, positive and negative subatomic particles
    Playing a circular game of “tag you’re it”?
    Spinning round and round, chasing polar orbits in a bi-polar way
    I’m happy, I’m sad, Fuck me, Fuck me harder ’til I’m inside out
    It’s that itch I can never scratch.
    It’s that yearning rawness that begs for fresh air.
    I am here but I reject what has been put on my platter.
    Somebody is lying to me besides Bush and Cheney.
    There must be more, something else.
    Why does the dog dig so furiously in our garden?
    If the treasure is there, why didn’t I find it last night?
    Tugging at your soul with my tongue?
    Now I am left with nothing but reflection.
    I suppose I have only one palliative
    To pick up the pen and write.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    • preach it, friend! 🙂

      October 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm

  7. Resignation rings through this piece, despite the well-chosen, active imagery. You certainly impart a mood. Nicely done.

    October 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm

  8. You really paint the picture well — I see the house, the dress hem, your shadow and the cat’s eyes. And, I feel muted, resigned, pain.

    October 4, 2011 at 11:31 pm

  9. A gorgeously hand-made poem as in well-crafted, reliant upon the image to carry this business of heart’s damage– wonderful. I’m at http://parolavivace.blogspot.com . xxxj

    October 4, 2011 at 11:42 pm

  10. Wondering where we were to end up? The images are fantastically painted. The shadow stain…love that! You ALWAYS pull awesome lines to string your pieces together!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:23 am

  11. Beautiful poem! Great opening line, and “condensing it to a milliliter of truth” is sheer genius. I also like the way the title blends themes of gambling, street smarts, and singularity that carry throughout the poem.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

  12. Liked the cat sparkling away…very evocative piece. Pictures at an exhibition of memory and heart.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm

  13. the shadow stain was my favorite, too. awesome images blended together.

    October 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm

  14. What a fantastic poem and the images that you bring to life such as the hem and the shadow stain this was my favorite
    http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/10/04/memories/

    October 5, 2011 at 7:11 pm

  15. the word bar

    “The front door frame
    is stained with my shadow”… some of the best poetic lines I have read in some time..
    The weight of the words in this poem is palpable..
    really an outstanding poem..

    October 5, 2011 at 8:45 pm

  16. Anonymous

    Your unmined heart was a great line . good work.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm

  17. I like the last line unmined heart. Good work

    October 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm

  18. Anonymous

    an “unmined heart” Seems today far too many people are out to indeed mine hearts. And leave them barren and depleted and raped of precious metal and gems of love and goodness. Hearts should be shared and embraced but never dynamited by the plundering heart and soul miner. Curse them for they are like Aztec priests ripping goodness from our breasts. If yours remains unmined you are blessed. Protect it.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:36 pm

  19. The shredded hem of my skirt
    drips platitudes
    across the worn linoleum..

    love it from the beginning to end, very poetic words.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:48 am

  20. Thank you all for your kind comments! I find them so interesting to read and to see that what struck each person was not necessarily the same, in either imagery or impression… which to me makes sense, since I had no clear purpose when I embarked on the voyage of this piece, no sense of where it was going to go. It started out as a workshop exercise, where as a group we wrote random lines, put them all in a hat and then swapped, kinda like playing “go fish” with lines of poetry. Some of the lines I drew included a few of the ones that stuck out here: “sad as unused Peach Bowl tickets,” “the cat’s eyes twinkle when you come home [late],” and “the mountain where we make love.” (My own contributions –that didn’t get traded away– included “diving for diamonds” and “milliliter of truth.”) It was a fun exercise, and I’m sure I’ll be mining through those lines for more inspiration for a good while yet. 🙂

    October 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

  21. Really really a good poem, from start to finish.

    It’s a treat to immerse myself in your talent.

    “Go fish” with poetry works for you!!

    October 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    • Thanks Jannie! 🙂

      October 10, 2011 at 9:35 am

  22. Wonderful imagery!

    October 10, 2011 at 1:21 am

  23. This is superb!!!

    October 10, 2011 at 2:54 am

  24. the “cat’s green eyes” line is my favorite here …

    October 21, 2011 at 12:25 am

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