drwxr-x--- 80 ftp ftp 12288 Oct 15 2013 .. -rw-r--r-- 1 ftp ftp 2595 Jan 21 2000 Ringbd.gif -rw-r--r-- 1 ftp ftp 5924 May 5 15:35 valaitis-e.html Poems by Laura Valaitis

 

Poems by Laura Valaitis

 

PUDDLE DRAMA

in the morning
puddles fill up like champagne dishwashers
the worms
are shoe laces of old bums
waiting on the sidewalk for railroad change
and breakfast
the silver horses of divisadero freeze
into comic book stands before sunrise
the worms relax
yawn across the sidewalk
play checkers with the sleep
dripping from their shoulders

 

GRASSHOPPER LUNCH

my cat
eats grasshoppers for lunch
picks the legs off
with her teeth
then chews
down
the crusty body
head first

 

BEANS

black beans
explosion in the mud
where you emerge
like ancestors
waiting for a ride to the city

in the pot now
you are the black blood of soup
blood of the worm song
blood of my sweating hoe

 

POTATO

blind acrobat
retired army general
your shoe swings heavy
beneath brown skin
mongols chop thick trees
outside your window
fugitives cross siberia
all the relatives deceased
and the water boiling

 

ONION

veins rush
nervous
like reptiles
up your angular back
the body
bald and juicy
is your penitentiary

 

SICK DREAM

the body is awake
but i sleep
i sing lullabies to the prisoners
i eat fungus from the basement wall
i count
nervous
the dead, the missing
the ones without ears.

 

PRIEST

the coins
jingle-jingle
in your hollow chest.
the breath twists
metallic
up the narrow body
like a nerve.
behind each eyeball
cash registers hum like choir boys
teeth crush golden pies.

 

EATING AN ORANGE

i chew your soft navel
sink teeth into your violent orange body
veins burst succulent
dissolve like shoes in my hot mouth
the juice flows
citric blood
from your head without ears

 

WHAT AM I

turn me inside out
i am a sleeve
i am the ringing of bells
wrapped snugly in the cloth of flesh
the corridor that winds
nocturnal
beyond the mother's shining tooth
then i am the staircase and the door
open me
i am barbarian
i bite your shoulder when you sleep

 

CARDBOARD GODDESS

eyes of
gleaming cardboard flutter
hair spinning
in the cardboard wind
teeth of fine white cardboard sinking
into cardboard men
and the thighs
delicately carved
cardboard slide like snakes into stiff
cardboard shoes
the ears the hands the breasts the lips
you guessed it
cardboard

 

All copyright 1978 by Laura Valaitis. Puddle Drama and Grasshopper Lunch were originally published in the 1980 issue of Accessories, a literary/arts magazine published by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

 

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