Poem 6: Sky Eater: A Haibun

I drank the sky,
opened my mouth
my teeth flashing, cameralike,
in the sun.
I meant to stutter an excuse,
offer an apology,
sing the praises of someone
not me,
but something fuzzy and cool,
like gossamer
or lavender cotton candy,
spun inside.

Well, what was I to do?
Eyes wide and guilty,
I swallowed.

It was delicious,
I don’t mind saying:
Soft and spiky,
bitter and so sweet
my lips puckered
and my tongue perspired.
My empty tummy,
heretofore wrapped
like an undelivered present,
unfurled, stretched,
gurgled a message
to my fretful brain:

I didn’t know what else to do,
so I kept my lips unsealed.
The heavens poured inside,
bulging my cheeks,
kissing my throat,
rounding my belly.
I’m pretty sure
a satellite, thundercloud,
perhaps a star or two
tumbled in.
They tasted hot and bright,
like metal against my teeth.

My face shifted upward,
eyes shining, mouth open
in a hungry song.
Words spun, colliding,
forming sentences and heat.
I’m confident I glowed.

So you see,
the fat orange sun
and its nursemaid clouds
live in me now,
rounding out my body,
filling me with thunder
and starlight.

I tell you only because you wondered
What happened to the sky.

Stars snagged in my teeth,
Clouds distended my belly
As I sipped the sky.


Note: This poem is a haibun.

Poem 5: Vibrator

Cheeky device,
Purring secrets
and satisfaction.

Little hicCUPS of sound,
rolls of the tongue
that serenade in Spanish,
that hum an ancient tune
in a rhythm familiar
to our foremothers.

Hummingbirds quiver,
bazillion bees buzz,
sipping from blossoms
heavy and pink.
Stinging, singing,
electrical zinging.

My torso croons,
my voice melts and roils.
I am the ocean, but hot;
a dazzling lightning storm;
a cyborg:
a sly, smug
science fiction creature
somewhere between woman
and machine.

Poem 4: Little Women

My mother told me should die
Probably before the baby
Shoved its crude head
Through a hole large enough
To swallow my world.

Another girl would make us
Like Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.
I cried and hated my sisters
For daring to live while she
Strained on the table.

My grandmother called us “fellas”
and made me wash my face.

I always wanted to be Beth.


Note: I only deleted seven, rather than eight, lines. Behold the rebel! 🙂

Here are all four of us sisters.
Here are all four of us sisters.

Poem 3: Before the Darkness

Before the darkness
used to
imagine myself somewhere
A candy shop,
a swirling, sickly sweet
a library with
ceilings that ceilings
that soared
like arias
or unscreamed screams.

No one told me
what to expect.
no one said
it felt stretchy, full,
and lumpy,
like giving birth
in reverse.
No one said.
No one told me.
So I told no one,

And the carousels
kept spinning.

Once I grew silent
and still,
I imagined them,
the colors.
They sparkled, grew,
filled my body
like music,
like shooting stars,
like fairy tale narratives,
like letters that forgot
to form a sentence
with an end.

I don’t,
I mean didn’t,
and I wavered
and drifted far,
far away,
borne aloft by
balloons or grocery lists
or something anything.
I didn’t even need
my face,
my name.

Maybe you know them.

“Apophenia” means finding
in the chaos:
Cloud animals,
dead loved ones
in a crowd,
in a
cobwebby ceiling.

Before the darkness,
danced and drifted,
a dandelion fluff
propelled by
sneers and
I uncovered colors
in the dark
I would
to forget.

Poem 2: Blue Arcs

I learned in English Lit
Water represents rebirth.
But what about skies,
That wisp overhead,
Bleached cotton curtains that
Suffocate the scenery?

I heard in geology the sky comprises
Illusion, gases, and a nitrogen blue
That arcs like Aryan eyes
While cataract clouds
Plath called it a bell jar
Smudged with
Cloudlike condensation
Or the pants of seven billion

Now I am the teacher,
and I know
Humans build near water,
Bracketing the coasts,
Bright and viscous,
Like Florida algae.

Two humans, pale statues,
Frame our view.
Their interpersonal drama propels
The narrative, Aryan arc
While a blue plaid sky
Snaps overhead.
The wind whistles their song,
The sun crisps their soft, beige skin,
The ocean crashes into the margins,
Drowning their violence
And narrative flow.


Written in response to Ben Howard’s “I Forget Where We Were” video.

Poem 1: Endings

Funny how at the beginning
You can find an end,
Shining like recycled gold
Or the afterbirth
Of something long, strenuous,
And possibly inadvisable.

When you find the end,
You can place it with great delicateness
On your finger.
It may fit there, snugly,
Sparkling into the eyes of those
Willing to see.

I lived the end.
Once, when I was thirty-one,
Just one year after getting married
And earning a masterful degree.
But those things, too, ended,
And hospital beds grew cold.

A bang or a whimper?
Fire or ice?
Slouching or sprinting with
Obscene alacrity?
Or perhaps with gentle, escalating doses of
Prozac and novelty?


Introducing… Me!

Greetings, poets!

I’m thrilled to join this marathon. Yay for literary solidarity and motivation!

I’m a college professor of sociology, an activist for several causes, and a lover of many things literary, both trashy and classic. Oh, and I love animals. All animals.

This is Sabhu. No reason exists to post this. Sabhu needs no reason. He just is.
This is Sabhu. No reason exists to post this. Sabhu needs no reason. He just is.