We the foolish pupils
too big for her budget-cutting britches
it’s not calligraphy for school children
woven rug pulled from beneath our collective feet
so more room to dance, whee
and the Prez rides away echo of post-9/11
on her missile magic carpet ride
we attendants clutch vacuums, carpet sweepers
valedictorian outrage from below
and she’s back
in a puff of smoke
preens intractable sneers
Honour your superiors!
Um, I think I’d like to say something?
Daycare on lockdown
children inside this idyllic May day
–May Day! May Day! going down–
we’ll use them abuse them
make them carry our prom shoes
children should be taken care of before all the rest
violence and pansies in our corteges
she pins a corsage to my wrist, pierces, draws blood
it’s personal not political after all
optics and perception are all
without waiting for a yes
seizes me around the waist
may I have this–
understands how to turn such meetings into a spectacle
looking up at tiers of people
Christians and lions in the bleachers
even the bouquets can’t disguise the strata of nervous sweat
she pirouettes on stage
but I thought no meant no?
I don’t want to be rude but?
The most stupid of them begins to understand
soda ash, mordant, Rohypnol?
I can’t remember to forget
chemicals do due diligence
eroding fibre from fabric
specially prepared cotton wool
my ball gown crumpled around my feet
sodium hydrogen sulphate
she burns holes in my velvet
Devore from devour
whose body on the dyeing table?
white linen to receive the colour
woozy now, unmoored, hallucinate
deckhand who sank a BC ferry
filling in as fourth officer
maintains his innocence
Let truth resound
says there were boats he was avoiding
not fucking a colleague
what’s he doing to me now?
what’s she doing?
you would not consider my procedure appropriate
Um, could I register a concern?
Now the President
figurehead on a sinking ship
charts unnavigable shores by herself
getting into bed with whom?
her cunt-sticky fingers move
from Point A to Point B
without noticing the seals’ dark shiny heads
their rhythmic beauty
their soporific dance
everything was quiet
without the slightest audible hum
opposed to this procedure
Let’s question the issue and not the person
you should not express any view whatsoever
Herself kingless, Prom Queen
trawls on training wheels
bottom-feeding, growing whalelike
de facto head of state
limbo libido liminal
monarch without a tissue-flowered throne
what does one do?
love it to death
Robin Morgan’s “Arraignment” called for
the dismemberment of Ted Hughes
about the suicide of his wife, Sylvia Plath
I wish to lodge a complaint?
even compliant up-talkers have limits
and you, rapist, have abused me sorely
The detective here
with the cup of warm punch
so late to the party
says there is no body
it already began to quiver
plays the victim
who’s the injured one now?
Have faith and wait!
–the procedure would play itself out
to its conclusion
her foot in my face on the seabed
redolent stink and ashes
No. No! Listen
(May Day, May–)
not a Dredge mining the ocean floor after all
the Harrow shoots sparks, it is working
oh thank God (where were you?), it is working
in my head I clap my hands with manic glee, whee
however long it takes
I will wait for her dead, transfigured face
(Italics from Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony”)