scarecrow poetics/essays

Monday, June 27, 2005


Three new poems - Glenna Myles


You sing a funeral song in Summer.
I strain to hear Spring
birds hiding behind your voice.

The in-between season sleeps in
the pocket of my ears.
I listen.

You are no where near these
white, wet surfaces.
It's raining outside:

The approach of Fall.

I gather my things.
The scarf wraps tight around
my mouth. My encounter with Freud
says a lie lies in left eye movement.

I look right and enter the elements;
approach your song.
I listen.

Looking left is you.
I call quietly to the melodies.
My puckered lips twirl twice,
swirl life in.

A throat so dry Summer dies.

I hear nothing but the season
Summer hides
song in mittens so big
even the fingers get lost.


I'll tell you what I wish.
I wish I could truthfully say yogurt
tasted too sweet-
that my tongue would reject something
so artificial.

Maybe I'll be like the European who mixes
half vanilla with half berry.
The berry's too sweet by itself.

Reminds me of times I've adapted my ways
to be like others.

I taught myself to depend on coffee
to be like you. (Yeah you. Yeah, yeah.)
Wakes me up.
No longer the sun or brisk air, but a black liquid
bulls-eyed down my throat.

Here's where I tell you how
coffee's like meditating and yoga.

At 18, I needed the East.
My Swami came all the way from India.
Can't remember his name.
Salvation cost one pot of grocery store flowers.
Told me a holy girl swung in my ribs.
I breathed her out. I breathed her in.

Practice guarantees no extreme emotion.
I haven't meditated in 4 years.

Still, I'm up. I'm up.
I'm energized like that,
but need coffee to wake up a second time.
Need it to keep my emotions even.
I wish things while I do things.

Most of all, I wish I could forget the reasons
I try to be the other person.
Katharine Hepburn told her Spence, oh oh.
"You couldn't enter your own life,
but you could become someone else."

Katharine's like my new best friend.
She died 96-years-old,
1 year and 71 days after my dad died,
less than two years after the Manhattan Twins fell asleep.
There were 7 different yogurt brands in the local Cub.
Counting lets a person order things.
Cataloging helps. So, I catalog brand Control.
Preparation. I no longer want to be you.

I stopped meditating when it started to control me.
I stopped eating in order to control others.
I started drinking coffee in order to be controlled.

5 days ago I quit coffee.
There's a new Starbucks on the corner.


Frankie was a girl
whose real name was Kelly.
I watched her lips move.
I'll marry an American Indian, she said.
I'll see the buffalo run pastmy man.

I sat in real life unbelieving.
She could be me, the long walks through
foreign communities,
my marriage to Sisseton*.
In moments of cry, Frankie could be
the whole Reservation.

I knew she understood destruction's magic.
When she started singing, I grabbed her
by the shoulders, told her to keep quiet.
The people who understand might
break this bond.

She escaped my attempts to kill herself,
told me when the Reservation talked.
Never saw her disappear.

I figured starvation could lead to discovery.
My body becoming skeleton, skeleton
becoming body.

She kissed me hard.

I called out to Frankie.
I told her to starve herself.

In real life she believed me;
her lips moving slow
like mine this time.

*Sisseton is a reservation in South Dakota.

Glenna Myles 2005.


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