wicked alice| fall 2009

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Denise Dooley


All night there are wolves at
the door and I wake there are
wolves at the door.  Noise of

snort and breathing, wheeze of
lead pipe choked, whinny
of file stroking a screw thread.

Push and the pits fall
over me, boiling grains
of rice, bellies gray, bare

as a nippled sow.  My neighbor is
sorry.  She needs to sell them,
seventy dollars.  They eat so

much. They pretty, she says, pedigree.
they are.  Tooth on bone blood in
water color of a house fly painted to

the sill but they pay only if you
fight them.  They show
smoke rubber gums to my floor.


Cardinal Hotel

Ballrooms smelling of sleeping
ambassadors, this is what we want
to fight you for, Nations, this is why

shadow jowls with pin bristles pile

stones around the dent lined
with a rubber pond mat,
gel batting sagging in diapers.


Feeling a spider web tearing a spider web

for myles

one british man lived in the back in a small apartment he was gay
had a tub, bathed in it even while i worked in the front of the store
and he yelled conversations to not-test my notice of water noise.

two black girls in matched spandex (one the all white version one
the all black version) ran in screaming cold, it so cold. Why the boots
girl its summer she yelled in the voice of a 17 year old black girl.

many white girls carried bottles through the room they thought
everyone was looking at her liked what they see. waists
maneuvering chairs, plywood traveling toys: kite, top, boat, plane.


we blonde youth go daily through the city as if we are helping it

we conjecture with you when the ambulances pass.  and we take in the
full urban beauty of the jumping nut-tree hair on the girls.
we show our friends where the real good food is at we kneel beatific
on the pier.
we lay tarps down over the whole hill of a front yard and turn the
sprinkler on at the top and we experience the hell out of enjoyment.
would you like a spritey beer!  would you like a hearty beer!  because
you seem! a spritey/hearty person!
we tolerate radial advances on the street with a measure of grace.
we likewise notice with fair distance the hairless faces of the united
states army reserves riding horny on the metra.
we renew leases in buildings where, behind us like backgrounds the
walls resemble hills, and the hills shake a little then stand and turn
out to be buffalo.  Who were sleeping but wake and open their
jam-sticky eyes, because the paint blisters, and the blisters crack
knowingly open.
we watch the man in front of us shop we think (white bread, hormel
chili, orange-drink mix, pink milk) if his card does not work we will
be 'put it together with mine' and as if to the snacks shelf we will
say 'man you get me next time' so that he cant feel bad.  we would let
you borrow our phones.



plumb-bob legs
postures of a
rabbit picked up
and shown in
      one big hand
running sand cliffs
piled at the
angle of poured
salt, axe feet
finding the
soft below the
soft like we're
off a bridge
like it finds
      the place under
the bright small
reflecteds, even
the dimes find it, even
the spit, at bottom
      thin beach
saying start
back to your small
familiar, climb
      powder of shells
silicate sediment,
run the flesh of the water
weeds flapping.


Denise Dooley lives in Rogers Park, Chicago.  Her poems have appeared recently in Court Green and Shampoo. She reads and writes with the Next Objectivist poetry workshop, http://nextobjectivists.blogspot.com/ .