<i><b>Wicked Alice Poetry Journal
wicked alice| winter 2009

Shelly Taylor


Call the thing til it returns unbothered


And what came streaming:  light / or, the unborn ones ruthlessly swamp-going in the form of gas—miasma?  Did you say they rose up, become your old granny's ghost on the dirt road / if on a movie screen:  her face forever pinioned by the keylight?  Oh everlasting nowadays, permit us hang our legs over the abyss see, I have been the right woman for you.  (And they who choke?  Call the preacher fast.)  They'll deliver you meat & milk daily for as long as you live in the country, a country house with an attic surrounded by a stand of trees (see:  blockage & the wind shall come), a fence line soprano answers to rise & rise & shine.  St Francis of the talking birds & hands, danger calling whomever remains so staid.  That who is in my house?  They are, the roads sponsor a return, & it may be funneling from the ground up & dust, & I will go then.  In that kind of weather.  Cotton stems a-flying, fling cherries, & the very trees bent.  Father sulked.  Closer,




keep your flashlight still, this bear / he just might choke me.  Anyone can save a frog though certain animals are more or less tricky.  Along came a spider & sat down beside 'er.  I engage myself with & as the photographer, & with & as the photographer I dress my red lips rightly.  And you, you have suffered long & you have called on your mama; she disappears behind the screen.  Line up your nuncio, line them / lead them out this dark alley (such is the world) / sleepwalkers & fathers, I settle round them like a house would.  Gut oft the sheet music, alders bending under the holy micro & micro discolored.  Let them sponge if they must but not on me; must I look a wretchedness / must my very breathing be so compromised?  Probably right then, call the thing until it returns once more (bastardly, tail-between & broken), you have been the fireman, & I get busy with the rigging.  A time for ashes is not so near, Vasco!  You look right with a hat on but do things not so good for your eyes & now our tea is turning cold.  I am fixative with protection:  I wear shoes, shoes & armor. 

If the pencil makes the trace of a shoe pattern then I am inevitably threading the bobbin / mother costume prop & time watching, you work your fingers & the outside wearies itself dimmer, says the sundown on my sketch paper gets gruesome.  Shoeing it, in two shoes I come home:  doctor take all my teeth.  Father sulked, by morning light, a pitchfork for my two white sprig arms outreached.  Up, shadow this, come and take shadow, come.  When the day's at its apogee, heart-line-meridian up!  Don't you go talking to my pigeons!  When clouds move shadowing over the earth unbolted, wear your shoes.  I bought mine for 15 dollars used & jeez, loved them better than any new pair.  Girls in lace around a riverbed, shale-eager / the abutment of corner to wall where is spiderwebs.  If I were a shopgirl all the clothes'd be red.  Red & gray & creams & I'd pile mannequins one on top of the next but with no ill intention, as they would never be strangers or ill or depressed, eat their breakfast everyday in nice silence.  On the hour a thousand spies eating pies, eating their heads off—the horse—the horse, though / has never been the invention of historians & our rivers are large & begin so small you might skip-hop across them on the dot of night.  Cloaked.  Lavender & oval the padstones, say what now mock orange, indistinguishable from the fencepost.  These things do not exist I tell you.  These do:  the trickster in the story prone to winning.  Name the thing 'saint converted.'  Slave to saint to oh this blessed sight:  go paint it with a sword.  Give the converted thing a paint horse & some light, I might (oh will) like it.  Caravaggio whom someone called a 'dark horse.' 




The man who survives a tragedy is never the hero of it.  Aeneas told the story & is not so the traitor but the hero & so much so, besides.  In the strictest confidence I have but few heroes, I call myself one, mama, & fear the birds as I offer them hand & feed.  A tramp never changes the opinion of a policeman, & my private lapidarist shines the Ferris wheel goes round & either you get on or you / (get down) pray.  Still-life is the face painted, lips, by a bowl of oranges that is blue atop the refrigerator top growing dusty. 




Trickster, I hung the banner the trees & said myself welcome home.  I could save my life myself.  And that which I love is then cumulous, wearing flannel, grows a beard & / is not then your awful bear with clutches roars so mighty into a still say not the moon.  Vice of winter.  I fear I am not the invictus, gas stations in the dark, what I might grow to be in the absence of an ablution.  Piles of 'I wills,' thus I will rise before the noon & get started with my uncluttered hands which will clean & straighten through afternoon, Jolie Holland on the record player.  This whole post-human funny thing an eye can catch & what else to do save live, the bus shuffles, stops on the street outside my window.  Spotless now, the two broken up all over, near the window, are known climbers.  The street kicks my teeth grind, the street bestows mojo:  break any bones, son?


Shelly Taylor was born in southern Georgia & just recently moved to Brooklyn.  Poems are either out or forthcoming in the journals CUE, EOAGH:  A Journal of the Arts, & Diagram.  Sometime after summer '08 a chapbook titled 'Black-Eyed Heifer' will be available from Brooklyn-based poet Brenda Iijima's Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs.  Another chapbook, Land Wide Enough to Get a Hold Lost In, is forthcoming from dancing girl press.