This Isn't a Riff Or some placid four-liner something to move you lift you up This is a blank page a morning thought a screw you It’s your mother’s corsage our leopard rug the original M&M’s phone Not nearly as complex as the stone chimney we watched them build or the construction of the in-ground pool This is thick now muddy perhaps this became infected when it was left out and rain filled it mosquitoes multiplied by the thousands tortured us over and over with nasty little bites the entire summer This is never as sad as that light gray box suit – or is it windowpane makeshift herringbone those awful squares such an eyesore This is poker chips fall everywhere yet we cannot locate them when it’s time to cash in when it’s time to call it a nightcap our never-ending babble This was nothing now it’s everything this makes me sick yet it’s my survival East Coast Tears We’ve danced this dance ----- you stop talking ----- I shut up into my own later we’ll have casual conversation in front of the kids so they won’t suspect we are as screwed up as everyone else yet there was something brilliant ----- that thrived inside us merged / made beautiful babies / entwined us for twenty-some-odd years we had it you and I slow decomposition happens with time……………….. here we are staring into space thinking who can we sleep with to get the other back ----- but really who wants us now we are more or less middle-aged we go on because we have no one else we can’t quite break through to that old and gold love we have tried babe ----- I know last night I had a dream I was married to my former lover and in the end he said he was just using me for sex I woke up crushed and loved you madly for a minute now gone ----- in the presence of each other we only feel regret Dame I just licked the devil he was smothered in chocolate spooned my tongue so effervescent sweet The way to Hades tunnels deep always derailed by blind obedience the taste sugary hurt and grainy as bent love shapes the moon I curl under when I go it alone Real People Scrape the lies off your skin as I get right back up to scrape the blood off my knees roll your tall tales into a tiny ball place them in my coat pocket so I carry your burdens I am not the cup of promises I’m the alternate side of the street a thought no one remembers the hair in your soup Wanderlust Beyond me beyond counting souls I see a blurred line I cross engage wait it out (I have time) centuries perhaps yesterday evaporates into a magical mist that formed a life and I go on keep to the trail I’m magnified a thousand times (considered a candidate?) I always wondered how it worked - the approval process the book the gates……are they truly pearl?? am I forgiven……or forgotten I sinned (not terribly) but where is the scale my dear (in our core?) If I’m the half-and-half weigh me and see where I lean if it’s an exact fifty-fifty then what?? do I breathe with angels and sleep with devils I wait grayed with mistaken identity here and in the after life pushed down to resurrect and re-do Bio: Donna Dallas studied creative writing and philosophy at NYU’s Gallatin School and was lucky enough to write under William Packard, founder of the New York Quarterly. She has appeared in a plethora of journals, most recently The Opiate, Beatnik Cowboy, SpillWords and Phantom Kangaroo. Donna serves on the editorial team of Red Fez and New York Quarterly.
@DonnaDallas15Poetry Showcase for Donna Dallas
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Poetry Showcase for Donna Dallas
Wretch is Renewed Wretch knew she would make a bollocks of it Wretch knew the end when she began Wretch had a dream that she was driving fast around a treacherous cliff she veered off and as she torpedoed down she realized what an awful mess she was all the lives she complicated when she awoke she felt relieved that is was just a nightmare not her real death and she laughed with relief picked up her lighter smoked her peace to the Gods felt it wasn’t enough texted the dealer This Eve I believe in love like I believe in the afterlife or snarks and dragons No one tells the truth anymore like Mr. Hurtz at the 7-Eleven he walked in burst blood vessels exploding into each other soaked all the white of his eyes to bright lava he was hacking up a lung we asked him if he’d been tested he said it was a winter cold as he spewed phlegm all into the air like hell’s sprinkle yeah we knew I’m not gonna say I’ll finish that novel eat healthy or save more with all these commitments year after year Mr. Hurtz dead long before this eve before a new spin on an already old sickness and I hold in my hand a glass of bubbly and think I might make it through this kinetic wave I’m feeling as sober as a clam the music fills moon flirts the glow from the fireworks fades This year ain’t gonna be my faint cry for hope or sinister salvation I’m foaming at the mouth just to escape myself the minute I see an exit I blow like the spout on a whale dive under and up Ever present death – slowly kills us some sweet, some piercing we are in for the long eve death and I Give me a bloody break so I can roll on in to the new year with a fever – a non-Covid fever one to set me ablaze rekindle a life put on hold instead of a death watch Mr. Hurtz somewhere up there damn you for not paying attention but then I think we all have a death date scrawled in our palm lines…… Perhaps there really are snarks and dragons even mermaids Deadweight It’s dark here no stars no sound Every so often the rafters will creek or something scurries behind a wall if this ain’t the longest damn night without a smoke or a drink nothin but dank water - which ain’t no drink The sky keeps bullying more time to stay black hold out on morning to keep me from making any move I step with the dead on my back straight edge never cozy up to nothin I sleep without sound or movement no clock I just know the time when it is long like millennium - time is a sparrows’ death over and over in the attic where it all took place Lingers in wait for my return its’ hot breath a mosquito in my ear I’ll stay in this one spot till daybreak till the world comes back with the light Don’t want to startle in my sleep wake to someone else’s death could mean my end Havoc There’s a strip of a line withered and decayed it quivers while I jump rope and tangle myself up with all those men always at the same time with the same men I am a pro at hating the ones I’ve loved with enormous waves I surf clean and easy through them hot anger rises up and blasts me like a meteorite how could I not love being the bitch always hang by sharp fingernails on the verge of some precipice where love and hate swoon together in a funneling wind I just hang on for dear life clueless Betrayal I was eleven in our kitchen the yellow diamond ring resting next to the sink belonged to my great grandmother the heirloom removed from my mother’s finger when she washed the dishes or cleaned the house My friend asked about it as she eyed it with hunger in my own hunger for any friendship I disregarded it until later the ring missing and my friend peeled away quick the two events stabbed so deep wounds that forever warp my coffin 2 poems by Donna Dallas: “Riding Pegasus” & “No Zone-Don’t Go Zone” Bio: Donna Dallas studied creative writing and philosophy at NYU’s Gallatin School and was lucky enough to write under William Packard, founder of the New York Quarterly. She has appeared in a plethora of journals, most recently The Opiate, Beatnik Cowboy, SpillWords and Phantom Kangaroo. Donna serves on the editorial team of Red Fez and New York Quarterly.
2 poems by Donna Dallas: “Riding Pegasus” & “No Zone-Don’t Go Zone”
photo by Hans-Peter Traunig (unsplash)
Wasn’t the Beer Here sign at the fair nor the free beer it was the circus surrounding the beer the nice carny folk invited me in Ringmaster yelled Satan said to the world I am Satan but to you I am the world here is my blood Ringmaster and I drank of it the heavy oil slid down pooled in my stomach bloated with sin I rode the Pegasus with pink and blue flowered mane I listened in awe as these show people played violins examined my palm lines told me they live on coffee and cigarette clips I longed to stay afraid I would grow horns and start to turn ringmaster’s wings clipped no one allowed to rise above him we crept at his clawed feet Riddled with the clap I crawled away in shame No Zone - Don't Go Zone I’ve drifted so far away from the shore of my very own needs I just follow the watery pull lose the course again and again paddle desperately this is my tug boat baby and I’ve got room for one more in this no-zone - the don’t-go-zone the I’ll never come back from place so alluring fresh and safe – death or hell? aren’t they both the same? Knuckles swell another bone cracks I hold us afloat with my pinky now while gravity pulls skin from bone would have been better off holding the atlas instead I chose to drag us both to shore crawl across the grainy sands of never-ary come back to shake this and dry out get footage - get better Poetry Showcase for Donna Dallas Bio: Donna Dallas studied creative writing and philosophy at NYU’s Gallatin School and was lucky enough to write under William Packard, founder of the New York Quarterly. She has appeared in a plethora of journals, most recently The Opiate, Beatnik Cowboy, SpillWords and Phantom Kangaroo. Donna serves on the editorial team of Red Fez and New York Quarterly.