2008 Mix

Curtain Call

From her seat
she works the crowd,
ageless tapered fingers
                   crossed
in studied nonchalance
to hide the doubling chin

Does she hear
what they hear
             here
or has there never been
quite enough to quell
the niggle voices that
                      lurk
just beyond the strand 
of blonde
        that one there
that falls as planned
with a nodding smile
up to the 
      cheaper
seats

c. sdmrogers 2008

The Missing

looking at me from the glass
at day's beginning and its end
the smile that says
I love to watch
you ready eyes and lips and brows and hair
the wink that says
I love to smear
you leave it on to mark the pillows and my skin
the tear that says
I hate to know
you here alone my phantom lover my dearest friend

c.sdmrogers 2008

A Friend of Fear

Fear
steps
         up
the back of her neck

greasy
static-filled
       fingers
of
  Fear

kneading
      needing
the tensed tendons it spreads
                             out
the top of her head

cold
electric
    tendrils
of
  Fear

cuing
    queuing
the throttle lungs it reaches
                     around
the bend of her throat

bitter
simpering
       waves
of
  Fear

to know this
          always
to be alone
        always
to have nothing
       always
but
   Him

This is
     Fear

c.sdmrogers 2008

Not Quite a Hundred Million Stars

Looking down
I feel only
the sorrowful silver
of his still-so-thick
          hair
between my fingers
                   distant
                   downy
                   sleek
Looking down
your life without me
                 full of light
holds us
       both
suspended. safe.
in the 
      Forever
of your youth

Looking down
his life without me
                 full of umbra
leaves us
          both
adrift.  afraid.
in the
      Never
of his death.

c.sdmrogers 2008

Cover-Up

She wears
        desperation
like an old
winter coat

clutching it
tightly with a 
worn strip of 
cloth she prefers
to call
      disdain

She buries
        disappointment
in its mange
marked collar

turning it
up against a 
frozen face
she prefers
to call
       detached

But the 
      eyes

the eyes
she cannot
        hide

they call 
        out
to every
one, to no
          one
of sun
of heat
of volcanic
          streams
of fire

that scar
and char
and blacken
         all
who dare to
         look
her way

c.sdmrogers 2008

Upon the Night

Upon the night, we
claw our names, ember
grey and bloodlined

Passing each unto 
the other, empty
lost, forsaken and 
         bereft

Cliches left
no less
      true
for being
      banal
      trite
      hackneyed
ill-
   used
and a thousand other
hollow names

When all we truly
                 want
all we truly
            crave
is a thumb upon the 
                   cheek
and a whisper in the
                    ear

that makes us
             Mine
             Mine
             Mine

c.sdmrogers 2008 

Purgation

Thrill me

Cut the cover 
that 'round me
         climbs
English 
in its woody vines
English 
in its creeping veil

Thrill me

Tear the canopy
that o'er me
            hangs
English
in its marbled veins
English
in its choking leaves

Thrill me

Rip its carpet
from my
        roots
Burn its berries
Drown its seeds
before my limbs
              crack
and
              break
'neath the weight
of all this
         English
ness

Thrill me

Wrest the 
       foreign
from my soul
Make me
      native
Make me
      whole

c.sdmrogers 2008

Nocturne

Our eyes open
             fully
only at night
Bulging, we see edges
fringes, margins
                borders
of which
        you
insensate
can only
        dream
The tenebrous is
                 ours
The clarity of the
                 obscure
our landscape
There we
        hunt
seeing between
              colours
into movement, past
                   figures
into form
Invisible confidants of
the witching hours, the
holy hours, the hours of
                        fright
and flight and
              sorrow
we wander
         alone
serenading the
              moon
mourning the
            dawn

c.sdmrogers 2008

In the Mirror

You
never wrote
for me

At least
not where
         anyone
might see

Nights
we spent were
             hushed
and quiet
         hidden
and still

You
kept me
       secret
and called it
          love
and I
how I 
     allowed
          you
            to
take the intimacies
offered, the confidences
certain and
            crush
them in
       tender
hands I longed
              to
                trust

Hands that rested
                 easily
upon my shoulders
as laughter wrapped us
                     warm
in Sunday night banality
                       brows to be plucked
                       claws to be trimmed
                       bags to be packed
as though Monday
                too
would be Ours

And yet
You
never wrote
for me

You
never wrote
for me

At least
not where
        anyone
        Anyone
might see

c.sdmrogers 2008

Melancholy Baby

A technicolor blaze
burns the graceful
blur of black and
white to blue

Shadowlands beguile
the somnolent watcher
into dream and slowly
                   finally
all is ended

Or is it

What ebon sky cannot
bedim flares ice-sharp
silver to the sky and
in that flash all life rejoins

It is not over
It is not done

It is not over
it is not
         done

c.sdmrogers 2008

The Back

Toward
the back
       she
stands
not the first
not quite the
            last

From there
the view ever
changes never
             changes
brown to yellow to
red and back again
but still
        always
one more, just
one more, rises
              ahead
of her
lithe and languid
              floating
lightly slightly
but still
        always
just beyond
         his
reach

c.sdmrogers 2008

Tell Me

Tell me
that you
       love
me and I will
believe
       even
if you lie

Lies are
the only
       truth
after all and
truth lies
         only
within the most
            broken
of hearts

So
   come

steal me from the wicked truth
steel me from the holy lies
pull me
      taut
beneath you
hold me
       fast
behind you
keep me
       safe
inside you
          for
you
   only
you

until truth lies
like
    beauty
just beneath the
               skin
and skin lies
           broken
spilling blood blue
                  pools
in shadows all
around
     Us

c.sdmrogers 2008

Forgettable

She was easy to 
             love
And even easier to
                    forget
This she knew early
Though not early
               enough

Brown Betty October,
orange day edges burnt
umber by summer's end,
carries the
           kiss
of love given too
freely to be forever

Forever belongs to May,
citron days of want and wish,
tattooed by calendar
               girls
whose blood-filled needles
can never be forgotten

Not she

No

Not she

She was for
           night
For shade and shadow
and the cliche of 
           dream
left to tease the tongue
with a taste
not quite
          known
not quite
          remembered
and so easily forgotten

Wiped away with a 
                 stretch
and a 
      sigh
and the somnolent
                  consolation
that she was never
                  really
there
     at all

c.sdmrogers 2008         

Oktoberfest

Sleeping bag
rolls of green hay
speak of Autumnal
fires before the frost

Antelope coats
grown thick and pale
foretell Winter white
mantles across the Plains

Glowering clouds
hung low and wet
mourn Summer's end
in each prayerful bead

c.sdmrogers 2008

Self's Murder

In the light of a
moon so full it is

felt, nothing is hidden
and everything is
                 lost

Or so she thinks

Stare up, stare
ahead, stare back

from the pale
and naked hand, red

ember the only
              glow

There all words
go un
spoken, all tears
well un
shed, and every

one
   all
      each

flickers flint fast
                   sparks
and
   dies

Or so she believes

The endless road, its
nightbars undulating
'neath waxy
           light

knows no bend
knows neither kink
                  nor
curve, knows
only the pitted
               face
burning blue cold
above and mari
gold green beyond

the waste, where
               Once upon a time
buffalo
       wallowed
blissfully before the
slaughter

Or so she imagines

As circling
           alone
she drives
          home
the kill

c.sdmrogers 2008        

The Gift

Cassandra listens
to the words
that mean
         nothing
that mean
         everything
to him

What the god
has given 
cannot be
         rescinded
only
    ruined

She tastes 
his seed
Christ's vinegar
on the 
      cross
licks her lips
in wonder
wounded
       lost

Nods and
smiles and
never says

Go
  Go
    Go

c.sdmrogers 2008

Equanimity

Feather floats
atop the pond
cradling in its
               web
one sparkling
             seed
of light

Endless peace
awaits the mind
tending at its
              core
the perfect
           ease
of sight

c.sdmrogers 2008

A Moment

today 
in a moment
I heard you

But no
it was only
           him

speaking to me
of tubes and trains
in that
holiday voice

that calls
to mind
all that
is good
and golden
all that 
is young
and sure

today
in a moment
I heard you

but no
it was only
           me

speaking to him
of cars and cranes
in that
work-a-day voice

that calls
to mind
all that
is tired
and worn
all that 
is frayed
and poor

today
in a moment
I heard you
but no
it was only
           life

speaking to ghosts
that go by
          your
name

c.sdmrogers 2008

Untitled

she lined
then up
forcing herself 
to listen
to swallow
to take
the virulent
vaccine against
               memory

as though
anything
anyone
could inure
her
   to
you

still she tries
she listens
she swallows
patting herself
on the back
when she
doesn't cry

don't cry
don't cry
         goddamnit
don't cry

and she
doesn't cry
           much

until 
that one
That One

the one
whose insipid
two-note
intro is
enough to
flatten her
enough to
bring her
to her
      knees

and from
her knees
she takes
another
       shot
wherein
the burn
she finds
not relief
not release
but
   you

you
singing that
ridiculous song
that
    puerile
           farcial
oh-so-beautiful
song 

and in that
moment from
her knees
she knows
that
    never
was there
         ever
anything
anyone so
ridiculous
as that
       puerile
              farcical
oh-so-beautiful
woman
on
  her
     knees

c.sdmrogers 2008

Landlocked

In the midst of a 
top down morning
heavy with the scent of
Texas money, I caught a 
                       Whiff
of bay
of ocean
of sea salted
             Water

and for a whispered
breath I was there
standing stone in an
aquamarine dream where
prairies are
            Waves
and cattle are shadowed
jellyfish riding the
evening tied to shore.

c.sdmrogers 2008

Kanga

she lives a life
of
  death

he sits on her shoulder
like Shakyamuni's little
bird

but

when the ice
    finally
begins to melt

begins to melt
              even
amid the raging
               Spring
of fire, then

then
    Life
is all she 
knows,
 
      un
founded
      un
bounded
      un
relent
      ing

L I F E

that sidles
           up
to her like an
un
  certain
child,
      look
ing to slip in
to her arms
and to
      Stay
there

Forever

c.sdmrogers 27 February 2008