On My Own

A woman becomes a jail cell.
Her hiked skirt is not a gateway metaphor.

She has nothing to do
with the disappearance of Saturn’s rings.

If only the bad guys grew tusks
to reveal their true natures.

I left upon realizing there is no lock,
no key to hold me in this five foot eight confinement.

I insist my incarceration
was a case of mistaken identity.

I am not really sure who I am
to this very day.

A woman wobbled
like a large bell at the first rope pull.

She prepares to ring out Freedom
or ring out Emergency.

I failed to blow out thirty-seven
of my sixty-two birthday candles.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

postscript

I was six foot five . Gravity is winning as I get older. I am a smidge under six foot four today. I never dated a woman who was five foot eight. In fact most of the women I dated in my life were five foot five or shorter. Once, I dated a six foot one woman, a blonde Valkyrie many years younger than myself just after my midlife crisis struck me. As you can guess, I did not go well. (It did not go badly either.)

I have never viewed dating or living with a partner as a jail cell. So I have no idea why that image popped up in this poem. Creativity is a difficult thing to place into definitions and parameters. Creativity is oft born of chaos, so expecting neat fitting boxes is silly. If I ever meet a woman who can make Saturn’s rings disappear I definitely wish to have coffee with her to see if any sparks take flight. But that will remain only a wish, since I love Dianne too much for infidelity to be even in a flicker of a thought.

That brings up the question of why do I write dating or relationship poems that are not directly connected to Dianne. I do not have an answer, except the notion that they are fun to write. Like musing on some event from youth whether joyous or traumatizing.

Tangent: once when I had a bit of writers block, the NYC poet Jaxx in conversation suggestion I go out and date the most opposite to my nature woman to get the creative juices flowing. I did not take her advice.

On my sixty-second birthday I did not have a cake with candles. Nor ice cream. I did have chocolate. But if having chocolate declares a day a birthday, then every day is my birthday. 72% dark chocolate is my favorite, just in case any of you feel inspired to gift me some dark chocolate. While on holiday in November, I dropped into the Kyya Chocolate shop in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They have a wild kosher salt 72% dark chocolate which must be placed on one’s bucket list as a means of experiencing rapture.

Oh. I got off topic. Chocolate does that to me.

Love & Light. Tree & Leaf.

Kenneth

Should Be Transparent

Paul takes the term locked and loaded,
applies to his state of stubbornness and inebriation,
looks down the barrel of another beer can,
digs in the desert soil with bare hands
and replants a prickly pear his bare foot knocked over.

There is a cage called his apartment.
Lori disassembled all her illusory barricades,
then mined the sofa for change
to pay tolls on the road out of Paul’s life.
She left no note.

Paul watches a roadrunner size him up
as if it could swallow him whole
or at least peck out his shriveled liver.
He bleeds dots where he removes
spines from his calloused foot.

Lori’s hand bag is full of Paul’s gun metal blues
bullets, bullshit and a turtle rattle.
She intends to pawn these toward her escape.
She presses her tongue against a molar
tastes the last minty swish.

Paul limps back to his car.
The trailhead lot keeps his car stationary
and sand drifts like snow around the tires.
The wind blows a heavy chill laden with grit,
blasts blurry what should be transparent.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Sagittarius

Paul is challenged by a three night stand
as to why he cuddles only after fucking.

He searches for her name under the pillows,
knowing this holiday weekend will soon end.

As he locates her name on the nightstand
under the poetry book The Woman Who Fell From The Sky,

he says, Helen, sex is the only way I know
to remove the protective armor around my heart
.

He wishes it was not so. He wishes he could
hug for thirty seconds instead of freaking out.

Paul watches her dress in the early slanted light.
Sees a heavenly angelic beauty upon her.

Sees a mythic dragon on the verge
of engulfing him in flames.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Engagement

Dora is never ready
when you pull up in a car
and honk.

She won’t be ready,
until you get out of the car
and call at the door.

Dora will let you drive away
pissing and moaning
about her fidelity.

She knows where she’s going.
You are not her driver.
She is not along for your ride.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

Seventeen

It was very late.
That was why we whispered.
Did not want to wake father or mother.

It was a little past midnight.
You should really crawl back out the window.
Sleep in your own bed. Tonight, I mean.

That was when you rolled over.
Pulled all the covers off me.
My skin goose-bumped in the chill air.

Retaliation would be loud. So, no.
Not until tomorrow.
Somewhere on campus I’ll get you.

I don’t know what I’ll do.
Too cold for water balloons.
Tie you up in your lengthy scarf?

Maybe. Maybe I’ll
pry some of the covers away
and snuggle close to your warm skin.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney