We were driving home from dinner a week after Dad died.
Chester County is beautiful during the day
but at night, well, Mom said the road was as ‘dark as God’s pocket.’
Just in case,
in case God-the-boy-scout needs to once more bind that
which has torn away from its moorings, or that
wanting to mischievously blow across some weave – pluck – twang –
a melodic virus found.
Hard Candy –
For those long trips through the dry edges of the universe
when the sandman throws charms, quarks and dusty spirals into the electric eye,
and the syrup travels the corpuscular plasma, blossoming
as clover might upon a dark field.
Not just one, though I suspect one would do.
a ruby changing
to brown to green and blue and one side shaped like the side of a mountain
because that lip-to-creamy-color shears the spot, metamorphic !
….there is a buttery core there is a shimmering topcoat there is the glory of a turning earth at sunset painted here, there is a crushed snail, ground bark, someone running, there is
chaos applied with deliberation.
To whom does God debt and pay? And can my eyes bear
the celestial currency casually brought forth from the burning palm?
Villain, scab, I would best describe this remnant dirt not
as the protean starch of creation floating from flower to flower,
but instead as the withered dust of 3:19, a real curiosity shoppe of fleshy detritus, withered demoralized compressed
and wailing-wanting to be pulled from the cradle.
For the nights God may want to forget, or, to not be subsequently reminded.
Cell Phone –
I refuse to believe
the Pavlovian tantrum holds the same finger pointing-remarks for the omniscient
as it does while bleeding and breathing for we land dwellers. Faith
bounces in belief that the call will come by way of certainty, or some blind conviction
or even desire.
Like a bell, the fresh clap bars possibility
because we only answer, we don’t ask.
Army Knife –
Curiously dull as an implement of power, as the aftermath holds all sway.
wondering how the play might turn out for the rabble, the resurrected, those poised
on the edge of verdict. How different is wondering from knowing and is this just
a temporal joke, the comedic goat-song framed in an incidental way
in what I imagine to be creative memory – or – predetermined originality.
Why does this description seem inherently heartbreaking?
A wheel, a rock, a stew of dead things
arranged to elicit a surprise – ah – I catch my breath at its sight and God chuckles.
Together we sit just beneath the clouds, gather some
and roll this into perfumed vice,
our smoke creeps down into the valley below.
Collecting the seas, sparkling like notes from a bird
whose simple joy greets each dawn.
And the answer is described as a red-collector, a story-altar,
the stuff of old charioteers and genocide
some sacrifice and baroque diagnostics painted on a cave wall,
the iron eater air breather fire burner flow on white on white -
bleeding caught and bound.
Left on the coffee table and passed by regularly
brushes, paint, glue put the “M” in Maker.
This lamination codifies my worst fear,
so I swim through a river of explanation never touching the shore.
There is a desperation in life and limits set forth,
and the ramble bears the image of my poorer master
a ribbon, a valentine, and other things I name.
Here darknessness grow in warmth, or wait with chill.
Here, the riddle deepens.
Autobiography Since Oz
I am arrogant enough
To believe in legacy, appointment, and victory.
I am singular enough
To want 100 versions of “box.”
I am confused enough
To think shadow offers realization, or at least alternative.
I am sensual enough
To use lemon oil and mint in my graying hair.
I am compassionate enough
To hate the abuser first.
I am scared enough
Of the things I have not said and wish to.
I am lost enough
In the underworld, though my North remains true.
I am thin enough
To see through, without visual aids.
I am fussy enough
To want Maslow at my dinner table, singing to me of my cherry pie.
I am sound enough
To call-out through the fog of my own pride.
I am warm enough
And have to be mindful of scorching.
I am illuminated enough
To charge the glow-in-the-dark crèche figurines.
I am wet enough
To take the second step.
I am steel enough
To hold a thousand pounds of shit around my heart.
I am told enough
By those with love, to begin over.
Regina Coll lives and works in the metro DC area. She has published in Blood Orange Review, 2River View, The Cloud Appreciation Society, Lines and Stars, Psychic Meatloaf, and A Little Poetry. She was web-master, poet-master, and grant recipient for the Bathroom Poetry Project in Takoma Park, MD, from 2005-2007, which was designed to encourage poetry appreciation in public spaces. Spare time is spent walking a dog or swimming, and whenever the planets align she gets to see her 20-something sons.
Q: If we go astray in Chester County on one of those dark nights, what kind of wonders might we encounter?
A: DEER! Don’t drive day or night in Chester County during October because the rutting makes for very unpredictable white-tail behavior (the when one slams into an innocent car).
Q: What compass direction do you face when you write, and what do you see?
A: Hmmmmmm, good one. I have a very strong internal compass, so it’s almost impossible for me to be lost when above ground, and I hate GPS. I usually write facing northwest. There I see all my thoughts rubbing up against my feelings and desires–combustible stuff–and at the end of the day they glow bright orange in the west, with the cool north nearby just in case.
Q: We are often told, in moments of exasperation, that “Enough is enough.” If enough seems too little, is it possible to have “Too much of a good thing?”
A: From a high vantage all of the ‘general’ is seen, and nothing of the particular, and from a place of abundance boredom ensues. An unconscious trick I rely upon is a fabulously terrible memory, so that many experiences and faces seem new or merely familiar. This way “enough” becomes a moving horizon and my appetites are never sated. In the context of accumulation this is distasteful, but in a learning context this is desirable–a kind of single-life-time reincarnation. So my overall answer would be no (if I reject the logic in the question above).