March 2, 2010

Coal Minds

Return nothing and nothing is happening.

We are invariably in love, with people, undeniably invented, by cats.

It’s not hard, but it’s true.

Eleven days and eight hours,

I’m hoping it will make me smarter, acting like nothing happened to the

smell of summer night, the bricks and then the red and then the fugue and then the fighting,

Fighting, right?

For esteem, for someone younger, smarterprettier, we are all in doubt


it’s too hot, in my esteem, to think.

Your turn, now.

Give me some furtive gutless compliment.

I’ve been doing it all wrong,

collecting rain drops on one side of my tongue, while the rest smacks on,

not knowing that the other half is tasting,

in the guttural drawl

of conversation

the honey of an abandoned mind

as if it were coal,




Past the toothbrushes traded with the divine,

you thanked nothing, and confused the immaculate with a season

of reproach.

Stripped to the waist, a weary voice

silenced, after laughing,

a confrontation in a crystal dish, full at dawn, with the chrism

of tepid longing–

a balance you have struck, with passion,

which beckoned you once,

past the bathroom sink, to the lake,

to catechize yourself, with the usual litany:

Are you tired from all the hurt you have caused?

Now you’ve discovered your foot is bleeding

you’ve looked into it,

and seen, in its precious albumins, here, a crater,

here, an inhabitable plain,

you would like to close it up again, for good


do you find that it makes you surrender

your destination?

your fathomless frontier assemblage,

and an electrical storm that will go on for centuries?

And have you considered, for even a moment

the tenebrous, arcane consonance,

of another

tightly concealed universe?

sorry, muse.

We are all thirsty,

so give us some fragments,

Two volumes at least

before a sinking cipher

approaches these spindly gates

like murmurs of Love’s Surgery

Love’s Playground

loves calling her, dead.

It all dissolves into a vision of you

sitting parked at Chinatown Express

on a cloudy Friday,

climbing the ladder

from the wolf in my lap,

who went forward from me into fractal perfection

who went forward to

casually observe the surroundings,

sheltered from a finer truth

into majesties untold,

where, ever, he will say,


but you were so close.’

The Huntress Sings a Lullaby

after Torrey-Bell Edwards

Into dawn, crude pale trinkets

sealed night, galactic blue, as

undone limbs, clamped, hard-won,

alerting, minutes later, the child-twitch

in advance, corrected,

under its own weight.

Forced by eyelids, absently panicked

we laid heavily, like this,

in stuporous gravity

my unuttered song,

cradled into unrelenting motion,

the inert, gathered fingers,

close to the idle hips, head rolled back,

holding hollow, the circles

of something to kill,

while I waste time.

Young Skin

Too many devils these days, without a shovel, or a map

that won’t tell you something different, anyway,

As you were corkcrewing, with a warm burn,

and a wide berth of error,

You fought for ethics,

You fought for your beliefs! and systems!

So discrete was your identity,

our eyes would have to evolve in order

to view a secret society, so powerful, so

Thank you for thinking on it.

Mermaid, you are not.

Lion, you are not.

but somebody’s vision, and son

and you grew up somewhere,

over the dessicated smells of pulsing jugulars, warm vodka, work and coffee,

Do you feel that your every device is mutating, perhaps,

into a better shape, for holding a book?

Isn’t there a canned response to everything, crude and oblivous?

Neutralize that feeling!

There’s a backwards reeling sensation you get,

without triggering any sadness at all,

over the causal topography of your

young skin,

Isn’t it the nicest?

Isn’t it always obliged enough to accept defeat, announced in concretions, otherwise sparkling?

Your emotional borders, your terrains are so remote and complicated, you say everything  categorically, “No, this! Never, that.”

But you bother to stay alive

Within a hive of disarticulated spasms,

increasing, forever, in pressure,

deepening, without thirst.

I get pangs of it, sometimes.

Marisa Prietto is a Post-Modern scholar, a lifetime non-straightedge, and a bad person to oppose in a game of Skip-Bo. Currently she resides in Los Angeles with her cat, and a closet full of costumes. She only ever jokes about living in her car, even though she knows it isn’t funny. You can follow her blog at:


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