Monthly Archives: February 2007


Hands test my face. It’s nervous grooming,
finding little hairs on the chin which sprout
every other day like crocus into some bad,
unknown springtime.

Nightied and barefoot in the inner world,
I play piano inside the worry line,
cabbage vein temple pop.

I need a walk from town to woods,
away from the wooden table with its
bruised fruit, hardened bread crumbs
and hanging herbs. The apple
in my loose pocket makes
me a rich woman.

Freedom’s as cold as a spring dip,
the early cherry, the forsythia.

Kathy Ireland Smith


Doing impressions of myself
Interacting with a mirror / a
Minor glitch in the system
Not as good as I used to be
Overcome by short comings
By age & indifference / facts
Of life face me in a duel of
Desire / getting slow on the
Draw & long in the tooth
What happened to youth &
When did tomorrow become
Today / & where’s my damn
Slippers . . .


loose debris

once i followed the tamborine summer breeze to hessler street
my zelda fitzgerald silk scarf trailing in the patchouli convertible wind
through lavender leaves, the mint river of my longing

in my kool-aid frock i danced the dance of the early evening worm,
tiny violet flowers waving their arms, the willow weeping song

how my inner yoga teacher unloosed her leg irons
when i tasted the 60’s psychedelic popsicle
that day we licked the mixing bowl clean

how my tent dress memories sizzle across hot
mentor headlands sand, the salt tower mountains
of industry peaking at grand river,
bilge loads of imported organisms now this
dead spot in the lake

we can only wait
for epiphanies breaking loose
like meteor showers in our radiant minds,
for the interplanetary pebbles & debris of antiquated practice
to ignite in searing friction

we can only remember
& then forget,
set ourselves free
in the neighborhood of a friendly constellation

wendy shaffer

the everglades between my knees

venus swings off from the weeping willow
in the bailey’s mint chocolate evening
a washcloth to soothe her mosquito squeaking nerves.

venus deep in the everglades
in her tight black spandex cocktail dress;
she picks a buttercup for her south swamp ride,
her thighs squeezing her motorcycle like an oversized dildo,
a bill clinton carrot.

the smog of her summer need trickles rain sweat
down the small of her blues guitar back,
her vulva swollen ripe fruited & squishy,
her need like a skyline
appearing out of fog.

she’s down brown in a flooded basement victorian wet news,
a dream of quartz & summer release
soft as mink,
the tongue of a furry red dog,
hose thru hammer thru fist,
a fractured fall
home to the spring shower waterbed
the sticky jungle of her heart.

wendy shaffer

when the fruit dries

i don’t know how it happened
how angela davis turned grey in my model T brain
how my dreams of dark young men
dissolved into tired snow
— it’s the fall of the roman empire in my ovaries
the shriveled skin of war
the rasping of a dry wasp

i’m learning to call this mothball desert home —
the parched horror-movie sex,
the broken bones of my rainforest desire

it’s not so bad
drifting on the rocks outside Saturn
my arthritic thoughts turning to oatmeal
my hands rough as cactus
the ocean of protest become sand

time for the 4pm car bomb;
lay down the kuwaiti wall scraper
& sip the lukewarm barbara bush tea
lay down the ancient pot holder fantasies
& dip your cool brush into sweet powder
shiny coty gold pattern, round
your love subtle
as sitar strings
each drought tune
& proud as nun’s robe
starched for a honeymoon with god

wendy shaffer


Shadows nose the driveway
in our friend’s headlights.
Thumper and Bambi,
big and small.

Blown in with the bora,
they traveled by starlight
over bone blue road,
free and startling.

He jumped the stone wall, pausing
atop to burst his black fringe mane.
Bambi made do, scuttled under the iron gate.

She’s a little beige clown.
She nuzzles her mouth into my hand fold.
The stains around her eyes are a black hole.
White light jiggles in her irises.
Hope burns in holy hollow lungs.
Heart patters companion.

They wag past the straddle of
grape vine work lines,
the last pomegranates of November.
They’re dark darts of cobbled town floor,
Istria whole province dominion
to panting friends of man.

My imagination’s kite flies with them,
Over the red earth, a minnowing shadow
large and far or small and close
under king constellation, canine nebula
hung in historical stars for the free friends
of humans.

Kathy Ireland Smith







Buy a damn vowel

Would ‘ya



slips softly down th hall
smells of nothing
knocks on the old ladys door
w/an arm full of flowers
twisted behind his back
tendering a shaker of
charming affordable manhattans

he bows & spins hr around &
around thru th thrills of 3 & out
th old games of near love
th laughter
spins    dizzy
& they fall at thr feet

bad knees
he lifts carefully to not disturb hr
takes th superfluous folded money
limos home
burns hs gloves in the microwave
faxes th cops & th waiting ambulance
& th great grand child

wearily sinks into
th lotus position
checks hs appointment
& cheerlessly
mouses out a

jim lang