Cynthia Arrieu-King

 

ODE TO NOT DREAMING

I HAVE MADE MYSELF A BUREAUCRAT, WHATEVER THAT MEANS

THE CAKE ROOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ODE TO NOT DREAMING

 

I told you wildness is hands-off. Aim instead

to dismantle this pink blanket of whims, breakable and nothing.

That darling space saves her lunch dollar in a jar.

Over a week, and falling asleep to another chance Eiffel Tower,

a girl can still love and run to climb that height eight times.

She ignores everything but something golden that lights up.

Diesel wipes a face. WhatÕs always existing in a lens, rampant

in our cells, this sleepy lung of smoke

drawn by hand, a hand reaching into this dream

so real it looks original or yours. Thin glass

breaks over an egg shaded and shaded

in terminal thoughts. I think: Who knows what aspects

of dreams and reality run down orange halls in a parallel sense?

Slow gold licks all the windows. I wake up.

 

*

 

The green glass of your eyes teems with birds,

twin wings inexplicable as paste. Watch. In this art,

each ordinary mosaic separates to single shells, rouge or

cerulean, the how-pretty inlaid panels and a broach

of distraction. Mom and the Empire era secretary

stare each other down in the museum foyer. That trembling gilt

split by wood still, still holding. A man stands nearby and

coughs a something narrower. His eyes and what I donÕt say:

Beauty. Not knowing. Our happy prisms vague prisons,

the curtain odd. No thought lies across a sweet pink

museum scratched and lethal in actual streets. Rubbed white,

I hold your sleeve: A dream comes out of your eyes and mouth.

 

*

 

The war wears rubber shoes to hide its feet,

in need of tourniquets, wrapping-paper crumpled, jets

arcing down to the sea. Ice refrozen. And after the splash,

what is it about this nightmare that makes me so speechless?

That makes the mind reach for cover under something plastic

and unseen. That blood, it isnÕt dreamed. The mind filters

fickle and preserving, and always a bloodied sun bursting under damp quilts.

Sparkle is a distant conflagration—then – finding the right distance

to stand from an image to see what face is hidden in its

nickel shreds, a step forward, two steps back:

You use restraint for tying nightmareÕs hands behind.

 

*

 

I saw a place where the museum hall breaks into the past.

Typing captions for art, a woman punches her metal lettered branches,

to name swathed kings and battlefield roses hung up. IÕm impressed

with a medieval room, tapestries that calm Mom. Her bones

shrank from being in a girl, in war, bone soaps shrinking in flesh foam.

She hates unidentifiable wax and avant and foil flowers. Pressure:

I know the meaning of dominant and when. Burying seedling

guilt, confused about who was saying and knowing—what proved

failure. No concepts strung together haphazard feel like

a solid rail in the world. Even yesterday my mother stood

in front of a chic gigantic mural: Paint peeling on a German building –

white wings revealing hot bare brick. Texture

of do-nothing. Pretty decay. She wasnÕt impressed by that nor

by an arrangement of Lucite cubes glued to a wall in a cloud.

 

*

 

DonÕt go back to sleep, I say, to a knock on the door.

DonÕt. After a long period of being pale to get curious again,

vital and happy—stillness being the only thing that makes

drawn, grey water tip out clean. To rest, okay, but look. The flaw:

A doom touched to you with a waxen hand while you sleep. Underneath this dream

lie cold tiles, real tiles, and a too long debate. A man argues

his dogÕs tail needs to be cut in the middle: He licks it. Cut it short.

A vet says that wonÕt help since the problem was the itch in

the dogÕs rectum. ThatÕs why he licks. She says, wouldnÕt it be better

to solve this with medicine rather than cutting the tail in two?

No, he says, leaning forward. No, no. You need to cut the tail in two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I HAVE MADE MYSELF A BUREAUCRAT, WHATEVER THAT MEANS

 

DonÕt whip eggs or walk the dogs. DonÕt whip yourself.

We fight can fires with motorcycles. Consider this chair.

It tasted first of being clever for inventing a theme:

Disaster. I cinched a rope, a noose around my waist, lowered

myself. Then, a spin and my feet on earth. Or a swivel chair

that never noticed a better way to complement

an iron horse. An iron horse does not balk at fire.

The theme to the artwork that hangs over me is "disaster."

Clear, emotive, softly volatile, the crosshatchings make

a man fighting a bear with only a knife. His jack-ass friend

dedicated to gun-watches, no doubt loving every minute of it.

In another print, I can taste my fear. A wet fur wears droplets

again. My thoughts: a fire for touching me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CAKE ROOM                                         

                                        dost thou think, because thou art virtuous,

                                        there shall be no more cakes and ale?

                                                                                                --Twelfth Night

                                                                                               

Marina knows Alluvial Fan. Her God puts glass in the grass. I know Tumulus. My God picks up the bracken and presses it to his cheek, and goes back to drinking bottles of ether after a momentary nap in the dirt. We had never met. Marina born within a month of me. Two moons-in-Scorpio in such proximity. Wow. I said hello expecting a ticking Parisian crocodile. She smiled big. I smiled back.. I had written a poem about slip-on basketball shoes: Marina appeared in slip-on basketball shoes. We bought soap. We thought about being international Belgian Spies with white Jack Russell Terriers.  We read our poems out loud in the cake room. We knew audience. We knew hantavirus and kombu. The Plains Indian with the hatchet reared on us was Scrutiny. I momentarily felt like barfing. She looked worried and asked for a hug.

 

Afterwards, we shopped for clothes. Marina smiled on the silver and black dress with rhinestone buttons. We agreed on the pleasant-ness of a necklace with pink balls carved into roses. Soon, I washed my hands in a silver and black river of rhinestone fish deep in Kentucky. Marina lathered pink soaps from the back of a toilet in New York. Marina's Portugeuse mother says, Even the blind chicken gets the corn. My French mother says, Little by little the bird makes his nest. Above her, MarinaÕs ceiling is yellow with creme trim and a chandelier. My ceiling is yellow with creme trim and no chandelier. The chandelier showing up in one photo and not the other is only framing. Of course, we were in the same room at the same time.