Mary-Marcia Casoly

Canary

This minute, I mean right now, whenever your now becomes: take this off my hands. The vastness of the golden field extends, outbound. Keep to the age that we first met. We—all of us read them. Eyes indecipherable handwritten letters in unknown emergent expression. Your bird had died, speaking of apathy and alteration. The nearly unthinkable thoughts, unspoken. The many lives spied with sighs and silent alarm. The last thing looked upon will become the first. Strangers. The newspaper print floor. Labors and lapses. Is it so? It was Peter on the bus that told me that Greg died, our computer teacher —in my first Apple class years ago where I’d free write keyboarding until the lab closed, gave me credit for Independent Study. He said, See you, pulling away in his car. Surprisingly enough, I was driving his canary yellow Jag vaguely smiling. I remember the dream complaining about my parking too close the curb. Consider the least your very max, ever desiring X-ray vision, access to what’s beneath, the other side unvexed, carried on the wings of that bright bird.



All the Wind in the World

Nothing can prevent it or notice. How our cups clink. Oh! Not to be excluded. We span out as far as we might. A kind of outrage never minds the broom. Imagine petals as kind of wings, which will struggle up out of the ground. The bulbs are children tied down. If I buried them by turning on a single bulb or granted admission — did I rent something? What else did I receive, as if there was a breakthrough, a free for all offer or I suppose, there may have been an effort to erase those tracks. Entwined with a cobbled street and some repetitious idea. Only all the wind in the world. Go back to sleep, that’s why; so many have already left, gone, good gone. Bare limbs. It was some time after not reading tea leaves. Not knowing what belongs, blessings or redeeming tremors. Creaking bedsprings. Talk about all the missing stanzas or blind snow needing shape or scent needling the hot house rose. Dear old woman continues to wring the last drop out of the squeegee in dire need of retirement. Now, surrender us to the sun robbing the moon’s back. Frost on tropical plants. Handsome shoulders. This thought takes place —in place of rain. Someone I know reads between all the lines. Between the rocks. Glint of rings shine even if we do not wear them. When we come up on edge. Hedge our bets. Jump, as if, then there it is hidden beneath the bench. Someone, a friend of mine, recalls, it was a mummified rabbit. He just returned from Reno. A journey to winter’s end perhaps, which is not done yet. Calling an echo in front, and I walk, calling the sheer touch of nothing— the wind.


Butterfly Crayola

Make my voice or the print on this page the color of your choice: hemlock heart soul empire aquamarine or gravity passed to your daughter to sister to brother to father bothering their spirit bow and the arrow. Color a brawny bear lumbering by a little murderously, just out of his crevasse and cave, awakened to spring. Color yourself right in, write over the city or suburb, in between skyscrapers or trees and never mind better. Future chances wander through settled shivers dilate on abundant apparent ardor. Eye oxygen or smog muffs are poor exclusives and neither irrevocable as one gold earring. Color anything you heard about the latest bombast or anyone talking plainly autobiographically believing invention once spoken aloud becomes practice. Color was based on a theory of dust molecules, nothing kept or swept under historic. A Crayola butterfly we instinctively know is the right carrier of field and fettle-spar. It soars. Wax the boy autistic near genius tapping the point wasn’t insurance. Do you stay within the lines or out when trying to generally misidentify old emotions in the suspect line? Can you name even thirty-six copyrighted colors? But you can color Ear to Experience and Smell the Embrace. Permanent press wrinkles always ironed are most shocking immaculate white bed drawn in the middle of your intersection. Sometimes decadent angels sharpen their pastels breaking them —one eye on the cellar and one eye on the sky, and the fragrant fairy shavings scoot through thorns of gray. Color rain on fire or infantile guns. Color in kind, the light you know best: incandescent, florescent, sunlight. If you swallow one word, what word was it? Show me your throat. A poet doesn’t want to find the way out of a paper bag, due to a long forgotten indiscretion. He was fifteen, a boy, going around the railroad gate, in San Bruno but you can color that out if you want, he was the fifteenth hit and killed this April thinking he could beat the light. Can you color your mind? Do you mind your colors in or out of context? He wasn’t smoking a backfire joint or erasing his shoes beside a cultured pearl ballet slipper. Or a California Poppy. Or a dental floss Venus casting a shadow. A direct statement or deposit slip shames introspection and turns into an insufferable song. Affirm once and for all, that this immense illiterate illuminated pollen must heedlessly toe-point to another spring in bloom. A color that really comes through, one that really comes through must bleed with morning violence variety vivacious. No greater violence than that.


 

Beauty So Wanton

           

You really had me going there

                        bangles swaying Ms. Crystal Chandelier shaking his overcoat

in the hotel lobby where Inspector Rhododendron fell asleep

            out cold          put it on a credit card           don’t miss anyone ever

                        beggars can’t be choosers blind luck blind corner

            no coupon expiration un-validated

            they really had us going there for a minute

                                                they really did

                                                            weather currently partly cloudy with sudden

upwards to an hour showers falling straight

            their favorite number didn’t crash

                                    brakes squealing the topdown spun circle

                                                                                    you’re feeling better

            refreshing to have a good cry on the rinse cycle

                                                moisture unto itself water 

                        leaf on the turntable making another revolution

                                                            marigolds mockingbird phoebe

requesting permission to take off

 

                                                arrive  arrive  arrive

 

                        across the field a short cut dog bounds across on all fours

                                                                airlines everything goes the Mayflower

leading you away from the proverbial bush blindfolded

                                                counting backwards and forwards jump rope

            had you going for a minute left the engine running had the headlights on                                           he had you then      don’t I know it

            three new planets named daily       one hundred billion more stars

as many more in unobservable galaxies

                                                            absence has no gravity

                                                dye the roots            that’s so old

                                    can’t believe I dropped the pen without looking

                        dried yarrow and borrowed sleeves

                                                stained my panty-crotch purple

            rivers run rusting newspaper stands creak

                                                                        didn’t see the cap off

                                    maybe they’re not ruined

                                                            department stores close at ten tonight

that couple we recognized them from the movies

            pressing number seventeen          the elevator groans

                                    They exit the page onto another rain soaked street

 

You really had me going 

Fat sparrow choirs mesh with broken factory 

 

sealed de de de dementing dovebar earlobes

 

full sigh O cirrus clouds drowning whimsy

my wings meadowlark to oak magpie crow.

 

Art mount my byres. Walk tight my poet-thief 

cadences of cattail catch eye-eye not 

 

insane— fork touch sails a single white crane

with no credence for band or bullrush. Aye-

 

aye fingernail polished crescents rise. Crocus

behind crooks of lust and curtailed petals

 

pray a prelude to my mores last floursack

bayleaf, crumb, lush cockle byre, soon unmask 

 

this need this pelvish triangle nightdress

Walk tight poet-thief, eyelids treble clef twin moons.


 

Revision

I believe in the architecture of the moon
the moon makes its own figure
a golden snake
as good a place as any to hide
when we find the moon in the river
we hear it laughing
we hear it crying
breaking out of the goldfish bowl
where passions live free
in the moon’s mirror
you can’t see your reflection
that’s the trouble
the moon warms the body in a sentient way
dreaming I’d become the moon
shining
visceral
squinting

I put on my new glasses


Apothecary

Take double stock, add bays, oceans.
One darkens with intensifying prints.
Add cayenne pepper, artichoke hearts
put onto medium heat, for each chop of lagos bologi
or epazote of fiddlehead
add cilantro, celery stalk, bok choy
a dollop of weir, olive oil,
onion cream and blue lake kurrat,
accent of thyme.
Toss in caraway seeds without care
turnip whites, salsify, whisper and skirret
Add radicchio and the ever illusive
Orache.
Table the funeral yams.
Consider the milky way of Irish potatoes.
Add one splash of dandelion wine.
Nary a crinkle of tiger lily
but not too much— nine less or so…
Add angel hair pasta turned aside and
chickpeas. Add green lake beans. The best
stroke stirs and stirs strokes, then lets it be.
The picking remains purloin.
Cut slices of cucumber to float between winged
beans, mustard greens, and endive.
Bubbles burst time: Niagara.
Slip in tears, the incurable kiss, the missed
fist hits the table, iagara! then a dash of salt
no more. Add additional snow peas and parsley
to taste. Call on orange zest, lemon essence
against formality or the easily prized
squeeze of luffa. Needs love— a saffron thread, you understand?
Add garlic butter.
What do you do with your thyme?
Now give or take mountain tea leaves thrice.
A population of maca, reduce…reduce.
Now, add celeriac and rub smooth
rosy tuberosus.

Add two prized plurals.
The history of arugula and a hand full
more of the illusive Orache.


Boil

Parboil another wet cucumber.
We’re not quite done. Are you getting all this
down? Add in crisps and beet root,
mustard and golden seeds. Render the rue
separately. Barley waits and shallots.
Add chrysanthemum instants, childhood
mallow. Hold the critical croutons until later.
Cast in cantaloupe quartered, gentle your wants,
stir, salsify, add banana fritters.
Add more celery stalk and coffee
grounds; skirret and sulk.
Suffer more broth just like the old world
and of the new world spread some apple seeds.
Remember the most—
whisper the illusive Orache.


Simmer

Add only the difference between ginger
and gin. Sun shouts samphire and sapphire.
Unleash a storeroom of jasmine.
Pumpkins last longer than avocado.
Choose blonde broccoli. Blanched rutabaga.
More red beets.
Good. Now slide in climbs of sleep,
spiracles of cinnamon.
Swirl them.
Take turn with turnup greens,
no longer petite.
Cauliflower clouds and jackfruit compassion
Dance they bump.
Don’t care is thrown in with care.
Don’t measure.
There are sections of orange and nectarine.
Let it bubble madly against the sides.
Let it froth.
Have you been stirring the pot?
Don’t let it burn, whatever you do.

“If the appearance of spices were to reflect their real importance in the history of the world, the bottles of spices would be filled with bright glittery substances, diamonds, rubies, emeralds or gold would be appropriate. When you opened the bottle, a poof of vibrantly colored, mystically fragrant, magical smoke would slowly slowly slowly billow softly throughout the room.”

Islands will appear in foam and flour.
Reams of spare asparagus bob
and rise with horseradish evenings.
If you wish, add mangos.
What will you do today?
Blackberries, a whole arch,
after gathering the illusive Orache


Raise the heat


If you please then
another dollop of wait and jicama,
golden parsnip.
A crack of cinema and taps—
also, a poet’s wild fennel
and sweet laurel.
I tell you this is no ordinary soup.
And I’m no cook, did I ever say I was? I don’t
have to be— but this is my brew. I am—
Have you been writing all this up?
Have amaranth and bitterleaf at the ready.
If you dare add purple grapes and red
but none too soon. Timing is all. Patience.
Watch the pot carefully.
No, that’s a myth, it will boil madcap in no time—
yet Nelly and Esther know more than I.
Go ahead and add mushrooms and two kinds
of fluted riddle-heads,
following the illusive Orache.


Pepper to taste


Skirl the collard greens
and lusty eggplants gone parlay.
A hundred years it might have been mangelwurzel.
You must let the kale nap.
Curry only in motion.
Add nothing more dangerous than fantasy,
than hope, the Grand Canyon or an explosion of
scotch bonnet peppers— all colors, chard,
white carrots and charmed sorrel.
Don’t forget, star anise or a feather of Mirabelle.
Couch in tomatoes, use canned only
as a very last resort. Leeks. Did you remember
the cauliflower clouds? Zucchini now can be added.
Again, all these flavors circle themselves asking.
The process takes an indefinite amount
a week, a year, six thousand—
it can’t be foretold, this pot is vast.
Test and taste often. Live.
All crumble before the inspector of maraschino cherries.
All burble and meld alabrolabra.
Fling sixty-eight soko exactly, or no less than forty-nine.
Black olives are a nice touch too—
years behind cumin.
Add more duckweed pasta or egg noodles.
Whatever you want. Ask yourself that.
Iceberg lettuce comes last.
Maybe a pinch of leafy mint extra.
If you have any questions, now you should be able
to answer them for yourself.

 

Copyright © 2008 Mary-Marcia Casoly

____________________________________________

 

Mary-Marcia Casoly is a native San Franciscan who currently lives in

Palo Alto. She has a degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco

State University.  Mary-Marcia is a steering committee member of

Waverley Writers, a long time poetry venue in the South Bay. Her book Run to Tenderness, was published by Pantograph Press and Goldfish Press, available at Small Press Distribution In Berkeley, CA.