Elbows and Knees by APRIL KRASSNER
Nothing is easy.
Everything is contagious.
Disease, infection pile up
I am satisfied now.
No, you are not.
I am dissatisfied
and you are teasing.
You love teasing;
you hate it.
I love you.
I do not,
not know, not lie,
not tease the truth
out of you until it hangs
like a wet string
from my mouth.
This is disgusting.
We know it. We do not,
and we love the letter W
because it interlocks
angles, throws shadows
across the page,
across our brows
where we bury the untruth,
the nothing lies
and laugh at the blood red
insides of our mouths
where we have bitten
into the unflesh,
the not flesh,
the nothing flesh.
Arts Class by APRIL KRASSNER
If technique is down, a small, wet sponge blotted
on canvas makes a lovely forest, sea, or sky or even
background for a stunted portrait. A cloud burst
turns that sky plastic container color, not opaque, not clear.
My grandmother was the one who wore turbans and smoked
dark cigarettes, dangling ash, calling for a cab, a drink,
a saleswoman. The other, her sister, delighted in undressing;
died wearing a hat, a single flower popping off the crown.
Go ahead, flip your tongue around to the chocolate ice cream
dry on the corner of your mouth. It can be wiped away.
Did I mention my great Aunt who made a tea set out of blue beads
and wire? The doily-holed cups couldn't hold liquid.
If I were to use knife here, wedge-shaped, you could scrape
along the glass bowl and lemons. Put a girl in, swing her legs
over the arm of the chair. Start your story this way: "The blond
in the corner is using her arm as an ashtray again. She's not
really blond. Her short hair tinges green in certain light."
We'll start another story thusly: "She swam great distances
in a bathing suit that didn't fit and was beginning to wear
at the seams." Later, we'll find she hated swimming, the feel
of water closing around her body, covering all folds of skin.
The waters of Japan rise and fall in tedium. A baccarat
table in Monaco is repeated in Las Vegas. Be careful.
Be doubtful. Wipe the brush resting in the palm of your hand.
I will tell something else, but in a voice not my own. Imagine,
we've been together shelling sins into the pink and white landscape.
Not Chronicle. Not Anecdote by APRIL KRASSNER
Should I mention what happened
late Thursday afternoon?
In particular, after the big snow?
There was pushing and shoving
and we heard a lot of "fucking this,"
"fucking that," from people. "There's no
fucking way," or, "What the fuck do you
expect?" It bothered you, not me--oops,
a lie, I've told another lie. I'm getting
good at lying. It did bother me.
I didn't like to hear it, but to use it,
well, that's another pleasure.
On Thursday we were wild and stubborn
and full of jealousy--enough to grab
at what we thought we wanted,
but that wasn't really it. And then
came disappointment, sorrow.
Sorrow for our neighbours
who had just lost their cat, sorrow
for the people down the street because
they were splitting up, sorrow for ourselves
because we like sorrow. It suits us.
We are filled with it. And that's how
it happens on particular Thursday
afternoons in winter when your teeth
ache from the cold and you don't know
how to cross the street alone.