Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Domestic 1

Domestic 1 (1999)

Nature is nothing if
not a mess. The best spring
cleaning brings new blankets
to warm the mold and mites.
The maid said you’d never
learn to mop properly
or dust the sills
with style. Your cutting
edge vacuum attachments
blow dust back out
and for every soap
wand or feather duster
stirring patterns in silt
another white mote flits,
settles like a leech sun-
bathing on hardwood floors,
scorching blotches
on a waxy skin sheen
and the screens are open
and the power plant leaks
and a passing car backfires
and the toxins are diced

by wire mesh and stick
to shoes and cuffs and lungs
tinted deep sea blue like
your toilet bowl water.

Domestic 2

Domestic 2 (1999)

and the kids could
care less about picking
up clues as to how you
feel this mess is personal
and Dad’s no Superman
either. He’s tan and buff
in dreamland only with his feet
up and snoring. He paced
the hall half the night with
colic crying, drool down his back,
and the baby’s still restless in
the big chair, creamed
carrots smeared over her
mouth like a birth-
mark. She wants more
to life than sucking food
or being changed. Just once
she needs to reach
that too happy clown twirling
over her crib and pull
him down
to break the amulet’s
trance and parents’
habit of always placing her
to sleep on her stomach.

Domestic 3

Domestic 3 (1999)

and with each day
you fall further behind.
The ticking bomb minutes
beat out what time you got
left in rhythmic headache pulses
and the morning is a collage
of dustbusters and diapers,
of daycare and road rage,
of romance novels and cartoon
balloons where praise cuts like
a serrated blade, bleeds
out bad grammar and mis-
behavior and your therapist,
a hair stylist, swears
it’s all bizarre but not
dysfunctional. Make a better
looking mess for prying neighbors,
your picture window a painting,
a still life of posed bliss
without drips or a loud enough
laughtrack. The show’s over.
No one saw you suffer
since the curtains were closed
and the daily carnage was off-
stage, mopped spotless
and wrung like dishpan hands.


Anonymous said...

I love the first "Domestic" poem, and and love the fractal for the third "domestic" poem. How refreshing to read and view such talent!

cruelanimal said...


Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind remarks.

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