Tuesday, July 11, 2000
Deanotations Issue 5
22 cents a stamp! Arggh! Time to learn telepathy. (Or I could
send poems out along a mental path - psychopathy?) I just heard
groans; perhaps I'm already a telepath. Next issue - Bulk Mail.
Thank you, my new contributors and those who sent me addresses
of others who'd enjoy the poems. This issue of Deanotations
will go to over 500 people. (Tomorrow the world!)
Thanks also to those of you who sent kind words, poems, and
hawk-eyed reports of the typo in issue 4, page 4, column 2,
3rd poem from the bottom, 2nd line where "The same moon
doing the save" should be "The same moon doing the
same". Now don't blame me - I didn't put 'm' so close to
'v' on the keyboard for no logical reason. Besides, I'm just
a poetry letter - it's the author's fault. And it's unfair to
criticize him without a full appreciation of his difficult childhood
and early social millieu.
Contributions welcome. Several of you have urged me to go on
a subscription basis. Not yet. Why not? Because I'm a coward;
someone might not subscribe.
Let me know if you want issues you've missed and send 50 cents
per back issue desired.
Everything in this issue is thoroughly copyrighted by me, Dean
Blehert (2345 Nebraska Ave., NW, Wash., DC 20016), right now
- including the words "the", "a", "if",
"and", and "but", for every use of which
I'll expect royalties henceforth.
Art work by Pam Blehert. Love,
| Poems in the New Yorker - I seldom
finish them. About half way through
I feel the overwhelming magnetic pull
of the cartoon on the next page.
Poor supermarket shopping carts - overturned
in the streets, broken in creek beds,
tiny wheels bent, wire ribs crushed -
delicate lost pets that couldn't
find their way home.
Rainy L.A. morning. The cars
sniff along the freeway as if
looking for a dry place
to deposit their eggs.
Across the park lawn, past
spindly, wind-swirled trees, in a dream,
swept round and round on the arms
of a prince at the Emperor's Ball,
floats a cellophane bag.
After kissing the frog into a gorgeous prince,
the princess (who knew nothing of magic,
but had grown up with microcomputers)
quickly kissed the prince
to see if it was a toggle.
Weary of human frailty,
daily the prince roams the marsh,
croaking to every frog he sees,
hoping that one will have the stomach
to kiss him and take him back.
| At the end of each lifetime
the hero is plainly wiped out,
but at the start of the next installment
we find it was only a flesh wound.
We put our houses here and there -
by the sea, on hill, in valley, in
woods - and settle down to watch TV,
getting a kick, apparently, out of
doing it in odd places.
This is just poetry: It won't save you,
but perhaps it will locate you
so that a rescue party can be sent out.
O Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory, I lied: I DO want to save
the world! Forgive me - I was afraid
you wouldn't understand.
My mouth has gotten me
into lots of trouble. Now
I'm in a Mexican restaurant
Corsage in bright-veined cellophane ill at ease
Grows old with lettuce, liver, cottage cheese.
Later, perhaps, we'll press it in a book -
The flower, that is - the liver we will cook.
Lovers moving in tall grass
up to their ankles, hips, shoulders...
Gone! And all this occurred
at the same spot.
After years of living alone,
it had been so long since anyone
had been a naked woman in the same room
Here I was being a naked man
that just to undress in a dim room
peopled it with sad white shadows.
A dream: Everything freezes in place
but me, and I stroll about as after
a great battle, bodies flung this way
and that, transfixed on the barbed wire
of their lives.
|Let's compare my poems to poem X:
"I get more pleasure from your poem,
and it doesn't leave me mired in obscure
allusions." "Your poem is subtle
and works fast too." "I feel great,
and your poem doesn't make me
sick to my stomach." "I can't believe
I read the whole poem!" "I've always
been satisfied with poem Y, but
let's see your...SAY! This IS good.
Funnier and deeper too! From now on
I'll read your poem." Yes, folks,
today 9 out of 10 readers are reaching
for my poems. Why? Watch this simple
test: Notice the way my poem sharpens
perception, chases the blues, and
brightens this drab day. Now watch a
leading brand drop into the day and
turn it grayer. That's because my new
improved poem contains more perception
sharpeners, more blues chasers, and
more gray-day-brighteners than any other
leading brand. All this plus patented
despair deepeners to produce the most
profound despair mortality can bear.
So read MY poems today! The poems
written with YOU in mind.
Dreaming of Minnesota autumns,
I was wishing Los Angeles leaves
would crunch more underfoot when,
alas, I crushed a snail.
Why is it the same embrace in which
last night you melted, this morning
reminds you my armpits are ticklish?
How can there be space
for both the birds with twitter
and the trees with young leaves
to fill the air?
Waiting for my ride to the airport,
reading about the Paleozoic Era (nearly
400,000,000 years), then the Mesozoic,
then Cainozoic, then the six or seven
months till I see you again...
| Morning. My antenna extends itself
to receive a sleepy signal. Turning
over, I meet your eyes, a-twinkle with
Like a kid in the Midway, poking his
face through a hole to become a
cardboard cowboy or lion-tamer, the moon
peeps through a rift in the clouds
to become the heart of a pearly rose.
The trees gently bend one way, then the
other, like polite Chinamen. Frustrated,
the wind howls even louder,
but the trees only bend gently
one way, then the other.
The Romans invented telephone poles.
Having no current, no wires, they
mounted men on the cross-bars, lining
them up along the highways to shout the
good news from pole to pole.
I turn off the radio music
in which the bare trees across the
street have been stiffly posturing...
and catch them, in the silence
behind the mask of music,
treeing away like mad!
I will climb the highest mountain
for the one,
who can see my mountain.
The ocean keeps thrashing up waves
to become mountains, falls flat,
tries again, undaunted. Nearby,
the mountains, having made it,
are bored stiff.
The pigeons strut back and forth,
hands behind their backs,
making, now and again, a few
authoritative pecks at the grass,
then strutting off, quite
| Reverently through gold streams
of sunlight, vaulted chamber
after chamber, my tongue treads
the great-windowed cathedral
of an orange.
Two crows wheel and land above me.
And there - a squirrel scampers. The
crows are leading, two to one. In
second place we have a one-to-one tie
between squirrels and poets.
In the porno "shoppe"
nobody looks at anyone else,
each respecting the essential privacy
of the act of looking
at other people having sex.
Movie makers can produce
incredible special effects.
They can make anything real -
except their audiences.
A chair is a bed
For my ass-to-knee basis,
While the rest of me stands
In two different places.
Burnt out, I guess, but a shame
to throw away the glass bubble
with its delicate ruined crystal
palace of filament.
Eyes getting lost in dark corners
of the couch, then yanked to new
continents of carpet, lost again in
patterns: a baby bobbling through
the endless minutes.
Ill-bred dog! I've never met you before,
yet you bound into my lap,
committing forepaw upon forepaw.
The washer gets quiet - I peek in...
The clothes are heaped there like dead
fish. Careful - this may be a ruse
just before the wildest spin of all.
| Fleur De Mal
And The Naked Truth
There once was a teaser named Fleur de Mal
Who disappeared in the strangest fashion:
She pranced that night in the bleary hall,
Her usual thing, with her usual passion;
She twisted and turned and dangled her foot,
Shedding flower, feather, and spangled flounce
At every turn, and throwing them out
To drooling watchers with bump and bounce.
Smiling coyly, she spun herself free
Till two hands could cover all she wore,
And the crowd yelled--trying to see--
TAKE IT OFF! TAKE IT OFF! MORE! MORE!
And this time she did...all of it,
And we roused ourselves to see...a girl.
But then, before one ribald wit
Could leer, with a seductive swirl
She briskly began to unzip her skin,
Shedding it over arms, legs, head--
And a fainting drunk with a fading grin
Caught what she lightly tossed and said,
"Sheesh empty!" and vomited up his meal.
Teeth smiling--how else?--and wriggling hips,
She shook her muscles and began to unpeel
Like a banana, throwing all the strips
With a twirl and a flourish to the emptying hall
(For we'd never seen such obscenity before,
And we mobbed to the door,turning only to bawl,
"You crazy broad! You two-bit whore!")
Then she plucked out her ribs, one by one,
Flicking each, with a kiss, at our growing dread;
Then, as a necklace is neatly undone,
She reached to her nape and unfastened her head
And gently threw that to one dead-drunk admirer--
Nor stopped at that: heart, lungs, liver,
And then, as if anyone could still desire her...
They? it?--with a proud, sensual quiver,
The last bones fell at break of day,
And that was the last seen of Fleur de Mal,
Who wasn't a body after all,
The stripper who went all the way.
| Worse at night than the tapping
of a leaky tap: The shploth-
shploth-shploth of a dog licking himself
beside the bed.
"You come first at Pacific Federal!"
Come first and withdraw early
with substantial loss of interest?
I'm trying to write articulately.
Does my art tickle you
The world is crowded...
but my poems are very thin.
Last night we ended 1984. Millions
of people gathered to mark time.
Oh, we ended the year, we did it
alright. What would time do
1984 was a very special year:
Weren't we all in it?
Not that we looked at each other
for a long time, but that a long time
decorated the instant of our
seeing each other.
Some people talk
with their hands.
with their food.
I want to be