Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giving Thanks (a rather vulgar poem, I'm afraid...)

Warning! This one may make you lose your appetite, so read with caution.


GIVING THANKS

The flavor of blood is evident 
in meat—no matter the kind of meat: 
turkey meat 
chicken meat
pork meat
steak-hamburger-hotdog-bacon-
meat—no matter the amount of salt 
it won’t cover up
blood—

chewing each fibered 
morsel tender, carful 
not to bite bones—grinding 
meat in clenched 
teeth, swallowing—
blood—

the meat came from somewhere else—
someone else hacked it—
we didn’t have to watch, so we chew, 
forgetting until the metallic iodine 
salty blood hits the tastebuds and we chew 
again—
blood— 

ignore the plasma on the tongue, pretend 
it wasn’t once 
a bird
a cow
a deer
an elk 
sheep-lamb-pig-duck—
blood— 

that would cluck or suck- 
up slop in the fields 
pens—
forget it once had 
eyes
a face 
a mother 
a dream—
blood—

while giving thanks 
sitting around thanksgiving 
tables with thanksgiving 
forks thanksgiving 
knifes digging into thanksgiving 
turkey-mashed-potato-stuffing-plate 
thank the soul with the life 
stolen from it—its carcass 
slipped between 
lips to a grinning
ah!—

blood!


~ by Caroline Adele O'Brien

Nightmare America

Woke up with this first line in my head, unsuspecting that the whole poem would follow, but out it came! Here is the stream-of-consiousness prose poem:

NIGHTMARE AMERICA

Death sneaks in like an old lady in her bathroom slippers—her silver hair tied up in curlers, robe flowing torrents behind her, she tiptoes through shopping malls in this old-western-America—a gunslingin’ grandma in her pink freshly fluffed slippers, slept-in curlers flopping on her forehead—the shoppers’ll never suspect a little old lady—it’s christmas time death’s hungry for a feast and no one expects an old lady in her bathrobe to slip a .44 from her bathrobe pocket, pop-off a few kids in the food-court while they wolf down burritos and pizza, blood dripping into their high-fructose corn-syrup fizzy-pop beverages to fizzzzzzz fizzz out

Pins in her footsteps she detours east curlers falling about her blood-lust eyes, breaks a window of a nursery school with her knitting needles—enters in through the office and BAM-KaBANG! the school nurse falters backward clutching her heart—the grandma grins her upturned jowls and SLURP! laps up blood then turns for more—the children duck beneath desks too late—BAM! BANG! KaBANG!—gushing blood flows across the floor ’til—Ka-RACK! The vacuumed classroom life falls—

Still—bathrobe hiked up she crawls back through the glass to wander America, pay the south a visit—finds a rippled ice rink full of twirling skaters sipping hot chocolate and cider through straws as they glide in-out-in-out from the center of the rink they grip one another for support—granny glides across the ice in slippers curlers falling around her eyes the clasps snap-pop! open silver hair tumbling out blood-shot-eyes wild and POP!—the first one down, the others scream—crashing into ice from fallen skate, slicing up the ice with razors and BAM! the glowing red ice pulses the last life of drip! No one suspects a little old lady in a bathrobe


And when her feast is over her belly bulging from all the blood she slides down into her covers dormant for another few days—'til the news cries out on-air pleading for more telling the world granny is a hero telling the world granny should rein supreme; death is a good bedtime story after all, one to tell the kids when they’re all snuggled down in their nightcaps covers pulled up to their chins—and when the kids on the street curled in trashcans beg for mercy—when schools and shopping malls once again thrive with life—when people no longer suspect a little old lady in her bathrobe with her curlers and her pink fluffy slippers—when the hunger starts again and her belly churns the blood rumbles and quakes—her blood-born eyes open to stir in the covers the media blanketed her with. 

~ by Caroline Adele O'Brien

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Turtle's House Was Vacuumed Innocent

Was going through old files on my computer, when I came across this gem. It's a poem I wrote in college, though I don't think I ever shared it with anyone--at the time I thought it was terrible. Now--ten years later--I actually kind of like it. Thought I'd share:

TURTLE'S HOUSE WAS VACUUMED INNOCENT

break a window slice your toes claim 
inability to walk deny crutches leave one sleeve to dangle it no longer exists

weak stout heartiness isn't a forte mix up oatmeal dump it in clumps in bed let 
scent of apple cinnamon or maple sugar evaporate with evening mold into covers

fool thermometer light a lamp place it to forehead hold ten seconds drink  
fire fluid heated above ninety eight degrees

steal house key walk out front door with book bag and goulashes squeaking 
in puddles hide on side of house until vacated

have friend call pretend they're principal teacher was kidnapped being 
held ransom for possession of narcotics no hope for bail class eternally canceled

remove car key from chain unlock secretly let parent believe
they've won enter the car key is gone dad goes inside run away

sunday in sprinkler find red and green shiny bushes mocking 
oak climb within fragrant branches wake within the rashes and blisters

tie arms in television claim inadequate learning tv cures minds from disastrous 
thinking must watch pinwheel the world will end must be prepared

at midnight make hollow distant noises of screaming at dawn hide in closet hunter appears leave tape playing sounds of abduction peter pan says never grow up

say cooks conspire against good nutrition they serve parsley 
on oreo cream pie pudding custard and marmelade mixing in poison ketchup or pickles

glue red circular candy to face arms and neck say it's deadly said so on puf'n'stuf very contagious talking mushrooms and trees play with freddie flute why can't it be so

let them know the body was renovated into a turtle's home it was vacuumed 
last night no one is present to attend won't return without video games

make cardboard tv with windup news unplug actual appliances broadcast sun threatens 
mankind children in danger of bus exploding from overexposure to rays must stay in

bury legs in the garden covered in green body paint with yellow on the face tie 
red balloons to head and stand in flower stance hope to be overlooked

knowledge is sin use bible as proof jesus said only children may enter 
heaven must be safe to remain ignorant teachers are the anti christ



~ by Caroline Adele O'Brien

Friday, November 29, 2013

Snaked!

I felt like playing around with sounds in my poetry today, so here I have a creepy (at least I hope it is... that was the intent, at least) poem, SNAKED! Enjoy!!


SNAKED

shattered window glass and swinging chains
thunder 
ccc ra ck! 
sssss—
snake slithers through vines—abandon—sssss
winding path to crocked
house and leafless trees
blood on porch—dribbles and drops
the wayward night with rumbling crack!
door creaks drifts on dangling hinges—rrrrrrrr
sssss
tumbles
crrrrrr—ash!
chandelier swings in ruddy night—lit
whispering candles
shhhhhh—shhhhhh
they cry out
wailing—the blood-born moon
And in the foyer, listless—wrist vein
drip—drip—drip
ssssssss…
droplets weave through vines
candles flicker
shhhhhh—shhhhhh
out


-by Caroline Adele O'Brien

Friday, November 15, 2013

From the Mixed-Up, Lost Files of Caroline's Brain...

sometimes my mind speaks when my brain doesn t



sometimes i wonder—wonder why people spend so much time wondering—wondering who they are as if life s glistening—glistening retracted tears are swirling—swirling through twisted clouds of eternity churning—churning sunbeams into butter meltingmelting dew drops on rabbit s heads while hiding—hiding within suspended grass burying

Burying secrets deeply within the mind



i ve seen green balls floating—floating through liquid gelatin and red balls sinking—sinking away from sleep when filling—filling giant tornadoes who are scuttling—scuttling across the rooms while yellowing—yellowing gray and white stripes are running—running around as though they were leaping—leaping off his empty flesh and spreading

spreading like wings all the colors of my brain



life is emptying—emptying the thoughts of lightening—lightening our brilliant storms of cobalt feathers dancing—dancing with time clocks clicking—clicking parallel to our heels on pavement sounding—sounding empty as my heart beating—beating silence into bodies surrounding—surrounding tunnels of bleak thought disheveling

sourly disheveling my brain
i m way too conscious for this


sometimes I wonder —wonder why people spend so much time wondering

wondering




~ Caroline Adele O'Brien

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Of Waterfalls And Eyes

It feels like home when I see you behind my eyelids—with my eyes closed to the light—where you sit at your writing desk, books in hand—tearing out pages in the sienna-film that projects behind my lidded eyes—in the glow of candlelight—where you rip out pages, begging me to read those words—the words you wrote—behind my eyelids—the whole dark-haired-hunk blue-eyed perfection of you—in your striped shirt—your plaid shirt—your flannel striped plaid shirt—all buttoned up with pockets and notebooks spiraling—over the top of that white T shirt—and the immensity of it—with your sad-pout lips upturned—and your eyes crinkling—peering into my soul from the other side of my eyelids—telling me it’s going to be ok, that it was meant to be this way, that there will never come a day when you’ll leave, and when the time comes to die—you’ll be there to take me home—to that same budding, pregnant-Earth-place you wrote about—deep in the darkest woods—in that page you tore out—the one you showed me behind my eyelids—in the candlelight—the one your eyes begged me to read—the place with the deer in the violets—where we follow the sheep—and you sing to me by the waterfalls.

~by Caroline Adele O'Brien

Saturday, November 9, 2013

One Day The Right Words Will Be--


I know those eyes those
tear-drop eyes those 
wandering-across-america-in-search-of
eyes
pleading 
they say
“nothing-except-confusion”
EYES


I know those lips those
longing-kiss lips those
opening-to-prose-but-only-jazz
lips
praying
they say
“we’re-all-going-to-die”
LIPS


I know those hands those
peasant-touch hands those
pencil-painting-crosses-and-Christ
hands
reaching
they say
“I-want-to-be-sincere”
HANDS


I know those feet those
mexico-huarache feet those
stumbling-around-frisco-drinking
feet
tapping
they say
“nowhere-to-go-but-everywhere”
FEET

--and one day the world will
shaaaash
shah
shasha
shhhhhhh…
LISTEN



-by Caroline Adele O’Brien

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