Wanda Phipps


what world would I write if I were to write today?
perhaps minute details: peppermint tea leaves in the sink
or the day’s sounds:
                                         shrieking engines
                                         sounds of the sugar plant
                                         scrap metal being sifted
Charles calls to see if I’m o.k.

making notes of names of people I’ve met
that I’m sad I never got to know—
hey I know him
we sat around the same beer tables
he knew my face when I knew his
or I’m sure she’ll remember my name
but not the body it belongs to
           old gray heads of wisdom
I wish I’d siphoned a little off of
or great young bodies that might have
held some excitement in the holding of
                    regrets: a sign of age
or innocence?
                    to move more deeply into mystery
                    using knowledge to be innocent again
                    I’d seal the ocean into a translucent bubble
                    blown by a two year old
                    and popping on a dog’s ear

1:35 a.m.—she said I don’t want to see those 2 ever again
she was incensed because we wouldn’t talk about the spirituality of Bob Dylan
instead of football—I guess if we can get the zebra in and Porky the
professional boyfriend Jim will perform his primal scream into a pillow—cats
on the road to food whoredom lick the countertops—Buddha’s gotten bigger
by self advertising—threw up on the Persian rug—yes I’ll flush it —they really
need zebras, they need silver and gold zebras and giraffes—France is like
Connecticut— that’s all I need, to come home everyday to a 4 foot gypsy
                                             watching forever
                                             still life as fetish
                                             a camera eroticizes space

smoke from the Domino Sugar Plant
sirens and buzzers from the Domino Sugar Plant
                               list #1: Sugar, Popcorn, Gingerale and butter too
                               list #2: Marlboro, Newport, Winston, Benson &
                               Hedges Gold, Salem 100’s, Tootsie Rolls

taking successive time-lapsed photos
of a stolen red Buick
slowly disassembled
each night
for a month
leaving empty carcass

there’s a glass dome over New York City
intensifying daymares
blood from a bald man’s head
watching Puerto Rican couple embracing
pretty hooker in black on Kent Avenue
says: Good moming—have a nice Sunday

what’s the matter? not much. end of subject.
next Tuesday you can vote for a Liberal

                                WE’LL GIVE YOU THIS GE TV

I took my staff and swept the sky from blue to all colors of the spectrum
and I rode a multi-colored magic carpet with the wind waving goodbye.

                               stained glass
                               window bayed
                               behind his head
                               a holy meeting
                               a sermon of poets
                               head silhouetted
                               voices reverberating
                               walls holding echoes
                               we watch hands gesticulating
                               feel breath in and out
                               flies lite in hair

I woke up and then they all died

each morning consecrate yourself to be dependent
           becoming black leather knight’s courtesan
           many well-known and half-known faces rest here for me
I feel safe—my body secure and sure
           on the dangerous streets and trains of Brooklyn
thinking of my old knight in shining black leather
           walking in a mid-day downpour
leaning in Nightbreak he asks “have you ever wanted a tattoo?”

“there are slacks out there hanging like sets of venetian blinds”
           because we have language—a peculiar relationship
                       separation or settling is a normal occurrence

           language is the parasite the poem invades
for a miner of huge dark plums in subway atriums
           this is perfect music for a snowstorm

how does a human being fulfill the role of
           Mother Goose in a burning palazzo
                       with transposed heads

many spirits hide in the corners of our houses
           because they are not round

the baby boa’s been out for two days now
           drumming heartbeats in the background
                       summoning Laurie Anderson’s sado-masochistic
                                   narcissistic adolescent rituals

                                   romance is always violence
                       we are ever-post-modern people


says a recent TV commercial

                     she looks like she’s walking through a cow pasture
                     she looks like she’s uncomfortable in shoes
                     she looks like she’s always falling out of her clothes
                               they love slipping and sliding from her body
                                          she’s clinging-yielding-grasping

                     she’s the softer one
                     she moves slowly
                     she loves to laugh, to giggle
                              all speech beginning with a quick intake of breath
                              mouth lingering over vowels
                              and snapping at the consonants
                              words tangled in that languid accent
                     she’s the body

                     and she’s the other one
                     the quieter one
                              a small tight face
                     she thinks before she speaks
                     she moves deliberately
                     she’s well put together
                     she’s mystery
                     she’s the illusion
                     she’s a deep well
                     she’s the mind

we all have longings and desires which we try to satisfy
in this world with sensual pleasures
            if you thirst come to me
            even so I am constant in my affection for you
only a bundle of myrrh is what world I wouldn’t be

Comments: Wanda@interport.net