Dark Lady Poetry - Volume One, Number Seven




Volume One, Number Seven

April 2010





Emma Sky Wolf

April Descent

Exodus Part 1

Recipe for Creation



Grace Curtis

Merrill's Cup

A Tropical Fruit

Olber's Paradox


Dylan C. Lewis

  When the Gypsy Women Came

A Love Poem for the Colored Help

Lost in the North Side One Year Later


Sergio Ortiz

Nightmares, Secrets, and Museums

The Sides of a Mirror 



David Hughes



The Big Race Sunday






Emma Sky Wolf


April Descent  


I agree with Persephone.

there is no way to escape

daisy chain calamity, Alice

missteps that consummated
curiosity, pulled through
the cement weeds and stubby
cigarettes, flotsam of desiccated
stalks, like a silly flat television
image of "oops" went the banana
peeling with tin can telephone
laughter on strings ringing
roses she never received
around like old fashioned dials.
I keep trying combinations
that get me an operator who
warns all the eras twined
themselves in a time wire
misfire, don't expect the enlightened
age, co-currency is in (don't be a fool
about the fashion, changes.) We will waltz
into the underworld the same as always.





Exodus Part 1         


Leave taking and breathless

unleavened sustenance

will be my lot, bitter herb, egg

circulation of simulated


shed fermented ancestral

suffering that page wrinkles

out calligraphic back to front

displayed survival in the walnut


mortar sticking to every embered inch.

Death's oil spill dove wings fan at door tips.

How do you know if it is Elijah

come to drink, or a seeping rainbow


angel ravaging, filled with plagues?

I keep mistaking the blessed beggar.

Invitations to rag footed travelers

leave me perpetually breadless.





Recipe for Creation



First her feet swing, out from the sheathed sleeping venue they have been incubating in. When the floorboards feel contact both she and they are created again. When the blind


opens upon an eon, buzzing moment, day, wing lashes falter light fractures up into a pantheon of shades recognized and changed.


Third comes bird prayer, and the circuity of clocks

consciousness, fear, all vast chambers, demonic

undertow, Bosch.


Armor, a glamour, potency slung into purses. Protection and sustenance rushed in at the beginning.


She enters descending, as a city springs forth aware only as she turns her plastic beads in new directions. Every element colors, renewing continually as planets


revolve, and to do lists resubmit their presence. Can Becoming really happen on a time line? Her answers begin with, a week is a long way seeded with restoration, and avenues spread thick under


Robins, signify new beginnings. Daily she believes in failure, as her attempts bud, suckle, and reroute.    




Grace Curtis





Merrill’s Cup                            

for Joey



How can I take you into the deepest part—

the place we have longed to inhabit—if we

can’t lay light-enough fingers onto

the tear drop of the Ouija Board, onto Merrill’s

cup, cannot scribble unblinking ‘til dawn and

pull spleens through navels or revel in the dazzle 


of chemistry, what value, gods?  What is

the depth, in meters, of that which we seek

and where does it lie—in the deepest or, rather

in the reeds of shallows? Isn’t our life

simply put, just laundry and bills?  I once

compared an empty nest in the crab apple tree 


out front—the dirty, clay-glued nest of an angry

robin—to a chipped tea pot on a shelf,

my life work to the tide, you

to a seeker of numbers, divining

saints in the curves of their holiness. How I,

no, how we long to touch it; how we  


experiment, kissing lamp posts and blades

of grass, groping.  Some people’s search

is a headfirst dive into the shallow end

and rightly so. Better perhaps, than drinking

the river one flute-full at a time.  






A Tropical Fruit



Zero degree Fahrenheit—and

it’s snowing in another language

ganik, big, feather-light, pulverized

white frost and I am the official, unofficial

idiot in a snowstorm.  All around me are

pests, viruses, parasites placing stress

on my dear-bought comfort.  There is

no mitten protection here where I

am both docent and tour guide,

doing what others swear by.  Heat

is blocked by walls of metal, aluminum

alloys, unflattering social parallels

notwithstanding. You can sneak

behind enemy lines, destroy

bridges, crawl through swamps but,

I dream of simply walking away,

away from the cold, the snow,

the pestilence, perhaps to Tuscany,

with its beautiful landscapes, bookish

draw, like a painting, the place that

should mean something different

than the place I longed to see so long

ago, my renaissance.  Now, I only dream

of seamless panty hose, and tropical

fruit, of the time we waited for the time

we’d say, “Where is the Wall?”  in

a city of a thousand minarets with

its Paris-inspired maidans and avenues.

I long to be there, amid the normalizing

words, worlds, the meanings and systematic

aberrations, where we amass power

by simply being and not by being

something. I long to be

in the place of, at-will, sets

and resets, ignoring thick black lines

of minds, of maps that only give the illusion

of stasis, where there is

no repercussion for a choice that makes

you happy, where each sinker

and hook is cut away.  






Olbers’ Paradox




It’s an important observation—the night

sky is black. If space is infinite, then

every point in the sky must eventually

point to a star. The universe, not infinitely

big, not infinitely old, must end

at the edge of the yard, proof that

a river stops at its bend, that black

does not evade but absorb,

that gray is immersion leaning toward

the reflection of everything, that a heart

yearns for what it thinks

it leans toward. Someone

once said to me, Gracie, all your answers

are inside of you, knowledge leaning toward

ignorance. What is left depends upon

what reflects, what photons are taken in, what

photons are reflected back. If you combine

red, green and blue crayons

you have black leaning toward night,

each color sharing equally in the argument

against infinity.





Dylan C. Lewis





When theGypsy Women Come





Urban legend has it

they come every summer


to our suburban neighborhood,

descending like locusts


or some other plague

from the Old Testament.


My wife demands

we change our locks,


as I plead with her

that they do not have a key


in the first place. I fancy

them far more romantic


than dangerous; colorful scarves

serpentine in black coal hair


framing Red Delicious cheeks.

Magenta knee socks peek out


from long layered skirts,

covering a thief’s thigh,


which I will never see

but playfully muse


the possibility that one

may steal my chaste thoughts,


throw them in the back

of her covered wagon


and ride away to the tune

of wind chimes and horses’ hooves.






A Love Poem for the Colored Help




She is delicate

likethe algae green sheath

of budding spring grass

rising from mushroom manure.

She is the weightless hem


on a knee length skirt that ripples

in the wind of spring’s last

storm. When dusk approaches,

she is the elongated shadow

gently nudging me


from across the room, caressing

my faceless form.

The riddling pitch

of her voice hides wide-eyed

behind corners, like children’s


laughter from an attic playroom.

And it is her foot steps

that signal fresh lemonade

with mint leaves and sing the blues

on this muggy, late summer’s eve.






Lost in the North Side One Year Later





Too many lines converge

as asphalt liquefies under the ghostly horizon.

I can’t hold your hand or pour my emotions

into a travel mug for you to consume

because telephone lines look yellow in the setting sun

and I’m bitter with love. So you focus, driving

like a man chasing a checkered flag –

but your hands aren’t calloused and I would shave my legs


if you wanted to feel something smooth on your palm.

I’m misconstrued in our small cockpit world,

insignificant statements are giant when they echo

off canyons back through your convertible top. My life

and thoughts are no larger than that pinhead of a star

sifting through irrelevance on the brink of pink

clouds. Neither that star, nor I, will ever shine any brighter.

I’ll just hold the map of southern California until we see the next hitchhiker


with a shine box for my manners. He can break the silence

and force us to answer the nagging question of

“what we mean to each other”. Unfamiliarity is a dead give away

that some one is about to prod and prey until they crack you like a clam


and extract your insides.

If I am left disemboweled on the side of the PCH,

small rodents will feed their young

and the hungry waves will usher in the evening fog.





Sergio Ortiz






Nightmares, Secrets, and Museums



Think of me as Dionysus,

home, resting with a fetus in my left leg.

Think of me as lasting less than a candle

or a rock. This road we travel is a puff,

a shake, an unexpected vibration

on earth’s surface. It does not fancy us here.

We barely have enough time to learn

a few lessons when we’re gone. Grapes

shrivel, leaves fade back

to their sepia dwellings.

Think of me as a wordless translation

of a poem dwelling in the silent space

all over this museum, like secrets

in a secret language.





The Sides of a Mirror



There is no other choice

than to remain secure in the cargo hold

for what is stored in lower spaces

of the ships we navigate is nothing

other than the individual parts

of what is ready to become

the deconstruction of our anatomical filth.

Heart and lung machines rot side by side

sexual strings.  This rubbish causes parsnip

infection, a corrupt bitterness in our poisonous

watercourse. This is what we gain

from a peep.  This, the sum

of what we see

before a fuller glimpse.








the petal moored to a glace,

as if its mysterious shape

opened out of its body to lean

against the smile of old drifter waiting

for some kind of absolution

upon the church’s steps.

The tourist does not move, his eyes

inspect his own tanned

shoulders, then he notices

a plastic bag to the right

ofthe unassisted,

a well kept treasure,

the intimacy of a home,

with suspicion.





David Hughes







I see her from the corner of my eye
scrubbing a pot that would be better left to soak
but her back is turned
and I don’t know anything is happening
until I receive no answer to my question.
I stop mid sentence and turn
to see her lips moving
as though she’s whispering secrets to herself.
My words are turning to ice in my throat
as I say “Don’t go Jeckel. Don’t go.”
I watch the soft lips which dripped honey
become as thin and cruel as a vipers.
“No Jeckel; don’t go! I need you here with me.”
The last sparkle dies and her eyes
are as flat as a shark’s.
“Come back Jeckel.” I whisper, “Come back.”







If hope should come to me today 
I’d write a poem to wrap around her body 
I’d write with a quill pen  
in indelible ink upon her skin 
starting at the areola of her right breast 
And proceeding across her belly 
her hip and ending somewhere 
on her left thigh. 
Then I’d kiss every word  
and all the spaces in between 
and it would be my opus. 
I’d take a photo of her dressed in poetry 
and hang it on a wall somewhere 
dedicating it to hope for all lost souls.




The Big Race Sunday



Linda said she’d had enough of working fifty  
hours a week to pay the bills and he  
never w
on a race with that god damn car. 
Spending all his time with it in the ga-rage. 
Said she didn’t know if he was jacking it up 
or jacking it off but for all she cared he could fuck it.  
He had a different version though; said he  
caught her “foolin’ around” and kicked her out. 
“The bitch didn’t know how good she had it.” 
Now she’s out in the bars “whoring it up.” 
but he don’t have time to worry bout that 
and still be ready for the track this weekend. 
She was always whining about paying the bills 
and him working on his car 
but she’ll be seeing things in a different light. 
“She’ll come crawling back.” You’ll see, but 
he’s going to make her beg a while before  
he lets her in, after he wins the big race Sunday.