Sunday, August 21, 2016

Chubby Girl


Mein Kampf steams in the corner.
Ice cream melts from shame.
A chubby girl prays she remains
unnoticed between cake and sweet tea.
Saturday’s a middle child trying
to scrape memories from green plaster.
Dear Therapist, this little trip through rewind
keeps opening baggage, but doesn’t
free me of any weight.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Where Lullabies Die

The Shepard's Dream ~ Henry Fuseli ~ 1793


Deep behind the eyelid crawl
where lullabies die monsters
feed on the sandman’s throat.

There’s no longer a who,
a scratch or a boo, terror
doesn’t play a child’s hide and seek.

Cement streets turn to water
pulling at feet…The drowning
drink likes the taste of breath.

Melinoe knows where sunlight lives
and eats escape with dandelion thumbs
so madness can impeach reality.

Wake up, wake up wherever you are.
This is no longer that...Here is not there.
What you were is peeled from what you’ve become.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

A few notes: The part about the streets turning to water and the drowning actually came from one of my dreams. As a child and a good part of my early adulthood I was plagued by nightmares. 
Melinoe is a Greek goddess who brings nightmares and madness.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Living High In Blue


I follow notes, guitar licks,
throaty lyrics to cities
where blood is as thick as the blues.

Houston, Kansas City and Memphis
are beads on a pearl jam seducing
my spirit to travel notes pooling songs
across a mirror mottled with my own reflection.

I sit elbow to elbow
in bar stool sanctuaries
with a faithful music cult
who tithe appreciation
into a tip jar.

I’m a gypsy ribbed
with highway stripes
living high in the color blue.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mama Bee Gets Testy

If the hive steams,
the honey wanes.

Mama Bee gets testy
when her sugar
doesn’t reach the throne..

So stop all that wing flapping
stirring hot air and deliver
the goods I can turn into gold.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

I did a little research on angry bees, fascinating.



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Not A Job Tongue

I have no plans to prepare myself
for the bleak marker in genetics
so my watchers will be comforted.

My thoughts will not spill
from a Job tongue to twist
the universe into prophetic kismet.

The sun is to bright,
music too beautiful,
poetry yet unwritten
for me to waste time
training for forgetting.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

Recently my sister, Debby, shared this TED talk with me
then gave a hearty "Hell no!" to it. I wander occasionally
through the possibility of the monster lurking in me,
but I won't dwell or prepare for the disease.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Every Glass Slipper Fits A Fool

A rusted padlock hangs
between my breast and ribs,
a keyless ornament once
polished by fairytales.

Every glass slipper fits a fool
who thinks lips possess resurrection,
and happily ever after comes with a map.

Quixotic eyes can go blind,
but because it is my heart
guarding unforgiving, my vision
has perfect hindsight.

In my last days of sticks and bones
romance has reached its expiration date.
opinions are spoiled fruit; wisdom
sits alone watching reruns.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Half Wing Short Of Flight


I hash tag drudgery
with planned procrastination,
erase some thoughts,
put a lock on my tongue.

A half wing short of flight
I camp out in my dandelion nest
waiting for the sky to deliver a sign.

Three shadows closer to frantic
I spoon feed my spirit artificial calm
and pray patience isn’t a written exam.

Just before despondent reaches wit’s end
magic pockets its glitter to jewel
my silver lining with heartbeats of onyx.

I always thought angels wore white,
but the ones dropping at my feet looked
more like mourners in their tar feather best.

With claw and caw they plucked self pity
from my breast while admonishing,  
“Sitting won’t bring the wind’s urge to soar.”

Like a cloud stealing doom they rise to pencil the sun
with a watchman’s oath, “We’ll be your eyes
when midnight curtains your view.”