Friday, June 24, 2016

Cigarette Burnt Whiskey



This bar smells like cigarette
burnt whiskey with a splash
of Saturday night desperation.
I’m having a hard time wading
through the hormones splashing
against my shore, yet those
green, sea glass eyes of yours are
tempting me to test the water.

There is something about
the hook in your pickup line
that makes me want to get caught.
I feel tiny lust fed goosebumps
pepper my skin with raised flags
of surrender, but my brain
has a Baptist sin book preaching
I haven’t even reached the bottom rung
of Jacob’s ladder from my last backslide.

I don’t know why I’m arguing with myself.
I’ll bookmark hell with a few more
of those guilt shaming sticky notes,
and find out just how far we can swim.
Even if we’re star crossed Shakespeare failures,
it will beat babysitting that wilted bar flower
next to me who keeps bleating about
how her ex didn’t appreciate the amount of
cash it took to keep her in heels.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

Real Toads ~ Bits of Inspiration ~ Amber Rose Tamblyn

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Iterum

Marble lips etched by Sister Death
smile with eerie comedy.
War is blood stained theater
doing encore after encore
because Sister Night can’t
decide which god holds
the hottest flame to scorch the sky.

Xenophobia knows its audience, and
historically hate demands front row seats.


 ©Susie Clevenger 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Muscle Up Gentle Roses


Women's-Land-Army-1917.jpg

Nothing like a war
to bring out the man in a woman.
Necessity has a way of making work
progressively gender neutral.

When a belly is hungry
it doesn’t care who
tends the potatoes.

Muscle up gentle roses.
Men’s hands have been filled with rifles.
It is now your collective spunk
commanded to tend the fields.

You’ve always known your strengths,
unfortunately war has provided opportunity
to pull away layers of I can’t to expose I can.

  ©Susie Clevenger 2016

Izy at Real Toads asked us to take the last text message we received on our phone and create a poem. Mine was: "Have you seen Land Girls?" The question refers to a BBC series on Netflix. Find out who the Land Girls were here.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The First Thistle Of June


On the first thistle of June
the devil sings his tune,
Lend me your ear
three deaths haunt the seer.

Wicked birds will fly
on their very first try
to gather children’s hearts
to flavor hell’s tarts.

Gold, raven, and ginger hair
you never know where
beaks will seal dreams
in the blood wax of screams.

Henny, penny, the seer counts to three.
The clock ticks what is and never will be.
Shadows coffin corners of the room
as feathery flutters ripple her womb.

Nightshade is braided to hang on a door
to steal breath, to settle a score.
For every when there’s a where
for every hate there’s a glare.

Sadly the seer is you and me
we pluck love with division and fertilize weeds.
If we keep venom from the tip of our tongues,
the bile song of evil will stop being sung.

So choose the music you sing well
to usher in peace or open the door wider to hell.
We are the world and we chart its course
and no terrain harsher than that of remorse.


 ©Susie Clevenger 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

Dear Ophelia


"I can't work completely out of my imagination. 
I must put my foot in a bit of truth; and then I can fly free." 
 ~  Andrew Wyeth
 

Dear Ophelia,

I hear you each time
I hold a seashell in my hand.

We were summer,
first love, bold initials
heart framed in sand.

I found you in August of ‘59
when waves splashed
incessantly toward September.

Eternity arrived with your smile,
but youth was our demon.
Forever couldn’t survive distance.

We became a memory
even before we spoke goodbye.
We were too star blind to see
the cruelty in horizons.

Ophelia, I am an old man
trying to find eighteen again,
trying to bottle the sea
so waves will never reach September.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Agony of Genetics



Seeing you only steps from
the trip wire of death,
your bones weary, your heart weak,
I curse the secrets in roots.

I question my womb, angry at DNA
that bled agony into your flesh.
How could I know horror had a genetic code?

Too many nightmares leaf the family tree
for me to scissor a cure, but I won't stop
 trying to find a way to fix you.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

Studies are beginning to show trauma can be passed from one generation to another. Genetic Tags