Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cathy Porter- Three Poems


Some nights the bleeding never stops -
one long drink, faces planted on counters,
shoes stuck to floors of god-knows-what -
the air ripe with booze and sex in the church
of latter day sinners. The first time someone
mentioned the Steps, I thought they meant
the ones leading downstairs to the back room,
where things go on that would make the devil
and all his buddies pack up and head back south.
The thoughts that cross my mind are far more
dangerous than the ones that fall from my lips -
it’s a blessing I keep most to myself. We don’t
do last call around here; we are on-call,
24/7, ready to take on any fool who dares to
put a stop to our activities, or talk about steps
and higher powers. The only way out is a tag
on the toe – which is why I never wear sandals –
don’t want to make it easy for them; you got
to put in extra shifts to keep up with me.


Her growth was stunted in the 90’s –
a cassette stranded on the floor of an old
battered car – legendary struggles of
one hit wonders you can’t shake from
the skull. Pills and booze don’t help;
I’m her friend, I guess – but how can
you be friends with a wall? Every now
and then we go out and talk about
some of our favorite bands back in
the day; she pisses me off more than ever,
offers little emotion other than “not bad” –
like those middle of the road emo-bands
you used to love – and sometimes
still do – when you’re not bashing them
to all your cool friends.


on the thread of collapse - one tiny pull
could unravel the repetition of morning;
some days take time to wake up – and when they do,
you must be on high alert

For a spoon is a shovel –
a knife turns to a sword as fast as a head droop.
And the ballerina is the clumsiest one; I wish
I could sleep as well as her

They should trash all the clocks in here –
no need to time each visit or wish it over –
would do wonders for guilt

Oh, the days of flip-outs and phone calls –
chaotic energy that steals every ounce of patience!
Now, heads drop into uneaten food, or get bullied
around the plate by well-meaning family -
I’d donate a limb to see one fiery explosion
before lights out on one more afternoon

Cathy Porter's poetry has appeared in Plainsongs, Homestead Review, Chaffin Journal, and various other zines. She has two chapbooks available from Finishing Line Press. She lives in Omaha, NE.


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