Fiveby Connie Mae Oliver
I grow frustrated with Mia Farrow when she takes the length of a feature film to realize she is bearing the child of satan
Five potatoes whistle on the pan,
it’s red, now. It’s nitwits, now, Oakland grown
ochre in the time there is to spend thinking things out.
Mia, for god’s sakes it’s satan in there. John
Cassavetes doesn’t love you,
he made you eat a cup of drugged pudding-- cue psychosequential
dream. On that noiseless leather sofa I grow more impatient,
Why won’t she realize?
Frank responds that he likes her haircut. But what’s
taking so long? I keep asking him and asking
him. He reclines &lets his arm fall to scratch the chihuahua.
Just watch the movie, he says.
On all the bronze and pale day it rains, or
a fire hydrant, a half liquor it beams, or
the icon “M”--
Müller, Mayer, Mayer-isch, Mayer-Mahmoud, or
prickle-clad figlike globes. Or figs. Or those that
Germans harvest not.
Or every pair of shoes unattractive-- not a one! Or
weird coincidences; scarcely a word in this houndstoothed
language, what with its terrible blue glow, or the one boy
in the booth adjacent.
We are by proxy prior knowledge, or
what we’ll suppose, continually. They, actually, are ever extending
that other hand, paddling through reams of options; or, or, or?
What for convenience we call Hatshepsut and not
Hatshepsut, who’s been petrified in reliefs, pried from pairs,
since pairs aren’t real, busts from a pair, another statue from dynasty eighteen-- Goldrush on N E 2nd avenue is not not like that and I can’t not not like that,
I can’t not not look.
Face from a composite face, lips from a derivative lip, scrolls
from derivative scroll-- unhinge my head and lay it here for some relief,
not to say historicize, not to say preserve, but cradle and put air.
Permission to us unwittingly given-- remember you said
people are places and I said no the other way around. And wish
I could help? To construct things from nothing, but you’re busy
snapping at the cat, who is dumb, while leaning on this thing
to support the stone plinths, god.
Did I think it good? In their chambers seeds quake,
here you come from so many tremors-- you my golden river beam,
you my botanizing priest.
Did you think it good? The strategic posture of plants?
There are going to be so many people, there authenticating
everything. And wholesome, really. There waits Cleopatra in the same sun,
one titty out, reclining in chair.
With her small bad year she went, evilly and new--
A trill of departure, a departure small as theirs. And loooong times
she combed the seats of the auditorium for bejeweled pill boxes
and pocket mirrors but all she came up with was him. A head
of barbarous hair, so many turtlenecks sewn together-- a mane of them, imagine!
Why would a bird stay north?
The sidewalk interferes with bones
and severed heads, the sidewalk
snakes past the wooded area-- should
it be so cold? Stomach up
on the table top, learning,
a slight sun coming in, black
goods at half price at south shore,
where, at dinner, unbelieving, wolf-eyed
brother glances to one side in
bitch-faced disappointment when
everyone forgets his birthday at
the same time.
But who has time? In the summer? Schoolchildren
beholden to birthdays
will, like broad-faced, early
quadrupeds, emerge from inflatable
swimming pools to offer their
vagabond congratulations. Cheeks red
and the whites of their eyes
I want now to touch upon two
One is in the cubist room, and
a semicircle of Germans regard it. The other actually
is in the same room, but.
Later, we have drinks-- we the crowd
in the K21 cafe. We the simple residents
of lesser known municipalities of North Rhine Westphalia. They have
milchkaffees, and draw straight lines and straighten my lines
then I meander-- back up the straightened straße, to crook them again.
There lands a crow then lands a jay
here and here they graze for cigarette butts
at the open air ice rink, I enter a home,
what was his name-- Johannes? He shows
me his play, his mother pays me I don’t
know, forty five euro.
I want to touch artists, they can touch
me. I want to accomplish it in a kiddie pool,
but it may electrocute me. Us all.
Woh bist du? ask the language school clerks, and
that is when the bells fall down laughing? The cotton woods
fall down laughing?
My cubist review, this modern milieu--
I have no money, I look at the Klees,
just look at them, consider nothing. I visit
Johannes again, they offer me the black rolling leather
office chair, then send me back
down terrazzo stairs. I want to
turn and wave my fist, “I already knew
about terrazzo stairs!”
About the Author
CONNIE MAE OLIVER is a graduate of CUNY Brooklyn's Poetry MFA and is currently working on a series of poems titled "Mutually Unintelligible" and a novella titled "Bob Boy Guy Boy." Her paintings and photography can be found at sensationfeelings.tumblr.com.