Wednesday, August 3, 2011


A heart is
a center, a nucleus
a white hot core.
a seething mass.
Loathing implodes
going nuclear.
Shattered and
far flung
into the abyss.

And now,
of malice, like
blood drops
of Lucifer,
shine as
ghostly white orbs,
glinting reds and gold
a memory of inferno.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

synaptic gaps

Once wide open spaces'
slowly sealed
with spackling
of senility.
Tightly packed and
filling in vast planes
of brains.
Leaving no solutions
no questions,
no worries.
Only a delicious slipping
Expectations fall away.

Now free to glide the halcyon days.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Label People

Late at night
in the kitchen
and the humans
lay a-sleeping,
many wonderlands
are hidden there,
inside the pantry

People on the labels
inanimate before,
characters we knew
from years ago,
and more.

Say,have you seen them?
certainly you have!
While you sleep
they are there!
Hush now,
and be very, very quiet .
(don't let them see you stare.)

They party deep into the night
Until old Raisin bran sun
peeks in the window and says
“it's getting light!”
Then back on
the labels they go,
strike their pose
And no one knows.

Look there,
over by the spices
the Morton salt girl,
trying to escape
bad weather
forever and ever.
Skipping through the rain,
that only she can see,
spinning her umbrella
oh, so aimlessly.
Always calling
for her pup,
and even though
it rains all day,
she keeps her spirits up.

You know I'm
No rhymer but
Lordy, there she is now..
Electric Aunt Jemima
in her do rag rappin'
and tappin'
and singin'
old timey gospel songs,
that she was taught
in church
while mixin' up
some flapjacks,
she hollers
“Ya'll come
get you some
while they is
still hot”.

Amigo Juan Valdez
and his donkey,
(poor old burdened beast)
Bringing the delicious
hot coffee
to the morning feast.
Coming slowly up
from Columbia
bags loaded with
the magic beans.
He makes his way
through jungles
each day
hardly ever being seen.

Mr. Clean scratches
his shiny bald head,
some things
he just don't get.
He tries really hard
to keep up
with the Old Dutch chick
who hasn't scratched,
not yet.
She cleans and
she cleans
all night and day
and her work is never done,
and she's never ever
left a scratch,
no, not even one.

A secret she
once told me was
She would sure like
to meet
the lady who
wears the blue bonnet,
the very same one
who always says,
“Every thing
is better
with blue bonnet
on it.”

Tap-tap, tappity-tap,
here comes Mr. Peanut,
into the room
sashaying over
to the Morton salt girl
and sweeps her 'round
like a broom.
Twirling and whirling
like a Fred and Ginger routine
The label people whisper,
“They are the perfect pair”
(For it is known that
good old salty peanuts
make the most delicious fare.)

Mr. Stay Puft
Marshmallow fellow
is with that shy gal
from the land of cheese
and milk..
her name is Swiss Miss
and she is in the family way;
you see,
they are expecting
chocolate baby
any old day.

Mr.Oscar Meyer
of the Wiener tribe
is busy getting in shape
and learning to speak jive.
Getting ready for
the big fight against
Ball Park Frank the tank,
who plumps when you cook him,
and plunks when you hook him.
Not only will he win
the golden sword,
The champion will win
the big wiener award.
(Previously held
by the Prontopup Mort.)

Chiquita Banana
with her long shapely legs,
reminds us to
never ever ever
put our bananas
in the refrigerator.

Her ripe bananas jiggled
and then she giggled
when she bent to get her shawl
when suddenly the kool aid man
bursts thru the kitchen wall
to get at those, ahem...
thirsty kids again.

Over in the corner,
by the old wood stove,
a quiet game of chess
in progress
between the
Quaker Oats man
and Old Uncle Ben.

They are talking about
the bad old days
way back when
people of color
weren't considered men.
Quaker Oats man said
he sure hoped humans
never make
that mistake again.
Uncle Ben said that
with humans,
prejudice never ends.

The Keebler elves
argue, as usual
about what to put in the
next big snack,
and when the cereal gang barges in,
its an out and out attack.

Snap, Crackle and pop
get involved in the fray
while the Irish Catholic Elves
and the Cereal Protestants
are having turf wars,
about the flavor of the day.

When they all get
a little too loud
and rowdy,
Aunt Jemima will turns around
and yell for them all to
'be quiet fools, or
them humans will wake up”,
(and you know you better
knock it off and stop
because shes got her
wooden spoon in hand
and will give your ass a pop.)

Then when its time
to go back to work
Mr. Raisin Bran sun
peeks in
to remind the label people
that its time to get back
on their boxes
and cans again.

And if you are lucky
and very, very quiet
on some rainy day
when you are bored
you may see them
yet again.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Revised Gift of 7

The Gift of 7

The rain stops.
In the steamy mist
i spy 7 in that murder of crows.
And as I pass, they call out
as if expecting me-
awaiting my arrival-
bringing me the gift of 7.

A secret that's never been told.
A journey that's never been made
told in echo and caws-
then suddenly lift off squat and absurd, airborne
as if hurled into the the lifts by unseen hands.

Deb O'Brien

Revised Sylvia


Like her, I know
the flatness of men,
the urgent sounds of beehives.

Like her, spiraling
down and down.
Falling like Alice;
the madness swirls
beneath me; and I,
always clinging
to a flimsy rope,
a lifeline;
yet ever closer.

And from the grave I hear her
whisper to
take the plunge,
finish the fall.
At the bottom is
the raging river where
I seek the language and
let the words go and go and go.

Hard won sanity shivers.

Deb O''Brien

Friday, May 27, 2011

Digging around in pockets

Reaching into your pocket,
searching for clues
not wanting the answers,
not really, but fishing anyway,
I find a handful of fear and
alot of uncertainty.
No surprises there, I think.
I compare it to all of mine and drop it in the trash.

in that little pocket in front,
I find a ball of hatred,
so hard and intense
It was too hot to handle,
and better left alone.

finding many holes
where assorted dreams
and hollow promises dropped out,
left strewn about in the wake
of your stumbling steps.
I find harpoons of reality and
disappointments among the debris.

And in a back pocket I find what I am looking for.
I knew it had to be somewhere, after all.
In that back pocket i find a small packet of crushed spirit,
balled up tight like a cigarette package.
Gently I pull it out and fluff it a bit, giving it air.
It gives a little chirp when touched, a bright hopeful sound.
It trembles in my hand.
Weak and misshapen from lack of attention.
Malnourished, contractured.

I feed it drops of my blood, and it laps hungrily, tongue lolling for more.
It looks up with puppy dog eyes and nuzzles my hand.

The other things I put back into pockets.
This I keep to feed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Party of the century

This is from the workshop of Memphis Writers Ensemble. It is a group effort of several authors. A very interesting exercise with very interesting results....Thanks Valentine!!

Ah, the cultivation of virtue, of rotational motion executed.
Instantaneous changes in store for the soiree attendee
Man's nature, inborn, fraught with assumption
and conundrum.
The voice of the body, a spiritual being,
coincides with freedom and security-
like an escapee of known matter.

This shindig, this bacchanalia
with vibrational patterns in a fixed exchange rate.
Imbeciles! The truth is before the eyes.

An acceleration, like rivers rushing to the sea,
it has become a spinning and nihilistic object de art-
confederacies of ladies in serpent skirts, their pointed toes dipped in white milk.
Private excitations of rushing pheromones, like rivers rushing and hushed and whispery.
Transvestite-like, five-star, clown suited generals worshiping man
while dancing the cha-cha with
within every primal garden
where Juntas of erect stems
constantly shed blue blood.
like breathable air around gaudified innocence.
The cannibals chomp through pubic hair.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bittersweet day
Hope peeps her precious head up
Enamel coated heart unconcerned
Another days useless energy spent
Shambling through the stickers
Wading into the ever thicker muck
But that damn hope comes back
Like a desperate stray dog
With nice eyes and big paws.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Our Ophelia

Watching you unfold, slowly
a thing emerges, a hope;
one so dashed,
so shattered
upon the rocky shore
of my own heart-
jagged and edgy
and I know your heart
and when you look at me
i see you look through me
and you know my heart.
Once they beat as one
when you grew within
now you grow without
and dare not return
until it is too late
and my days are done;
yearning to sail home
to Ithaca.
Lost and alone
never knowing the way
with endless flailing
Eyes see nothing;
lost in a vision of seeking
Oh! the beautiful madness
such a righteous distraction..

Eyes see nothing, restless heart.
Endless red haze
To stop is to die.

Predictible Orbits

Anywhere but here, and since that day seemed so long ago, strange that now it wasn't. And when she felt so radiant, like the sun had blistered away all the layers of skin and left her bare and exposed, secretly hidden away in the dusty rafters of childhood knowledge; many days had passed wasted, unheeded. Life, like an art film replayed in fast forward motion, like the visions that come at life's end, we imagine. Flickering in the dark, sitting alone in the theater; sitting for review.
Thoughts mumble low now, no longer shouting down one another for limelight, accustomed to being disregarded, they politely wait their turns. Assimilated, subservient.
Pain becomes part of the limbic landscape inserting itself here and there like scrubby cacti succulent and bristly.
Houses of doors slam shut screen doors sifting air and memories and breathy whispers and silky tongues bring discontent to orgasm, and it comes unexpectedly in waves of greens.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Unwritten Letter (or keeping the dragons back)

In your letter ....
the one you didn't write,
you told us why

why you took
that old blue chevy
that road warrior chevy
that '78 blue chevy
drove it straight on
down to the levy
and you took your friend's gun
and you took your own life.

It killed him too, you know.
when he was told, you know.
He died himself, you know
not too long after that.
He would have given you
the shirt from off his back
or the 57 T bird, baby blue
from his collection, too.
if you asked him for it.
But that is not even close
to what you took from him
that day

that day he gave it to you
without even asking you why.
That last day
when you came by
his house
that last day
when your own house
was in order
your own home
had a new roof.
He did not know
could not have known
that we had taken your guns
out of there.
Taken because mother
was afraid of you
after 50 years;
she said you were
different and scaring her.

He didn't know
we had your brain and neck
cat-scanned and imaged
and checked and tested
for strokes and tumors
because you walked
around behind mother
with your hands
in your pockets
acting so strange
and she thought you
had a knife.

So we took
your guns away.
But he didn't know that
could not have known that
and he loved you
like a brother.
so he gave you his 44.

Why? because you asked
him for it.
And he gave it to you
 without a
single question.

And in your letter
you didn't write
you told us why.

But we already knew;
even though you
never even
left a word for us
or a note for her
or a thank you card
for him.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I am from...

I am from Africa
deep in jungle love
with Tarzan of the Apes,
dreaming of swinging vines
and a tree-house of my own.

I am from a hazy fog of cigarettes
and shots of old medley over ice
of black and white TV
with vertical lines
and rabbit ear snow.

I am from survivors
and suicides wasted lives,
from martyrs and madness.
I am from rage and resignation
rape and redemption.

And now I am from down under
holding up the weight of where
I am from.