THIRTEEN MYNA BIRDS!

13.

House on Fire

This house is kindling—
with a wood burning stove.
He has her hiding in the bathtub

where she shaved her legs twice today.
She can hear the cockatiel tweet.
He shoves trees into the stove.

Her mother is a gray bluebird
toasty in a tarnished coop.
She can hear the green fern carol,

This house is a pyre
A hot ham poked with cloves.
He has her hiding in the goat pen

where she fed her goats twice today.
She can smell the rabbits fry
in black cast iron skillets and grease.

Her sister is a chicken breast
baked dry on a cracked glass tray.
She can hear the horseweeds sighing,

This family aflame
Roast beef and potatoes.
He has her hiding in the maples

where she kills herself twice a day.
She can hear the red stream calling,
a shallow ditch swelling with pain.

Her father, a devil,
his pitchfork in the hay.
She can hear the damp grass whisper,

Your house ablaze, get out.

~Susan Yount~

(In 2005, this poem was published by Elixir Press and Verse Daily)

(more recently, Susan Yount’s chapbook with this title won the Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook contest – and her chapbook “House on Fire” is available now here! - https://www.etsy.com/listing/177826146/new-house-on-fire-by-susan-yount-2014?)

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12.

quantum girl

Four years ago my body split itself.
Cold fusion reverberating quietly
I became two.

I live a life I am unfamiliar with,
a ghost looking for a grave
and a shadow.
I am beginning to fall in love with echoes.
I am looking for my voice
among the crevasses and caverns of
ruined youth; coming closer.

Closer to the origins
peeling away layer
after layer
after layer of
vibrating silence.
Finally I find at final bend
not my own voice calling but
yours.

~Pattie Flint~

(from the chapbook “Love like Jack”, a semifinalist in the recent Blood Pudding Press chapbook contest)

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11.

skinny dip

They picked you
for your bee-sting lips,
the way your hair exploded in the light and
those speckled-egg eyes
the boys down the street always loved.

The things you loved about yourself
are becoming the things you hate.
Your velvet legs begin thrashing.
You break the surface and
the water is on fire.

~Pattie Flint~

(from the chapbook “Love like Jack”, a semifinalist in the recent Blood Pudding Press chapbook contest)

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10.

I’m shy about your knees

you make me
feel pretty cherry
I red my cheeks
and curl spit-
dampened hair
‘round my friend,
you. Love like Jack
cards in bicycle
spokes, every time
I go ‘round you
slap the wires
saying, I love you

~Pattie Flint~

(from the chapbook “Love like Jack”, a semifinalist in the recent Blood Pudding Press chapbook contest)

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9.

the backyard swing you loved so much

Father made you pull
the tape out of all
your cassettes because
secular music was something
you were becoming familiar with.

You identify with tendencies
towards muted romance,
He pulled the songs out
of your mouth backwards
watching you arch your back
in the apogee of rubber swings.

~Pattie Flint~

(from the chapbook “Love like Jack”, a semifinalist in the recent Blood Pudding Press chapbook contest)

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8.

our bleeding constellations

Safety pin stars sewn across our palms
wrinkles skin prematurely, we crack.
Squeeze fingers into first times and
collapse all of our safety net childhoods
sewn into tags at the backs of our necks.
Idolize the way they taught us that rain was
to be dreaded and adulthood even more so.
I'm terrified because my friends can't speak
to dogs or birds anymore. I am the only one
that hears the flowers when they start screaming.
We are all too afraid; the films we watched
that were too old for our too young;
still being played over and over in the way we hurt
one another, pushing each other away in
our terror of being alone.

~Pattie Flint~

(from the chapbook “Love like Jack”, a semifinalist in the recent Blood Pudding Press chapbook contest)

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7.

cotton balls

Tell me the color of cinnamon
without using the word red. I like
your gingersnap lips and the way
they sting the insides of my
elbows like peach fuzz burns from
the summer we climbed trees
using only our knees. I can’t tell
you how much your metal retainer
turns me on in a way I can’t
defend. But maybe you can put
these words in your mouth like
those old pennies and know that I
am alive. Pick the flowers only
after they’ve died, soak cotton
balls in honey and put them on
my tongue so I can taste you.

~Pattie Flint~

(from the chapbook “Love like Jack”, a semifinalist in the recent Blood Pudding Press chapbook contest)

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6.

Plath cut her finger

and I, (never to be outdone) did too

but there was no epiphany,
just blood swooning down my wrist
despite my awkward attempts
to stem back the flow.

That small wound littered with strawberry seeds
a dull cold as I forced the blade through obstinately frozen berries
then my fingertip.
I waited for the rapture and instead
just felt clumsy, blood making me woozy in the head,

Is that a revelation or just a cut?

~Allie Marini Batts ~

(previously published by Rose Red Review)

(from the chapbook, “wingless, scorched and beautiful”, a semifinalist in the recent Blood Pudding Press chapbook contest)
  
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5., 4., 3., 2., 1.

There was an old woman tossed up in a basket whose job was to houseclean the sky, or maybe I should say sky-clean the sky. Which seems a bit ridiculous, but then, I’ve never enjoyed housework, who has? I mean, why not let the rain do it? Apparently she had some kind of broom or bone she used to row herself around. It might have been a human leg bone. It was big. But that’s probably just a rumor. More likely it was from a dead horse.

There was an old woman called Nothing-at-All, or perhaps that was what she felt herself called. She did have a name, and she remembered what it was, almost. Did it start with an L? Her driver’s license was lost, and her mother had shredded her birth certificate (“accidentally”). The only time she really needed a name was at the grocery store, where the clerks were required to call her by it or they could get in trouble. So she was Mrs. at-All to them. She still existed, she told herself. They couldn’t stop her from existing.

There was an old woman lived under a hill, or perhaps she had died there. Anyway she was underground, with no windows. She felt dead. To lure visitors, she baked bread. It worked. Her death slowly came off her, like the crusts she removed for children, like dry skin.

Old woman, old woman, shall we go a-shearing? I have a name, you know, and I’m not that old. No, we shan’t, in other words. Jessy Randall, Jessy Randall, I’m sorry, forgive me. All right, but I still don’t want to shear anything with you. Oh please, oh please, shearing is fun! I’m sure you’re right, but I have a husband.

Old Mother Goose, when she wanted to wander, was not a goose, but rode on a goose. She is often depicted as a goose wearing glasses (I know, right?). But really she and her husband had a matching pair of geese, like horses. Like Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder and their horses. Like all the imaginations of all the little children flying around in circles up there, like idiots.



(from the chapbook, “Old Mother Witch Woman : Nursery Rhymes”, a semifinalist in the recent Blood Pudding Press chapbook contest)

4 comments:

  1. Awesome poetry on this page! I especially like 'Evidence.' Thanks for the inclusion with such talent!

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  2. Thank you for being within the flock.

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  3. So many great poets. I love what you guys are all about. On a scale of one to ten, Myna is a thirteen! Looking forward to the next issue.

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