July 25, 2014

Maureen Daniels, “Junkyard Kingdom”

Posted on 21. Apr, 2011 by in Poetry Spotlight

This week, three poems by Maureen Daniels.

JUNKYARD KINGDOM

I was walking the dogs
through the woods when you raced
over the river with your dappled mare.

The grass tangled in her frothy bit
and I rested my palm
on the smooth planet between her eyes.

Your shark tooth dangled into your black
corset and the stripped Chevrolet smothered
in whiskey stared at us through the trees.

Cigarette butts and remnants
of the Fourth of July collected
at the edge of the river.

When your champion Appaloosa spooked,
I waited in my boots and torn mini skirt
on the roof of the car, comforting the dogs

amidst sweat and spark plugs.
The dogs rested amongst the cracked mirrors
on the ripped back seat.

All summer I dreaded this
marriage to the lonely earth
where you learned to abandon me.

THE WORLD OF DESIRE

When I want too much, want more than is right,
your body obsesses me.
I’m not going to mention our fetishes
now that I’ve learned how to comfort you.

Your body obsesses me
when we think about sex out loud.
Now that I’ve learned how to comfort you,
I only have to play at being a woman.

When we think about sex out loud
we are more than two women talking.
I only have to play at being a woman
because I’ve spent years turning this invisible.

We are more than two women talking
when your voice is full of something almost breathable.
Because I’ve spent years turning this invisible,
there will never be a you without me.

When your voice is full of something almost breathable,
these are the moments I return to.
There will never be a you without me
because you are the original person to love me.

These are the moments I return to
when the twang of happiness nudges my heart
because you are the original person to love me.
Everyone is somebody’s secret.

When the twang of happiness nudges my heart,
I’m not going to mention our fetishes.
Everyone is somebody’s secret
when I want too much, want more than is right.

A PEACEFUL GESTURE

No one spoke to me. No one wanted to hear
from a compulsive believer. Random snapshots

hung from the branches in the back garden
and daylight was no longer trying to establish herself

above the trees. The moon rose, white
as a new toilet waiting to be installed.

Thirteen people I didn’t recognize lingered,
holding plastic cups, in line at the keg.

I squeezed myself onto a damp mattress
against the fence and lit someone else’s cigarette.

I wanted to fall asleep, my face mashed against
the chest of any other woman with no interest

in debating the meaning of Rorschach blots
or middle class parasites.

We were a group, assembled,
committed to the threat of revolution.

We had hash stashed in the floorboards and a sofa
on fire in the middle of the yard. For a long time,

I thought I could go on for hours
arriving at the same conclusion:

A terrorist is an arrogant revolutionary.
The gesture of the bomb, simply infantile.

——

MAUREEN DANIELS grew up in England and Northern California.  She has a B.A. from CUNY Hunter College and will receive her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from CUNY City College in 2012.  Her poems and short stories have appeared in Pindeldyboz, Nibble, Scapegoat Review and others.  She currently lives in New York City with her two teenagers and a Dalmatian named Pink.

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