Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bike Wars: Part 1

I once hit a girl with a bike
while racing to turn in a report
on seismic wave resistant structures.
Afterthoughts of mass-acceleration
force lingered along
the retrofitting of infill sheer trusses
tuned mass dampers, shock absorbers,
concrete columns all holding my focus.

But the poor dear dragged herself
from side to side swaying through
the bike path like a drunkard.

I had a moment to ponder her particle motion
the complexity of their orbits.
Did she have both flexible and stable features;
would she overcome the state of inertia or just snap?

A blue handlebar flexed in the dip of her back.
The collision set her in a three step stumble.
I observed myself skidding, elbows into the concrete.
My single speed somehow diverged off the path.

She apologized and took full responsibility
too naïve to realize how much I was at fault.
I did not bother to correct her, too distracted
by the numbers behind ungrounded oscillations,
the engineered explanation for a deserved wreck.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thank the Moon!

Thank the moon!
For being so full
She feeds upon the dark spaces
Of the sky
Off the same
Silver plate month after month
She licks it clean
Just enough for us to see
The glimmer of her saliva
Just little enough for us to make
Out stories from the crumbs
And their shadows
As I sit upon the granite counter
As you lean over the edge of the sink
And we point out each tale with kitchen lights off

Thank the moon!
For being so indecisive
Have we harvested tonight
Shall it be squash soup?
Or has she brought the knife home
And sliced us a smile of white watermelon?
Do we deserve to feast upon a bulbous bun
Or a bowl of black eyed peas?
Has she spoken to the stars?
Are they grating cheese
Or adding infinite shakes of salt?
Please just surprise us
We promise to keep the candles unlit

Thank the moon!
For her consistency
Though her outfit and taste buds vary
From occasion to occasion she arrives always
With the exception of rainy days
So that might we have
Reason to return and gaze fondly
She allows for the guests and feasts and songs
Holding the appetizers out over our noses
It is a game to her but it is our livelihood

Thank the moon!
For being such an artful escapist
What a tease for we’ve seen her work
But not had a taste
Upon her silver plate
You see crispy crustaceans clinging to carnival balloons
Drifting out of reach
I see garlic bread being obliterated by a colony of vampires
We both see the Caesar salad leaves falling away for autumn
This must be how she has mastered managing her appetite
And attending supper with all who request her presence

Thank the moon!
For starving us
Might not we have seen each other
Should she not have kept the fruits to herself
Her light cradles us in the window
Her light ladles into our tempted eyes
And suddenly your hands are not leaning over the sink
And my legs are not dangling over the counter
Somehow the fridge has jolted open in our kitchen
And the new light floods
Except in the place where we’ve caught a crumb
The moon sees its story for her side of the table
She sees a lady and a man reaching for the same jar
How she’s showed them they are so hungry
How they now feel so full!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tea Party

Previously a poem about two girls having tea had been posted here, but I am submitting it to a magazine, so it is no longer available. I have however left the note about what inspired me to write it. I believe that the title of the poem will actually be "Frightened Away"

-Surprisingly enough, this one was somewhat inspired by my reading T.S. Eliot earlier today. I realize it looks nothing like his work and now all together forget what line of his poetry first motivated me to write this, especially since I've now read his "Triumph of Bullshit" and have a completely different perspective of Eliot's work than the one I had twelve hours ago (I still don't think I have an accurate perspective or if ever I will). Still I hope you have enjoyed my first poem regarding tea, which I've written without ever having tea in a garden party setting yet. I'm sure we'll remedy this soon.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Suey Lee

I always wondered where they all came from
A closet full of stuffed animals
Pandas and polars, black cows and blue pigs
Crinkle skin or fur, button and bead eyes
Enough toys filled grandma's walk-in closet
From the floor stacked up to her cheongsams
Which draped short from the hanger
Given grandmother's size
We received a new plush pet each time we visited
We could visit each time we wished for a new pet

Grandmother never spoke ill of anyone
But my mother shares secret ill stories of times before
Shortly after the arranged marriage, grandpa shipped off
To California, leaving behind his wife with his mother
My great-grand mother, whom I've only seen with white hair
On a gravestone with white characters carved beneath her frail frame
GGma made grandma a slave of tradition, clean cook sew serve
Bow obey and stay and stay
Coin crossed the sea along with letters of dutiful love
But for years my grandparents were separated by stronger duties

Every section of my grandparents' american home
Had replenishing gifts: colorful fabrics that grandma sewed into
Dresses for our aunts' weddings, summer days, school pictures
:candy drawers with tootsies and butterscotches and occasionally
toy sets with scissors, thread and plastic for seamstress pretend
:hybrid roses with ribbons of violet and white stitched into their petals
dandelions, irises, pear and orange trees, which we plucked and returned
to more for the taking each week we came over

After the fire in San Francisco grandpa had enough
To bring the family over one by one
First Grandma and then the others
The first thing that grandma did
when she reached the free states
Was get an American hair cut, a short curly bob
And she wore it as Americans wore independence
With a sworn oath to serve themselves

There was very little that ever struck me as Chinese
about my grandmother besides the smells
of round ball soup, imported wood and antique figurines,
jade medallions and ovals strung and mounted on necklaces and rings
The foreign language was merely stretched vowels she shared with her husband
The untold stories were even purposely left behind
She spent most of her time twiddling her thumbs
As her eight grandchildren ran about her house
Not even ever needing to take the time to revel
Over what she was and what she had become