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revisiting zero

now that the world has come to an end
morning glories and poppies, flesh and sun
and rusty nails in glass jars disappear with tide

her lips around zero’s outer rim
zero dissolves on paper memories
cocoon falls from apple tree

broken unbroken buttons.
face lifts. botox stones our graveyards.
some women give lip service

nothing resolved on sunny days children run
red tail hawk swoops into an open window
knocking paintings off the wall

books tumble from sky. two books
made from tree bark. flesh and rusty nails.
burnt off mourning. red and orange transfers

we catch another ride

he says he lies under moon.
moon grows fat extensions, pregnant promises,
lollipop round, clean bowls, cookie dough with coconut chips,
poker chips, potato chips, fish and chips. his ship set sail.
I wear rubber boots. he wears a condom

glue me to his side.
I want him. I want robin red lipstick, blue diamond earrings.
I want bank books with lots of zeros after seven.
walk me home money bags.
what is a poem santa clause

how many metaphors on dollar bills.
what! a cadillac, penny candy and gum balls. bird houses.
three skeletons. wall paper robins.
brussel sprouts cut in half then cut into strips

bake me a cake as fast as you can.
patty cake patty cake bakers man
toss coins into my mouth as fast as you can

drop coins on his groin

dandelions par boiled, garden weeds
chopped and chiseled. monetary circles.
gummy bears. fur coats and to hell with the fox trot

neighbors retain an air, dungaree shirts, electric cars

an entire intellectual gated community.

poets and painters esteem vegetables with soy sauce,
plastic animals, but that’s okay, everyone eats, don’t they.
do they. how about your day. monday.
here we go round the mulberry bush.

mothers climbing ladders

my poems make no sense.
senseless killing, absolute wars.
is it okay to change bloody sheets for clean ones


soldiers wet His lips with vinegar.
put that aside. sense isn’t what’s needed.
you said go to the river.
so I went to the river, but it was empty.
no seed in bird houses

this scene happens seven times a year

you say go to the river
so I went to the river, but it was empty.
whatever was left I stuff with bread and wine.
gum stuck under poker tables.


our last dime jingling his bulk
just a bit past nine I turn inside out
I try to read, reverse my thoughts

I hear hands clap

I imagine windows level with rose vines.
man walking past. his shoes squeak under blue blue sky

on milk glass trees reflect
airwaves hold us on big screens. leisure and ease
the latest man made secrets

nine secrets

miniscule roots attached under his chinny chin chin
his terrorist need crashing down all history
books on fire. war. front line eye to eye skill

his skin privilege. white or black or yellow or red.
books and holes, paradise lost. silk screams.

we turn from war. we turn to the last page.
we clean windows we sweep sand off floors.
our broken wings, broken body parts, broken equipment.

does God rip our life to make us vulnerable

what about gambling. does God like to gamble,
tangle images. winning, losing. is zero simply a number.
symbol for nothing. everything rolled into jelly cake,
jelly beans, jelly belly

I once enjoyed being with a man who felt like jelly.
his train stop further away from mine. nevertheless I remain
true to my faith. God never rolls dice. He remains entirely Himself.

karl marx leaping over frogs

I want more money like almost everyone else.
wooden legs, face lifts, tummy tucks.
I want to be as famous as a china figurine,
tinsel, presents under my tree

I wish to become an old woman who wears
nail polish, mascara, dyed hair kinda gal.
I want spaghetti with tomato sauce.
merry go rounds, assembly lines, fur coat lines,
dead jokes, blue moon pumpkin pie

I want a coherent poem

once upon a time
there were three big pigs
roasting over an open fire
tail all crispy crunchy

once upon a time
men ran with great pomp and sacrifice
fighting with mundane force
until late afternoon

once upon a time
love made wood stronger
hills bigger, back roads curve
with red tin flags on mailboxes

once upon a time
mostly, wearing hats,
staring straight ahead
men under bridges

once upon a time
I walked through city squares
candles melting and handmade
garments ruffled by wind

whining men drilling
honking biting voices
in the same tone

once upon a time
beauty tightened her waist.
dark lines leaning into a doorway.
on her face. men bent toward shovels

caps stained with sweat. scrunched.
men long to touch the bottom of her pant leg
the unknown, unforeseen easily warm sunrise

how death gives us names flaking into a thousand days

discontent clutches promises weave wedding dress
burnt down to the filter, ashes twining her finger
her feet on couch her lips quite hot

history spins, runs with multiple partners

dark hair and eyes paler, much stronger,
small and purple plums. her winter gown
his doorway heart

this is not my poem

I still believe lapse is a short skirt, bird calls,
ox storm, radiant, something tall and fervent
parades a few inches from his frame

mirror mirror on the wall who is fairest of us all

an old crow strutting
the way night dances on picnic table
stars smear sky around his want

virginity stumbling, surprised
we drop into puddles. wine and music

you say you want to remain young.
our breasts sink into sag.
you say we look through dusty dark blur

we didn’t have mercy yet we want mercy

once upon a time
spilling zeroes
the coke machine blinks on and off



  1. Gloria Mindock on

    Loved this poem Irene and the risks it takes. Congratulations!

  2. Annie Pluto on

    Beautiful poem Irene. I loved it – savored it and read it out loud twice.

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