Day-Old Bargain

D
Bargain tarts, raspberry, goose,
he said, don't write about that
surgery, women who have hacked off write
all parts and natures of women
who lose food in the bottom parts
of refrigerators, onions, scallions,
sour tomatoes, tiny cocktail weenies
lost in the airless dark write
When you give over your breast
to cancer, for God's sake don't
write about it.

Write about silliness, holding hands
in sandboxes, small girls playing fudge-
and-find-me-alley-tag at dusk, Rochester,
state of pubescent, New Yorka roonie.

...day I learned to drive aimed car
at horizon and floored it. Got there.
God in color, no cable, firsthand.
Going and coming back I thought I'd live.

Not much for visions, still at sink soaking
pinkies in sweetalmond suds, I heard Mom.
Come on home, she said. Scared the witless bejeebies
out of me. Next day I opted for surgery.
Cut that mama off and saved my life.
Big daddy surgeon said right on the mark, sweet honey.
It was done.

He's got a girlfriend works at his office, don't you know,
she thinks he's licorice stick swinger. I caught them
hugging in the mimeo room. Ain't nothing to it, he said,
rolling his cup of a palm over the scar. Mmmmmm-mmmmm,
this hillock is a sweet raisin, roll over baby, pour me out.
Okeydokey.

What came next in the woods, woolly dark trees
don't give a fudge if what's hugging them hard
dents in two places. I hang on for dear life.
Filled pockets with seedpods, got bulbs
I shoehorned into clay pots for life's sake.
Nevertheless the disc shone hard, or didn't.
60
Rating:

Comment form:

*Max text - 500. Manual moderation.

Similar Poems:

Something in the Belly by Deena Metzger
Deena Metzger
I wanted to have a poem and I was pregnant. I was very thin. As if I’d lived on air. A poet must be able to live on air, but a mother must not attempt it. My mother wanted me to buy a set of matching pots, Wearever aluminum, like the ones she had. They were heavy and had well fitting lids so my suppers wouldn’t burn. My husband wanted me to give dinner parties. John F. Kennedy was running for office.

I sensed danger. Kennedy wasn’t against the Bomb or for nuclear disarmament. I joined SANE at its inception. Also Concerned Scientists. I spoke with Linus Pauling and encouraged my husband to help his partner organize Physicians for Social Responsibility.

There was a baby in my belly. I wanted to write poems. I had a crazy idea that a woman could write a real novel, the kind that shook the world. I hallucinated that a woman could be a poet, but she would have to be free. I couldn’t imagine that freedom for myself even though I could see it in Isla Negra when I followed Pablo Neruda. I could see it in the way he walked. Even if he were walking inside a dictatorship, among guns, soldiers and spies, there was nothing between him and his vision. Anything he saw, he was able to take into himself–there was no sight, no image, no vision to which he didn’t feel entitled. In his heart, everything–everything–belonged to him. Pablo Neruda was–more than anything–a poet, and so he was an entitled man.

I was a woman and entitled to nothing. I had nothing except a husband, a rented house, a set of pots, living room furniture, a frenzy of obligations, credit cards, anxious relatives, too many acquaintances, a gift of future diaper service, two telephones, no time to read, a plastic wrapped cookbook of recipes gleaned from the pages of the New York Times, and a hunger, a terrible hunger for the unimaginable, unlimited freedom of being a poet, and a baby in my belly.

I would have called Pablo long distance if I had the courage, if I had the ability to speak Spanish fluently, if we had ever talked about real things. But, what would a man know about a baby in the belly? And what did it matter if there were to be one poet more or less in the world when so many in his country were dying?

I woke up one morning and thought–I can’t have this child. My husband said, “You’ll have to get a job after it’s born so we can buy a house. You’ll need an advanced degree so you can do something.” I thought, I can’t. I have to write poems. My mother found a crib. Someone painted it white. A friend sent a pastel mobile with tame wood animals. I thought about blue curtains, making bedspreads, and abortions.

Pablo was silent. He was walking so far from me, I couldn’t hear him. My husband objected to donating more free medical care to the Black Panthers. I tried to make dolmades from scratch and located grape leaves preserved in brine at the Boys’ Market twenty miles away. I organized a write-in campaign for peace to challenge JFK. My husband thought it would be nice to have teatime with the children and romantic dinners by ourselves. The new formula bottles lined up on the sink like tiny bombs. The U.S. was pursuing over ground testing; I was afraid the radiation would cross the milk barrier. I had a poem in me howling for real life but no language to write in. The fog came in thick, flapping about my feet like blankets unraveling. I became afraid to have a daughter.

I called Pablo Neruda in the middle of the night as he walked underwater by Isla Negra. He moved like a dream porpoise. He seemed pregnant with words. They came out of his penis in long miraculous strings. The sea creatures quivered with joy. I said, “Pablo, I want to know how to bear the child in my belly onto this bed of uranium and I want to know if a woman can a be a poet.” He was large as a whale. He drank the sea and spouted it in glistening odes, black and shiny. I said, “I can’t have this child,” and he laughed as if he had never done anything but carry and birth children.
Read Poem
0
65
Rating:

The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table
Waiting for Warren. When she heard his step,
She ran on tip-toe down the darkened passage
To meet him in the doorway with the news
And put him on his guard. ‘Silas is back.’
She pushed him outward with her through the door
And shut it after her. ‘Be kind,’ she said.
She took the market things from Warren’s arms
And set them on the porch, then drew him down
To sit beside her on the wooden steps.

‘When was I ever anything but kind to him?
But I’ll not have the fellow back,’ he said.
‘I told him so last haying, didn’t I?
If he left then, I said, that ended it.
Read Poem
0
86
Rating:

The Circus by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
I remember when I wrote The Circus
I was living in Paris, or rather we were living in Paris
Janice, Frank was alive, the Whitney Museum
Was still on 8th Street, or was it still something else?
Fernand Léger lived in our building
Well it wasn’t really our building it was the building we lived in
Next to a Grand Guignol troupe who made a lot of noise
So that one day I yelled through a hole in the wall
Read Poem
0
61
Rating:

About My Very Tortured Friend, Peter by Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
he lives in a house with a swimming pool
and says the job is
killing him.
he is 27. I am 44. I can’t seem to
get rid of
him. his novels keep coming
back. “what do you expect me to do?” he screams
“go to New York and pump the hands of the
Read Poem
0
66
Rating:

America by Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg
America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
Read Poem
0
50
Rating:

Herbert White by Frank Bidart
Frank Bidart
"When I hit her on the head, it was good,

and then I did it to her a couple of times,—
but it was funny,—afterwards,
it was as if somebody else did it...

Everything flat, without sharpness, richness or line.

Still, I liked to drive past the woods where she lay,
tell the old lady and the kids I had to take a piss,
hop out and do it to her...
Read Poem
0
45
Rating:

i can't stay in the same room with that woman for five minutes by Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
I went over the other day
to pick up my daughter.
her mother came out with workman’s
overalls on.
I gave her the child support money
and she laid a sheaf of poems on me by one
Manfred Anderson.
I read them.
Read Poem
0
42
Rating:

Heart’s Needle by W. D. Snodgrass
W. D. Snodgrass
For Cynthia

When he would not return to fine garments and good food, to his houses and his people, Loingseachan told him, “Your father is dead.” “I’m sorry to hear it,” he said. “Your mother is dead,” said the lad. “All pity for me has gone out of the world.” “Your sister, too, is dead.” “The mild sun rests on every ditch,” he said; “a sister loves even though not loved.” “Suibhne, your daughter is dead.” “And an only daughter is the needle of the heart.” “And Suibhne, your little boy, who used to call you “Daddy”—he is dead.” “Aye,” said Suibhne, “that’s the drop that brings a man to the ground.”
He fell out of the yew tree; Loingseachan closed his arms around him and placed him in manacles.—AFTER THE MIDDLE-IRISH ROMANCE, THE MADNESS OF SUIBHNE
Read Poem
0
103
Rating: