Friday, February 5, 2016

Michael Gushue

Love Taboos (Field Studies)

We meet on a path. You run away and hide behind a tree. Later, at supper,
you bring me food in a bowl but do not give it to me. You throw it on the ground and run away.

We meet on a path. You step off and stand with your back turned until I
walk by. Back in the village, we do not come near each other, or shake hands, or give each other presents, or anything.

We meet on a path. I throw myself off the path into a green thorn bush while
you pass by without turning your head or looking at me, pretending I’m not there, although I am whimpering. I do not say your name and avoid using any word if it forms part of your name, or rhymes, or almost rhymes, with your name.

We meet on a path. We both turn aside, me jumping off the path into a red
thorn bush, you putting a raffia basket over your head and running in circles. We are allowed to talk to each other only by shouting from so great a distance we cannot make out each other’s words and with a barrier between us so that we cannot even be sure it is us.

I was walking on a path after a heavy rain and saw some footprints that I
thought were yours, so I turned around and went the other way, covering my eyes with my hands and whistling loudly.

We meet on a path and cannot avoid each other, so we both throw ourselves
off into thorn bushes, you on one side, me on the other, shouting, “Gee, what a great thorn bush I get to be in with no one around.” Also, there is a nest of wasps in my thorn bush.

If you like something, I say I hate it. If there’s something you hate, I run and
kiss it. If your friends are walking on the path, I leap out of hiding and push them off the path into a pit I have dug.

We are made for each other.

* * *
September 7, 2015

It’s 89 degrees in the nation’s capital but it feels like 93
across the street piles drivers hammer poles into the ground
the jibs of tower cranes are turning like the hands of a clock
because a Bible Museum is getting built right across the street
I’m looking out an office window     having ramen and checking facebook
when suddenly on a sidebar up pops with the clickbait
Lana Turner collapsed and Keith Richards snorted his Dad’s ashes
and Susan Sarandon carried Timothy Leary's ashes in a Burning Man
ceremony and now this     I have never been on a Segway
never been to Burning Man it sounds too much like a party
where everyone knows each other but I don’t know anyone
and though I have behaved badly it never involved
snorting a close relative or building a museum or having enough money
but I could lie around all day and not feel bad about it at all
I love reading and napping especially reading and napping with you
Oh Katy Perry you’re going to be okay but what     what     will become of us?

* * *
Kama Sutra For Older Couples

When a man lies on his stomach with his limbs akimbo, snoring, 
            and the woman sits up and watches A Game of Thrones on her 
            laptop, that is called The Beached Walrus.

When a woman is lying comfortably on her left side and the man reaches
over her to grab her chocolate chip cookie but then hits her 
in the eye with his elbow, that is known as The Clumsy Fox.

When a man lies on his side, immobile, and the woman lies
between the man and the wall, that is called The Trapped Bladder.

When a woman is curled up with her hands under her cheek and the man 
            gets out of bed to get a “glass of water,” that is known as The Spy 
            Who Wanted a Slice of Cake.

When a woman is trying to read, and the man turns from one side
to the other repeatedly, that is called The Annoying Fish.

When the family dog is sleeping between the man and the woman, and the
man is pushed closer and closer to the edge of the bed, that is known as The Roadrunner Tricks the Coyote Again.

When a man is in the bathroom brushing his teeth with the water running
and the woman asks him a question from the bedroom which he cannot hear, that is called The Deaf Husband.

When the man and woman lie next to each other, and the phone on
            the other side of the room rings, that is called The Mexican Standoff.

And when a man and a woman face each other, arms and legs tangled
together, and talk of inconsequential things, and make each other laugh deep into the night, this is known as The Marital Bliss For Realz.

* * *

Michael Gushue runs the nano-press Beothuk Books and is co-founder of Poetry Mutual/Vrzhu Press. His work appears online and in print, most recently in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, the Michigan Quarterly, and Gargoyle. His chapbooks are “Gathering Down Women,” “Conrad," and "Pachinko Mouth” (from Plan B Press).

No comments:

Post a Comment