UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
The dogs beg for Prozac
but we tell them to suck it up,
get straight, do their duty.
It’s dog eat dog.
The TV’s are buzzing
we watch the world
on a 19 inch screen,
we weep for reality
weight loss, and game show survivors.
Memory is televised
the ocean, the sky and the stars
There’s no escaping the noise
the relentless guttural roar of cars.
Jaguars, Rams, Eagles, Mustangs,
Vipers and Hybrids; the nature of American life.
Life is gray. Everything is cold, concrete, cash
units and measurements of what we’re worth.
It’s another night, loneliness
is screaming its scheduled scream.
Wheels spin on tracks that take us
back and forth to places were we’d rather not
be. We’re too tired to move. We hold on
for the intermission, the station break,
the revision of history. We watch the news,
immobilized and hypnotized. We watch
for next disaster
for the next time we can feel
for the next time we can cry
We mourn predictably.
Close your eyes.
Hold a perfect pose.
Let the buzz of the television
fill the empty space.
This is the way
they want you to be.
as quiet as a statue
the image of All-American liberty.
Animals On The Train
Pygmy Opossum sits at my right and studies me
moving only his eyes. Ferret is nervous
searching for threads of kindness
but no one returns his gaze.
The Bonobos race through the doors
brimming with life
and we are jealous. The Raccoons
hold on to the steel bars pretending to be human. I preen
with the other birds
compulsively and wild-eyed. I am neurotic
pulling out feathers
exposing my bare belly.
Naked Mole Rat enters, there’s a silent
discomfort and everyone agrees
whether they want to or not. He makes us
seethe. He is blind and driven
by his nature. We detest him for what he can
not do, for what we do.
We are packed tightly. The air is thick
we avoid eye contact. Elephant shifts
uneasily, his large body does not fit
into average sized seats. We ignore him
as he tries to tuck in his loose flesh
but it comes spilling out.
We can’t help but stare. Poodle rolls her eyes
and adjusts her lingerie. We lose a few
animals “goodbye Rhinoceros, so long Sparrow”,
at each stop. We file out through sliding doors
onto stairs that walk for us
into our day of performance,
our circus, our
Patron Saint of Wayward Girls
Santa Alicia, saint of oil slicked Mission Street.
Bless us in the taquerias, cantina’s, botanica’s
in the mortuaries, and at Dianda’s Italian bakery
where ballerinas dance on frosted birthday cakes.
Deliver us Santa Alicia, we don’t want to cut our feet
on broken glass. Patron saint of the forgotten girls
pin-eyed girls, pregnant girls, and girls in high-heel shoes
standing on 18th
street. Have pity for us Santa Alicia,
we hear demons speaking to us from bedrooms and alley ways.
Pray for us, who have grandfathers, brothers, and fathers,
priests, uncles, and strangers who will not let us
leave. Bless our eyes and our tongues. Take us away
give us a chance to numb the pain. Blessed are you
among virgins, for you are the one who got away.
Having successfully pulled off
I lay it atop the pallid mannequin.
I begin taking her apart.
She can work at different clubs,
maybe she can do a U.S. tour.
I’ll send my hands to Seattle,
keep my head in New
send my legs to L.A.
I’ve been struggling with where to send my belly,
but Las Vegas
is sure to have my ass.
And the leftovers? Who’s to say?
I’ve always been good at cutting things off,
finding places to hide them.
Bay Area Poet MK Chavez writes about strippers, the beauty
that can be found in ugliness, the mystery of feeling bad
about feeling good, little birds, big consequences. Her work
has been anthologized and is published online and in print.
Virgin Eyes, a chapbook of poetry is being published by Zeitgeist
Press. Most recent and upcoming publications include Poesy,
Poems-for-All, Snow Monkey, and Instant Pussy.
© 2007 Underground Voices