Dolly and Joan
I’ve got these things on my shoulders.
One looks like Joan Jett and the other looks like
Dolly Parton. They keep giving me the best
advice. I trust them more than Google.
The Missippi River Starts in Itasca, Minnesota.
You can put on your wading boots and walk
across in four steps. Your pants will still be dry.
These halos and horns got me
spinning like a forty-five.
When I was a kid I saw Elvis at least once a month.
My Grandparents told me they eloped in a turquoise
and white fifty-five Chevy. My Grandma’s father called
the police but my Grandpa’s Chevy beat them across
the state line.
My Grandma tells me she’d like to see the Alamo, played
me my first Dolly Parton song, knows a little Spanish but
can’t roll her Rs, took me to acting classes and made me a
My Grandpa paid for my acting classes, came to all my plays,
still has the Chevy, still has a foul mouth, laughs loud and can’t
walk much anymore. He is everything I think a capital M
Man should be.
I am a willow tree gentleman all lower just in cases. I want to
be tail fins and titty bars, factory floors and nerve damage. My
Grandfather tells his friends about how I travel across the country
doing shows. He is so proud of me. He says it’s amazing how Dolly
Parton has that squeaky little voice but sings like an angel.
Grandpa has a crush on Vanna White.
My Grandma is sweet on Alex Trebec.
I want to be a game show host.
Dolly glitters on my left shoulder
reminds me I don’t live in the Midwest anymore.
My grandparents are in Florida. I am in California.
My shoulder friends tell me if I walk into the Ocean
with my wading boots on the rubber will turn into a tail.
My teeth will become baleen and a hole will grow in the
back of my neck. There is enough krill to get me to Japan
where they grow square watermelon and genetically engineer
glow in the dark kittens.
The Universe gives you all sorts of permission if you don’t
ask for it. If you give consent it will hold your fin through the
jet stream. Joan has a halo made of broken guitar strings. She
plucks one and tells me it belonged to Chuck Barry.
When Joan talks it sounds like my mother. When my mother
and I speak at the same time it sounds like one voice in stereo.
When I was seventeen before the last time
I ran away from home. My mother gave me a tank top she wore
when I was a kid. It was covered in skeletons
in different sexual positions and read: Lets Bone.
My Mom is a capital M Woman. She owns a fishing
and hunting business.
Mom tells me in the city guns are a good way to mug someone
but in the country they are a good way to feed your family.
Joan Jett tells me I am a super hero and my best power is the
ability to be awkward in front of large groups of people.
Joan is wearing a white corset while playing the worn white
Gibson Melody Maker she wrote all her hits on.
Dolly is wearing horns and a sparkly red dress. She sings
and sounds like the most beautiful angel in the choir.
They tell me:
You are the three seconds before a sucker punch hits the sweet spot,
the most perfect turquoise against red tail lights.
You speak with capital letters. The ground is just
dust that helps things sprout into sky.
You are the devil you know and an angel
with one foot already flying.
Inventing a Lover
after Meghan O’Rourke’s Inventing a Horse
Inventing a Lover is not easy
One must not only think of the person
One must think of interactions; dinner, movies, conversation
One must include a bed suitable for lovers to sleep in
or sleep in with a human like you
You must imagine his body heat next to yours;
smell breakfast cooking when half the bed is empty\
accustom yourself to the confines of a duet
holding in mind even when you are tired
promises, reactions, vows and consequences
One must imagine the grief from him being absent
One must build someone not frightened by your flaws
or the cracking of your toes each morning
who understands the times you are being timid
versus the times your patience has grown thin with silence
One must imagine the absence of money
carrying another person through such a thing, the living weight
of his feet on the cold bathroom floor
stray bits of shaved stubble since he is real therefore inconvenient
and sometimes tired after climax
sweat on his brow the thick smell of sex humid in the air
one must imagine love
in the mind that does not know love
an alien mind, a love that does not depend
on your image
or your understanding;
indifferent to all that you lack
Build a home
complete with a fogged up bathroom mirror
scents you have yet to soak into your skin
and a pile of crumpled sheets on the bed
The Poem Inventing a lover was previously published as part of the Seratonin Factory’s Friday Love poems series.
Nerds have better sex; no that is inaccurate to say
because nerds don’t just have sex they have quests,
adventures and host campaigns. When nerds have sex
they introduce non-player characters, discover magical
items and find buried treasure.
Nerd sex lets you captain your inter-galactic starship
taking you to galaxies far, far away;
going where no man has gone before.
In nerd sex you can slay dragons and use the force.
You can be master of the universe or princess of power.
Nerd sex burns like the Human Torch,
stretches like Mr. Fantastic can be sly like the Invisible Woman
and if things get rocky we can bring in The Thing
because, shit bitches, It’s Clobberin’ time!
During nerd sex I enter a berserker rage
when you lick my ears because you have mastered
the art of Ferengi eroticism.
So take of your glasses Mr. Kent and show me Superman.
We’ll be Mulder and Scully and we will make our own X-files.
Nerd Sex can bite like vampires beneath the Dark Shadows
of our canopied bed. On the full moon it howls all night long.
Nerd sex dresses up like Princess Leia and let’s you touch her buns.
Nerd sex moans like a wookie in heat (insert wookie moaning sound).
Then it gets all debonair like Han Solo, I know.
but it never stops to whine,
But I was going to the Hitachi Station
to pick up some power converters.
Nerd sex never has to leave to pick things up it comes prepared
with utility belts, power rings and golden lassos ready for action.
Nerd sex is ready and willing to get all Pow, Crash, Bang!
In nerd sex I’m a 15th level druid and I cast charm monster on you.
So roll for initiative, dive on in and let out your best battle cry
warrior princess because nerds have better sex.