Two poems – Sue Chenette

Sue Chenette


“… that magic thing in music, it’s all vibration of course … like whale’s breath”
Jane Siberry

In my dream, an online tax form requiring a jackhammer.

It was very cold. This someow absolved me
of all responsibility, and I lay on the couch with a novel.

A blank line below above her knee.

Later, in the Life section, grapefruit, “an unsung,
almost-retro citrus that hasn’t kept up with the times.”

Get the pigeon in there too.
This wasn’t

what I wanted to write. I want
to tell you the names

of those who gave me music when I was a child.

Kay Bostrom
                        Ruth Kiraly
                                             Mae Malmstom
                                                                         Merle Moore
Kveta Voldrich
                          Joe Voldrich
                                                Helena Torkelson.


 – after the 1963 collage by Robert Rauschenberg

Oh, don’t be cross – although
that raven-black spade
on a piece of smeary card,
knotted clothesline dangling
from the pique, could pickle
anyone’s mood – it was never meant
to be a Neverland. Best
make peace with the grit-
stippled shirt, all that’s left
(the right side, back and sleeves are gone)
of someone’s pink-white Sunday best,
and hope for consolations.
Maybe a libation. Limeade, made
in the shade. If only
those magazine-glossy limes were more
believable. Harp Lager, then
while we look up, past
that large, protuberant S, marquee
refugee, black and white
and sinuous as plot
splotched with bloody red,
to a jerry-rigged contraption – small wheel
and brake and bicycle tubing
jutting into flyspace, above
the story’s smooth-sawn edge,
cranky workings of a deus
in her machina, lady luck’s
homespun contrivance.
is only one way to tell the story.
It’s waiting to be read
in any order, ping-pong
your gaze from red rhomboid
to cerulean answer, reveal
beneath feathers and burlap
teal green that seems to fold itself
around a blue-stemmed calla lily.
And here, where a dark fin cuts
fiery orange, the soft knobby cross
of thumb and forefinger reaching
into a mottle of royal and deepest indigo.

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One Comment

  1. “All those dear old names.”

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