Posted on Leave a comment

Amy’s April 17

ODE TO MY FILING CABINET

sharp edges let me not admit
you are too heavy to move
and took two men to carry
the drawers from one apartment
to the other apartment
It’s been ten years since I added
anything to the “Friends’ Writing”
folder. I keep my paycheck stubs
from all the shit jobs I hated in order
of level of drudgery

My son has yet to start
his terrible work history
nineteen is late enough
to imply I have coddled him
the folder VITAL DOCUMENTS
does not contain his Social Security
card nor does the “SS-KIDS”
his sister’s birth certificate
in quadruplicate his dad’s
death certificate same
REB III – ESTATE – thin papers
for the lawyer I will never pay for – Blue
DENTAL yellow IRS now in my accountant’s
neat packets and its own blown-out
accordion folder branded blessed
and tissue thin W2 the clipping I never
made into collage, the articles
someone was sending scanned
and digitized the Vegetarian Times
clipped recipe the STORE CREDIT
accounts closed the credit reports
the sagging leaden strips
the pendaflex balancing on the beauty
of dull green time-bleached the yellowing
of paper full of acids paper paper paper
Friends’ Weddings Family Lore
SRP initials of friends I thought would be famous
now she lives in the Catskills
remember that time when I looked up your number
posing as a potential employer
they were so innocent there was
no Federal Law against sharing
information that belonged to someone else

Bring in a giant shredder
let the confettifying begin
the rest of life music I never learned
to play the programs from all your concerts
before the kids were born the archives
of a person I do and do not recognize
I’m not the kind of girl who gives up
just like that never any doubt
I would find someone to spend
my life with the papers don’t lie
the papers yield no secrets
paper paper paper paper poof

Posted on Leave a comment

Amy’s April 16

NOPE

Not again, she says, when
the game times out, when
the gallon bottoms out, when
the goofy grin shuts down.

Not again–the floorful of nonpareils, staining
my foot blue, green, brightest ochre.

Not again–the faint smell of urine deepens
gets closer the towels hang in the tub

Not again–roll the dice, your turn
don’t waste it–do you even care who wins?

Not again–email the teacher the service coordinator
the doctor the camp director the psychiatrist
the psychologist the parent coordinator the program director

Not again–bundle up the clothes outgrown buy a new
batch a size or two larger remove the name tags
so some smaller girl can use the PJs the Tshirts the yoga pants
the Disney Princess and Snoopy tank tops

Not again–change the sheets, put down absorbent pads meant
to cover a chair and lay it straight across to cover the mattress
in just the right place predict where it will happen

Not again–we took the wrong street and pow we had to do a
three point turn and back out there is no parking there is no
space, no race, twenty minutes late, thirty, forty-five, an hour.

Not again–the fridge is open, crumbs on the floor and empty
takeout containers everywhere toothmarks on the parmesan, the garbage
overflowing, a tub of berries rolling around and squashed

Note again–the ashes the ashes the ashes we all fall down

Not again–the family drawing has four and we are only three

Not again–every notebook, note pad, sketch book, journal,
composition book in sight–even the blank paper from the printer–
taken in possession and covered with spindly-legged dogs

Not again–diaper trod the squish again the smell the smell
the grit wear slippers wear flip flops the floor is covered
again again again

Posted on Leave a comment

Amy’s April 10

SHELTER IN PLACE

As all vantages, iced with nice, are noosed
loosed random acts of violence and garbage
tied with plastic string – Avoid
microbeads, exfoliate with grit
from spend oyster shells unpearled
split and chowdered, stewed,
bay laurel savory Waverly
Place a hot pizza oven
blast in the back waiting for
my drink, drank, drunk a thunk
a donk a bonk, blameless
boy somebody’s pride and joy
we knew he was different
drive your mama to drink
to the brink tulips waving
in the clink of glasses
girls don’t make passes an art
student splashes ink all around
the temporary tattoo scrapadoo
derring and the mail truck
White Guys on the Lam in Ohio
and no one guns, no one runs
the car is stolen but the bus full of
nuns holding babies in their arms
went off a cliff traps the riff
the rub, 3 men in a tub
again again again the choreography
is not an autobiography nature vs.
biology it’s an organic process
all these dawn hours >> shade receding to your rising blaze

Note: First and last lines borrowed from Manual for Livingby Sharon Dolin

Posted on Leave a comment

Amy’s April 1

Nobody’s Fool

For DTL 4/01/38-4/12/15

In the Childcraft Encyclopedia we learned the custom:
April 1st was free for pranks in many countries, and I always
hated it, butt of jokes already year ’round, already foolish,

and my father born this day in ’38 was well-informed
on everything that made no sense, buttonholed
unfortunates to tell them of his theory, backed by

some investigative rogue (I DON’T BELIEVE THE LIBERAL
MEDIA), None Dare Call It Conspiracy, so they called it
American Opinion, Review of the News, the Family

Heritage Series telling us the commies were in charge
of everything from schools to hospitals,
nothing has changed, nobody’s fooled, nobody’s listening now.