Monday, July 16, 2007

"Bird Lady"

The pale yellow house down the street reminds me of the bird lady’s that lived next door to me when I was a child. She always glared, lurking in the shadows, ready for children to disturb her domain of unkempt lawn, chain link fence encased the yard, ravaged with tendrils of roses and raspberries gone wild, reaching out to passers by for help, salvation, trees and shrubs overgrown filling all the spaces grass used to be, slender concrete paths lead to the back door end fragmented into shards. It is inaccessible just as she is, barricaded by ivy creeping across the breadth at various tangents, green, woody fingers binding the knob like a python. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

"By Way of Arkansas"

Her face is burnt and peeling from hours in the hot sun slathered in baby oil. She talks real tough with a jaunty fa-get-ah-bout-it attitude. “Oh yeah,” she says, “I’d do it again” as she lightly strokes her wrist wrapped in pristine gauze. When she thinks no one is watching the truth unfolds, and the darkness wraps her with its barbed wings. Tears well in her eyes running her thick, black mascara down her burnt cheeks adding insult to her injury. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Haggard & Halloo 12/06


One strand of your golden hair upon my arm draws my flesh to rise. It is provocative like a mistress interfering with a life already established. Its’ delicacy tips the balance of good and evil within me, where I stand feels undetermined. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Laura Hird Spring Showcase 2007


The rotting Cyclamen from Valentine’s Day still sits in the middle of the table with its shiny pink paper. Leaves desiccating before my eyes; Once swollen ovaries withering, shrinking with the onset of age like a vegetative menopause. Stems twisted awkwardly, dangling like broken necks in a tight noose, hanging limply over the potter. All life gone except one pink flower. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Laura Hird Spring Showcase 2007


He pulls long and hard on a sweet cigar, the smell hanging stiffly between his yellow, stained fingers gripping me as I pass. It reminds me of people I no longer know or see, reminds me of things I can no longer remember clearly. The smoke rises around his sagging flesh enticing the wisps of smoke to cling to his jowls. Gray hair is flattened upon his balding head, greasy and badly combed like a winding, downhill highway. His back is hunched, the frame of his body rigidly twisted in front of the Episcopalian church. He is teetering on the curb like the memories teetering in my head as he waits for something that cannot be given. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Laura Hird Spring Showcase 2007

"To The Wind"

Fresh night air slaps me across the face stepping through the back door into the rain soaked alley, reminding me of how you breeze in and out of these wet days a rustling of leaves, a lilting feather and each breath with you tastes of cherry blossoms, each breath with you effortless and calm willing me to turn face to the wind. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


I. I was prettier, sexier then, and used my beauty like a siren to devour men I thought I wanted. I put myself into increasingly precarious positions. I took chances with my body that I would not take today. II. Out in the night alone like a Gemini half excited, half depressed; Sauntering slowly on the dark side of the street, listening to the sound of my heels clicking in time, on the sidewalk to the rise and fall of my breath. My perfume swirling like a tendril of smoke, infused with the pungency of the vintage suede jacket I wore while looking for trouble. III. I felt isolated sitting at the bar drinking beer as dark as his skin. I could feel him stealing glances at me, noticing the hem of my dress mounting my thigh, diaphanous and white. I could feel his stare so intent that I knew I sat there in the bar suddenly naked. IV. His apartment scattered with candles, incense, smooth jazz hung my thoughts suspended in the air. Hearing him speak, but not hearing his words as he slid the heels from my feet, as he slid the stockings from my thighs, as his oppression hovered over me; thinking “He is twice my size, strong as an ox.” Thinking “How will I get out of this one?” V. The fiendish look on his face had a sobering effect. My mouth started making sounds, and spewing proclamations of shame and blame. He looked bewildered as I inched my way from under his chest, more bewildered as I put on my heels leaving the stockings on the floor like the shed skin of a sidewinder. I grabbed my coat and slithered out the door. VI. I walked the dark streets again, this time not knowing where I was, or how to get home. I no longer felt powerful. The weight of my stupidity numbed me, embarrassed me, and the only living soul on the street was a menacing man with a stare worse than the one I just escaped. I asked him, “Where do I catch the 15?’ He pointed across the street and smiled as if he had a secret that I didn’t want to know. VII. 3 am I made it home to the boarding house of transplanted strangers, my family, with feet sore, ego wounded. Roger waited up for me, knowing me better these days than I know myself, and I slipped into bed with him, into something safe and easy, and devoured him instead. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #78


Hips form a bridge spanning a river, constructed tenuously, easily destroyed by the body in undulating waves. Nerves electric contorting limbs in seizure, brain losing all control of its kingdom, breath stutters, indecisive about the future of inhaling and exhaling. The freedom of chaos, for however brief, intoxicates me, life affirmed in a reality fragmented and hallucinatory. Calm washes in with the high tide receding undetected, breath lightens, limbs loosen, heartbeat softens, until I am gone. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

"Loose Netting"

My limbs slide through the water without resistance, tepid waves swallow me in a vacuum of fragile braided reflections as my face submerges the surface, water filling the crevices of my body like whispers. I think of your grasping hands like loose netting slipping over my flesh as I sink to the bottom. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


When he cries the soft bones of his skull, not yet connected, shift and heave in human plate tectonics, the ocean his skin, the waves his fine hair, his tiny fingers clutching at my hand like a seabird fishing the surface of choppy waters. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


She is 98 going on 50 and I am changing her back into her clothes for discharge home. We chat about remembering not to take too many of her new pills without talking to the doctor, as she rests a hand upon my forearm, her touch light and feathery with fragile, thin skin. I look into her eyes find the edges reddening brim with sad tears on the brink of spilling. She tells me she doesn’t understand why sickness has found her family so late in her life. She grips me now with tiny fingers, speaking of her son curled in a bed from stroke, how he had never hurt anyone in his life to deserve such an end, such a fate. There is nothing I can say so I start to cry, place my hand upon her brittle, gray hair sliding it down until is rests upon her cheek to catch the tear that got away. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Jesus Has Dancing Girls"

Jesus has dancing girls and cheesy used car salesmen in his godly employ. “Listen here folks” Cadillac man says, on center stage with heavenly gyrating nymphs, “Jesus loves YOU more than your parents, more than your children, even more than your spouse.” My husband looks at me, sideways glance, eyebrow raised as if to inquire about my extra-marital affairs, “With Jesus?” I reply out loud with a wild laugh, “Most definitely.” Aleathia Drehmer 2006


My fingers slide over the control panel, grazing velvet leaves the color of dove’s wings, softer than a rabbit ear, and I am released by a perfect bundle of dried lavender tied heartily in shiny, silver-spun ropes, heaven drifting upward to my face, and I am lead to bliss by translucent red and blue beads strung together in a child’s Morse code on fanciful plastic strings, dots and dashes picking up stray shafts of light, and I am illuminated by perfectly spaced garnet-colored jewels traced with antique loops of wire, curved and swaying like the hips of a Spanish lady, draped in sweet silence, black lace fan over lips to hide a smile, and I am exhilarated by a shred of frayed purple silk ribbon fashioned to the steering wheel, a string for remembering that my fingers find blindly, giving to twist then turn at the sight of something beautiful rising out of sadness, and I am. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Hungry Ghosts"

We are full of hungry ghosts and long hours divided into silence, chanting and prostrations to drive them out. Gods levitate above trees parallel to the earth, our feet buried in deep to feel the transfer of pure electricity. We gather their treasures with an unknowing greed, eyes shifting sideways watching and coveting, as if we have found something worth hiding. Reticent hands dig into loam, moist and intoxicated with recycled life quick and with precision. We lay on the ground in it. Our lungs fill but stay empty. Secrets are pushed in knolls of shaming trees, tucked under dark roots lifting upward from burgeoning rock formations and time, until we no longer feel the weightof our hunger. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by The Beatnik 2/08


Noises from the street filter through the crack in the doorjamb, Turkish melodies entice cups from saucers to lips. My tea smells sweet with licorice, a slow moving zephyr beneath my nose erasing the harsh decomp of the city. Each sip stronger than the last, autumn colored elixir brimming in unflawed white stone like an orgasm. The ecstasy of it surges my brain with memories, some floating back a delicious whispering in my ear, some stabbing in with the taste of nightmares. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"No Railings"

Down a country road that follows the bank of a stream, I am balancing on a bridge only two feet wide with no railings. I see you, face sweet, sun-kissed hazy in the distance body twitches in sleep with the old porch chair rocking gently, seeds of trees with bits of tuft float passed me in the slow heat, igniting a feeling in the depths of me setting this bridge on fire. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


Hairs pulled from root in five different places, inside of cheek scraped with a cardboard blade ten times, sterile swab run between tooth and gum, back and forth five times, body inspected for bruises, scratches, human bites, pubic hairs plucked and combed onto white papers, secret places that were taken cultured for seeds, bringing tears, and memories best forgotten. Story replayed by voice, in mind for nurse, for counselor, for doctor, for investigator until the story turned into a lonely nightmare. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


19 years I’ve lived on this earth, the last six of them spent in mental copulation, turning over instances of cupped breasts, dry fucks, and French kisses, hands on the small of my back passing workers in the hot, cramped kitchen, backed against parking garage walls under the stairwell legs draped over hips, fingers parting lips, dorm room blow-jobs, late night phone sex in soft voices, hushed so parents didn’t overhear, have all brought me to the crowning jewel with feet planted on the dashboard in the passengers seat, reclined tucked on a dirt road after humanities class, bodies sweating, yours more than mine, and I am distracted by the fact that everything that came before this moment impressed me more than this. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Cause & Effect 1/08

Friday, July 13, 2007


The furrow of a young man’s back, created as he leans down deep onto his haunches giving rise to knolls and vale of thick flesh, amplifies the cadence of my heart at the witnessing of strength, of elongated muscles bound to a human capacity to be stripped and studied without recognition, the camera in my eye snaps a thousand instances of light, shadow, and depth to lock away into the recesses of my desire for a time when there is nothing left. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Flutter 7/07