Friday, January 28, 2011

Three for Tea

13 rooms fashioned in a time machine,
the relationship between magic and beauty building
until we collapse on the curved wooden bench,
golden slatted tree hearts carrying our weight,
facing Picabia’s transparencies; eyes twitching then closed.

You tumble at last with face pinned to the glass
admiring Duchamp’s chess set and his headiness
to give it all up for the game, moving pawns
through invisible patterns garnered in both minds,
ten steps ahead of time and space.

We emerge from the end of the tunnel into splintered light, its sudden lift
at once weary and heavy, pushing us down the escalator
through color blocked art we’d never witness. Descention brings
silence, no words equaling the imprints now in cells.
Our bodies part directions at the bottom.

I find you leaning over the rail outside the doors,
the glass towering above you, monolithic, and the fag
in your hand souring the air, the smoke pulls me closer.
I dream of suffocating the images, tweezing each color and form
from between sluiced gray matter with precision.

We curl our chests over together, watch relatives struggle
to push their fat, crippled kin up steep ramps from the underbelly.
The pompous rapid language of French pre-teens, intermittent with laughter,
tells how unsettled they are in their skins; how we all fit that
shame in one lifetime or another.

Our elbows touch point-to-point, inhaling and then out
love still molding and shaping its way onto blank canvas;
colors being chosen carefully, meticulous to a fault,
because some things cannot be erased.

Aleathia Drehmer 2008

Published by Clutching at Straws 2/10

Faltered Exchange Through the Doorway

I want to punch things---
his face, our failed
marriage, his inability to live
now, his incessant need to fumble
backwards in loop, his voice
a skipping record.

I want to scream obscenities
into the phone, decimate
what’s left of him, knock
him further into the ground
so he can’t resurrect Lazarus
again and again and again,
each time voiding another
good memory from our crumbled

But I cannot
I will not
I won’t.
Instead I breathe deeply
and imagine myself
encased in the ribs
of Gandhi.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009

Published by Leaf Garden Press 3/10

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.
             Water fills 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 2009

Published by Leaf Garden Press 3/10

No Longer Will I Be Hungry

Light snow falls in thrown light,
me, spread out alone
with the sound of cycling breath
easy in late hours.

The mind wanders
into new lover’s beds, men
who don’t tarry; explorers
here only to claim parcels
of a fleshy tome for respective
queens and kings.

Tongues warm against breasts,
skilled fingers tracing shin blades,
soft lips meek on inked knees, and
all their bodies jagged and diminished;
our meeting pure existentialism.

And when they have claimed me
with colorful flags of arms,
filled bellies and eased minds,
I am left alone in snowed light
smiling into easy breathing
of late hours.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009

Published by Leaf Garden Press 3/10


Meek and in the corner,
she was the only one sober enough
to hear me say I was going
to the corner gas station for smokes.

She sidled up to me
and put on her coat, insisting.
I shrugged rippled with tequila
and recklessness and walked out the door.

In front of the house on the return,
we had silent folded arms under stars,
hers long and thin like bird wings tucked
under, mine lost in a coat too big.

She had something to say, I could sense,
but not enough gumption to start so
I began speaking of the fragilities of new love
and old thin strangulations by men,
hers physical and mine always mental.

She recalled her year in a domestic
abuse shelter, hiding with her daughter
and had I not been drunk already, I would
have cried for how lucky I had been
to just be lonely and isolated for years.

We spoke of single motherhood,
of making the grade in unsure times—
divorces and mental institutions looming
and the two of us strangers but together here
always grasping our insecurities with both hands.

They are driven in by false men’s hearts.
They are patted down by the unknowing.
They are looked over by family, the embarrassment
too much for any of them and we swallow
pride on a daily basis, pour secrets into
the night on streets of cities we don’t know
just to somehow get by another day
with a smile pasted to our faces.

And when my cigarette is finished
and our breaths twine in the chill of the night
there is a pause, some understanding
sealed with a nod before rejoining the others
who did not notice our leaving.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009

Published by Leaf Garden Press 3/10

Waiting by the Window

We carry these symbols like a dedication,
an opening to move freely between us,
as if permission needed granting. They
are collected verbs unused, abject nouns
and solemn whispers through wood.

Their metal adds weight to our chains,
slung easily into pocket or purse,
but remain heavy in hand when
not in use. They are our quiet
neglected conversations;

these keys to each other’s
apartments which never seem
to be of use. On my ring, a duo
of non-descript silver fingers
jangle with the rest of them.

                            They could be keys to anything, but they
                            are his. I have marked them in black ink.

His crux to my door is enameled royal
blue and somehow off the mark
a millimeter or two in their making;
no engagement from the tumbler,
no satisfying click and turn. I always
wait by the window anyway.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009

Published as spoken word by The Big Other 1/10

Two dimensional ships set sail

His impatience with me is sometimes
notable as I wander off taking
photographs—finding worlds around
inanimate objects where he sees none.

Our point of views drastically askew,
his alive in the observation of the human
condition, mine static in the imprints
left behind by man and woman.

The vestibule of our sights
is seen from above and below
with our ages dictating the equations
of time and amassed energy.

There is a pinched tone in his voice,
biting tongue at me
always falling behind.

Aleathia Drehmer 2009

Published by Scythe Literary Journal 1/10