Catherine Meng

Two Poems

Future Pie

I never play “zipper”
when I get a “Z” tile

although I’m hopeful
some day I might

I am saddened
that something so slight
is all my hope
is willing to attach to.

                                     Drifting. Dreaming.  In the azure blue –

the ‘Z’ tile conjures Ella
the ‘Z’ alone conjures zebra

& by proxy
a herd of zonkey in Crow Canyon
Elliot has been privy to.

The zonkey is a mythical creature
brought to life by cross-breeding

until I can’t see the forest through the trees’ reality

filtered through angles
that have the distorted thickness
of aquarium glass

so there is little to gauge
what appears to be surface

relapsing my way
until there is no distinction

until the century happens concurrently
between what is & was & wasn’t said

& we are left in the damp warmth
to find we have legs

                                     flabby & weak
but legs
that connect to a joint
in our chest

                         also flabby & weak
but a joint in our chest

we press against & find it breathes.

I scour to get nearer
but end up washing clear
through the internal particulars
of an unstructured dove

tilting the retelling
until all its horses
slosh over the side

in as many colors as the news

where I get high on the fumes
of unregulated fuck-ups

stand up quick to head rush

followed by the neat-o making of dinner &
my hands bound by the suds.

Equating our future pie
with the first bee sighting

in the waning pre-full moon
we gawk back
at the squawk box

pinning the blame on the texting conductor
not the text,
or the subtext,
or the context,
or the texture.

I told the woman at Lenscrafters
I wanted my sunglasses tinted as dark as Stevie Wonder’s.

She paused as if about to break dishes
& said, “Stevie Wonder is blind”.

Socket Rot

                                    Death wanted this mat.  This nerve.  This ritual.

The red herring drove.

            The season was part of the underbrush –

the part where everyone goes on vacation.

            He who registered his symbol            among the executive gaggle

was iller than ill.          He who invented vitamin supplements

                                                was also part of the trilogy.

And he who gets got
by the illness

makes it a tragedy       where he is the illest.              Until we all got ill.

             Before, grass had discussed

                                                how place should go & what to

do with the wander fluff.

                         But these arrangements          went degenerate

and made vacant of them.  So the place was run over by spores.

While we were helping to invent stairs

                                                the concussives remained locked in a chamber.

             How can so empirical an inspection             suffer

from what even the random know?

Until you are vitriol,    a long slug of it.
                                                            When the bitter weakens

just shy of sweet

                         you celebrate the gears in your thumbs.

Until the high-hat needs assertiveness training
& the citizen exercise

                                                has landed winged –

a brain.  No.  An amateur        has landed

             between the world & where the gentlemen vibrate.

Why else would so enormous             a wish volunteer?

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