Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cabin Fever

No  Hunting sign on privy. Turn left at pheasant cage.

Cabin Fever

 As geese vee overhead and snowbirds flutter in the naked quince, i drag an old note with tight scribbles of

a lurching pencil and fading mind chronicling the ravages of neurotic frostbite.

this staccato poem has been performed in universities and between the black walls of cultural dives,

against spare musical background or guttural solo scratches.

here, alive and relevant, revised and insolent, a universal day by day tribute to indoor weather.

Cabin Fever

12 by 12:

White all over - heavy ceiling twelve feet high - the cold walls - sweating slimy lime - snow on the sill - ice on

the panes - cold on the news - smoke from the stone suspended in gray currents above stale air - pale -

pale white - pale gray - like your face - like my mind - do you like me?

11 by 11:

Gray couch - open to sleep in - blue blanket - you shiver - a chair - a desk - I ponder alone across the

linoleum we laid over the bare concrete - an insult to ancient walls - the spirits are restless - are you bored?

10 by 10:

The cat between us - I wish I were the cat - purring belly up - the radio speaks French - squeaks shortwave

noise then barks German - it’s dark outside now - you hang the shutters on the door - I close the curtains -

stuff rags in the cracks - shut - shudder - close - closer.

9 by 9:

Your tail just twitched - did you shut the stove lid? Today is Tuesday - yes, the thirteenth - mail must have

come today - I think - silence you read - a ball comes rolling across the floor with a cat on it - I grin as balls

fall off the holly twigs left over from would-be decor- do you love me?

8 by 8:

The front room shrinks as the gap across the floor widens - we inflate - Cerberus stands at the door

dressed in silent whites - can you hear me? - bladder calling - the back door is still there - the garden path

is frozen and the outhouse still stands - do you care?

7 by 7:

The house is reduced to one room - one wood stove - is this Alaska or Southwest France? A lush

temperate zone with a Scandinavian breath of fresh air - Ah, you stirred - fingers shaking - Eagle-Eye here,

watching for signs of life.

6 by 6:

Getting tense - radio wave off - cat on duty - outside coming in through the keyholes - white night moon

awake - coffee surplus - nerves astir - unspent - solitary confinement a deux - cozy fireside chats and other

impossible dreams - getting romantic - good luck.

5 by 5:

Seventh day like this - are there lots of divorces in Alaska? - do they bother to marry in the cold? - are we

in love still? - oh - you coughed - you are alive - you get up - find an English-speaking station - stir the fire -

you stir me - the stew smells good - I am alive!

4 by 4:

What? - what is it? - you can’t stand my constant writing? -  I don’t hate your constant reading! smile? - oh

okay -  is the air getting heavy? - is there any air? Air - I mean - full - the eyes - brim - the nostrils - soft the

sounds - did we die?

3 by 3:

Green eyes - still beautiful - I’m tired - going to be ugly - I can’t hide - can’t hide from your big green eyes

that hide from me - I am tired.

2 by2

Eat stew till I bloat - till my brown eyes bulge - till the last crumb – the last word - till doom.

1 by 1:

You and I alone - together - is it love? Is it sex? - is it nerves or do you need me at all? I cry through dry eyes

- kiss my chapped lips - quickly before the mailman finds our bones.

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