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"Stranded in the Paint Aisle"

poem published in BAR BAR:

exactly the color of black raspberries, that purple-black-blood color amid the seeds. Not blackberries, I mean the pretender, the almost blackberries that arrive in a spurt of bird shit and take over. That’s the color I want for the ceiling except


walls bump into each other at the corners, melt. Wherever I put a lamp it leaves a line, a scar of shadow in the corner so I roll daffodil right over it. Sunflower power. Gold like the summer hairs on the arm of that bitch you left me for. Did you ever notice the mustache? Well, she has one. Maybe just a blonde fuzz and freckles but someday she will have one of those black ‘staches the grandkids are scared of. Mark my words the things said behind her back


 of birds, dinosaurs. I know, birds are dinosaurs that survived a hundred million years, but I want colors of dinosaurs in the kitchen. Diplodocos tinted cupboards above an Allosaurus counter. Those floor tiles? Stego should look so good. Forget the stainless steel and chrome, give me wet greenery stuck in a Bronto’s teeth. Barstools like giant egg


found another lost city, the gray stones stopped a dozer. Somebody said something at a cantina. Government helicopters saw where the loggers turned south from the ruins, left a few barrels of used oil and a fresh latrine in what once was a well. Surprised they didn’t fish for gold. Red dirt slashes sound like rain, swirl hardwood sawdust into where the fish used to be. Canopies of shadow forest in 


flat or semi-gloss is like deciding walk or be carried. The realtor says beige, you can’t go wrong with beige but she is a hopeful idiot who lives for the seller’s fee. I mean to ask her why realtors put their photos on ads, like lawyers, like how someone looks will influence my choice of open houses, of retainers or appeal. Yes, you have nice teeth and somebody did your hair. Used to be real estate was the refuge of divorced women, that or the sales counter downtown while the hubby


intermediate layers of Pre-Cambrian schist. Sandstone from the corner of Arizona. Thumb of schist, knob of glossy agate, don’t cut yourself


 melt and carrying enough finely ground silt to sleep in. Glacial flour, tumbling stones, not a touch of plant except early moss. Lichen. Only an iceberg can be that blue, that arctic glass hissing with the weight of a hundred winters


adjective as a name. Serene, Tranquil. Or colors named for an idea—mist and fog and Shetland. Paint the inside of the cupboards overlapping layers of puppy, spilt tea and forget. Wet tip brushes whisper while a roller sounds like a snake in a hurry and airless sprayer thumps and prays for us all. Custom colors guaranteed to match.




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