Thursday, November 20, 2008

THE BURGALOOS




I will tell you a story about a black virgin glove.

Shy glove.
Shy glove.

Never a hand in the glove.
sunset + love = good kind of glove.

But we were robbers.
We were burgaloos.
That’s what we called ourselves, me and Tom.

Tom liked to press the belly of the Happy Chef.
I liked to place a blade of grass between my thumbs and blow.

I cut my mouth once, so hard did the grass reverberate against my lips.
That’s why they call it a blade, asshole, said Tom.

We let the glove lay tenderly on the dash while we robbed banks.
While we robbed army surplus stores.
While we robbed a house with orchids in the windows.

Next to the orchids was a harp and next to the harp
a framed poem called “The Load Star.” It began

I don’t know how. But the neck of the harp was womanly and soft
like a stilled northeasterly wind. Movement glinted in the fiber.

Tom wrapped his arms around the harp and lifted it to his chest.
I did not open the door for him.

Instead I examined the orchid, the deep purple color in the center
fraying and scattering as the color moved up the petals.

I thought of my mother and the cancer in her chest.
I thought of the log we split open in the woods and then
the leg of a man we shot and how it kept kicking.

With my mouth I made no sound.
I went back to the car and put on the glove.

Tom, I said, let’s drive away from here.

My hand was warm inside the glove.
Greatness reared her head in front of me.



poem by Kaethe Schwehn

see A Sing Economy

2 comments:

Elisa Gabbert said...

I like this poem.

editor galaxy said...

Elisa,

Thanks for the comment. We get lonely here at Flimblog.

So glad you like the poem. Kaethe is a brilliant poet, currently shopping around a ms. of her Tanka poems (some of which are in A Sing Economy). Hopefully someone will be smart enough to snap it up and publish the book.

(If you're looking for work for Absent 4, I'll put you two in touch...)

Check out more of her work in Forklift 17, Jubilat 12, Open Letters Monthly and here:

http://cutbankpoetry.blogspot.com/2007/09/necessary-stranger-by-graham-foust.html

Adam Golaski