Tag Archives: 2015

Stealing Sweet Apple Pears (poem and audio)

asleepAudio: Stealing Sweet Apple-Pears

 Stealing Sweet Apple Pears

We could not walk away from the wet mouthed joy
of the palm-sized apple-pears
stolen at a speed of one hundred steps an hour
from the tree in Mr. Willie’s backyard

each bite to come

worth the bare-foot procession over spurned alley trash
and fallen branches petrified against the barren, rootless earth

each of our shirt-baskets
full to the wide-eyed brim with yellow-green and crimson delight

our mouths already full of last summer’s remembrance:
zest and tang and pith and running

we could not

not even when he stood watching
his ratty bathrobe tied into a knot
the same patterned knot that tied his Viet-damned soul
tied it so tightly that this battle for pears
was his only connection to the world still outside of him

tied and ragged
ragged and red and yellowed and bruised
as much like his wounds on the battleground
torn into strips and shreds and being pulled away from him

like the skin of his plump, backyard fruit
between our teeth

gathered between the supple lips of our youth

pulled and suckled away from the meat and the seed

each bite
each crimson and yellow-green oddest oval globe
taking our teeth like first and last
lovers

each fruit
licking back against our tongues
lapping back into the canyon of our bite
claiming that moment of fulfillment
cajoling our senses toward the next summer’s delight
creating the answers to the questions of pleasure

each of those fruits
come so graciously year after year to that tree
come so tauntingly aromatic on the first day winds
come so wickedly olive-to-sanguine
and finally to wasted, fallen,  saffron fodder for the night creature’s to taste

We
We could not walk away from the wet mouthed joy
of the palm-sized apple-pears
dangling so much like desire
swaying in the lilting southern summer siroccos
like radio music from air-condition less cars
and the sweet, sweet flask of bay rum spilled onto the barber’s smock
and the yelping night hounds trapped, swollen in mid-hump out back of the fence
and
the from heaven falling
out of Mr. Willie’s apple-pear tree
having never landed and bounced against the earth

rather,
dangling
flying
circling and spinning and pendulant from a branch
my face turned crimson
my pants ripped into a knotted gash
and Mr. Willie
coming finally through the screen door
knife
in hand

Copyyright 1996 Jas. C. Mardis  All Rights Reserved

T-B-T–Nat’l Poetry Month combo: First Bite (read by Jas.)

(First Bite AUDIO)

First Bite

Almost kissing you
has become something like a fever or favor
and quite possibly   both

I’ve kissed girls   before
you know      back on Morrell Street        before t.v.
when Cousin Lenny was the nighttime radio man
and the sun went down on him playing the records from Motown:
Little Stevie Wonder, The Chi-Lites, Marvin Gaye and
that ridiculous green-eyed Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
who made the girls forget all about you     with his falsetto
and damn green eyes
until they  put away that wad of double bubble
into a cheek

you know those fast girls
who wore the big legged culottes–
those one piece  shorts and a built-in shirt
–with the wide, pleated, flared, cuffed leg  that looked like cut-off dresses
until they moved  real quick

not every girl    just the fast ones
who had greased up legs  that were coffee-brown and muscled up
from all that double-dutch   and kick ball   and Soul Train Saturday morning
and who  learned      how to say everything     with sugar on top
especially

Can I have:
some of yo’ snow cone
  some of yo’ cold drank
     some of yo’ Now-n-Laters
  some of yo’ Kool-Aid
    some of yo’ Pixie Stixs and peppermint for this pickle

and only offered you bites of apple  at lunch    at Vacation Bible School
then asked silly questions like,

“Can I practice kissing on you?”
…then it was  tongue city
and the explosion of all those flavors
until the blush returned to their pickle-paled lips

Yeah, I’ve kissed girls before
but    almost kissing    a very grown   YOU
after our day in the sun   and new discovers   and shared secrets
and sitting here now   with this late night breakfast
our last moment of the day coming on fast
you  blowing cool, breath minted smiles across your coffee

eyeing my colorful plate        cooling that coffee
watching me take my own   slow bites    between glances and chit-chat
your mouth pulling  away from that cup    teeth   wetted and liquid sparked
me swallowing    you swallowing

your newly bared knee beneath the table    your skirt having fallen open
my jean-covered leg is  a poor and pitiful reply  to your bump
your mouth     a new pretense of welcome     your cooled cup   empty

I should have seen it coming
after all those years on Morrell Street   with those kinda hungry culotte-girls

shoulda been   all kinds of ready  with my fork and tongue
with my smoothest, flyest slip and slide over to your corner of the table
with my own   hot drink-wetted teeth and  lips and opening mouth

when I heard you say,
Can I have    somma yo’ potatoes

Jas. Mardis (4/2015)
(104aa)

** I’m not able to display the poem in the correct layout so forgive these left-justified presentations. The book will be ready soon.

**Prior to writing this self-serving poem, Jas.Mardis is a 2014 Inductee to The Texas Literary Hall of Fame. I’m sure his name is being scrubbed from their wall as you read and listen.

National Poetry Month 2015–Two Poems Read For You

National Poetry Month 2015

About Face
_____________

To see your face   again
I stood still  and thought of rain

thought of the way that it falls hard and racing          to the needy earth
thought of how water holds memory   like a speakable secret
thought of how     the droplets begging to be set free
must be what we call       thunder
thought of the joy in     filling up to the brim
thought of the moment when   tears    spill

I thought lovingly of watching raindrops invade my Grandmother’s gardens
thought excitedly of how the turned up soil      parts into bursts
thought jealously of how the bits of given ground        reclaim their new order
in  tiny closing pools with swallowed
gulping    drinks

thought of those quarter-sized patches  of newly wetted earth
and the way each one    takes its’ time and closes a darkened circle
back onto itself          just like in the blink of your eyes

yes
I see you now        I see the press and close of your lashes
and how the brown of your eye is swallowed like a refreshing drink
yes
I see you now      I see the way you open your eyes back to the world
how the whites are newly polished glass
and how each wetted and slippery round orb   reclaims it’s searching
yes
I know the reddened rose-come to-Ruebenesque flush of your small, rounded cheek
as you find me    delighted in your reemergence  from the briefest slumber
and I know the feathered rupture of your smiling mouth
across the succulent rivulets of your pampered flesh and pearled grin
and I know that your brow is curling inwardly
that it rises and takes the angle of your forever unanswerable question
the one that gathers the valley of tea-cake brown flesh between your eyes into bunches
and flares your nostrils into the slightest     breathless    moment of wonder

I can tell you that your chin quivers just before you smile
that  your breasts rise expectantly beneath every one of your blouses
that your curls unpin slowly from behind the tips of your ears
that your  tongue passes over your teeth in a beautiful habit
that your  lips press into themselves and emerge from that meeting in splendor

yes

I can see you now   I see your face like raindrops falling    landing   smiling
…into place    …from your sky-bursting laughter    …your heaven of moments
I see your questions and wonders      and how you want just one answer
how you want to know       in the new heart that you have opened     just for me
that     when we leave this moment
will I remember that, yes…we can come back here…
anytime

Jas. Mardis
4/2015 (24aa)

About Face audio clip  < CLICK FOR THE AUDIO>
player




Weighing Waiting
__________      _____

If you wait for me
the first time

before you see my smile     up close

before you like the way
I tilt myself into
laughter
& sunlight

before you agree that there is a beautiful rhythm
in the tap and scuffle of my body’s
swaying, vigorous, massaging approach toward you

before the weight of your anticipation wanes

if you wait for me     before you know me    well
before the glee within your imagination and wanting  slips

before there is caution and hesitation
weeping  into the excitement of having everything that I saw in your eyes
and asked to see    again  but   closer and nearer

before
before
before

if only you will wait for me
and let your bag fill and warm the cafe’s glitter-red booth space
that I am coming to draw around myself    like a cape
and be royally    regally   and rapaciously  poured out before you:

Go ahead
choose the entire tray of desserts
claim the coffee is already cold     each time the Waiter plops it down
between our voices and laughter and flirting     that easily shames the machine-thrown mug

chase the carnivorous bites of meats and cheeses and fruits
with wine that has to be brought in from stores along the block

call sweetly into my bent ear with conspiratorial abiding

gentle     gentler still     gently and grinningly give graciously    in
and speak the truth of the matter and meeting    aloud:
Yes, after all those unfilled minutes alone
after claiming your spot in the pool of my gaze
after teasing the heat and sauce from my spoon

after
after
after

I was     am     will certainly be again
well worth the wait.

Jas. Mardis
(4aa)
player

Weighing Waiting audio  <CLICK FOR AUDIO>