The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

Domestic Mysticism
By Lucie Brock-Broido

In thrice 10,000 seasons, I will come back to this world
In a white cotton dress. Kingdom of After My Own Heart.
Kingdom of Fragile. Kingdom of Dwarves. When I come home,
Teacups will quiver in their Dresden saucers, pentatonic chimes
Will move in wind. A covey of alley cats will swarm on the side
Porch & perch there, portents with quickened heartbeats
You will feel against your ankles as you pass through.

After the first millenium, we were supposed to die out.
You had your face pressed up against the coarse dyed velvet
Of the curtain, always looking out for your own transmigration:
What colors you would wear, what cut of jewel,
What kind of pageantry, if your legs would be tied
Down, if there would be wandering tribes of minstrels
Following with woodwinds in your wake.

This work of mine, the kind of work which takes no arms to do,
Is least noble of all. It's peopled by Wizards, the Forlorn,
The Awkward, the Blinkers, the Spoon-Fingered, Agnostic Lispers,
Stutterers of Prayer, the Flatulent, the Closet Weepers,
The Charlatans. I am one of those. In January, the month the owls
Nest in, I am a witness & a small thing altogether. The Kingdom
Of Ingratitude. Kingdom of Lies. Kingdom of How Dare I.

I go on dropping words like little pink fish eggs, unawares, slightly
Illiterate, often on the mark. Waiting for the clear whoosh
Of fluid to descend & cover them. A train like a silver
Russian love pill for the sick at heart passes by
My bedroom window in the night at the speed of mirage.
In the next millenium, I will be middle aged. I do not do well
In the marrow of things. Kingdom of Trick. Kingdom of Drug.

In a lung-shaped suburb of Virginia, my sister will be childless
Inside the ice storm, forcing the narcissus. We will send
Each other valentines. The radio blowing out
Vaughan Williams on the highway's purple moor.
At nine o'clock, we will put away our sewing to speak
Of lofty things while, in the pantry, little plants will nudge
Their frail tips toward the light we made last century.

When I come home, the dwarves will be long
In their shadows & promiscuous. The alley cats will sneak
Inside, curl about the legs of furniture, close the skins
Inside their eyelids, sleep. Orchids will be intercrossed & sturdy.
The sun will go down as I sit, thin armed, small breasted
In my cotton dress, poked with eyelet stitches, a little lace,
In the queer light left when a room snuffs out.

I draw a bath, enter the water as a god enters water:
Fertile, knowing, kind, surrounded by glass objects
Which could break easily if mishandled or ill-touched.
Everyone knows an unworshipped woman will betray you.
There is always that promise, I like that. Kingdom of Kinesis.
Kingdom of Benevolent. I will betray as a god betrays,
With tenderheartedness. I've got this mystic streak in me.


Rushing out to the dentist after being allowed to sleep late, which was lovely but means I am dreadfully behind. Have boring Trek articles to write, will start when I get back I guess. I have an urgent need to get two boxes of chocolate truffles left over from Valentine's Day out of the house, too -- anyone want to come over and eat some?

I forgot to mention one of the amusing side stories of my trip that I know will interest certain people here, though: My mother e-mailed in a panic to let me know that when she came over to feed the cats, Cinnamon had knocked Boromir's cage clear across the kitchen floor while Aragorn's was teetering at the end of the counter (it was quite obvious that Cinnamon was responsible because she was SITTING ON THE COUNTER where the cage was supposed to be). My mother locked both gerbil cages in one of my sons' rooms for safekeeping but now I am nervous about what the cat will do when I am out of the house even for a few hours. Spraying her with a water gun when she tries this does not seem to have any significant effect. Anyone have any suggestions what to do about a very pesky cat?

Am way way way behind on flist and beg forgiveness if I missed milestones in anyone's life. However, fileg made me sporfle all over the place with Aragorn breaking up with Arwen in a chat window.

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