Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CIRCLE ONE: YOU HAVE, YOU DON'T HAVE, MY FULL ATTENTION, by NANCE VAN WINCKEL



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CIRCLE ONE: YOU HAVE, YOU DON'T HAVE, MY FULL ATTENTION, by            
First Line: Puttying the holes in the pieta


I. Holy

Puttying the holes in the Pieta
in a poem that's of no account,
and the man I love out of sorts.
He's after clean socks, scolding, Off,
aren't you, in your own
little world? The light purple
inside the gown's folds
so there's no use denying it.
Her white spine -- a steep,
spotless corridor. Up and down it,
the one wielding the putty knife
used to mop, eons ago,
on her knees for the shine.

II. The Little-Owned World

Going in is lighting a cigarette
then just standing in line with your eyes closed.
The gargoyles, zygotic zombie twins
keep the guard. She waits. Waits her turn.

And a voice calling from far
off, No, the blue socks. The echo
of a name to catch her up
on the back side: saying Sweetie,
the blue. Saying
Christ. Saying Gone.

III. An Egg or Two Shy of an Omelet

Red velvet rope strung between the two
gargoyles. Stepping over it. Letting go
the last of the smoke. Hesitating
on the top step for just a sec
to say No, I don't know where
the chickens' new nests are. We give them
a perfectly good barn, and they just
go on freelancing, nevermind
the horned owls and the wolf-dogs.

IV. My Fullest Intention

Back in. Meaning to patch a gown. Stare
into the Highness's marble eyes.

Lugging a bucket of white goop, and the grief.
Sloth inside. An ugly beauty.
Bite down and hold on.

But having to shout first out the window, Hey
you have to stick your hand in there
deeper, farther under, and just feel your way
around; what else can I tell you,
the eggs are brown, you'll
find them, keep looking.

The white halls, the lush foyer,
and the gold bangles rattle, going
round and round. Still, one must answer
when the voice says, Fuck, alright,
give us a kiss then from that world.
The wet mop drops. The bitter
through the bitten-down. And Ooo,
the lips say, ooo. . . sweet.

Copyright Nance Van Winckel.






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