Marilyn L. Taylor
A former copywriter who found her true calling writing deathless advertising jingles for AM radio, I am also the former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin (2009 - 2010), and the author of six poetry collections. The most recent of these, titled Step on a Crack, is just out from White Violet Press (Kelsay Books.). My work has appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, Able Muse, Light Poetry Journal, Mezzo Cammin, and Measure, and I also served for five years as a regular poetry columnist for The Writer magazine. I currently live in Madison, Wisconsin with my poet-husband Dave Scheler and an aging cat, where I continue to write, teach, and hobnob with some extraordinary poets who also call Wisconsin home.
The Aging Huntress Speaks to Her Reflection
Dear old moon of a face,
you've been looking back at me
for decades now
always giving me your best tilt
and a little quiver of lies—
but don't I love you for it?
Don't I fix my gaze on all
your nubbins and craters,
know your geography by heart?
Maybe I'll take you to town tonight,
tricked out in gilt and camouflage—
see how it goes with the men.
Not the young ones, those cheerful bucks
who look at you with all their teeth
thinking: Teapot. Hairpin. Marianne Moore.
It's their fathers, beery and balding,
and the loners with their silver ponytails,
they're the ones I want
to cool my heels with, feel
the warm breath of on my neck
while we knock a few back,
shoot the breeze, bathe together
in your fading borrowed light.
What They Don’t Know
They are thirteen, all flying elbows
and thinbone knees, wrapping their tongues
around words like pimp and bare-ass
and hard-on. They are astounded
by girls, the bodies of girls, the onrush
of lips and hair, and they talk about
what it would be to touch one of those
flashy breasts, to look it in the eye.
They are thirteen, and they don’t know
about the Buick they might be riding in
a year or two from now, packed in hip-to-hip
chanting a frenzied go go go go
until the pavement starts to bulge
and crest, lifting them, sending them up
into some kind of heartstop heaven.
They don’t know that the tree might be an elm
that the car will wrap itself around
in lascivious embrace, or that afterwards
a thin, watery sigh Open the door
could be the first sound and the last
before sirens take up the threnody.
For now, though, they lean lightly
on their slender bikes, polishing
a new language: horny, piss-off, kiss my ass.
Expertly they palm their cigarettes,
the thick smoke streaming
from their mouths and noses.
Notice from the Sweet Chariot Funeral Parlor
Due to predicted overcrowding in our
cemeteries, a new service is available
which will see to packing and storing
one’s remains in a space capsule for
eventual launching into Earth’s orbit.
Dear Friend, we
are operating at capacity
supply a green and grassy spot
for your tomb,
as there is no more room.
Instead, you are invited to entrust
to our space-age morticians, who seal
in stainless steel
(thanks to post-Newtonian science)
(and all your shiny loved ones, too)
via chartered rocketship, to spend
very near where Heaven used to be.
©2017 Marilyn L. Taylor
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