LAUREN DOSTAL / 3 POEMS
1. THE KIND OF PASTOR A GIRL DREAMS OF HAVING
Enclosed in the silence of yesterday, looming over my bed, the dark cloud of a memory, a videotape in grainy subculture replaying the last words, scrambled after ten years, fifteen, the words which sent me spiraling backwards. Me, a wisp floating me a particle on the edge of time, you the hand which swatted at me in a shaft of light, do w n down into darkness A thundercloud CLAPS ///// // rain pouring down the pinched skin of my cheek. (this is the memory, not today, or so I hope) ARE THOSE TEARS even REAL you asked ? ? So heavy the sound of your voice, bearing down on my body, I can feel you like a ten ton garbage truck unloading over the top of my head every sentiment you could not tell your own father, so instead, me posing as your daughter, you launch into diatribes of hate speech, your body s t i l l as a s t o n e your mouth hardly moving, carved of bedrock. the look on your face -----like you’re bored. I bore you. This bores you. Having to sit here and chide one more sinner under heaven, telling her the ways she went wrong in your sight. Like you’re
I am thirty one years old. The same age you were when I was sixteen. Wrapped arm around my shoulders, too heavy, bending. How could I possibly trust the pinpricks of your hidden needles? How did I sit there and beg you for more poison more comfort I craved your skin and bones, your breath, your heartbeating, eyes cold and blue as ice (lay down for the father . he will beat you into submission WOMAN (girl) it’s how it should be(sha sha))How did I not guess that the sugar you fed me was laced with your intoxicating smell (old spice), to ply me with the drug of your benediction until my whole definition of self // relied on your admonishment every small deed I committed in your name.
O praise you !
Devil of my heart
A creature so violent you sit silently in your wingback chair //unmoved
by all the suffering you inflict.
In a perfect world, it would be me --apologizing ---to you. ----for making you //so //angry
(o wait. i did that already.)
2. SKIN CELLS OF THE RANDOM UNIVERSAL PROPULSION JET
Words form a poem, but this is not a poem, this is a //heart break. in d minor. I would like to write a poem, but if I had the wherewithal, I would turn those words into something bigger. A moon, or a planet or the spiral swirl of a galaxy… no, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. A noun can paint a picture in the air, and a verb can set it spinning, but only the hand-grasped physical object of desire can thump our hearts in e(x)ternal motion. I am not the creator’s hand. I am not his footprint. I may exist on the curling spiral of his arm hair, and then, I may drop off at any moment and become the dander dust floating through a shaft of light at my bedroom window. I am little more than particles come together for a time. We will soon / break apart. (die). And after that Some of us may feed trees. Some will exist on the crests of waves. And some of us will be sucked into space and swallowed by the sun. Our fates are random. We cannot propel ourselves without an opposing force. If we could, we would have already scattered, for who can sit still when the whole of the universe is waiting with bated breath to divide and conquer our separate parts ?
3. BLACK SUN
They bend around each other, form a circle, collapsed in towards its center. //The circle is my mind / which keeps revolving like the earth around a blank spot it
mistook for a sun.
If the heat in my mind radiates from the empty center of a black hole, then I cannot be blamed for these words slipping backward before they touch my fingertips. I cannot be blamed for the great nothing. In the presence of such a consuming star, I am liberated. Even as my skin disappears, I thank it like a god. I stand on an empty stage with no audience, and I do not wonder where fled the clapping hands, nor why I hear not the coveted shouts of voices. I have neither boos nor praises, neither back pats nor back /spine /vertebrae /nerves / neurons all slipping back towards the hole of my third eye (closed forever).
I will curl up my toes and roll into a ball / I will gather my arms over my knees and press them hard into my chest / I will sink into myself to become the self-fulfilling prophetess of these blank white pages. //My body, hardened under my own imploding pressure—becomes a black diamond in which no light is refracted. To stare into it is to lose all sense of self and sink deep into the void of unknowing. I look into myself. I am a mirror hall bending light in endless circles. I, sweet dreamer of eternal dreams, am an unlit
Lauren Dostal is an assistant prose poetry editor for Pithead Chapel. She graduated from Florida State and now lives in a steamy, mosquito-ridden suburb of Tampa. She has work in Entropy, Hobart, Philosophical Idiot, Yes, Poetry, and others. Tweets: @ell_emm_dee