melanie browne, four poems

pazzo means crazy in Italian

That’s what the lady
at the liquor store
said as she held the
wine closer to read
the label and eager
to make a sale-
later after I
had a glass too many
I stared at my closet
thinking I might
organize it but
that lasted all of
three minutes
I want to save money
for a chartreuse scarf
and a sequin jacket
I want more flair
I want to be
a drunk Middle aged
Liza Minnelli
I want people to
call me fabulous
darling you are
fabulous darling
you look fabulous
But remember,
none of this
may be true because
I drank three
glasses of wine
and pazzo means
crazy in Italian

Staring at Jackson Pollock

She was staring at
Jackson Pollock not
at one of his paintings
but his photograph,
a coffee table book-
one of Jackson and his
wife Lee and she said
this man was a killer
didja know that?
his paintings are pure
poison and
then she throws out her
arm with gusto,
an imaginary paintbrush
in her hand
rushing in my
direction-
pow! pow! pow!
I move out
of the way of
this
pantomime hailstorm
wondering
how Jackson
always managed
to made it rain
in the middle of
a drought

this Vagina Candle nonsense

I’m not sure how they make a candle
smell like a vagina or how they make a candle
smell like driftwood in winter cold mud
tire stuck wheel going nowhere or a Hawaiian
luau candle drunk businessmen & loud women laughing
cheap drinks roasted pig fall flat on your face
I have a lot of cypress fir Christmas romance
candles stocking candy stuck to the floor
worthless stuffer nonsense going into the trash
January first but I’m not sure how they make
a candle smell like a vagina You can ask
Gwyneth Paltrow, she smells like hallelujah
charlatan revivalist, a Hollywood Benny Hinn

cage

One time we
had some second
cousins come
over
to visit

one of them
was

“emotionally
disturbed”

We had a
parakeet
and mom
said later
she found it
dead in
the cage

he squeezed
it
till it
was lifeless

I don’t
know
where he
is now

but I heard
once he
might be
homeless
in New Orleans

wandering
sticky
streets
as they
slowly
lean
in
from
all sides

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