Creative Writing at WVU: Wild, Wonderful Writing

Poems

Molly Brodak

A Little Middle of the Night

Somewhere a pipe organ plays the oldest, lowest sound from a fifty-foot pipe—
as a sound is only a span of time, as a key is also a lock. Similarly

here I am! I used to think. Lately, there is spangled shade in my space
and a cold apple orchard to tend in place of consciousness.

It isn’t enough to be known. Or sad at heart
at the thanks for the arrangement: jumbo mums, cheap and sharp—

whose droop reminds me I’m in charge, good god, but not enough to stop
the accidents and the accidents of these mortarless weeks;

so tonight I stay in glasses, read gait as guilt, of course or sure enough.
I’m sorry for what I have always done. It still will happen.

Under Age

—under a crusted hair cascade I won’t move for school photos.
I see this planet, ok: ticking insects blanketing an egg.
I ignore most everything.

I don’t believe the film of me will survive anyway
so I just keep living it. Ever under teachers in their foul clothes,
a curdled joke in a locker, pinned by the dream of an English boy’s torso.

Lives are too long. I’m tired of being half-formed and perverting
everyone. What haven’t I tried? Pleats will go on without me, sweet
sucky knee-socks and lavender blubber about the mouth. I was born

on a bad raft, thanks; I’ll loom where my power creeps out.
I’ll enact me a black boyfriend and find my fringes
under the weekend. Next century, up my skirt. Once I was a sponge,
now neon, lunatic.

Folkways

Distant anger clouds together.
As terrified ones tend to do.

The after, the vacuum—
heat of imperceptible sadness
gone before it’s known.

So Jupiter lugs comets to and from
the sun and a woman in Managua
fires a gun into the sky.

Somewhere, belly-white,
a plume of dust replaces a building,
like some unintelligible word.

Still. A chime, a blush of
with what waste shall we rebuild?
resurfaces. All is waste.

Funny Old

Dad thought he’d get shot.

Dye pack, red red red.

You remember,

how embarrassing he was.

Can I plead

insanity, he said.

One world: Poland,

in ho-hum infant Dad,

Vietnam black in his ribs,

& twilight Detroit for brains,

empty in empty. Money-

stung, bummer daughters:

he held out.

Built pressboard desks

in jail. Eight years, etc.

A serious chime

from some casino

lit an old light,

and he fought us,

fought cops, gave up

for cash—

a flux what seeks

the dark,

as a murmur of words,

come tumbling.

Released, he seemed old,

not good-old, not mean-old,

we joked. He knew

the way back,

fake gun, new note,

mystery especially:

at hand, mystery,

in the parking lot

at a party store, mystery.

Real World Magic

Doves preen in an alcove of matted oak
and the day goes blue. I stood, memorizing,
memorizing. I thought I had been awake—

I had hoped. The mind is a half life,
then, none. What’s worse? A snap of violet
lightning and unharm me! I said and awoke—

back into the beast, the dulled ache, dumb junk
clotted about the bed. For a weird while I sensed myself
formless in force, disarmed by a little sun, waking.