Literary Orphans

Two Poems
by Shauna Osborn

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Dishwater

cups

mugs &

coffee spoons

. . . . . .  placid plastic

. . . . . .  translucent glass

. . . . . .  & stoneware

. . . . . . . . . . . .  inhabited by

. . . . . . . . . . . .  nymphs with

. . . . . . . . . . . .  mid level concerns

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . . . .  like waste management

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . . . .  & cozy kitchen crannies

 

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  furry nymphs a hundred

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  shades of brown &

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  green dancing in

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  short delicate spirals

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .  wishing the charm

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .  would wear off

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .  the golden finish chip

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .  or tarnish & the

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .  metal liquefy

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .  into a thousand tiny ships sailing

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .  due east watching

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .  naval fleets pierced

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .  by hardened shredded cheddar

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .  & green grape seeds

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . the captain lost in a stare

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . thinking what the hell’s the difference

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . between a cup & mug anyway

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . calling for the deck hands’

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . wanting to forget his post

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . to lose himself inside a large

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . citrus scented soap bubble

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . to be surrounded by

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . ethereal oscillating

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . pastels of

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . yellow

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . pink

. . . . . .  . . . . . .  . . . .    . . . . . . & blue

 

O Typekey Divider

 

Tom Robbins And The Film Covered Penis
I was drunk & he was kind of cute,

so I took him home. When I

woke up, there was a pile of dirty

condoms on my dresser

stacked neatly in a pyramid, their

wrappers building a fence around

the base of my thrift store lamp.

 

I thought if I got up,

pretended to get dressed,

he’d get the hint.

 

He didn’t move.

 

I told him I had a meeting to get to.

He said he’d wait for me to get back.

 

I didn’t know what to do–so I left.

Walked around the park, smoking &

watching the boys play chess for two hours.

I came back to find the guy painting

my walls with a shit green tinted brush.

 

I asked if he was planning to move in.

He said not really.

 

Then I asked him who the fuck he thought he was.

He answered Tom Robbins.

 

————————-

 

I woke up to a purple ceiling &

gold lamé curtains. Indecipherable shapes

& words were all over my bedroom walls

in dry mud. Tom was in the kitchen,

eating raw meat from a freezer bag.

 

I asked him if he had a job–

something else he should be doing.

He said he writes books,

asked if I’d read them.

 

I told him to fuck off & went back to bed.

 

————————–

 

Woke up this time to strange smells.

He was making designs on my carpet with a

bottle of bleach. I had to get out of there.

 

I went to the library so I could see what the

lunatic’s about. Found three books: Skinny Legs And All,

Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Still Life Of A Woodpecker.

I look for pictures of the author.

That son of a bitch wasn’t lying.

 

—————————–

 

Couldn’t read much of the books–

walking cans of pork and beans,

talking vibrators. Craziness.

 

I decide to go back home. I open

the door to find all my videos

smashed. Tom tore out the film

to wrap around a large paper maché

penis he built while I was gone.

He said it was the one thing

the place was missing.

 

I told him his books sucked ass,

the sex–awful. He gave me the finger.

 

I threw the penis out the window.

He ran downstairs to retrieve it.

I locked the door & started hurling

the broken plastic film cases at him

from the window. He screams up that

he was going to leave anyway because

I was all out of Raisin Bran & good beer.

 

O Typekey Divider

Shauna Osborn is a Comanche/German mestiza who works as an instructor, wordsmith, and community organizer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Recently, she received a National Poetry Award from the New York Public Library and the Native Writer Award from Taos Summer Writers’ Conference.

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O Typekey Divider

–Art by Diana Cretu