Rebecca Loudon

Keats and the girl with the big mouth duke it out

1. Truth

She gets excited, real excited, like a dog
jumping around, scratching the linoleum.
She has internal storms that affect the
southern states even though she lives
3000 miles away. The storms have yet
to bear her name. She's dangerous
with that mouth, words shooting out
in every direction and even though she
claims to be a crack shot, she's a liar.
She misses and misses, hits cats
and children and wives in brand new
vehicles driving to the store to buy
yarn or beans or soy milk or flour.
It's clear to everyone she's crazy
though crazy is fun on those nights
when whiskey flows and there are toes
and cocks and fingers to be stroked
sucked, nuzzled, coddled.
She smells things. Cigar smoke,
oranges, bacon frying and gardenias,
but this might be due to a head injury
at a young age (could we blame
her other shortcomings on this
same injury? We hope so.)
Sometimes she cracks her head
on the coffee table when she seizes.
She sees giant owls and believes,
when he holds the phone close to his
mouth on nights when even the moon
is embarrassed by their conversation,
and yes, she says, yes, she will do
anything. She believes him when he says
he'll bring his gun and murder the owls.

2. Beauty

First things first, of course, those eyes,
oh yes, eyes, that throat, the gleaming
collar bone, the breasts, the skin,
and Schumann, Clara and Brahms.
Who could have guessed all those little
bits of history, floaters behind the eye,
(did I mention the eyes? lovely) and paint,
linseed oil, her red and raw fingers,
self portraits stomped on, burnt,
bracketed in soot, black oily smoke rising
through the chimney like the wrong pope
at the Basilica, a bad day, a very bad day,
and those little poems like breath tumbling
out, no myth, mostly truth, such a bother-
a woman who doesn't know when to stop,
a woman who weeps and growls
when she comes, a beautiful thing
who just wants to understand
and she doesn't, she doesn't
understand but knows, finally,
what the owls have come to say.

Explaining the Kandinsky Tree House


They climb the rope ladder into a nest
of cardboard and blankets.

He covers her mouth with his hand,
holds her                                                                            (there.) 

She describes light through leaves, opaque,
viridian. Look, something new, he says, 

a curved flame,
crimson, sprung from brown madder.
He holds it against her lips,                                         (insists.)

                     (shh, shh)

Her skin blazes carmine, terra oxide red.
Water, he says,                                                  (is never clear.)

They bump the ladder up the sienna trunk,
alone, finally alone, breathing into each other.

She begins again:
the uniformity of green

rings out like a mad tuba                                                 (gold)
green, green tea in hansa yellow

cups she has carried up,
tea                                                    (she has drunk too much.)  

She continues. White, she says,
ivory black outlines, primary, bright,
never mixed colors.

She is                       (full, very full, she has drunk too much.)

She squats, his hand on her belly, his mouth
on her belly, staying her, staying her 

                       (shh, shh)             ( mon père entend, écoute.)

She thickens herself into him, reaches up,
picks a pthalo green leaf to reveal
a slice

                                                                            (of cobalt blue)

ultramarine blue, blue lake, blue

(rider)                                                                                     sky.

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