Saturday, October 27, 2007

Five poems by Wiltshire

Five poems
by Wiltshire

Dark City

At first you’re sure you’ll acclimate, become part

of this dark city you thought you’d love











owns a car

the sheer weight of buildings above

the human

scramble along




most days you wish you could limn

what you see –

capture the magic of museums,

the silence of ground zero

the sullenness of housing

projects like cages

in a dilapidated zoo.

you think if you could somehow fix

random images into a piebald portrait

a mottled mosaic perhaps

then you could leave after all

or else bend

to the task of justification

explain your presence here

But your apologia assumes an accusative

turn your photo shows only darkness

your ode takes a jocular tone

that belies its words of praise

and so you remain


Auntie Rue in Paris

When she turned forty, she left
home, bar, harbor, clean
found herself
a young woman
(someone her mother
would hate) and walked
away singing
Le jour de gloire est arrive!
We heard
..............she joined
the western
side show

riding naked
on rivers as they trickled
into the sea –
a circus
...........act for the nouveau riche.
A young French girl,
a flighty bird
(or so we heard)
punched and patted her until, fat
and creamy, she let all memory
of family slip her mind,

.......her mind slipped a cog
.......her hair turned white

her eyes burned yellow.

We found her in Paris
trust fund checks
under her mattress,
poems in French script
etched on the wall
in blueblood ink.



peeks around the kitchen door as I cook

sits outside the shower watching me

skitters away to her place behind the clock

pauses en route blinks slanted green eyes

at first she still slept on my bed

not anymore

she’s lost weight gotten grayer since she died

but it’s definitely jenny cat


Don’t Call Me Suzy

She’s not here. She went the way

of so many pretty little girls

whose daddies leave, whose moms

work, whose new stepfathers want

to become… something rather more.

Oh, she was fun for a while:

in her sloe gin, surf band, beach

bunny days she could curl your toes

with her dirty little mouth, promise

moonbeams with her eyes.

Didn’t you know? She stumbled, stoned,

into a U-2 concert and never returned.

I heard she lives somewhere in Ireland

on a schooner with three kids,

hangs diapers from the mainsail.

So don’t call me Suzy, I’m pretty sure

she’s dead, another casualty of love.



I studied, meditated on you

until you craned your neck,

swallowed me body and soul.

I used to have days, nights, books,

weekends, parties with friends.

Now I have you and the flashing

lights of communion. I have your

power at my fingertips, shades

of understanding and electric

dreams. From mailbox morning

to starfield midnight, your open

maw tongues me, eliding my life

in favor of your ones and zeros

creation of meaning and beauty.

You are my only humanity now.

Author bio:

Wiltshire is a Southern California teacher, lawyer and writer with a background in dance, theater and film production. Her poetry has appeared in various online and print publications, including Crescent Moon Journal, Triplopia, T-Zero -The Writer’s Ezine, Poems Niederngasse, Triplopia, Mindfire Renewed, Loch Raven Review, Sonneto Poesia, as well as at the London Red Cross Insomnia Project, and in The Messenger. She enjoys writing all kinds of formal and experimental poetry.

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