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Wednesday, May 09, 2012


by Rochelle Owens

The old convict seeing
a photo  an antler of a stag

seeing  the horns of a bull
fragile the bones

the bones of a bull rider
yellow the bones

white the summer blossoms 
 a girl in his arms

her hips swaying
white her summer dress floating

her hips swaying
between her thighs the black rose
between his eyes a shrunken head
a knife in a loaf of bread

white her summer dress floating
an old tattoo on withered skin

the word ‘captivity’
O Mistress Mine My Lady

My Lady growing
out of a mound of dirt

My Lady growing out of rotten meat
out from core and root

out of an ant hill a waft of air
her apple scented skin

my toothless mouth gentle its kiss
my wounded woman
her apple scented skin
My Queen of Hearts My Marilyn

The old convict whispering—
my ulcerous tongue

broken your knuckles
ripped the callus of your foot

The old convict washing her feet
torn your ligaments

your coffee brown nipples
erect like my thumbs

The old convict trembling
I’m under your thumb

passionate my gums 
my toothless mouth gentle its kiss
The old convict digging
small holes from front to back

from back to front
seeing endless endless summer blossoms

crouching over the earth
white the summer blossoms swaying

squatting over the earth
her hips swaying  between her thighs

the black rose
an old tattoo on withered skin

The old convict hearing
a singing cowboy—mine is the power

The old convict digging small holes
putting in the ground
the root of love
My Queen of Hearts My Marilyn

folding in the ground
words  words of velvety fur

words about to make a kill
My Queen of Hearts My Marilyn

words of small eyes
words of fossorial forefeet

My Queen of Hearts My Marilyn

Rochelle Owens, a frequent contributor to The New Verse News, is the author of twenty books of poetry, plays, and fiction, the most recent of which are Solitary Workwoman(Junction Press, 2011), Journey to Purity (Texture Press, 2009), and Plays by Rochelle Owens (Broadway Play Publishing, 2000). A pioneer in the experimental off-Broadway theatre movement and an internationally known innovative poet, she has received Village Voice Obie awards and honors from the New York Drama Critics Circle. Her plays have been presented worldwide and in festivals in Edinburgh, Avignon, Paris, and Berlin. Her play Futz, which is considered a classic of the American avant-garde theatre, was produced by Ellen Stewart at LaMama, directed by Tom O’Horgan and performed by the LaMama Troupe in 1967, and was made into a film in 1969. A French language production of Three Front was produced by France-Culture and broadcast on Radio France. She has been a participant in the Festival Franco-Anglais de Poésie, and has translated Liliane Atlan’s novel Les passants, The Passersby (Henry Holt, 1989). She has held fellowships from the NEA, Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and numerous other foundations. She has taught at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Oklahoma and held residencies at Brown and Southwestern Louisiana State.