5 POEMS by /Ronda Piszk Broatch

The Climate These Days

Your earthquake eyes visit me like a subscription for jet fuel

and you wonder the Monarchs disappearing into powder,

how I can be so smoked near your oblong heart, lost

in your mango meadow. Every leaf seems submissive

to wildfire, and birds have gone lodged in their feathered

memories like Lorca’s tin-breasted moon. I’m disappearing

behind someone’s pack-a-day, candle bloom in a hurricane

forced to love the stranger for the way she waltzes

on my thoughts. I’m lungful of future, rolling belief

between my toes on a magazine beach. I find my next line

in a fog bank, sewn on the bias. Last month we were all rumor-

angry, and you were the full sleeve of my just lost pipe-

dream, a cashmere town worn goatless and left alphabetic.

I drink a glass of Once Optimistic every after-morning, and when

I touch the power of your tool, it cuts me into lengths. In

the mirror-tint sunglass of extinction I am to blame. Shards

explode like a kept guest in the barn of her train-destined

mind. Mine is the close-cinched city, burned-breath snapshot.

And your homelips ask who’s gassed the volume at the end

of the book we called education, a universe paragraphed

and ready to blow.


Surrealist Café

I like how you knew to accent the é,

your snakeskin jeans, high-heeled

and tripping the twenty-seven moons of Uranus.

Much can be said about the efficacy

of black padded bras blotting out the moon.

I imagine god in a confessional,

hearing our sins like fingernails

on a chalkboard, a didgeridoo, that hollow

bamboo bamboozling the very northern air,

extinguishing a candle in the deep

dark matter of the universe. The shape

of a flame is an argument against absinthe,

in absentia. Open the holy door, the fuck-

all envelope – the miracle

is yours alone, a smudge of foam,

a beggary of wine-smoke.

What gossip comes pre-stirred

and hot-water-resurrected

only your mouth knows the full truth of.

Nudge nudge, wink wink.

I see what you did there. At midnight

the analog box is all noise and rabbit ears,

numbness and lust leaves us

doom-scrolling a menu of illnesses,

renders us bereft of stars. You say

you are riding bareback on a constellation,

and I say I buried rhinestones in the sea.

The devil in drag 

is better than the devil you know,

who wears Birkenstocks,

doesn’t shave her darker places.

Did someone suggest Shavasana,

or are we lost in champagne? If I give you

a wishbone, please discuss

your pumice-stoned proclivity, your latest

bulldozer vanishing act.


What Strange Thing

Bidding has begun for my shadow, and my palmful

of Jumping Jesus weeds that spit seeds in your eye.

At the art show I want to pollinate desire, blow on

the fuzzy heads of dandelions amidst paintings

by Kahlo, Klimt, and Pollock. I need an omelette

with olive eyes, a red pepper mouth, sour cream

shaving cream slathered everywhere. In the dream

you covet my brown banana bow tie, my brown

bandana mask. In the dream the bride never knows who

she’ll marry: the corpse in the copse, or the backseat

driver. I like the way you dislocate your hip, click

your seatbelt, shove your knees into my back when we

drive to the store. Is that a worm in your glass, or is God

shaking the tequila sunrise? My shadow just bought

Warhol’s Chicken Noodle Soup, Frida’s eyebrows,

her subtle mustache. Where did I hide my Jones, my

Jesus, my popweed, my Kiss? Where do you keep

your pepper grinder in this age of crazy?*************************************** 

I Would Like to Do a Portrait of You

The earth is giving her girlfriend peanut butter pretzels

and they joke about how there’s always a rope

in opera, and how the museum got Picasso

when it really wanted Marie-Thérèse, his muse.

I choose not to look at earth’s secret message

until after the last bit of salt is washed down

with Cosmic Cranberry kombucha. The ink runs

invisible, stains the dove in the magic hat.

When words I’ve been searching for finally arrive

on my doorstep, I arrest them with apple muffins

and a smile, an appearance at my campaign rally.

I promise to pick up Persuasion along the way

but Overreact calls, explaining she’s lost her identity

and would I please negotiate with the character

witness, Outrageous, whose low-cut ball-

gown steals the show. Ostracize can take his ass

and shove it. Nights I get lost in that new dimension

everyone’s been talking about, but when I join in

no one says a word. I’m chased by dogs and men

with guns, but I’m so fast slamming the door they can’t

get a foot wedged in edgewise. On the other side, I

hear the dogs crying. Earth and her girlfriend burp

kombucha, and there is salt everywhere. We’re all lost,

says her girlfriend. Earth opens a bag of chips, cracks

a beer, gets out a map with dragons, sea monsters

and a unicorn in the margins. You are here’s

got a cigarette hole burned in the center of it. Sorry,

I tell the delivery guy, I don’t love you anymore.

I get that ghosts are a byproduct of fog and mirrors,

and in the end, the three of us find shards of glass

in the soil after fire. Wrapped in nothing from head to toe,

the muse appears with Pablo in tow, who tells us

Les bons artistes empruntent, les grands artistes volent,

and takes my last bit of salt.


Ronda Piszk Broatch, poet and photographer, author of Lake of Fallen Constellations, (MoonPath Press, 2015), Shedding Our Skins, (Finishing Line Press 2008), and Some Other Eden, (Finishing Line Press, 2005). rondabroatch.com

One Reply to “5 POEMS by /Ronda Piszk Broatch”

  1. Hello Ronda,
    Thank you for these poems, fascinating! in particular the first 3, I so enjoy allowing the flow of your language to cascade over me and feed hungry places.
    Your words bring me to questions and considerations on a textured journey….a pleasure to read.

    +by the way, I found the listed website to be about jewelry, is that correct?
    i hope to read more of your poems.

    Ariel Rathbun
    ( also appearing in this issue of Sulfur Surrealist Jungle, a first)


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