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The Blog Bog

The Mag Rack

It's the Blues
               For Tony Moffeit

It's that "spirit language" you hear riding a train whistle
Bourbon Street horns blowing the dead out
of St. Louis cemetery into your thoughts
it's driving on New Mexico's red dust back roads
coyotes in the sagebrush, coyotes howling
in your head, as your car speeds your hand across the page
to New York City sending your  blues  my way
a hot chili pepper sun sends you ghostly visions: a dead father,
woman still waiting for you in a roadhouse cafe
you keep looking past at me you can't see
on a crowded subway car, nothing so exotic here as
a rattlesnake woman dancing for whatever I have

it's the same homeless woman  by the  steps
asking, any change today, anything at all
and there's that coyote won't let you be
that trickster: he's everywhere you look; I saw him today on the news
wearing a suit  trying to sell me his opinions,  posing as my landlord
saw him behind a desk in the bank, a doctor's office, an insurance office

Indians aren't drumming for rain or the heat to let up here
we pray for the ac to keep working, something
to quench our thirst, end the drought in our lives
to make it to our station without being robbed
who've already been robbed of everything

it's that moan of lonesome you hear
crossing state lines  coming my way....

                           Linda Lerner

September Poem

I am September's child, month that birthed me
and fled three days later; the weeks are
like a wish I'm traveling on toward that day
month that cannot decide
which season it is, the 7th month
on the Roman calendar, god's number
month of the great fire of London
of the second World War and
the attack on the world trade center
day the 11th became the whole month
and wasn't just that one day I lay
crouched in a fetal position waiting
to be let out...this year

the weather was beautiful like a painting all week
I didn't know what I was doing in it or why those
three women were walking down the street toward me
each with an infant in a pouch around their breasts
or how I became the fourth woman
the years didn't add up to the right number for it
and didn't make any sense but I am
September's child and they never did
even when they should have---

I blow out the days like candles:
make a wish a voice says
which one I ask

                           Linda Lerner

An Old Wives Tale or A Rip Van Winkle Story

This isn't technically a mother goose nursery rhyme, but a superstition that dates back to
about 1905. Many variations, like the following, have been written along this line:

                        Step on a line, break your mother's spine
                        Step on a hole, break your mother's sugar bowl
                        Step on a nail, you'll put your dad in jail

"step on a crack, you'll break your mother's back"
nothing about stepping over it, landing on the other side
stooped over in pain, the weight of seven decades presses down on you;
"step on a line, you'll break your mother's spine"
she's long dead it's your spine, came down
a curved genetic road to find you
after your father left, the man of the house;

cracks formed, the fine line between decisions
stepped over without consequences widened as
you walked the same pedestrian route habit mapped:
easiest distance between  years:  from home to work to the 
same restaurant you and your mother once frequented

a struggle now to stand upright, you fight against
the downward gravitational pull of seventy years;
I do what I can, errands, simple tasks; not enough
the doctor gives you shots; it take away the pain

you go back to who you were
and can never be again
                           Linda Lerner