Friday, March 8, 2013

Three Poems By Cassandra Dallett

I really like the style of this poet. I'm glad these poems came across the transom.

Dear Valentine
MK Chavez says
The true test of a man
is the zombie-war theory.
I whisper this excitedly
all Valentine’s Day night
high on XTC
every other sentence
I love you because-
or what I love about you is-
not that your dick is so beautiful,
and it is,
but because
when they come
“the living dead”
clawing at the doors
bloody mouthed
friends, family,
the guy from Quick Stop down the street
almost unrecognizable-
pleading  to be let in
“But it’s me,”
they’ll say
You won’t be fooled.
You will lock the iron gate
baracade the doors,
know the gangsters to call
the ones with larger arsenals
than The OPD
You’ll throw haymakers with your muscled arms
a pistol in your waist
throw hot grenades  from the front porch,
even if it’s your babies’ mama
all grisly, pitiful, and hungry.
You’ll train the kids to shoot on sight-
sic the dogs-
and I know
that we will survive
the zombie wars


for a weekend
I was 11 my family worked the Ring-A-Bottle
impossible to win
weighted against the marks
like all the games
on the midway
our prizes were too huge to give away
enormous stuffed tigers
I was shy but did as I was told
toted a large black panther
exclaimed to all who asked
it was easy to win at the Ring-A-Bottle
got punched in the mouth
by a drunken teenager
she said I was a bitch
followed me back to the booth
I kicked her in the gut
the carnies broke it up
I quit my lame pitch
and went off to the end
of the Scrambler line
my favorite and the Tilt-A-Whirl
Where me and Martha would scream
along with Billy Squire’s Stroke Me Stroke Me
Stroke Stroke
ribs pressed into metal
face burning in the whoosh of ride
and dirty lyrics like AC/DC
You Shook Me All Night Long yeah you
cause I knew I had American thighs
and some day someone would love them
My fat lip turned blue
from Iceez I made my little brother
bring back to our trailor
the second infamous injury
a dog bite
the German Shepard guarding us
knocked me to my knees
left me a small canine shaped puncture wound
and a first time fear of dogs  
went home on Sunday
leaving the boys on the strip
lanky Levi’d legs, tight t-shirt waists
Goody combs for long hair in back pocket
smirks, that told me,
they knew how my pre-teen body burned
and knew just what to do with it.

The poet Cassandra Dallett

Mountain House

We slept on the lawn my first camping trip
aunts, uncles, and friends saw UFOs
from sleeping bags lined with red flannel
my cousin next to me on the lawn
of the new house, the empty house.

A grey shell of failing shingles, no floors, doors, just rafters
a farmhouse of a by-gone time in black and white photos
at town hall you could see the many farms hotels, even a bowling alley
a hundred years before , now cellar holes of lichen rock and tiger lilies
ghosts wearing the kind of bathing suits  that come down to your thighs
the kind of farming that relied on horse and ox.
a life much more glamorous in high white necks than ours
in the turn of the 70s to the 80s when everything went wrong .

When everyone you ever knew… divorced
Kramer V. Kramer was the movie
all the farming and windmills long hair and alternative schooling
fumbled into single parent families and food stamps
this no mans land where us kids did not belong with the locals
and the hippies had all morphed into other things .

This house with no floors was my home
where I pinned pictures of Matt Dillon and Debbie Harry
a small blue Panasonic cassette player brought Michael Jackson to the wilderness
a kid who’d never heard Jackson 5 devouring every Tiger Beat magazine
that could be found in the General Store
Dad bought Grinders and Coke for dinner AC/DC would replace my K-Tell tapes
and dry wall would eventually fill in the gaps between two by fours.
TV was a black and white 12 volt Dukes of Hazard, Dallas, and General Hospital
Saturdays meant Love Boat, Fantasy Island and some scary ass movies came on
if you could stay awake.  

But I was usually asleep on Dad’s bed
right after Mr. Roarke said “Welcome To Fantasy Island”
Dad stupidly loved this new blue world as much as me
we were strung out dragging those heavy ass batteries
to the neighbor’s woodshed charger.

I wrote to my Idol, Blondie, on puppy dog stationary
waited for her limo to bottom out on our washboard mountain road. 

Cassandra Dallett occupies Oakland CA . She writes poetry and memoir of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in the San Francisco Bay Area. Three  chapbooks are available at "Every Other Week", "Mud Pond", and "The Problem With Text Messaging" Cassandra has published in Slip Stream, Enizagam, The Criminal Class Review, and Bleed Me A River Anthology among many others.

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