Friday, April 11, 2014

Five Poems By Holly Day

Holly Day was born in Hereford, Texas, “The Town Without a Toothache.” She and her family currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches writing classes at the Loft Literary Center. Her published books include the nonfiction books Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, and Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, and the poetry books “Late-Night Reading for Hardworking Construction Men” (The Moon Publishing) and “The Smell of Snow” (ELJ Publications).

A Story About God

When my father was ten, his mother died
and he went outside into the street after her funeral and screamed
at God. He said, “Take me,
you fucker!” to God, and his younger brother, my
uncle, was so scared he ran
into the room they both shared and hid. Later, when
my father came back, my uncle asked him what Hell was like
why God had let him come back, if he had seen
their mother, what she was wearing. 

            The Vampire

The vampire comes in through my window and sees I have written more poems about him. He thumbs through the stacks of loose-leaf paper, leaves bloody fingerprints on the crumpled edges. I watch him from my bed, eyes half-closed, pretending to be asleep, watch him as he shakes his head, snorts derisively, scribbles something nasty in the corner of one sheet, crosses out all the words I’ve used improperly with a bright red pen.

            The Beautiful Things

I read through my son’s emails
wonder at the beautiful things he’s
written to girls, wonder at the sincere
man emerging through these words. My son
the poet, I think, savoring the
unbidden phrase. My son, the
writer. I should have known
he would grow up to be this man. I shut down
his machine, think about
the conversations we
should have been having about writing, and art,
and music, wonder how I can broach
the subject of his poetry
without revealing I’ve been reading through
his emails, without letting him know  I know
all the wonderful things he’s been
saying to other girls.

The Elephant

when an elephant is young, he
is tied to a pole
too heavy for his little body
to move it its own.

he spends his first years
tied to this pole, is encouraged
to pull hard against it
to test his limits
to give up.

for the rest of his life
he will believe
he’s not strong enough to break free
from his chains, will simply accept his bondage
to the same limitations
he was strapped to
as a child.

            They Will Discharge Me Soon

white walls, soft
floor, white goes all
up and down the
ceiling to the floor
bright eyes watching me
through the small square
window—you won’t

get in my
head tonight  sharp
metal objects in doctors’
pockets keep me up
all night long—how
can being scared all
all the time make me
better, make me well
enough to go back home?

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