Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ramona Itule-Patigian: Three Poems


          A Short Dissertation

Sacred pathetic fallacy, here we are
bell and board, bound to brain.
The ghost trains and I searching lights
for more than lanterns. The library romantics
and microscope erotics came for columns and
they’ll leave with nothing less. So
let’s pretend we’re spies and apply band-aids
to flat tires. Let’s go wine tasting at the university
and fish shooting at the mall. Take

me shopping or bar hopping. Tell
the bartender you love Stein and
and we’ll toast Sartre, recite symphonies and
play Dr. Frankenstein and his monster.  
Read me gibberish, it’s sexy.
We’ll buy Che T-shirts and berets
as long as there’s an ATM
drink ink till we’re dizzy and bask in composition

I’ve tried baking cakes with tacks and hangers
and I like the sound of my own voice


Beginning to imagine my life with the apparition was not hard
starting over tea in a silent parlor
The two of us seated without the bolts of our waking lives
A memory rolls over again, takes a swift gusty inhale
and the cobwebbed body smiles a poker-face smile
Appears over the wire in a startling break, a lost bell tower
that once knew my heart like the map of a hand

Starting to embrace life with the apparition was easy too
beginning with a song on a crackling recorder
The two of us listening without the rolling static of traffic
The memory rises up with a dusty stifled murmur
and my call is finally answered in the death of the dead

At first just a speechless spell that stood and stuttered in silence
I lost my breath and swallowed my twisted stomach with a gulp
trying to find a greeting fit for a talking statue
Preparing to shatter glass, drain the embalmed and remember everything
Then a tumbling spindle, rattling and re-living in constant spilling threads
chattering on to the sound I had buried, to relic lighthouses and dinosaur bones
Now the ghost of a ghost
the apparition and I begin to make plans


All our finely tuned legacies sprawl out from underneath
Like the swift, seared desert that first choked me into fantasy and form
All these scowling teenage girls I was and swift fits I hailed sacred
And yet I can hardly summon a line for you
Let alone any blazed battle fields or mourned loses
Those are mine to keep
Those that move like stillness and settle unnoticed
Those that bleed through paper like spirits and smoke
Those that have grown within my earth and calcify to bone
Any cliché that I could give you would seem blasphemy
Sold out, grown up, resigned individuality?
You waver like the fight in me
You pace there in the roots
Sifting sand and awakening dust
Reminiscent of angst, but more like rebel lust
Sometimes I forget I loved life first

Ramona Itule-Patigian is from the desert, but now lives in Berkeley, California with her boyfriend and cat. She recently received her MFA from Mills College and loves music and fruit. Her work has appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Quantum Poetry Magazine, and is forthcoming in Triggerfish Critical Review. 

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