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Toll & Moss – Aug.10

Chris Toll and Heather Moss traded art. Chris gave Heather this collage, entitled “Melancholy”:

In response, Heather wrote this poem:

Summer for Brothers

We make war between the house and garage.
Batman on his side, stegosaurus on mine.

Here’s a five-star general walrus.
His battalions travel by UFO.

Our sister brings horrible dolls,
their faces the color of uncooked chicken,

to the midst of our battlefield.
We send her to hell.

We send her away to have her confession
heard by red, angry Father McGinty.

Joan of Arc is the only girl superhero
we will acknowledge. A saint but a bad-ass.

Gyspy moth caterpillars writhe above
in their casement of sticky webbing.

We throw pinecones to start the rain of worms.
We nail them to the tree with the sole

of our father’s boot. We are in his boots
with nails made of wood. What if God

is the hallucination from some drug?
What if nobody’s copying down our sins?

What if I never again gag on squash at dinner?
What if the cat is a saint and our parents are devils?

We’ve attracted the attention of raptors.
We will slumber in the galaxy of praiseworthy children.

We’ve hidden our secrets like wasps in the ground.

* * * * *

Heather shared this poem with Chris:

Someone’s Always Listening Down a Well-Dug Well

Jean went alone to the hinterland
and made a house of snowpeople.
They faced out, grinned charcoal briquettes
at the lace-dripping trees, but from inside
one noticed only butts, callipygian snow-rumps
wherever the gaze. That, to Jean, made a home cozy.

She played a walking banjo. Do you know the tune
“Donkey Drank the Very Last Dose”? You chant,

Oh no, buffalo; oh no, bear!
We can’t cure your beemobumpalosis.
We can’t heal that chronic halitosis.
For sure we ain’t got any more doses.
Sometimes that’s just how it goes —
Donkey drank the very last dose!

Jean played it thrice on her three-string and soon
burrowed up through the pebble-floor a family
of yellow-eyed owls, the baby on percussion
with a rattlesnake hiss. They led a reel but couldn’t stay;
there were vesper mice to devour down the hawthorn trail.
No matter – Jean had stitches to sew, and so

she sprawled in her red wool coat to embroider
on the satin dress she’d filched from her sister:
fishbone, fern, feather, lazy daisy, fly.

In response, Chris made this collage, entitled “You Becalm My Mansion”:

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    August 24, 2010 12:40 pm

    These are just fantastic! What a great pairing. This makes me really happy this dreary morning. 🙂

  2. August 24, 2010 2:19 pm

    These poems, and the collages, are enchanting. Loved them!

  3. August 24, 2010 3:26 pm

    These poems and collages are quite stirring. Amazing work, Heather and Chris. There’s a lot of talent on this page!


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