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Naihe, Heater & O’Grady – August 2011

Lani Naihe and Katie Heater traded artwork. Katie shared this print:

In response, Lani wrote this poem:

Stymphalian

Wake and devour –
Crap questions make soft men hard.

One is rooted, the other effaced.
Shapeshifter, messenger, secret-teller,

I took your word for it and I was wrong.
You don’t fascinate me.

A bird in Russia told me your name.
She mispronounced it but you didn’t notice.

Look at you, in your finely pressed suit
Pretending to be a man.

Don’t you see what they want from you?
Hide your appendages, they will be swallowed

And I will not attend to you.
Oh, how concrete-candy mornings

Cut through fresh ice and steam me open.
You want to be loved?

Look your mother in the face and tell her what you are.
Brother, sister, lie detector.

None of the above!
A giving over, a surrender,

An awarding, a devoting.
Pitiful and gentle,

He sings shadows to porcelain women
Who buy up his words, words, words.

A moral leprosy, your rotten heart
Offers up smiles and eyes

And tits and ass if it could.
There are two of you to remember.

I wonder who misses me the most?
A memory, a cemetery.

Fat girls squirm and fool dogs above rhythm.
A stiff web surrounds me. It gets the job done.

It is efficient and I am safe as a spider.
A hand of sand, a gallon of grass.

I choke and gag and forget myself in math.
I’ll get a tattoo with a new name.

Sailing over God, there is no way out.
Stockholm Syndrome, what a joke.

If you knew what I knew and you know I know.
There is always news and a warning here and there.

But you both make me fall to my knees
And fall of my hinges like it’s the last time.

Oh Eagle of Jesus,
You complete me.

* * * * *

Lani shared this poem with Jenny O’Grady:

Adonai

You are warming hot like god.
I could eat you, religion and all.
There is something between us,
It is dangerous, it is hidden;
It is astronomy.

You smell of snowflakes,
A smiling winter, a rich Christmas morning.
Your pomegranate heart, cracked in two,
Like a history of Germany.
I let you go every day.

Eyes as ripe as peaches – and those teeth!
Stuff me in a duffel bag;
I am quite accommodating.
I am quite delicious.
I am quite contrary.

I could be your daughter.
Blonde streaks with uppercase alphabets,
Stone-faced and blank as a landscape.
This is the truth
Of two ghosts, two shadows

In which I live.
It is easier this way,
Far away.
From here, a drum beat,
A heartbeat.

My days are numbered,
But the echoes are countless.
Listening and smiling,
They distract us from where we are
And I could breathe you.

I promise you stars.

In response, Jenny made this photo collage, “Peach”:

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