marlene mountain
one-line haiku sequence
may-july 1982


distracted sequences

spring thunder office talk of lay-offs
  women first
monday morning it comes
  not in the budget
the pink slip with no pink to it
  warm coffee the heat

on principle fishing the first day
  not to bathe not to set the clock
an era ending with none beginning
  update of resume doesn't
don't tell anyone you can type
  closeness of throwing up

one stop light to the next the plan forgotten
  double checking the checkbook
shafted yet wanting it up to the neck
  slow drain of scotch
who am i silence of the moon
  clean sheets

dull forms to fill out in dull pencil
  another statistic
oh you're an artist how wonderful
  do not mutilate
instruction booklet how to be unemployed
  the waiting period

just wanna get home just wanna get home
  sun does shine my back door
life to organize within manila envelopes
  day thoughts my own choosing
monday morning coffee with birds
  enough time to be horny

unpredicted benefit midday love
scrambled gathering of rainy salad
  garden essence your essence
more in my art than in my life
  the ungoodbye

art show taken to where they look
  wine turns into dawn
lookin for a man almost any man
  lonely headache
your call yes i was discriminating
  still your virgin

ream of very blank typing paper opened
  which stack to unstack first
finally a list headed 'at some point'
  onion brunch
yellow pages can't do that can't do that
  county unem16.1%ployment

there ain't no jobs he says digging wild shrubs to sell
  who hires a braless jeaned woman
surely it's been written country song up shit creek
  the mind of us swallowed
  resorting to off-brand gin

all kinds of us hairy tattoos baby-hipped woman
  no one really looks at another
room full of humans told to fill out more forms
  closed door lecture on fraud
women whisper houses clean top to bottom
  hitchhiker with paper bag

at forty-two prospect of minimum wage if any
  first unemployment check the heat
mail carrier a little more of my life showing
  wing flutter pasted to the blacktop
up late unable unwilling to read nature poems
  unoneness of reality

protest painting on government time and money
  first amendment not fifth
a long day of worry a long moment keenly perceived
  short poem unhidden meaning
letter of a fan calls them steamy and funny
  a bunch deadly serious

haiku:life birds for some unbirds for another
  satisfied life society
a fifteen dollar magazine starts up
holy cow the only cussin i know in goddess
  'full moon causes sinkhole'

sex now lasts only as long as it lasts
  distracted sequences
old paperback dictionary in three uneven pieces
  mother's underlined humble
western half-assed zen fill out the form
  the joke of three lines

love in dingle dangle phone booth quarters
  your one line
forgot to say keep fingers crossed for blood
  controversy due in the mags
nothing obscure when a woman accuses the system
  ukiah dessip

far away women practice the woman poems
whispers chant one should have been shouted
  questions to a lesbian
woman art explanations to a gay bar cock
  do it anyway

old job offered three day week
  didn't live on 5
paint stare into space love stare into space read
  what day is this
attempt at beating the streets no stomach
  birds the heat

three ante meridian brother's daddy is dead call
  not looking
all overridden by the preacher's brainwashed rigmarole
  don't want men to teach history anymore
beneath fake grass rugs hard clods of old indian earth
  your path is yours to find

plane to bloody mary to plane to another
  first mountain from the vw
the crescent settles deeply into home's sky
  soap opera of world news
certainly, i'll take part-time, whatever
  (tired of being nice)


Wind Chimes #7 1983

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