Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Featured Poet: Linda Prussen

"Linda is inspired by the life and works of Sylvia Plath and Dorothy Parker.She believes poetry should be both beautiful and brutal; it is the presenceof one that helps us to recognize the other."
Linda is no stranger to online publishing, and has had poems appear in, to extract directly from her submission email, "Paper Wasp (print), Fresh (printand online), Simply Haiku (online), Word Riot (online), Spiral Bridge(online) and the Processing Unit (online)." I'm certain she and all readers know by now that this site publishes, period, regardless of other sources, but sharing is caring and caring is sweet. Flowery, also, I suppose.
She wanted to wave goodbye She looked back at Shelia Shelia with the stringy hair Crooked teeth And mismatched clothes She looked back at Shelia and remembered how In the fourth grade Shelia’s cool hand Felt comforting pressed upon her fevered forehead And how Shelia missed the class field trip to the zoo Along with her Just so she wouldn’t feel alone. She looked back at sophomore Shelia on the bus stop And her stomach started to ache She wanted to wave goodbye But she didn’t Because if she did the girls who were juniors The girls with driver’s licenses The girls that thought she was cool Even though she was only a sophomore like Shelia Wouldn’t understand She hoped Shelia would. She wondered if Shelia would wave If it was she sitting in the bright yellow jeep With the top down And the radio blasting And the boys staring And she knew the answer And that she made the wrong decision In the instant the jeep turned the corner And it was too late to wave anyway.
Just to say goodbye? How can you miss someone you met only once? How can you miss their smile? Their laugh? How quickly their laughter came, When you said something that you hoped was funny, Though it probably wasn’t. Putting you at an ease you never felt before. How can you miss their eyes? The way their eyes looked at you, Warm and welcoming with flashes of heat. Like a summer thunderstorm not yet broke. How can you miss the brush of their lips on your cheek? No stronger than a whisper, As unforgettable as your first kiss, But just a kiss goodbye.
Power Plays His eyes focus on her Warm rays of sunlight His focus wraps around her A flannel blanket Staving off the chill of isolation His interest illuminates her As a spotlight would In front of a million adoring fans Only they share the room Yet to her It is their red carpet Each ordinary day She glows Feeling safe, secure, special His kindness An addiction His eyes begin to wander Their absence Felt more strongly than their presence She darts about Trying in vain to catch a flash Of his brilliant and familiar gaze His seeming distraction Lets icy breezes Into their sanctuary He needn’t be angry, or cruel No need to raise a voice Or hand His malicious withdrawal of attention Less a vicious slap More a slow strangulation As what she has come to need Like oxygen Is slowly taken away Worse even than the total absence Of his attention Is the unrelenting fear of its loss The cold hollow feeling That settles in her chest A wind tunnel of uncertainty At her core A self-fulfilling prophecy Created by The teasing plays at affection Increasingly rare But always hinting at what could be And what could be taken away On a whim On his whim Gasping for breath She lashes out at him His calm and quiet A wall she is unable to shatter Her angry words and gestures Desperate attempts to reignite The fire that lit her life Placidly he states She is angry, unreasonable and needy But he knows The power is not in what’s given But in the taking away Of what one has come to rely on