Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Patricia Spears Jones

Born and raised in Arkansas, PATRICIA SPEARS JONES aka Patricia Jones has lived in New York City since the mid-1970s where she has been involved in the city's poetry and theater scenes as poet, editor, anthologist, teacher and former Program Coordinator for the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church and working with Mabou Mines, the internationally acclaimed theater collective which is celebrating its 40th year.  Her accolades are almost too numerous to list and range from editing anthologies to playwriting and creating collaborative arts. She is the author of the books Painkiller (Tia Chucha Press, 2006),  The Weather That Kills (Coffee House Press, 1995)  and Femme du Monde (Tia Chucha Press, 2006) and the chapbooks repuestas! (Belladonna, 2007) and Mythologizing Always (Telephone Books, 1981).  You can find out more about her on her website http://www.psjones.com/, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Spears_Jones and www.aalbc.com.

k.d. laing sings ‘Hallalujah’ by Leonard Cohen

Sun shimmers, cold   Canada is cold.
Leaves are heart shocked
Colors bleeding streets, streams, rivers, valleys, mountains.

Below the 49th parallel, de spirit is almost broken.

Mendacity.  Mendacity.  Mendacity.

Corrode ear drums.  War corrupts our hearts’ thrum.

Oh and listen to the steadfast hymn singing. 
Hear daily declarations of faith. 
See sparkly flags
on politicians’ lapels.              Funny,

This choir of dignified horrormeisters, each with his or her own
Gift—liar, thief, murderer, pederast, torturer—on display.

No one can make a joke.  No one can take a joke.

Mendacity            Mendacity             Mendacity

Sons, brothers, sisters, mothers
Dead, more than 1000 dead

Below the 49th parallel days begin with expensive coffee
Days end in bad news. 

Heart stunned and dream deprived. 
Sun glistens.


Composition is not easy
You think these flowers just jumped into the vase
Arranged themselves according to size, color, texture

You think making a beautiful home is easy
You think the domestic is about floor plans
And ecologically correct cleaning products


Get yourself something exciting to do,
Investment banking
Or Internet Interface proxy

I don’t know.  I just love this vase
And you dropped it BY MISTAKE?

And it’s in pieces
And the floor is dirty
And we can no longer afford this house


What?  You say I sound ghetto, well
Eat this dream and shit it out in New Jersey.

I’ll stop crying when this vase is replaced
And I can sleep in a bed owned free and clear!


Walls surround the garden
Inside the illustrated children motion
A paradisal mode

All strawberries and huckleberries
And heavy ivy hiding the treasure
Old people cannot see.

Why are some children allowed this fantasy
And others eat dirt every day?

Is that the way of all possible worlds
The blonde child in the Gap ad
The lovely Eurasian in Ralph Lauren
The Black preppie in crisp linen
On an expansive lawn in Sag Harbor

How will they negotiate their prosperity?
With the people who will take them

Sometimes hence, on the road;
in a board room, off the Internet?


Oh luscious girl friend
When last did you take a bath?
Water everywhere and yet you remain
Dusty as a road in Georgia

Or Alabama or Arkansas
You keep away the mosquitoes,
the blue flies, the little bitty things
that bite your neck laughing as only
Insects can laugh.

You’re free of all that—perfume—was
in a former life; so was dancing on bars
and wearing shoes found mostly in bad
80’s porn films.

So how did you find your way here
And are you staying through the season

And will the tomatoes grow better if close by
or just a litter farther away to give the sun more space
to embrace their vines?