Scoundrel Time

Two Poems by Martha Zweig

Beauty Sleep frances-macdonald-sleeping-princess-1

Kwitcher bitchin, dad snorted. Shut

yer yap up. I hated the salt
stinging my cheeks, it curdled my sass.

Little blue gas flames itched in the kitchen.
A pudding seethed, the better to set.
Pulpy crushed gripes folded in.

Bard: the excellent thing
in a woman’s her stifled voice.
Her boa: sleek silken throat gag.

Bard again: Shake not thy gory locks
under this roof over your head.
A spindle, a lucky spell, my pricked tingling finger.


Zombie Jamboree

Jokes the dead tell crack me up.
What pranks they pull!
I get beguiled into their collective daffy grin.

Regularly that nightmare waste
management crew poor daddy hired
trucks on by, hauling the undertonnage

off & out the mute inglorious
exits to this very day, leaving behind a little dead
energy twitching itself on the porch
where the butter dust churns, & I succumb to hokum.

Mother mutton, creature-comfort me!
She who knocked
to her knees, stupefied in the abattoir;
she unbidden who used to quote the zerotonin
reuptake exhibitors verbatim.

The dead covet my tongue.
Covet my tongue, you dead, la-la!
Tickle a brick if you can, like a lickety
-split single-footed snail.

Fourteen dead
on a ledge, nine
on a shelf: king
& conqueror, the erotic
vine at kink & canker,
verisimilitude itself.

Gonna blueberry-jam summa them heebie
– jeebies now! the dead call out. Youc’n  thump that bass
humdinger you near forgot you had & we’ll
croak it together like last
night’s ambi-phibian pond.

Oh, look: all the baby dead
of 1946
curled up together in a heap,


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