Jeanne Lance


It's not right
to sit here and smile
go away, leave me in pieces
listening to the drip. I
want more wedding cake
not stale granola.
Soft hiss of radiator
cold dismay of dirt,
lights reflected in our
Bay View window.

I hear you like you're
three thousand miles away,
if you sit on the couch
if you talk on the phone
the incessant dripping
occludes thought.
I do not need you.
It may be Halloween
any time of year.

I cannot hear anything.
They tell me you are here
I am in a white bed
breathing roses. No one
expects me to make sense.
People speak gently
the dripping continues.

It's nothing new to be crazy
It's old as daylight or
darkness. Now a pianist
accompanies the drip, playing
honky tonk backwards. Try
to get out of this room.

Outside, people go
down the street at an angle
a voice says "odd vibrations."
Do they know I'm listening?
Why should they. Twenty
seconds makes the difference.
A drip resounds
if you catch it right
in a bottle of water
I am prisoner in a body of water.

I build a house of wedding cake and water.
Twenty seconds younger equals no music.

Copyright 1999,   Jeanne Lance

Jeanne Lance is the author of  four chapbooks of poetry and prose: Nothing, Mass PsychosisLoose Arrangement, and Water Burial.  Her poems and stories have been published in 6ixMirageNorth Beach Now and are forthcoming in Red Wheelbarrow.  From 1973 to 1991 she coedited Gallery Works.

Switched-on Gutenberg
Contents / Vol. 4, No. 1
Back / Forward