The Garden of Eden

Sandra Simonds

Vision of Baudelaire        in this North Florida forest      looking into the eye
of a lizard with green         purple eyeliner zigzagging its way up a burnt log

Florida Yew, Olive, neon orange        day moon mushrooms
over the white bluffs         of the psychiatric Apalachicola River

Valéry says shells, flowers and crystals    are the privileged
objects of nature           harmonic underbelly,
endless, alien recycle      of gorge and interlude 

George Michael died today       For I live in a bubble of joy     
Go out into the sun!         the doctor says               your blood work     
is totally normal   except for a            Vitamin D deficiency 
and left the office behind     and unleashed my sentimentality
 

More by Sandra Simonds

Red Wand

Sometimes I try to make poetry but mostly 
    I try to earn a living. There's something still living
 in every urn, I am sure of it. The ash moves 
       around inside the vase like the magnetic filings that make 
the moustache of Wooly Willy. Maybe a new face counts 
      as reincarnation. The wand says, "I'll be your ostrich,
 if you'll be my swan." In this life, what did I do wrong?  
I think my heart is a magnet too. It attracts anything
 that attracts joy like the summer grasses the swans track through. 
       OMG, how in love I am with joy and with yours—how I know 
that adding to it would only take it further off course, 
      off its precarious center, so for once, I won't touch it.
 I will stand wand-length away—let it 
    glide stupidly on its weightless line, without me.

Ode to Country Music

If I wasn't such a deadbeat, I'd learn Greek.
    I wouldn't write sonnets; I'd write epics
and odes. I'd love a man who was
    acceptable and conformed to every code.
I'd put together my desk and write my epic or ode
    at sunset over my suburb. How I would love my shrubs!
But all I do is listen to country (and the occasional Joni)
    and smoke. Judge me judge me
judge me. Oh I've been through the shallows.
    I shallow. I hope. I hole. I know
I wrote you the most brutal love poem that knows.

Sorcery

I’m a witch who lost all her powers, then
   in place of my powers, I got the coiled beauty
of seashells and sleeping infants. The coiled
beauty of eardrums, and the sound wave
of bells. The bells! This is the country of clouds.
       The molten body, the Floridian pinks,
       and centuries of sand dollars examining
the arcing waves. New territory
of interiority and I’m in the middle of this.
   White like a negative belt.
I am an airless thing. When I get high, I get low.
           But I’m real and airless and love you.

Related Poems

A Yellow Leaf

It’s shivering
Like a little lady rattling her bell
Calling for tea
Quivering in the old style

There’s a red light in Boston
At the close of day
Like the red light of idiocy
All along the bricks
Of Harvard Yard & a blue
Sky so hard & irradiated
In the way of old cinema
Whose screens
Reflect the pops & black
Rot spattered
As though it were something
Perhaps nice
As if to say please
No extra charge
Please
Visualize now the idea of your blind spot
I will even do it for you
As the physical reel unspools
& unspools & you blink
In a dark
Room narrow with shadows
Narrow shadows like avant-gardes

It was a dream that woke up
The Fall

It really is something
A sick feeling
Like stopping lying
A dangerous feeling
Like giving up trying to live as though you were otherwise

As though my mouth could water along the split
Waistlines of all the apricot colored squashes
As though the real pumpkins, horns
Of plenty at my hearth
& in my wealth, my death
Were visibly grinning
Thru the rosebud lip of womanhood
Behind which all the women
I really am (they claim)
Hide behind my face & do their flips
Behind my teeth
In the red darkness there
In my potions
In my chemicals
In the mouth I never use
In my poisonous mouth