Tanka Diary [Don't need picket fences, brick wall]

Harryette Mullen - 1953-
Don't need picket fences, brick wall, 

or razor wire. Our home's protected by 

prickly pear cactus and thorny bougainvillea.


*

Native or not, you're welcome in our gardens. 

Lavender's dress is not so vibrant as your 

green trousers and purple velour sleeves.

More by Harryette Mullen

Black Nikes

We need quarters like King Tut needed a boat. A slave could row him to heaven from his crypt in Egypt full of loot. We've lived quietly among the stars, knowing money isn't what matters. We only bring enough to tip the shuttle driver when we hitch a ride aboard a trailblazer of light. This comet could scour the planet. Make it sparkle like a fresh toilet swirling with blue. Or only come close enough to brush a few lost souls. Time is rotting as our bodies wait for now I lay me down to earth. Noiseless patient spiders paid with dirt when what we want is star dust. If nature abhors an expensive appliance, why does the planet suck ozone? This is a big ticket item, a thickety ride. Please page our home and visit our sigh on the wide world’s ebb. Just point and cluck at our new persuasion shoes. We’re opening the gate that opens our containers for recycling. Time to throw down and take off on our launch. This flight will nail our proof of pudding. The thrill of victory is, we’re exiting earth. We're leaving all this dirt.

All She Wrote

Forgive me, I’m no good at this. I can’t write back. I never read your letter. 
I can’t say I got your note. I haven’t had the strength to open the envelope. 
The mail stacks up by the door. Your hand’s illegible. Your postcards were 
defaced. Wash your wet hair? Any document you meant to send has yet to 
reach me. The untied parcel service never delivered. I regret to say I’m
unable to reply to your unexpressed desires. I didn’t get the book you sent. 
By the way, my computer was stolen. Now I’m unable to process words. I 
suffer from aphasia. I’ve just returned from Kenya and Korea. Didn’t you
get a card from me yet? What can I tell you? I forgot what I was going to 
say. I still can’t find a pen that works and then I broke my pencil. You know 
how scarce paper is these days. I admit I haven’t been recycling. I never 
have time to read the Times. I’m out of shopping bags to put the old news 
in. I didn’t get to the market. I meant to clip the coupons. I haven’t read 
the mail yet. I can’t get out the door to work, so I called in sick. I went to 
bed with writer’s cramp. If I couldn’t get back to writing, I thought I’d catch 
up on my reading. Then Oprah came on with a fabulous author plugging
her best selling book.

Page 1 / Sapphire's lyre styles

Sapphire's lyre styles
plucked eyebrows
bow lips and legs
whose lives are lonely too

my last nerve's lucid music
sure chewed up the juicy fruit
you must don't like my peaches
there's some left on the tree

you've had my thrills
a reefer a tub of gin
don't mess with me I'm evil
I'm in your sin

clipped bird eclipsed moon
soon no memory of you
no drive or desire survives
you flutter invisible still