After Life | Life Lines | Crime Scene | Pantoum 911 by Jenene Ravesloot

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After Life

Four red circles on the wall-to-wall
carpet in the master bedroom where
a bureau used to be; a fake ficus
along the chair rail in the hallway;
peeling wallpaper, peeling paint,
damaged doors, more doors that
lead to other rooms. When they
are turned, glass doorknobs skin
knuckles against the frame.

A threadbare stair runner leads
down to an empty hallway and
an empty living room except for
the dead possum that lies in the
fireplace with a damaged doll.

An open front door creaks on its
hinges like a porch swing while
the usual birds sing in the usual
fading light.


First Published in Skylines,
The Poets’ Club of Chicago,
78th Anniversary Anthology, 2014

 

Life Lines

Orphanages, foster homes,
parochial schools, marriage,
separation, divorce;
nights on someone else’s
couch; dank rooms rented by
the week in Philly, L.A.,
Miami, and Chicago;
corned beef hash hangouts
tiled subway-white;4 a.m.
bars, sawdust-covered floors,
boilermakers, burgers;
Figaro’s saloon on Oak Street;
jazz until 6 a.m.; indifferent lovers
whose names you can’t recall;
walks alone in the park at noon;
horns, whistles, harbor bells
that used to comfort; the sounds
of rats’ claws behind a bedroom
wall.

 
after-life-life-lines-crime-scene-pantoum-911-by-jenene-ravesloot
Crime Scene

Blue morning glories sagging in the rain;
sound of blue rain in blue alley shadows—
the click, click, click of metal against metal,
then, bang, bang, bang.

Three bullets for sure, maybe more somewhere,
no witnesses except perhaps this mewing cat
with matted blood-spattered fur or that smooth
bronze face peeking through the iron bars
of a basement window.


First published in the Chronicles of Scarbo, Second Edition,
2012, 2013. Also published in The Poetry Storehouse, 2014
as an audio file in 2014. Later in 2014, “Crime Scene” was
made into a video poem by Paul Broderick/The Poetry
Storehouse.

 

Pantoum 911

The neighbor’s parrot screams There’s been a crime.
The white oncidiums burn in their pots; they’ve been hexed,
but it’s here on the bed you’ll lie.
You toss and cannot rest.

The white oncidiums burn in their pots; they’ve been hexed.
The tides push in and out like a spoon.
You toss and cannot rest,
begin to hum a childhood tune.

The tides push in and out like a spoon.
Seagulls circle evening’s fading light.
You begin to hum a childhood tune.
Clouds cut the sky. A half-moon takes flight.

Seagulls circle evening’s fading light,
but it’s here on the bed you’ll lie.
Clouds cut the sky. A half-moon takes flight.
The neighbor’s parrot screams There’s been a crime.

Jenene Ravesloot

First published in Loot: Stolen Memories & Tales Out of School,
2008. Later published as a song for the CD White Narcissus, 2009

 

                                                Jenene Ravesloot Bio

 Jenene Ravesloot is a member of The Poets’ Club of Chicago, the Illinois State Poetry Society, Poets & Patrons, and the TallGrass Writers Guild.

She has written three books of Poetry:

Loot: Stolen Memories & Tales Out of SchoolThe Chronicles of Scarbo, and Floating Worlds.

Jenene has published in The Poetry Storehouse, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Packingtown Review, The Miscreant, After Hours Press, Exact Change Only, Sam Smith’s The Journal in the UK, THIS Literary Magazine, and other online journals, print journals, and anthologies.

 

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