Java Lines

That was you following me
scraping solutions off my algebra papers.
Forcing me to follow you to a round table
group who tossed their words into cups
then dived into their coffee after them
for courage, and sarcasm.

That was you outside the beauty school door
pulling the rollers and teasing comb out of my kit
forcing me to follow you down sixth street chasing
slick cylinders and foam tubes full of gossip and smelling
like all the curls permanent wave solution could make.
I knew you hid sexy dime mysteries
in your dives serving coffee galore.

That was you dancing on the table at the crossroads
forcing me to follow you in my highheels as you tickled
my roommate under that purple dress where she chased
you, wanting just one kiss beneath the mistletoe–before I
found you and we spilled our coffee drunk with laughter.

That was you shattering all the myths that I held so true
after you followed me to midnight mass;
you giggling at the monstrance and incense
cracking a stain-glassed façade diving into
the cauldrons of religion on gallons of coffee and ire.

That was you holding the girl on a ferris-wheel who had
a sister with twin eyes to mine as we followed in the next car.
In the house of mirrors she and I scared each other
to opposite sides of those reflections. I saw you smirk
your cat smile, crawl from one side to the other holding out
braille hands touching coffee cups where we
waited in a pahdoo theater of miracle-worked love.

That was you with some scheming redhaired girl
under bleachers feeling white forbiddens which you
lied about and wrote in long texts on rolls and rolls of
tissue parchment which landed with your suspension;
I followed by trading the girl who couldn’t read for
a communist roommate as Castro triumphed in the Bay of Pigs.
Red or Dead – it was all the same to us…as the coffee
settled to grounds; we turned around three times.
You sang Lubbock in a Hi-D-Ho big-haired country ballad,
and I turned to cafeteria urns of tea looking for me.

Yes even so, that was you turning up in Dallas, swinging
along Denton Drive ogling the college preppies
falling in love with every long-legged girl they brought in.
And without so much as a coffee pot you were drinking my words
spilling out into saucers of poetry where Whitman’s leaves
floated next to Frost’s rhymes
& Dickinson’s sticky rolled up balls of notepaper.

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * 2011 * All Rights Reserve



She knows dumpster food
and dying from two stories up.
Every day she sees death
in the faces of people and in the trees.

She’s haunted by love, death
and slow disease,
Every lost case, kitten and child
makes her fear she’s dying–
sleepy with drugs,
like granny wasting away,
or quick,
blood running down her neck.

She’d like to use drugs
to remember or forget.
She’d like to use
sex as a drug to keep
fear at a distance.
But, there’s disease in blood heat;
safer to ache.
Only so much pain she will
bear on the street.

When she sleeps
her brother falls again
to his death
wrapped and waiting for the morgue
in white sheets.
She cries, pleads
how much goodness
how much magic
required to manage?
Can she survive
another day?

© Gay Reiser Cannon – All Rights Reserved

Art Eternal


Infinite arches, I loop in nothingness;
hopscotching heat, in and out of cooled corridors

leading to chlorine scented waiting rooms.
There white marbled faces stare at me with

empty eyes of loss, knowing loss, their false
smiles meant to assuage fear with small

green balls of hope for some life again.
Unseen by families struggling against odds.

Clouds shroud physicians who wear
dangling rubber gloves as symbols of skill.

They craft shields while machines shoot
heat in burning laser points and drips

of ice form architectured snowflakes, lace
cell-sized antidotes to death’s poison.

Brewed nitrates, plastics, refined oil, sugars;
toxic concoctions of modernity I’ve ingested

in my lifetime – taken what was given to subsist, now
seeking cure, I pretend music knowing beauty awaits.

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * August, 2011
Posted for Poetics by Mark Kerstetter today at dVersepoets

Spending my time the last 8 weeks in a waiting room at a cancer center,
watching patients and their families pretend normalcy while waiting for
the fire and ice of radiation and chemotherapy. I saw that dichotomy in this