Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Cathleen Daly

On Watching The Bachelor

Sha la la! A room full of glittering ladies
Ominous odds stacking the decks,
Decks stacked, Chests stacked
Sardines packed in please love me mister
A smile holds them straight
Else they’d fall like bozo-logs
Those panty hose, hitch them high
Hitch them high and shiny, ladies
Else you’ll topple like a stack of lard-cakes
Why so pretty and sparkly,
so thick-cream groomed and chicken plucked?
So wayward and glossed, the leg parade
Marching for a man
Just one man
With just one head
Have a march for yourself instead
Have a gallop in the wood
Have a feral romp
Where’s your beasty mount
where’s your darkling brow
Your wild eyes darting
Ladies, ladies can you hear me?
Let’s snuffle and root shall we
Let’s snuffle and root in the undergrowth
Let’s use our snouts
Anyone for snouting out a grub
Shall we put down our tinkling drink, ladies?
Shall we dirty up our pansies
Shall we snip the whirling cord
The rope that slings us all in wayward circles
round & round we slog like tetherballs for jesus
please love me please love me please put me on top
like fresh dead herring
Fresh dead fish on a rope
sha la la a room full of fresh dead fish,
silvering fish ladies
tinkling drink ladies
panty hose pansies
silvering fish flopping
fresh dead flopping
sha la la ladies


mushroom bones hold up the fourth grade girl
blind-sided abandoned she wears a red skirt
adult flowers bloom on the deep red nylon
in matching slinky top, she’s so cute it hurts
family members break and evaporate
she stops stepping on cracks
liquid red skirt swings as she leaps
from smooth square to smooth square
her friends pretend not to notice as she looks
at the bottom of each shoe exactly 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 times
before she steps off the end
of her driveway
safety ends there
cancer eats her mother’s breast
some wind takes her father, where?
blood, the exact color of her skirt
oozes from the cracks
in her nine year old hand
riddled and raw
from the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 washings before each meal
and the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 washings after each meal
and the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 washings
merciful sleep

©2004 by Cathleen Daly

Cathleen Daly writes poetry and experimental theater. She has published a chapbook of poems called Ode to the Unhinged. The last play she wrote, How to be a Secret Agent Girl, won "Best of the San Francisco Fringe Festival." She also teaches theater and poetry to children.

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