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P.J. Nights

driving in a blizzard, listening to npr

the road ahead looks narrow
looks small, looks as if Paul Bunyon

has taken up soap carving
and is piling his leavings on I-95

a turnpike plow appears ahead -- its yellow
arrow points me to the left

over a strip of slickery snow
dividing the lanes most travelled

i'm not sure my mini-van can
"hold the course" not being fueled

with bushisms though it is, more often
than not

                 riding on fumes


isn't a word you should use in a poem
and as a serious poet I drag out
the thesaurus

     “blessed, blest, blissful, blithe”
     the latter a lack of due concern

           since I’ve a conscience
(a word I can never spell in one piece, so do so
      in two:

      con      Together; with; joint; jointly: commingle.

      science       a theoretical explanation of phenomena

           ) I reach for another

      “can’t complain” (it’s almost Friday)

“cheerful, chipper, chirpy”
      (too late at night for chickadees)

but the air churns, carrying train-whistles
and heady, intoxicating oxygen and I'm
“glad, gleeful, gratified” that I’ve lungs
           to catch it at all

a broad silver band - stone in the shape
of an alien’s head - rutilated quartz, black
      needles shooting through glass

too heavy for typing, too heavy for happy
so I ditch the ring

                          “light, lively,

looking good” – white capris and american flag
half sneakers, three strands of ankle beads
a manufactured tan

           an ass-wiggle (I've got that down!)

“merry, mirthful” (ok , I consent to the laugh)
“peaceful” (equivalent????? no, but perhaps as full)

cinnamon toothpaste and tangerine soap,
– shiraz and cigarettes – the bits that catch me
unaware      the billion stars that inflate me
with their light      the trite sand filling
    empty spaces between my toes

the brass band behind the Rolling Stones
is where it's at (you can’t always get what you want,
but that’s what I need)     that freakin’ green worm
           crawling up my arm

a “sparkling, sunny, thrilled”
      shower of blossoms, leaves, fruit, seaspray
   that leaves me feeling

           not “perky, playful, pleasant”
     or          “thrilled, tickled, tickled pink”

     not “upbeat”



           SAY IT!!!!!!!!!      fucking


©2005 by P.J. Nights

P.J. Nights lives in Maine, where she teaches astronomy and physics, two loves passed on to her by her father. Her current projects include a collaboration on sacred sexuality with graphic artist Joseph Barbaccia, and co-editing (with C.E. Laine and Dorothy Mienko ) The Women of the Web anthology, available from Sun Rising Press. Her poem "from wives and mothers" was nominated for a 2004 Pushcart prize by Blue Fifth Review. You may read more of her work and that of other poets at the from east to west Web site.

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