Kathleen Casey

Selfish Poem

I want tactile skin like cream and thorns. 
I want you to laud me for a gracile form.


I want to be forcefully delicate.
Do you know what I mean? I want to be devoutly apostate.


I am not good at symbols or numbers.
And puzzles annoy me. This is true.


I want an easy life. I want equanimity not equations.
I don’t want to equivocate. However—


Specifically, I want certain ambiguity.
I want to be a soporific insomniac.


I want sugar to be good for you, pasta too.
Sometimes I dream I’m eating the world.


I want to be in and out—I want to be in-famous
I want to be (a) admired (b) beloved (c) coddled. 


I want to be rich and sharp but not crass.
I want things my way because I know I’m right.


I want to be a gregarious hermit. 
I want to be (a) alone (b) belligerent (c) cantankerous.


I want to not worry about what others think.
I want to be liked. Good. 


I want the sky blue          no truly   I want blue.
I want rain. I want the sky to be generous.


I want to know French but not study it. Same with Spanish.
I want terrible beauty and no terror. 


I want rainbows to be less corny,
like arcs du ciel—they are beautiful and rare.


I want to be transliterate in translation. A cognate?
I don’t know why. I want to be fixed and transfixed.


I want voluptuous—just not everywhere.
I want fat pears. Here.


I want to fly fast without flying.
I don’t care that its safe. It doesn’t feel safe.


I want less turbulence and more thunder.
Air friction—an elixir—air fiction.


I want to write a poem about everything.
I want to lie about everything. I want to lie about.


I want to imagine imagoes or magic that works. 
The kind you have to work for. The kind you have to work for.


I want time to fold and unfold
without wrinkles, sans gravity. Avec vanity.


I want to elide the past and rearrange it. I want to select 
adjectives for the future. I always wanted to direct.


I want to draw upon my resources 
and erase them with impunity. 


I want to do this so that I can die happy.
If I must die I want it to be happy.


I want new without replacing old.
I want an old cat—to live—forever—young.


I want forever to be true, truly. 
I want the truth to be true again, not blue.


I want to kill time without injuring eternity.
I want eternity to last forever.


I want everything to be fresh, except
the waiter. I want fresh winter.


I want face lifts encoded into our DNA.
I want reversals.


I want to speak in tongues. Forked or flaming.
Substantial. Sublingual. Subterranean. 


I wanted to be a submarine,
but I couldn’t breathe.


I want to be warm and comforting
like ice splintering—I want red or is it white?


I want to scream about peace and war.
Do you know what mean? I want to be a holy terroire.


I want to fight oppression
but I feel crushed, like grapes. This is true. 


I want impossibilities.
Is that too much to ask? Im-possibilities?


Do you know what I mean?
This is not a riddle.


Remember. I said I don’t like puzzles.
Think about it.­­­

Venom Moon

The sky severed—
Welcomed me,

Inconstant me.
            Bone Moon
            Moon of the Terrible
            Moon of Dispute
            Bitter Worm Moon

I, Eating June, Blue and Harvest Moon,
Black May Not Survive My Horns Moon.

I have a fascination for disintegration.


In the sting of certain creatures
In chemical reactions
In compounds made for misery
In bodies in extremis.
In beauty that is savage


            In the Blue Ringed Octopus
            And the Lily of the Valley 
            And Glaucus Atlanticus
            And Atropa Belladonna


Mysterious am I to you, mysterious to myself too,
A riddle riddled, wholly whole, a Eucharist of Venom
            Poison Moon
            Melanoma Moon
            Moon Eating Moon Moon
            Mercurial Medicine Moon.

Once I had the chance to be the sun.
A male light, hot light, roar making sere light,
Offered that open fire to me.

But night drew me to her pool.
Solitary.                    Dim.

A cool breath resides in me, but is not me.
I am my own kind of heat—a nitrogen of flaming freeze.
A duality.
Filled with vengeance.
Quivered with rebellion.
Fat with formidable
                                    and longing. 

Is it wrong?
This fury, cold fire.

This charred light?

Was it right to avenge this radiant scar?


This hurt of murder—this body rent from that other body.
This soul left to suffer psychic thirst.

But who’s to say where the answers are
And how they twist or seize the breeze?

Some say forgiveness is saintly,
Good.    Baptize me 
But that ennui bores me,
Like the sweet June Moon, round and smooth with certainty.     

But then there is the torment.

Anyway, I likethat witch who summons me in her bright need
Her dark truth scribed in rime.
She draws me to her nightshade blood,
Her white light blood.

And the Druid queens who tattooed me 

Onto their gleaming brows.
That pleases me, too.

And my image flashing now
In tranquil lakes—


I weep when the wind breaks and quaking water shakes my visage
Scattering my lips, my triskelion hair
Folding my skin.

Is that sin? Another deadly sin?

I want what I want.

My Scorpion breath waits, wins.
            I wield shadow,
            Pull the comet’s tail,
            The sea waves to me.
I am not the sun but proximity makes me fearsome
                                      And seductive.


We swim in the same Ocean of Storms,
In the same Sea of Tranquility.
The Sea of Crisis envelopes us
The Sea of Vapors evaporates to salt our days.


I am half-light, quarter-light—The Known Sea. 

I will come to you like a bitter bell broken.
Or a tide of shards
Or a cusp of red.
Like drifts of starlings
Or squid ink drifting
Or a vial of black ribbon.

A wraith rung from sleep.

A wraith rung from sleep.

What Mary Really Wanted

A Poetic Rant or Apotheosis Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

In One Act 

CAST OF CHARACTERS:                                  MARY: (surname unknown) Mother of Jesus Christ,
                                                                                          a.k.a. Blessed Virgin, a.k.a. Ave Maria,  

                                                                                          a.k.a. Holy Mother a.k.a. Queen of Heaven

                                                                                          TIME & PLACE: Present, Past, Future, Dusk,                                                                                                        Judea, Everywhere

                                                                                          AT RISE: MARY in a flowing white robe, and blue                                                                                             veil stands/floats, a huge bouquet of white lilies in                                                                                                 her arms. The sun sets over the desert, a field of red                                                                                               poppies sways in the distance.


(Turns from the sunset and faces the audience.)

I never asked to be the “Mother of God.”
I had other plans, cast aside when you anointed me “Queen of Heaven.”
For example, did you know I tried to steal azure
from the sky in the trembling dazzle of my youth,
and hid a thousand ardent secrets in the sly shade
that brushed itself against the skin of the slick date palms.


Wonder melted me at dusk.
I coveted dark; glimmered pink and red.


Desire slid between my sheets,
lodged inside my dreams and lingered—
on the perfect curve of that young shepherd’s back.


How I traced his spine, hungering.
His desert arm raised to wine.
The dust he drank away.
How I longed for the musk of his hard,
dark body slipping next to mine,
coveted his lips against my hips and more...


I wasn’t made to be a Virgin!

That angel picked me.
Pricked me with a child but didn’t think to ask me!


Lord! My father beat me. My mother wept.
It wasn’t holy, see,
God didn’t let them know he’d chosen me!


I had no say in getting that god-child.
Christ! Jesus!
Born in anguish like us all.
Divine? Well.      Maybe?
So you say, so you believe.


But that old man, Joseph?
You’d call him “St. Pedophile” today.


I’m not bitter. But it was a bitch,
birthing that kid at fourteen.


And he should have stayed a carpenter!
He had a trade, traded for some philosophy,
for some fuzzy future “life after death,”
some silly notion of sanctity and rebellion.


Listen, politics is tricky.
And sacrifice is—overrated.


But, I did love him,
that long-haired son-of-a-god.
My life was slain when they nailed him
to those splintered slabs
that mark the cryptic juncture
between death and life.


And yes, he rose up.
But who wants a walking dead?
Even then. 


So, I got these robes all white and royal blue.
This gilt-edge too, this strip of gold paid out,
a thin, cheap ransom for my trouble, for my pain;
an insipid smile and downcast eyes,
a gaudy crown to “reign.”
A “Queen of Heaven” chained to clouds and 
dull cold mist, wishing I were earthed instead.


I never cared for blue or white.
Too cool, pristine, too difficult to clean.

I loved the colors of the sun stumbling
into dusk like a lunatic dressed for Fat Tuesday
in raucous dew split light.


See, if you had really known me,
you’d understand—I’d rather chew
those scarlet poppies over there,
or swoon beneath the dahlia’s raving burst, 
than float up here in air, enforced to bear
a million of these foolish, feckless blooms.

(Lights Out)

Kathleen Casey is an emerging poet living in the Pacific Northwest. She graduated with a degree in fine art and has been actively involved in the visual arts since completing her education. An interest in lettering spurred her to study calligraphy and the history of typography and graphic design. Recently she has become enthralled by the mysteries and joys of poetry. An international traveler, she has received awards for her photography and artwork. Her passions include color, texture, conservation, gardening, theatre, poetry and animals, especially of the feline persuasion.