House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

Regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, in partnership with the Reader's Loft.


Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.

Blind Spot

This was the start of the nightmare... sadly it has gotten worse... was trying to make sense of it here... can't write about all of quite yet... just bits... let me know what you think. Writing does help, and whoever said "poetry is light in the darkness" knew what they were talking about.

Blind Spot

Ghost gets into the car with me at the bus station
with scabs on his knees like small medallions. 
There is no overnight bag, only a longboard,
a cell, headphones looped around his neck.
He takes a shower. I wash his T-shirt and shorts.
His feet are ruined, green and  blistered.

Ghost is hungry and eats a tray of appetizers
that a relative fries in an outdoor deepfryer.
Ghost thinks I should open a restaurant,
serving only the bacon-wrapped hotdogs.
I see desolation in his eyes like haymowing,
deadened chaff, thrashed and left to dry.

The sun is a raised vesicle, hot, 
almost too hot for a party. 
Ghost sidesteps the periphery,
dribbling a soccer ball with his disasterous
feet, muttering that we must hear
his story. Must. Hear. His. Story.

The party is not about him.
His party-elect sister rolls her eyes
like small, boiled potatoes. I am complicit,
inviting him with intent, worried.
His erratic texting made me afraid.

Some of us are the standard-bearers.
Some of us are the broken.

His girlfriend left him, taking their toddler son with her.
All day he directs large men wielding chainsaws.
He forgets to take his medicine.
He takes his medicine all in one week.
The job is a lost cause.

His story is garbled, full of factuals,
things he wishes were true.
The footbridge to reason is out.
He has frayed the regard of everybody
he knows. Even the Black Angus low
mournfully in a neighbor's farm field.

The sun sets in my eyes. 
His sister doesn't want him near her.
Somebody calls the cops,
thinking they'll bring the help he needs.

The cops can't help him.
They can only release him into the night,
longboarding his long lonely road,
while the rest of us watch
in our silos of helplessness.

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