An interesting selection of poems by Lorna Thorpe

Lorna Thorpe on Poetry:

“It’s easier for me to think in terms of what characterizes my poetry – people often talk about my poems in terms of energy, a conversational voice, feistiness and a defiant humor. I can’t argue with any of that – I think some of that comes from my love of American poetry, the looseness of it. But it’s also about voice – all the writing I love, whether prose or poetry, has a distinctive voice. From time to time I try writing more concise poems but those poems don’t sound like me – they sound like me trying to be what I think a poet should be.

 

Pearl

We picture you in the Chelsea Hotel
limousines purring outside,
the ice-cream sheen of Leonard’s cum
pearling your quivering lips.  Or onstage,
white blues mama, shimmering in silver lamé,
mouth wide in the ecstatic throes of joy or pain –
who the hell knows, man?  Ripping out
each note, ripping out heart, lungs, throat,
that unholy howl unpacking the smokestacks
of Port Arthur, its cheerleader ideal, the prom
no one invited you to, ugly duckling,
the irritant lodged in your heart, which you choked
with beads and feathers, speed and horse,
Southern Comfort, that wild cackle laugh.
You were the hottest chick in town, could out-ball
any guy but no man made you feel as good
as an audience and if pearls are tears of the gods
yours were shed in private, that wisecracking shell
hiding the square dream of love and picket fences
you never quite left behind on Pearl’s road to fame.
The day you bought it at the Landmark Motel,
face down, wedged between wall and bed
in panties and blouse, your lip cut, fisting a handful
of silver and bills, your life zapped
by the too-pure heroin you skin-popped earlier,
you’d called City Hall about a marriage license,
never dreaming your fiancé would be removing his pants
in a game of strip billiards at the moment you’d lay
your works in a Chinese box and lurch forwards.

© Lorna Thorpe

check out her poems and website here

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