Saint Louis, Missouri

30 September 2006

Five Poems

And I Would
Pittsburgh Bus-Ride
Ghost Orchid
The Blackness

Poet's Bio



And I Would

My head aches with the weight of one-thousand black balloons.

she called last night from her Zulu shack
talking to me of Buddhist-beauty-booze
monastery mornings
Paris lust at noontime
the hour of the shadow.

her pony-tailed-yogi-wannabe Jesus just squeezed her
on a street corner where rain tickles their inner-lip kiss.

I’m sitting here in a basement brick shithouse
wishing I was Neruda, Ovid, Trickster Rabbit or Lorca
my words moving her to tempests of firelight
to calling my name like a blond-haired cowboy kid
in an old western flick:
“Come back Shane, Come back!”

And I would.




My pet fly is drowning in lukewarm wax
from vanilla candles on my window sill,

tonight Tallulah Bankhead watches me
with her drunken Chinese cyclops eye

as I witness this sad death rattle.



Pittsburgh Bus-Ride

The violins are playing
summer overtures in her stomach again
this lady with Liz Taylor lipstick
and a suburban mom hair-crop
just sat down next to The Man in Black
on the greyhound bus to Pittsburgh
though empty seats are everywhere

He speaks like a priest
so she asks to use his phone
before even saying hello
he gives it to her
sensing her tether
is about to snap into fake plastic pieces
on the phone she calls her mother
asking forgiveness for being weak
she just left a find-god-in-your-heart convent
one-month shy of her scarlet letter & deliverance
for two weeks these women could not speak
ten-hour days of pushing brooms and washing dishes
nights memorizing scripture for oral exams
she lost her Jesus somewhere in the silence
somewhere in the dust and dishwater
this lady whose name he never knew
begins to cry the cry of a dog
stuck with needles of anesthesia
not understanding pain can be kindness
homeless and hungry for cigarettes
she calls her family once more
begging them to let her come home
to see her daughters again
they suggest the Salvation Army
sinners cannot expect a family’s charity
Jesus said after all



Ghost Orchid

I have found my flower
in the muck 
it is you
it is you
it is you
crazy white lady
my locust mind

sitting up
in the witching hour
reading letters
you have written
in the blood
Nietzsche spoke of 
I pretend
you are Sybil Vane
writing Dorian Gray
planning death,
your moment to pollinate

these letters are worms
squirming in my heart,
making house
making me want
to be more than
your Ugly American,
your Solitary Man

Poetess of tiny death
come from Africa
for one love
one whiskey
one tangerine
one morning dance
in our garden gray
where we can dig in
your twilight sand
naked, covered in dung
under a lavender sky.



The Blackness

Sylvia made it sound like a sleeping
pill for the pariah with mind disease
like an organism without purpose
like an inhale laced with anti-freeze
like the sway of a satin dress
like mother’s headache charm
filled with screaming stars
like the songs of Johnny Cash
haunting men looking for big love
like dead pigs lying in the house  
bleeding and breathing vomit
like melting a Chocolate Jesus
like the silk of a white spider
like this lullaby
“where oh where have you been my love?”
like the shades drawn in summer
for girls touched by daddies unclean
like the eyes of a Mexican Vietnam Vet
with agent orange birth marks
like the faint smile of a lover
lying supine and waiting
like breakfast clove smoke
like a pasture of pillows
like the winds of Puget Sound.



Shane Signorino is a poet-actor-wannabe musician-slam cat. He has two BAs: one in Experimental Psychology and the other in English Lang. & Lit./Theatre. His work has been published in the River Bluff Review and he received the William Carlin Slattery Memorial Award for Poetry at SIU-Edwardsville. He's played dying- of-AIDS drag queens, cowboys in aburdly tight pants, British psychiatrists, and monkeys writing Hamlet.