Art

3 Poems For Your Consideration – Chloe Wheeler

dimes square wednesday soirée 

Shredded carrot salad 

à la Ray Peat, two glasses of wine.

rosé for you, pinot for me—for sure, 

you say, for sure we’re moving out 

by January. For sure. I’m not. 

I’m constipated. I need to charge my phone. 

Your vape is dead. We split the bill, 

leave the cafe, go analog. Light up a Marb. 

Sit on a stack of pallets. Read that poem

by Ferlinghetti where he’s like,  

“I always feel so 

                                constipated

in those 

             high altitudes.” 

Not sure if I’m starving or stuffed. Light another Marb. 

Should we buy those smoke choked sidewalk grapes? 

For sure. Actually, not sure. Actually, never mind. 

Let's digest. Okay. We look away. 

Can you check the address of the play? 

A man walks by. He’s ogling a big flower pot

stuffed with fluffy white blossoms. You think

I could take some? He asks. Why should we care? 

For sure. He yanks out a generous bouquet. 

I ask him if it’s for someone special. 

Yeah, myself. 

Okay.  

185 East Broadway. 

party girl elegy

what it means to be alive. gum wrappers and dirty lace thongs

strewn across the ink stain archipelago. breasts swaying heavy

like crew socks filled with sand. posters tarnished by too much

tape, transported back and forth across the country. a half eaten

orange, gossamer threads between my teeth. yellowed cat-eye

teeth, bright and alive. a little too much life. never a bad thing.

crest white strips are made for a reason. cavities can be filled.

but this rot isn’t periodontal. it’s a soft pulp on the inner rings.

termites at the roots. bark peels from my branches. I sway idly,

without blossom. shuddering, afraid to slip into February sleep,

into the burrows of solitude. can i escape eminent hibernation?

but the mattress is calling, pillows plead, my nail-polish chips,

streamers sag, intentions NO intestines whine. i guess it’s time.

                                                      the waning Dionysian epoch.  

but i don’t want to stop. when a chameleon dies,  

they burst into a kaleidoscope of color.

the colors reflect their emotions.

death is everything happening to you.

life is a big nothing.

slope

Greenwood Cemetery closes in 20 minutes.

“sorry ladies, you’re too late,” a guard informs us

through slits in the wrought iron gate.

    [pivot] walking back from whence we came,

we decide the sun is enough

entertainment for both of us, and really,  

who wants to think about death? i mean,

maybe Madi, who borrowed my copy

of The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker,

or Nina, who had to euthanize two kittens

at her job at My Pets Vet, or perhaps

Yay, retching beside Saran-wrapped

cuts of weeping beef at Food Bazaar,

or even Luke’s father, who lives

across from the cemetery,

but has never once been inside.

           DEATH wriggles her fingers between

          the slotted sparse stratus, whispering

          her presence on the breath of a zephyr,

         obtruding upon the present, lurking,

         in wet piles of last Autumn’s leaves,

        Miller Lite cans nestled between

        the curb and the street, the chill…

but then [we turn]

                and 8th Ave is ALIVE—

fecund, flowering, stippled with new grass,

gaiety, resplendent pink magnolia trees.

two little boys haggle over candy bars

at the deli mart, tiny babies drool

in their strollers, a red breasted robin

pecks at granola bar crumbs outside

the Park Slope Nitehawk cinema.

     [thinking] how lucky, how blessed

we are, to be here, in Brooklyn, and

feel the miles of pavement pounded

begin to gnaw into our heels, drinking

overpriced cold brew we bought

at a boujee 5th Ave cafe,

    (the one with the e.e. cummings poem

pasted next to the pastry display case).

to be ALIVE, and smoke svelte Capris,

catching fistfuls of the tender, not-quite-yet

Spring breeze, watching mallards court,

and glide through algae, across

the heart of Prospect Park,  

as we peel back the petals

of March 16th's NYT newspaper.