Who are all the anonymous people on the Metra? Wearing black coats against the Chicago cold, Bundled against the b-r-r. The train perambulates forward, Rattling over the antediluvian tracks, And the people in their midnight overstuffed down coats, Look like black Pillsbury doughboys from hell. Coats black as night, black as cold, black as sin, These Chicagoans, these working-hard-nose-to-the-lodestone grinders, Their faces blank, fixating ahead, Faces like blackboards that a
Little Masticated Darlings, by Lannie Stabile. Wild Pressed Books. December 5, 2019.
http://www.wildpressedbooks.com/little-masticated-darlings.html Alexandre Ferrere: Little Masticated Darlings blends two genres that are not usually encountered together: poetry and crime novel. One can read on the first page “this work is based on true events”—could you explain? Lannie Stabile: I’m a big fan of both poetry and true crime, so it was a pleasant surprise when they intersected.
Rita Parking meters,
still the soldiers of urban islands,
guarding identical squares
of oil spotted cement for timeshare.
I hate them except when they’re broken.
Then they make my day.
Shouldn’t a small concrete rectangle
with no view
be free like the air we breathe? I shove in my quarters
and instantly feel hurried.
I never think Put in a few extra
so you can take your time.
People without urgency
find other ways.
Instead I think of Lovely Rita
the meter maid
Skim yesterday we went down the lane / picked blackberries / wild raspberries / you called them
grapes / I carried you / our heads together / we laughed in each other’s mouths / followed
the path to the river / a small beach / stones in the water / your dad made the stones dance / all the way across / like flycatchers skimming for insects / kissing little wavetops / an anti-
gravity trick / you copied him / plucked my heart from your pocket / made it skip too / all the way
The doctor laughs when I tell her my plan
was to give birth in the back yard, like my cat did her kittens
that it just felt like the safest place to me right now.
She says she doesn’t do house calls, so I’ll have to see her here. I regret the touch of cold metal against my skin, all of the poking and prodding
the ultrasound that shows only the skeleton of the human child inside me.
I wanted so much for there to be a litter of kittens, and I tell the doctor this
We walked to the Cultural District to be
at the jazz festival & basked in the sax of Nubya Garcia beside men on mushrooms grooving
underneath eternal heat, sweat in the air everywhere. It was a rare off being free
to roam in the spring-summer-autumn days of Lone Wolf. This year, we seek public stairs
down the warehouse side of Liberty Avenue, past the church turned brewery & power
plant we nearly lived across from. Above’s the plentiful hill with blue water tower, where
She sailed to India in a paper boat, entering the mouth of the Ganges with burned palms, a lifeline the length of a cherry bomb fuse. It was expected-- like the burp of a baby, like the inevitable coming of spring, like the molting of snake skin--that the river would spit her out somewhere along a burnt-sienna, croc-infested bank. All the tea in India was infused with sassy spices, which burned her soul, quarantined her tongue inside an ancient glass jar. She got it stuck mor