Canon

In galleries and museums
for the educated masses
pieces of refinement
are studiously put on display.

Remnants of the ancient world,
the middle world,
the enlightened world,
the postmodern world,
shoved under spotlights and protective glass.

Depictions of past ages views of
prostitutes dressed up like a Madonna.

Long hair
flowing down
a spotless back.

Hands modestly
half covering
a naked breast
but only
slightly,
coyly,
temptingly,
mocking the viewer
with fingers that never spread.

Legs long and round buttocks,
birthing hips and elegant arms,
all positioned, angled,
painted and carved
into just
the
right
spot.

Who’s brush strokes,
who’s chisel,
carved out a place
for mannequins of women
to take up space?

Forever judged,
in places of refinement,
exultation.
final interpretation.

What a woman should be.

As men amongst them sigh and smile
a young girl
practices impractical poses
in a corner.
And a woman listens to her lover ask;
Why can’t you look like that?

 

Rent

We wake before dawn
trudging in our half-awake ways,
stumbling around darkened rooms
in a never ending quest for caffeine.

Lights dimmed,
still brighter
than the tree lined streets.

Shuffling on clothes,
digital lights blink
in-and-out,
reminding us that the sun
won’t rise – for hours.

Leaves scratch out dirt patterns,
we don’t see in the dark,
an invisible reminder
just how far from nature we have wandered.

In trains,
in cars,
in city streets.
We ride,
we drive,
for hours.

Just to sit down at desks
four towns over
and a county west.

Bedroom lights from our betters
sky-high above us
blink off-and-on
like the stars we will never reach.

A wealth we will never reach,
a comfort we will never reach,
a job we will never reach.

So we trudge on,
on foot,
on bike,
on scooters at our feet.

Into artificially lit cubes
or open-concept floors,
just as the sun begins to break over
man-made skyscrapers
obscuring stubby trees.

We dream of a commute
that doesn’t slowly suck up our lives,
but that is not to be.

Not next to sidewalk next to work,
not in the neighborhood next to work,
not in the city next to work,
not in the county next to work,
they are not meant for us.

Not meant for our salaries, what they are,
not meant for our comfort, little what it is,
not meant for our lives, disposable what they are.

Buildings rise high,
as high as the price,
as high as the CEOs,
as high as privilege
born into the lucky few.

As we are forced
out,
over,
and past.

Eight hours work,
eight hours sleep,
eight hours what we will.

What we will.
What we will have to do.

Eight hours to pay
for the privilege
of eight hours work.

 

Sol Revenge

Icarus and his wings of wax,
thought too much of his elevated state,
took no heed of his father’s warning
to moderate and remain in the mellow middle.

Mother Nature,
Mother Earth,
Helen and Mary together,
don’t take to kindly
when mistaken,
when taken
for granted.

So up, up, up he went
and down, down, down he came
you would think that after a millennia
that humanity would have learned by now.

Wax becomes steel
and humans become cargo
in legendary cities
re-born from the fiery depth.

Mother Nature melts metal,
bends beams and warps coils
razor sharp rays beat down from above,
a silent staccato impossible to ignore;

There is no lift off
if there is no ground,
take care of what you have and
heed the Warning of the Heat.

 

Ingi House is an archivist and has written on several archival topics. She has published in or is up-coming in Gods and Radicals, The Literary Hatchet, NOUS, and others. Originally from the Midwest, she is trying out both coasts to see which one is best. She loves words and hopes they love her back. Contact her on Twitter @IngiHouse.

 

(Photo credit: Flickr.)