Kathleen Rooney & Elisa Gabbert (Chicago, USA): Two Poems


One step past permanent delete, I bereave
the whole synthetic thing & so what if
a barren moonscape "presents." Then crashes.
If complete giving over to belief fills anyone's
false eyelashes w/ frenetic gladness, if I cast
my subconscious wishes in the trash,
who will notice my five-year plan imploding,
so ashen unto itself & off-loading its expectations.
I forget the gist of the incantation. Pushing the pull,
I'll never get in that way. Any club, diamond, or
spade is a tool for ace investigators, cracking
the case right out of the dossier. It's so cliché,
but the blonde cigarette girl wants to teach me how
to learn. Her inner wrist is like thistledown.
So much information, so little requited yearning.
Only a musical child grows up to be a whistler.
I can't believe what I used to miss never left, though
the ghost assures me & the abyss echoes on: I never
left. Now that I know I'm not alone I want to be
& the dark seems darker, the days rained out.


Becoming even more weird than you are attractive
is another popular approach to getting on TV.
I'm so terrible at games. I couldn't think of
at least one way in which serial killers are
just like serial commas & serial monogamy.
Your first fifteen minutes of fame are a way of
letting the universe know how bad you want it.
I looked pretty good? Or I felt good about what
I had left in the dust of "the other Connecticut."
I'm not searching for Miss America here. I'm
collecting data on answers to "Where are you from?"
"How come?" and "How desperate does one
finally become?" In sum, life is less a journey
& more a candelabrum containing a too-short candle.

© Kathleen Rooney/Elisa Gabbert 2008