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Denise Dumars

Denise Dumars is best known as a writer of short stories, poetry, and metaphysical nonfiction. She is a columnist for Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, and her latest book of poetry, Paranormal Romance: Poems Romancing the Paranormal and other books are available at Rev. Dee’s Apothecary: A New Orleans-Style Botanica, After teaching fulltime and caregiving for several years she is now starting to rebuild her writing career. She has poems coming out in Dreams & Nightmares, Spectrum Poetry, and the Southern California Haiku Study Group Anthology. She recently retired from teaching college English and is a former literary agent. She lives in the South Bay area of Los Angeles.

A Sex Poem

It will contain
everything a sex poem needs:
A reference to an abalone,
half a fig, the soft juice of a peach.
It will contain style:
gritty and baldly genital
or dear and camouflaged as love.
A man will throw himself at another
or a woman daringly speaks
of her lover’s fingers’ talents.
Someone will be sorry for something they did
or didn’t do. The sex
will be metaphorical as a drunken unicorn,
or as in-your-face as a purple dildo
with weird wiggly things
that completely ruin the mood,
and someone will burble
about blood and death
and a singular obsession
about someone’s lower lip
or little toe or curls
at the nape of a neck.
You know, that kind of shit
that makes you wonder
if the poet’s ever really had sex
or just knows the contents
of every sex poem from here
to Yuma’s Territorial Prison,
the one that Handsome Jack the Apache
kept escaping from,
but hey, that’s a love poem
and I’m supposed to be writing about sex.

Blue Hydrangeas

“I absolutely loathe hydrangeas” –Madonna

What weather is this that invades the cerulean sweep of sky
like the tasteless explosion of blue hydrangeas
into an otherwise orderly, rose and lilies of the Nile garden?

It muddies the conversation, belies the otherwise camera-frame-perfect,
carefully placed disorder of the distractions in our lives.
So beautiful and clear the skies when everything shut down.

I’d hoped that it would last, but blue is still the rarest color
in nature, and it’s only a matter of time before the earth
is blanketed in a shade I call “particulate brown.”

Smoke and noise from fireworks, more than a month too early.
Unhappiness revels in noise and filth,
The worst pollution always comes during wartime.

Neighbors of mine and others have poisoned edible plants,
believing that herbs and vegetables attract rats, a tide of ignorance.
Nothing is more harmless than lavender.

Lavender blue, dilly dilly; the paired words mean extraordinary, rare, or so
the dictionary blats. Leon and Mary Russell used the song for their wedding,
and we see how well that turned out. Lavender is never blue.

When I look outside I see a clabbered sky, the one Hoagy Carmichael
made famous. I could swear he sang it in Casablanca but apparently not.
I don’t have any other word for it, this thing, the war of the mind.

Aluminum makes hydrangeas blue, so save your pennies. Maybe they’ll be worth
something some day, the pennies, or even the hydrangeas. There are no gods
that factor into this equation. What you value tells me what you are.

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