Mars Retrograde & the Blues

by Catherine Chambers

I lost a boy somewhere
in the district under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass
along Jay Street, between the York stop
and the water. He followed me
off the F train and lit my cigarette
without me asking. I nearly forgot
to ask his name.  He put milk in his coffee.
We were both late to work, and I guess
that’s why I wasn’t serious enough for him.

I met a woman once who got the phone number
of Marlon Brando and called him every day.
One time, the other end of the line clicked
and Marlon Brando said,  “Pamela, don’t hang up.”
Of course, she did. I did that to a boy
I probably should have married; called
and called and called and called,
but in my case, he didn’t answer.

Stevie Nicks once said klonopin is worse than coke,
and I think I believe her because of a girl
I once loved, cocaine incarnate majestic
on her klonopin throne while I kissed her
ignoring feet and let her take swings at me;
when I tried to quit her I would tweak
and cry and play Jackson C. Frank on the ukulele.
I never found out if she had a seizure
from quitting me cold turkey, because
benzos will do that to you,

man. I am no planet of war; I am a girl.
People swing hammers at my insides,
pulled that way and this way, backwards
until my outsides have to follow.

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Catherine Chambers studied poetry and creative non-fiction at Goddard College in Vermont, where she served as senior editor for Duende Literary Journal. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf Stream Literary Magazine and The Indianola Review. Her work has been supported by The Writer’s Hotel and the Tin House Writer’s Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn with her dog, Bob Dylan.

 

Art: “Two Twenty Two Twenty Third” by Featured Artist Roger Leege.

Roger Leege started out as a painter, printmaker and analog photographer, earning BA and MA degrees in Visual Arts from Goddard College. During post-grad university study in computer science, he was an early adopter and evangelist for digital art and artists’ tools. With gallery, print, and online publishing credits in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, he especially enjoys working with writers and the “literate” press. His portfolios are located at rogerleege.net.