“Asteraceae Silybum marianum” and “Porcelain Skin” in COMP: an interdisciplinary journal https://www.compajournal.com/m-lenoir-bond-2-poems 2020
“Rorschach: I See a Blood Nest” in the Best New Poets 2019 Anthology
“Toward the Bells of Post Sainthood” in Belletrist 2018 issue.
“I Beheaded My Beloved” and “Belly Lint” in Phantom Drift, fall 2016 issue.
MUSE/Johns Hopkins: “Stings” and “Claddaugh Dance (Don’t ****ing Call Me Ginger)” and part of Red Night Desert District”: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/597523, spring 2016.
“Michael, please” and “Stings” and “Claddaugh Dance (Don’t ****ing Call Me Ginger)” and “Collectors” and “Red Night Desert District” in Prairie Schooner literary journal, fall 2015 issue.
“Scrumpy Cider Purple Heart Sanctuary” and “Villain Villanelle” in december Magazine, fall 2015 issue.
“No More Mini Clown Car Parades” in Silk Road: A Literary Crossroads journal, Number 12, Spring 2014
Sometimes I make origami:
butterflies, hearts, and swans
multi-colored, double-sided slices
of everything I am trying so hard
I imagine 300 Monarchs hanging from the cypress—
like they way Michael clung to me,
slow dancing in a smoky bar
Michael please don’t stand
between me and those who are still living
Be at the end of a bridge, lighting candles patiently
dressed in silver
But please don’t mind if I am not alone now, because
I don’t want to be, anymore
Be sitting on a lotus flower, calm,
so that I can stop
camping-out at phone booths
in cities I travel
calling your uncle—the one who took you
in the black, windowless van on some weekends—
so I can stop winding up your baby toy,
that fading yellow music box,
and playing it into the phone
just so he knows fear, wonders if
someone else knows
what he did to you, clutching that plastic song
you carried everywhere. It sings
“My name is Michael, I got a nickel,
I’m gonna buy me some candy…”
Let me see your beautiful face not
Ophelia-blue, not spread-out on cement
but dancing, singing in Spanish
flipping a coin
calling heads, calling tails,
calling forth a tiny
world you created
Not calling out
for me, anymore—
By M Lenoir Bond. ⓒ 2015 M Lenoir Bond
“Michael, please” originally appeared in Prairie Schooner literary journal, fall 2015 issue.
Two pounds of loose, dried
flowers, I stick my whole face
in the center of the bag the way
the sun pokes its head into the sky.
The sharp edges of scent
travel through my body,
resting somewhere in my spine.
I begin to soften, memories of
tea with honey, lemon drops
cracking open in my mouth.
Petals like dried white wings
cradling a small yellow globe,
sunshine and earth sink to swim,
head full of nectar and senses
so full that my thoughts escape me,
and I’m grateful just to breathe
the royal work of bees. An obvious apple
perfume, childhood years in the orchard.
Fields of these
tiny, bright daisies.
Their generous calming gift
lullaby me away from the burden
of my heavy human machine.
By M Lenoir Bond. ⓒ 2016 M Lenoir Bond
“Chamomile” originally appeared in Rust & Moth 2016 issue https://rustandmoth.com/work/chamomile/
Rorschach: I See a Blood Nest
A hose had dispersed your blood
with colossal gusts of water that left
your insides a Rorschach-like
pattern on the ground far below the ledge.
It had been three days, so the red
had turned more brown, slowly baking
on the cement in the hot Sacramento sun.
Your life reduced to a game we played as children,
more like a godly art-kit. Twirl-o-paint, Magic Spin
Art, Fantastic Spinner. A lever spun a square
of paper (lives) and paint (love) was poured into the middle.
I found an odd coin with mystical symbols
near the remains. I’m not sure if it was yours
but if it wasn’t it’s all the more strange. My thumb flipped
the warm metal and it landed just like you, heads. It’s dark—
to mention that—I know. It’s also unavoidable, carrying this
image along with the coin and a heavy leaf I collected there,
just like every other of life’s weighty, sticky sorrows. I was given
the rings from your fingers and a copy of the note,
largely written to me, and then to some of your family,
a couple of friends, and a public To All Whom…address.
It was 3 months after Kurt’s greenhouse death. The two
are forever tied in my mind. I was spared identifying
your body. But many miracles are the nightmares
of others. And so it goes, a different Kurt said.
The spot where you landed could have
been an opening. The jagged edges to an astral lake.
A portal. A different life and I hope that in this one your uncle
does not infect you. I hope in this life you can swim, float
without falling. A swan. Flightless but graceful, long hook neck,
and committed to a love greater than your own life.
How quickly this life has passed, you’ll never know now.
After the funeral, your mother sat curbside, clutching
a big red suitcase, sweating in the 102-degree shadeless sun. Where
ya going, we asked, openly clinging to our own bottled liquid escapes.
Mental hospital, she flatly stated. We all nodded, in
a strange sort of unison, immediate with understanding. Somebody
had invited a psychic to the funeral wake. Some people took acid.
Someone said when a body descends from a great height, the soul
leaves the body before landing. Later on, someone who never
even knew you said it was likely very fast and painless, how the neck
tends to just snap. Leaving behind a flightless carcass of bones, flesh,
and perhaps some white feathers as shiny as coins.
By M Lenoir Bond. ⓒ 2019 M Lenoir Bond
“Rorschach: I See a Blood Nest” originally appeared in the Best New Poets 2019 Anthology
Asteraceae Silybum marianum
I was born of with hundred tiny horns
Balancing on a hollow stem
Reaching into the earth’s dark navel.
In spring, my soft purples and bright greens
pull in the attention of pollinators.
You must witness a bumblebee
falling asleep at dusk in a summer breeze
to become truly complete.
I, too, am a thing to be viewed,
but also to never be touched.
My hooking claws
are always ready
to snag fur or feathers or skin
with the precision of arrows.
I am the symbol of a once stentorian
country, now softened by it’s
hills of verdant glaze and weather-
smoothed, craggy introductions.
Come autumn, I go beige and
begin to grey, brittle under rains
after months of sunny heat.
My spikes remain even as
I crumble into the slumber season.
By M Lenoir Bond. ⓒ 2020 M Lenoir Bond
“Asteraceae Silybum marianum” originally appeared in COMP: an interdisciplinary journal https://www.compajournal.com/m-lenoir-bond-2-poems 2020
•Milepost 5 Portland, OR, July 6, 2017
• Mother Foucault’s Bookshop, Portland, OR, October 2016
•Common Grounds Coffeehouse, Portland, OR, July 6, 2016
• Mother Foucault’s Bookshop, Portland, OR, January 2016
• Pairings Cafe, Portland, OR, June 2015
• Jade Lounge, Portland, OR, June 2014
• Jade Lounge, Portland, OR, May 2014
• Glyph Cafe, Portland, OR, May 2014
• Jade Lounge, Portland, OR, March 2014
• The Cat Club, San Francisco, CA, March 2013
• Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, June 2012
• Salvatore’s, Seaside, OR, Jan 2012
• Luna’s, Sacramento, CA Summer 2010
• USC (Univeristy of California), Los Angeles, CA, Fall 2007
Coming soon, eventually: More Portland, OR readings as well as Seattle, WA and Sacramento, CA.