A Pot of Tea
by Richard Kenney
Loose leaves in a metal ball
Or men in a shark cage steeping,
Ideas stain the limpid mind
Even while it’s sleeping:
Ginseng or the scent of lymph
Or consequences queasing
Into wide awareness, whence,
Like an engine seizing
Society remits a shudder
Showing it has feeling,
And the divers all have shaving cuts
And the future’s in Darjeeling—
Blind, the brain stem bumps the bars
Of the shark cage, meanwhile, feeding,
And the tea ball’s cracked, its leaves cast
To catastrophic reading:
Ideas are too dangerous.
My love adjusts an earring.
I take her in my arms again
And think of Hermann Göring,
And all liquidities in which
A stain attracts an eating,
And of my country’s changing heart,
And hell, where the blood is sleeting.
A Princess and Her Pee
Princess dressed to attend the ball.
Trouble is brewing, pain is steeping.
She is troubled inside her mind—
Will she survive, or like her colleague, end up sleeping?
Wracking cough of mucus and lymph,
All around people are, at the sound, queasing.
From here they wonder whence
she commences her seizing.
Princess expectorates with a shudder
and onlookers get a sneaking feeling
that in her spare time she cuts.
Did she pick up consumption in Darjeeling?
After the ball she hits the bars,
picks up a few guys and proceeds in feeding
every stereotype of her caste.
And the reader persists her reading.
The behavior of the princess is dangerous.
Don’t share her necklaces or earrings.
She goes to the free clinic to get tested again—
her monthly voluntary goring.
The test is necessary. By which
disease is dying. Which is eating
her body, her mind, her heart?
Her hopes are dashed by diseased sleeting.