Me, I like to putz in the kitchen and regard
fat garlic and hum about nothing. Make it up.
for blues . Like dragging down the street
in a hundred-and-four heat--you know
when air temp tops body temp, how buzzed
you get? Word for trance . So this character
taps me: remember me, mon amie ? Name’s
Breeze. Then she dictates most fabulous. I’m
blessed. She’s benign. Word for pixilated .
She’s a scholarship girl at the School of
so she drags me down the line to an out-of-town
show. Rattle express. Word for
kismet . This lady with the face of an old walnut
sits by us making lace with an eye-fine
hook and when the train dives into the tunnels
she keeps working in the dark. Word’s
exquisite . Breeze sings
scat all the way to the opening:
sculpture of heating ducts, stovepipes and stones.
Breeze is prole to the bone. The tablecloth’s
splattered with blood of the lamb,
wine on the lace. The critic pronounces
vulgar, and asks: Why have there been so few
great women artists?
We ask ourselves. The word is
jerkoff . Breeze, who is terrifyingly fluent,
challenges him to sew a bride’s dress. From
scratch. Femmes aux barricades! The critic
a cat’s cradle. Breeze spits: By hand. French lace.
From “Refuge” (University of Pittsburgh Press: $16.95 cloth; $8.95 paper; 73 pp.). Belle Waring is a Virginia native who teaches on the Field Faculty of the Vermont College MFA program and works as a registered nurse. 1990 Belle Waring.