See also: Baubles by Laurel Ann Bogen


Slipping Into Night¹s Secret Clothes

It was all revealed somewhere
like the clue that eludes you
each time you open a door
pale blue and black orchid
you twist in that jacket
arms tied around your waist
as the night mumbles
strange offerings that return
like a bounced check
you scan again and again
looking for your name

this is not the end of it
just a momentary pause
as you try on the next mystery
the next pseudonym or scent
it is curiously easy you think
until you notice the stain
beneath the floral wallpaper
that darkens with each breath


My Sentence

The noose of it
wears me big
I weigh and grind
the words with method
efficiency afraid
of what they might say
and punctuate of my life

At first I was confused
could not could not
could not not not
unknot the stray tangents
the first time I saw my mother
or the last kiss before sleep
wanted to round up order
and let meaning fall
where it may

Later I played it out
as it showed itself to me
coaxed my human mind
to mastery

I have served
my sentence with devotion
watched as it flailed
and rose on the page
becoming that which I could never be



The Power Lines Are Down

The power lines are down
current spilling into current
I am cross-wired
aborted energy
mad with voltage
I flash neon signals

Love me

I spill all crazy
the fusion
of teashops and suicides
coming and going
without shieldings

whalebone and garter
I will not be confined
by steel casings
or wedding rings
my name is preceded
by a warning:
the power lines are down
love me

Detective Supremo

In my resume
of dubious acheievements
Detective Supremo squelches
book clerk
and other parachutes
of the art victim torpor
are manifestations of my life
with an 8-ball severity
faster than a double cc
of your favorite anesthesia

L.A. Bogen, Detective Supremo
my very name rolls on the tongue
like an aperatif
or a recalled cheese
an open parenthesis of mayhem
on the make
in the sulky afternoon
of Los Angeles
clues burn like rubber at me touch
you say
you want something
black and lethal
and smoking

I remember the Dain Curse Case
and smooth the seams
on black silk stockings
baby, what you nees
is a little private surveillance
a little Mickey Finn
night on the town
a 1-2 combination

you forge a smile
as I tap red
lacquer nails on glass
and exhale
a Santa Ana condition
Mulholland Drive
and the whole bloody San Andreas Fault

and suddenly
the bouganvillea greet you
like a happy extortionist
and it's cinco de mayo
everywhere you look
as I melt into crowds
just one step behind you.