BY MARTHA SILANO
Man, we’ll never know what’s real. It’s just gonna be
a head banger’s ball until the end of eternity.
– Guy in sweatpants, MUFON meeting, Portland, Oregon
Like a Pyrex pan soaring across my grandmother’s kitchen,
making a bee-line for the steaming galumpkis. Like the dainty
saucer beneath my Aunt Joe’s favorite Royal Albert teacup,
the fine bone China I was cautioned not to touch: these and others
on the loose with nine sound-barrier-breaking croissants
arranged in a geese’s V. Blade thin, blindingly glowing.
They saw it from the capsule, thought it might be the final stage
of a Saturn V, but when they radioed Houston, learned
it was 6,000 nautical miles away, and anyways their conundrum
shaped like a dumbbell. Or was it a dome, burst of light and whoosh,
more like daylight but red light – planets with Christmas lights on,
over California, over Russia, over San Juan. Large-eyed and molten,
as in this is not a prank phone call! I got three of ‘em: yellow, green,
and blue, a shiny horizontal silver dollar but we couldn’t, you know,
blurt it out. Skipping over water, and they decide what’s real, so recant
or cover up, call it a weather balloon, strike from the record the words
I saw it, call it Project Grudge, don a thought-screen helmet (only two failures
since 1958). Transparent, acrid insectoid clinging to his trousers. Or was it
belladonna? Departing spaceship, or Citroen on the M8 motorway?
We have a red-eyed sperm critter; we are being escorted, dragged
to the ground. Like the lid on the pot of my grandmother kielbasa.
The never-to-be known, whirring and secret. All of it sizzling, crackling.
BY MARTHA SILANO
The domestic is … the stuff about cooking dinner, how you go about your day. And I guess the extreme of it is—I can’t even think of who the perpetrator is, but—the poems about the backyard.
– Matthew Rohrer
In which the moles are taking over.
Also, some kind of crookneck blighter,
critter that squishes the buds, liquidizing
like a spider does to an ant; and the Brussels,
poor Brussels, though an admirable mauve,
though prolific in the production of leaves,
I do not think they will yield. How ‘bout them
aphids, this garden their butter, lamb chop, 1⁄4 cow.
Bleak parsley, keeling kale. And did I mention
moles? Twelve years of this tufting, this nighttime
carousing like a pack of Tonka-truck-loving toddlers.
Meanwhile, the lawnmower insists I am beautiful,
wear my cojones well, but is really a dirty, noisy liar
spitting sticks of untruths. A no-good, gas-guzzling hussy
with his orange cord like a neon noose; he, missing
the tighter spots, the cat’s ear by the fence, is the lowest,
lower than a rodent with a penchant for lawns,
though I am the stupid one because Task Force
comes with a warning, DANGER on its black lapel.
The yard a weed yard, but I will make Nebraskas
of the hills, and I will Safer Soap, peace out
with the grubs, the lace they make of the basil.