Guest Poet Mary Masi

Stone Legacy

I. a nightmare for Jeniva

stones have been and 
will be eaten by the Light Ones,
for light streams float no legacies

each One stands alone

the stones

dense bits of human darkness
forged in the bowels of the Dim Ones
offered up in chipped chunks
to load the Light Ones


she swallows the stones

to weight her spirit
to feign a mid-life
to shield her light 
from the Dim Cronies' scorn

she swallows to build a shutter

until she lays choking
on the bitter taste of blue-lipped babble
spilling over where once
her bright dreams were borne

gasping for luminance

she spits the stones into her lover's eye
blackening its magic
she hocks them into children's ears
dream-ripping and jagged

she squeezes them into her bile
the stones infect her blood

she now has love for patronage
and patronage for love

the legacy

quarrying with the Dim Ones now  
she is no longer Light
she forges stones of her own
and babbles nothing bright

She feeds her stones to babies
she has yet to bare
and dreams of how they'll glow for her

she is completely unaware

II. Jeniva's Wednesday

On a Red-Hot ricochet rampage
She whines what She should scream

I am suffocating on the stones
choked up onto my soul
at its every emancipation
smothered in honey 
then gingerly fed to me 
from the tip of a silver spoon

I have swallowed the stones

fed to me by my Mother
bred in the bile of my Father
quarried to teach me 
the value of weight
and to prime me to carry
my fare share

I am the baby made bare

by the pelting, chafed raw
by its persistence
I am bleeding on the stones

will I soon bleed stones?

if they can not touch me 
or see me
can they stone me?

should I stand up or
run      away?

anonymity is not freedom

I would rather be a stray

March, 2000

Mary Masi's Questions:

1. Is the first use of bare, from the last full stanza of part one ("she has yet to bare"), made clear in part two by the "I am the baby made bare".  Or, is the use of the BARE so foreign that the reader cn only see it as a grammatical error?

2. Is the voice so based in imagry that no sense can be made of the eating of stones...that is , can you see the stones as those mundane things noone can quite name?

The Albany Poetry Workshop