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Traveling Poems to Inspire Authors



Traveling Poems of Anne Hart (1941) Copyright 1959-1979, 2008.


Traveling Poems

© 1959-1979, 2008, Anne Hart (1941)


Some, but not all of the poems in this project present submission,

rage and guilt seen through powerless and vulnerable

people under stress. Corrosive and negating, the self-

hater in each poem is the internalized voice of a parent

belittling his/her child and coercing it into the ways

the parent finds least offensive.

The heroines and heroes of the poems are always

intense persons for whom life is a succession of traps

created by spouses and themselves, by personalities that

have the habit of confinement.

These are the passions of jailed lives—the

desperate loves that go reeling in the most rebellious

directions—love of career versus lack of career ful-

fillment, or the relationship of husband and wife raging

and violent.

The most intelligent women are mindless in

marriage, so unable to set limits that they are easily

controlled by the threat of poverty or by their batter-

ing husbands. They let themselves sink into the most

abysmal misery, a wretchedness so total it destroys

their ability to react at all.

They may bolt. But once free, they will do it

all over again. Despite the intelligence


of the characters in the poems, they never gain enough

insight into themselves to get off the treadmill of sub-

mission, rage and guilt.

They think with the logic of the psychically

jailed, for whom even working is a process as closed as

a knot. They retreat from knowledge into the huge

abstractions of politicized sexism.

Here is the anguish of characters doomed never

to face their brokenness, never to say—I want, I need,

but to conceal themselves in marriage where the most

exciting thing is getting battered and being too agora-

phobic to escape.

The characters in the poems feel that they are

always liable to sink into a total passivity where they

have no eyes, no mind, no will. They are battered

between their family's love and their ridicule.

Each character becomes the person she hates most.

These poems are a protest against the human

condition both for its finality and its rigidity due to

conventional stereotypes in sex roles.

The poems are concerned in concrete ways with

contesting the origins and ends of human identity.





Let Me Take on Wall St.

Let me take on Wall Street in a chastity belt,
Should the writer be screwed on her throne.
Let me gulp my bonds like a patty melt
Should words peak in my throat on the phone.

I love
My Cisco, Yahoo, and Juniper stocks
Because they keep going down up
Like a salty sea of sanity
To check remiss reality.

And when they go down,
I shalt not drown, or sell or frown,
Or upward gush the race to rush
like lemmings to the edge.

Instead, I'll compound my legions
Of Ginnie Maes with cortical maze
Or dip my pen in softly fallen metaphors
To skate cleanly shaven buy waves.



Something strolled wonderfully right through the door.
Asking, "Where have we improved?"
Is there creativity on the Stock Exchange floor?
Has peristalsis in a time capsule moved?

Panopticons know all, so panopticon-bound,
Push technology became too rough, a midlist
When we all need a best seller, and so we found
The Web unrisked, unmasked, unmissed.

Search Engines' stock read, "Are We Still Number One?"
While investors traded from their online gazebo.
Dreaming of DVDs skipping crazily on a run,
Webmasters sold their placebo.

Computers streamline senses by masking noise.
At their exits, existence fades.
Ambient hums of Treasury bonds escape as toys.
Joy is social security, entertainment, and shades.



Song Lyrics of the Silk Road Healers


Not since Sarkel set on fire.

Not since Samandar moved to Spire.

Not since Khatun called Khagan, "Cutie."

Not Since Khazaria went to Kievan booty.

Not since Bulan turned from pagan.

Lit the candles, and became the Khagan.

Not since Svyatoslav went to hire

Pechenegs from his transpire.

Not since yarmaq coins were minted.

Not since isinglass trade was hinted.

Not since Khazars fought oppression.

Not since Atil sank in depression.

Not since Samander went underwater.

Not since Byzantines married Khagan's daughter.

Not since Ha-Sangari converted the people.

Not since Balanjar became a steeple.

Not since the steppes stepped lively to a tune.

Not since Khazaria, did the sky ride the moon.



Down Mai's heavy breasts burst ripe chestnut locks,

innocent as Eden and just as moot.

Men still toss money, but women throw rocks;

war has sapped and cankered them at their root.

She draws her own blood as part of the act,

and each man views the other with mistrust.

From her ruby navel poems contract.

In labor Shakespeare settles to brown dust.

Then, under booze's banner visions weft.

Impurities cover smiles like dead bones.

She rips her skirt to show how she is cleft

like the hoof of the devil smashed by stones.




My steno pool supervisor sets the gin down slowly at her feet

with utmost care, knowing that most things break.

And soon amid her tearful loneliness,

she, with her hand extended, drinks again.

Miss Jean! Love your rosary-wracked and wretched mom,

besotted and swollen like a finger smashed.

My steno pool supervisor enters her prayer tunnel each night

in the subways where the lisping of wheels

carve escape routes in the double-knit snow

full of mist, like evaporating stone.

Jean has poured her mom’s whiskey down the drain,

and she expects to be struck in the face.

She stops, one dream away from happiness

and burning wires creep within her brain.

Missy supervisor beams down like an echo, telescopic eyes,

delicate as a watercolor wash.




My steno pool supervisor’s body prepares for a famine.

her sobs inhabit a room

where she touches no one.

Behind a wall of fear,

tactile talcum's dusted

inch by inch on her crêpe skin.

She dreams of Mattress Mack

on whom she cannot re-warm herself

when urgent hunger

triggers another facelift.


Back in 1800 Costume Dramas



The late night movie didn’t show the science hero I wanted to see. Instead, the film showed that a boy knew about


the hole his mother drilled


in his wall—her secret door.


For a year she watched him


undress and lay his magazines


across his bed.


How could he explain?


She laughed,


plunging her finger in and out


of the drilled hole.


"I saw you from there,"


she laughed again.


—Saw you naked and alone.


He wrenched his mother's wrist.


Sobs convulsed his body.


"Shut up, you slut," he cried.


And he followed her, unaware


of the sashweight he took


from an open drawer.


The back of her knees


brushed the footboard


of his bed.


She crouched there,

her eyes wide with fright.

Drunken sounds twitched

from her stapled smile.

She tried to kick the sash weight

from his hand, but tumbled

across his bed.

Mother struggled upward,

clawing her son with razor-sharp nails,

and the sash weight

plunged harder and harder

across her skull.

The boy was unable to stop.

He fell across his mother's body,

begging forgiveness,

before he called police.

Turning back one last time

he put the pillow over her face.




I sleep,

reading the bright sun

backward, like a robot’s prayer.

My will expands.

Then you answer

like an calving flume

on a gnawed hill.

The cold phone blazes

with your anger,

and I wake, afraid.

A velvet network of veins

behind my eyes halts.

My logic slides back and forth

with the iron,

folding, pleating,

my thoughts scattering

in a green forest of air

as I stitch loops around buttons,

sewing my gain in the crevices

of your swell-bottom seams.





Beneath the white-stemmed tree,


ladies of the afternoon


sit at the Backslide Inn


hearts filling with fear


like a layer of petals


sprayed with formalin.


You sit, a stranded hulk


hell-bent and born to speed.


A stranger’s shadow


strikes the treadmill


in blind alleys of motel rooms.


Old leeches leaf through


the noon hours


to hang salesmen


by their itchy ears.


The burden of the Law


heaves the kittens on their hindlegs


in the wreckage of blankets.


What power you have,


wives of the night,


whores of the day!


You make men weep


and push their bowels empty,

their eyes turned up

so that only the whites show,

red-veined and dirty,

howling for mercy

under your needle-spiked heels

under your whips and black leather.

And at four

you come home to your children,

telling your husbands

the money came from

that real estate job.





It is typical of women ...


waiting for answers


to come charging down


on white horses


instead of playing them out


scene by scene.


We study your playpen eyes,


and poke our noses


into your rancid marriages,


denied of crawling space,


blotted behind paper walls


where we hear your toilets flush.


You reach for a weapon,


telling us tonelessly,


"You rambled."


"There was nothing else to do."


We used our eyes in a theatrical way


and thumbed through your girlie magazines.



But—if we were to create wombs in men,

caverns of deep, physical thinking,

then we would risk our lives

for one moment of absolute power.

You see us in a pink mist,

our faces blurred by anger.

You gaze with those unfocused eyes

that forever stare at a point

above our shoulders.

We taunt you with our tongues

and swing our brittle legs




A seven-inch scar puckers

on Rosie's teenage belly

where never crippling fevers

will be unlived iron-eyed.

She's like an arthritic leg,

bent at the knee

with sinews like snakes,

yelling, "Today I died."

As a bride she holds

her dead mother's hand

as if it were still a part of her,

her years spent.

Without a trace of warmth

the groom rustles his bride

feeling formless as a zygote,

pushing past her slantwise tears.

A nomadic trail of light

spreads out through the room.

She lifts her lids a splinter.

The groom steps back as if asleep. 

And in the mirror, bare to attack,

her belly laugh is like a fun-house statue.

Forced to view distortions from curved mirrors,

her grip with illusion is studied.





The husband hunter,


her thumb green after the kill


stands with gutted man


astride her hood.


Seeing a richer one coming,


her belly rolls in waves.


She stands erect,


straightens her tunnel,


her eyes water,


legs go stiff.


Quickly she empties his wallet


and gulps the cash


like air.


But her joy


is the seed


of her misery.


So she wraps him in paper


like potato skins


and tosses her garbage 

where colleagues will connect to feast.






Nightingales by the dozen

swarm to pick grapes.

Darkness falls in twenty coils

like a fat snake.

An American wife screams

for custody of her kids

but with no supportive family

she goes crazy.

The King, eagle of eagles,

squats in his suite picking at fleas.

His ursine lips

feel the thrill of mocha.

Oh, those traveling gals with cameras,

rise over deserted streets!

And swallow the bay of petrified homes

that watch oil wells flame money.

The moon splits whitely open

and night falls abruptly

on tense and tedious eyelids.





A tee vee set's my only companion


dividing my days faultlessly between


the pit of moldy dreams


and the moment when


cold sweat curls my thin hair as I

settle behind dish pans.







Something was terribly wrong.

At three A.M. overhead lights

in the main machine room were off.

But the console blinked a green glow.

There was an ambient hum

from the disk drives

masking all noise to the point

where existence ceases at its exits.

Tapes jerked crazily to my command.

I moved so slowly

until spheres of light

exploded on its black screen.

I turned the length of my thigh

contracted myself, porpoise-bellied,

afraid of change.

Anger leaped into my eyes.

Under my out flung arm

Soon I would be not as much

as a crushed flower in its path.

For the flower at least

there is regret for its ended beauty,

but for me one final program, 

a ballet leap across square-jowled stalls.




Being a doctor's wife

is no bed of roses.

Deep within those pudding eyes

a baby's face grows old,

head to chest and knees updrawn,

snared in the barbed wire of time.

Light perishes the buds.

At seventy-five, she goes balder,

but has her tummy tucked

with the skin they removed from her face.

Like a dry rock

in a weedy garden

she holds steadfast

and seas of silver crash

(never moving her an inch

From her plushly-furnished home.




The first of the month

all the old ladies

sat on their stoops

waiting for the mailman;

that monthly check

was all they got.

Despite her coat,

Fannie shivered.

A thin patina of snow

connected the street

with the same mutuality—

poverty and cold.

Fannie moved her pocketed pennies

back and forth over her trombone to shake the sound of a gourd.

She clicked her vinyl purse

open and closed,

grinning with a toothless, red slash.




Hi, Caesar, full of face. Bray ferrous now.
The lore is witty.
Placid art. Dow, Hmong whim, and
Placid is the root of Thai-loom, cheeses.
Stay ferrous winners, now, and at the hour of
our wealth.

Hour fodder, which art in hair pin?
Halloween be Thai name.
Thai kinked dome gong.
Thai well being, fun
On mirth, as it does in airborne.

Give us disdain, our tallied breadth
And forget us our tresses past
As we forget those whose tresses past us.
For dime art's the tower and the story-lore, ever.


Have you ever noticed how often women investors are referred to as poultry? Young women are brow-plucking chicks. Married women ruffle feathers. They egg men on at work and cluck kids off to school. Mothers watch their broods.

Child rearing ends with the empty-nest syndrome. Their wives henpeck husbands at home. Runaway wives have flown the coop, while stay-at-home husbands feel 'fowl' cooped up.
The object of W.C. Fields' affection was "My little Chickadee." Married women feather their nests. She squawks her alimony is birdseed, but her ex calls her a vulture. "Wait 'till that poulet digs her talons in your wallet," grooms are warned. "She'll watch you like a hawk."

She scratches for a raise like a hen dancing on a turntable, going in circles to get visibility and recognition. Long experience makes her the sharp-beaked mother hen that trains younger males for her dream job.

In Arabic, a beautiful woman is a 'fistoo,' a piece of chicken thigh. Women are elder biddies, old crows, or Ladybirds. "She's no spring chicken," say men about mature women.

A sorority is called the "hen house." A woman alone is a sitting duck. Either her goose is cooked, or she gets goosed in a crowded elevator. An Amazon parrots the old toy's network. When her husband uses anger to get power, she walks on eggshells. To be feminine is to be chicken. Is it any coincidence that so many women's wages are chickenfeed?



To snap the lithography force field,
Extreme ultraviolet rides the e-beam.
Supsending ranks of molecules between electrodes,
She lets quantum particles compute in multi-universes.

She teleports matter, unleashing IBM on quantum mirages.
And Lucent works e-beams on code-name Scalpel.
Intel, AMD, and Motorola, and every other CPU maker,
Joins the parade of purses marching to EUV.

It's the end of the Silicon Cycle. Long live the smallest package.
Spin-up and Spin-down as the binary 0 and 1.
Quantum particles live in two places at once,
So my job as a retiree is to determine a value.

Wow! I am needed again after old age to decide
Which super-positioned state begets the logic.
What fun it is to be more than a molecular-scaled granny
With an MA in English and a shelf of unpublished novels.



The redundancy and flux in my mtDNA
Shows you why I arrived convexed today.
The tight curl of my dark ash brown tresses
Reveals sailing modular ontogeny's stresses.

Tolerating changes on the fly,
Neutral drift asked molecular drive why
I landed somewhere in the frozen sea
of genetic redundancy.

My inner, tangled bank whispered rules
Between consenting molecules.
Why such plieotopy in my many modes?
And such kaleidoscopic codes for roads?


How does God keep from feeling lonely
If there's only one stock to hawk?
With no one of equal rank nearby,
To whom does the Creator talk?

Is God universe-bound?

Did humankind plaster a parental skull
To avoid familiar feelings of growing dull?
Is God our elders from whom we seek
Protection from a timely peak?

Who created God as a singleton?

In man's image yet, with no room to grow,
God still won't be contained.
If life frames love, then Santa's eyes we drew
To distract us from worry so we'd heal instead of hurry.

Was God advertised that way?

To lift our mood and mind?
If life is equally diverse,
In whose image does design align?
Your universe, or mine?

One Book-End Cat of a Pair

A library cat, in double-knit sand,
The blue-eyed Bestet with Siamese slant,
One papyrus-wracked puff with cross-stitched mane,
Yawned Mary-wide 'neath a rollaway moon.
The day my home arched catly, your chord
Had sparked a peaceful pride; so new folklore
Again designed your fate in shards of books,
A prop to snare the barbs and taunts of change.
Through tides of time your greeting pounds against
The silence of the dark with frozen gaze.
Forsaken of art, all mice become cats.
All cats become men. All men become mice.
Run home, optimistic book-end to craft
Your malachite mate from molten mire.
On guard to moods before a stage of hawks
All cats ascend the pyramids of chance.



Hey, now Caesar with putty face.

Hey, now Caesar with putty face
What did you do to earn your place?
And if you chose race over grace
Guess who took your parking space?

Hey, now Caesar, sharp as glass
Want to fix your social class?
You have a chance to start a school.
With breeze enough to keep you cool.

Are you anybody in the Wadi
Spiced as a toddy?
Why be naughty?
What do you think when you smell a cross?
Why remorse?

Don't misread sacrifice for sacred dice.
In your world, evil comes disguised.
And it's wrong to run from joy of life.
You don't have to be the Granite Messiah
To dance with your lyre.
Lead yourself into salvation
By the tune of invention's station


The Time that Land Forgot


The time that Land forgot,
He tomcatted his paws to
Gentle Lynx Lamotta, a
Courtly orange tabby,
Fourteen weeks old.

The cat who loved Christmas
also loved Ramadan, Hanukkah,
and the festival of Vishnu, the Creator.
All fluff and fur, on down-padded sills,
Meowing like finger zills,
To the tune of megham-seekah.

Lynx had a routine for everything.
Blinking in surprise, he meooed his
Way to becoming a Library cat.
A cat in every bookstore. Curled up
In the sun, beaming out the window,
Two copper eyes, Himalyan fur,
and the face of a Ragdoll to ring in the readers.




Trading online is like dancing on the moon.
Your only enemy is gravity.
No matter what I buy, I'll play a tech tune.
My friend is speech recognition concavity.

I bought the wireless way to play
When the Web was a spinning bubble.
Higher interest rates are here to stay.
Mice in the seams of time spells trouble.

How many dollars have I to snare
Before barbing the biz-wire of strength?
With too much time and too little care,
My savings are points of zero length.

I've outlived my stash and can't "fine" the cash to get me past moments without duration.
I've paid my homage to the clock
And teethed on a narrow ration.

A bag lady I am, am I? A bag lady in debonaire shorts--
Buying stocks with charisma to sell to this Ma while broadcasting sports in food mall courts.



You neolithic farmer, you.
How dare the twenty-six percent of you
Pinch my paleolithic peace proportionally,
Reducing my six-foot height with your polished grain,
To five-feet; turning my whippet-wiry O-negative blood
Into your barley-thickened A-positive agglutinated sludge?
How dare you expand from your lion-wracked pedestals
Planting my beech forests with your carbs?
A mitrochondrial cluster adding lustre?
And your speech, so nostratic, it's demotic.
Adding more haplotypes, what a demic diffusion.
My diet of salmon and berries produces less insulin
Than your pot-belly forming candy infusion.
Genetic drift has caused a rift in my shift.
We're temporary containers and strand strainers.
So together let's map our clades in shades of grades.
Can I keep my own menu, please, you eaters of cheese?




Not since Sarkel set on fire.
Not since Samandar moved to Spire.
Not since Khatun called Khagan,"Cutie."
Not Since Khazaria went to Kievan booty.
Not since Bulan turned from pagan.
Lit the candles, and became the Khagan.
Not since Svyatoslav went to hire
Pechenegs from his transpire.
Not since yarmaq coins were minted.
Not since isinglass trade was hinted.
Not since Khazars fought oppression.
Not since Atil sank in depression.
Not since Samandar went underwater.
Not since Byzantines married Khagan's daughter.
Not since Ha-Sangari converted the people.
Not since Balanjar became a steeple.
Not since the steppes stepped lively to a tune.
Not since Khazaria, did the sky ride the moon.


The Day My Whole Country Turned INFP*


The day my whole country turned INFP,
the abstract optimists leapt.
The concrete sensors slept.
The sky rode the moon
Like an idealist on a novel.

The day my whole country turned INFP
The heavens crept
With the spark
Of the introverted feeling word,
The lark, the chord,
The Light in the dark,
The photon and the quark.
The day my whole country turned INFP*,
'Twas a day of creative expression
And a moment of extroverted intuition.

*INFP= Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiver on the MBTI (registered),
one of the world's most popular indicators of personality types.


The Webmaster Says Creativity Is Peristalsis in a Time Capsule.

Creative writing is peristalsis: a progressive wave of contraction
And relaxation by which contents are forced onward.
Writing full time from home is a horizontal expression
Of the vertical desire to move up by reaching across time.
Creativity is peristalsis in a time capsule.

The Webmaster says, all tucked sleepless in his chair,
Counting DVDs skipping crazily to commands.

What if every writer asked, "Are We Still Number One?"
Existence ceases at my computer's exits.
Push technology came to slough, a midlist,
When this writer needs escape as entertainment.

Panopticons know all, so writers panopticon
Personal broadcasting networks as social security,
and something strolls wonderfully right.



Oh, I wish I were a trader in Chicago's bond pits
Skateboarding Cats of the Dow by candle might.
Pencil-sharp drum sticks would tattoo comic novels,
When the Fed dangles interest rates like silver earrings.

See Shell's yellowed rose gap down on each Lochness Monster.
When oil drillers bloom, a plastic world flies to quality CDs.
Quan Yin, who can't reincarnate 'til we all return,
writes covered call options.
Picture-postcards caricature mind-mates beneath a rollaway moon.

Photos of kids transient as ticket stubs bank time capsules,
Only to be spent later on totems of light for bronzed chimps.
Collected poems evolve to panopticons of memory.
Mis-education stores righteousness in opal rings .


The Internet is Wall Street with Convictions

The Internet is Wall Street with convictions.
Where have we improved?
Push technology came to slough, a midlist
when we need a bestseller, and so we found
Escape as entertainment,
learning as fun, panopticons as all-seeing eyes
that broadcasted social security as personal theater.
Something scrolled wonderfully right.
An ambient hum from the modems
masked all noise to the point
where existence ceased at its exits.



There's trading room on the Web, even for a bond.
Still it huddles half-afraid, its eyes Wall Street-wide, competing
for less leisure loaned.
Bring on your stockbrokers, unparagoned.
Drive in the economists, impelled and unowned.

Let rational traders plan throngs of the wise
To bulbous investors unafraid to upclimb.
Our Dow-cloistered voices peal macabre guise.
Bonds peaking too early snare on the barbed wire of time.

To sell your stocks online, first animate pregnant ads
Disguised as direct response sales letters.
Under your security's current fads,
Sound will crush text in its path, a ballet leap across square-jowled betters.

To sell stocks as entertainment, sell mutuality chapters.
Bonds sell environmental histories of property risk.
Midlist brokers need super sequels as time captors.
Showbiz, let it be, and forever, temerity. So runs the disc.


The Business of Fiction within the Fiction of Business

There's room on the Web for the business of fiction.
Still it huddles half-afraid;
Its eyes Mary-wide, competing for less leisure loaned.
Faction seized control of sweeping buzz appeal
To hawk memoirs as entertainment,
And sell mutuality, fiction must play "What's My Conduit?"

Bring on your scriptwriters, full of face.
Drive in the novelists, impelled by supernal mind.
Let the romance writers arc their throng of shoals
To bulbous avatars not afraid of change.
Our Web cloistered voices in macabre guise.
Stories peaking too early snare on the barbed wire of time.

To sell your fiction online, first animate pregnant ads
Disguised as direct response sales letters.
Under your Web channel's outflung arm,
Sound will crush the text in its path,
A ballet leap across square-jowled screens of time.
Juggle moments without duration.

Behold the flowering of universal mind.
Showbiz, let it be, and forever, temerity. So runs the Web.