Skywriting with Glitter

© 2016

1. myth

by Ellyn Maybe

I wanted to feel the music of your shoulders
Watch the tension of C.D. turn to 8 track
I read your nonfiction – if that’s not a crush, what is.

You live twenty years away from Richie Havens turning up at a café.
I watch the liner notes of your wrists like a fortune teller.
Jerome Robbins choreographs your neighborhood with a pale peony.

I heard there’s a tree in Washington Square Park
dripping with handcuffs and a noose.
Phil Ochs sings of the cobwebs of contradiction

      Did you ever wear sandals?

      Did you hold a megaphone?

When did you start wearing cufflinks?
When’s the last time you played a Fugs song?
When’s the last time you kissed a girl who memorized Bob Dylan’s
bootleg releases?
When’s the last time you used groovy as a verb?
When’s the last time you hummed a Rodgers & Hart song?
When’s the last time you went to Kim’s Video and rented Hair?

How many roads fork into most traveled?
The asphalt is pinstriped.
1/4 of the time I don’t know what decade I’m in.
I watched you watch the parade.
I’m the one who whispered in your ear
      “the Army/McCarthy hearings aren’t available on DVD.”
I’m in the park feeding the pigeons bread and circuses.

Come midnight, I watch Michelangelo leaning out of a helicopter –
he has quite an eye for astronomy.
Every night, Lord Buckley leaves Café Wha.
Every night Walt Whitman & Allen Ginsberg
fly like Chagall above your window.

One night I tagged along with my flailing trampoline.
I tried to visit you like Frank O’Hara’s sun.

You drew the blinds.

You took away my yellow.

Suddenly a confetti of tangerines fell from the sky,
labeled hand picked by Icarus.

I ate 'til I was sticky.

2. What Color is your parachute

by Ellyn Maybe

What Color is your Parachute?

It is the color of mint mixed with sunflowers.
I flew over a city once.
Even though I was afraid of heights.
I was more afraid of lows.

I went to a balloon store and found the animals made of helium.
I watched the way a poodle could become a giraffe
just by the wrist and a twist.

I slept on the moon one week in May.
I slept on the Milky Way and drank almond milk and cookies.

I had insomnia when the world told me to wake up.
I was already tying my shoes.

My parachute has a parakeet and a deck of cards.
I unraveled the map with laughter and a gift for navigation.

I saw the patterns the fields of childhood made.
The cities full of eucalyptus and platypus.

From the sky I heard the music of the Victrola dogs breath.

From the moon I learned an alphabet of alchemy.

From the astronomy of one comes the astrology of many.

From the moment one opens their eyes,
sleep is around the next corner
like a jazz club
luring one in with sunset and daiquiris
and curious dinosaurs.

When my parachute is around me I become very giddy.
Talking to strangers all over the hemisphere.
When my parachute takes its lunch hour
I fly on my own.

My endorphins singing to the dolphins that have lifted their tails
to greet me in an opera of water
and glittering, abundance and song.

My parachute is in a library and in a house and in a cheese sandwich
and in the words that avalanche
like a skier in love with cocoa and snow.

3. Up Is Down

by Ellyn Maybe

ducks on the sunlight pier
moon shines another year
swirling off the treasure chest
take what you need and leave the rest

the apples in the trees
laugh as the summers sneeze
into the autumn breathes
fragrant needs

singing to earthly woes
grateful to have your toes
running is all you’ve ever known
of laughter

dance into the moonlight clouds
forsake the human crowds
swim into ancient gowns

there is a light above
stars in the sea of love
reflections in the scope of all you mention
there is a place like rain

where every face knows your name
your memory just became a rainbow
looking at the dancing light
don’t give up without a fight

shadows lead before the night is over
up is down and down is up
drinking down life’s full cup
fluorescent is the bike upon your shoulder

sink into the world of sand
just like any other man
catch you in the lap of land
hold my hand

4. Kiko of Greenville

by Ellyn Maybe

A million saw you fall into the world
Sleeping 5 minutes dreaming the symphonic horizon
Earth Cam made you an incredibly adorable superstar.

Kiko in Greenville

You have a twitter account

Born in Autumn to a giraffe named Autumn

You have a Facebook page.

5 foot 8 at the moment of birth
What makes your heart quiver?

Squiggly ear curious
Taller than a kaleidoscope
What sort of thing inspires you?

Do you ever wish you were a person?

People do you ever wish you were a giraffe?

Kiko of Greenville,
you are sooo lovely.
Eating leaves from the trees of giants.
Seeing the love in everyone’s eyes?

Calm presence in a clackety clack world.

A living origami painted by Van Gogh.

Kiko someday I’ll see you
And we’ll dream of xylophones and music
way up high in the sky
And the world goes on and on

5. Anybody

by Robbie Fitzsimmons

Picture their eyes
When they see your disguise on today
Picture their thoughts as they
See how you're walking away

Picture their faces,
all sexes and races
If you say or make the wrong move
Picture this, picture that

Gotta look good
Gotta act cool and campy and square
The way that you feel
Doesn't matter just as long as they're there

Get rid of all reasons, they're treason
Cause this is the way that we are
So go hide

Who are we
Are we anybody at all?
And can we ever be
An original individual?

The things that you say
Will determine your rank in this town
You can't make mistakes
It's your first and last take to let down

Imagine the masses
They'll look and they'll laugh
And they'll see who the real you is
That's the end of it all

Who are we
Are we anybody at all?
And can we ever be
An original individual?

Look where you are
Your days have only come so far
And your nights are alone
And your thoughts echo on their own:

"Is this how it should be?
Is this how and why?
Is this how and why?
Is this how?"

Imagine the masses
They'll look and they'll laugh
And they'll see who the real you is
That's the end of it all

Who are we
Are we anybody at all?
And can we ever be
An original individual?

6. THe Girl in the Wishing Well

by Ellyn Maybe

There was a girl who lived in a wishing well.
Pennies hit upon her head.
She kept some stuffed animals
      like people win at the restaurant
      'cause people want to win.

There was a girl who lives in a cave.
She danced with the hieroglyphics.
Language pirouettes.
Animals hummed off the walls
      like a choir of history repeating.

There was a girl who lived in a house.
She sat at a table with placemats and
      monogrammed patterns.

Everyday went like every other day
      & today was tomorrow too quickly.

There was a girl who lived in a wishing well.
And she talked to the girl who lived in the cave,
      who talked to the girl in the house.

The girl who lived in the cave said,
      "Could I live in your house?
      The cavern here is draining me."

The girl in the house said,
      "Could I live in your cave?
      The shadows seem familiar."

The girl in the wishing well said,
      "Everyone thinks my life is a fairy tale,
      but at the end of the day,
      I sweep the wishes back to their drawers.
      I look history in the eye."

The girl in the cave and the girl in the house started to do se do.
They walked backwards.
Each fell into the wishing well.

They met everyone they ever knew.
Horses they rode.
Teachers they had.
People who made them cry.
People who made them giggle.

Wishing wells are the biggest use of land
      but most people don’t know they can reach it.

The girl in the wishing well took out her rock climbing gear
      and hiked out.
She was leaving some precipice for another.

She walked into the house where the monogrammed placemats
      held her place like a bookmark of her own making.

She was telling the story to her parents,
      of her grandma who lived in a cave,
      and her great grandmother who lived in a house.

She was a walking, talking graphic novel,
      futuristic and present.

She wore wishes on her ears to remind her of where she had been.

Then she picked up her fork and chewed on life a bit.

7. The Life of a Raindrop

by Robbie Fitzsimmons

I settled down upon the ground
After falling from a rain cloud
I've been here before the storm
But this time I'm falling down

Met the thousands in the crowd
Searching for the fastest ways down
Found a body where I slept
'Til currents swept me away

Filtered through the big machines
Cleaned and sifted in a dark streams
Where the tubes confused me
'Til I saw a light ahead

When their smiles open wide
I entered honored to be inside
Where I cycled through, provided life
Until I was set free

Well it's getting hot
Things are speeding up
I am lifted up
Where I'm eaten up

But the view from here
Overwhelms this tear
Until I'm out back together
By some dark and stormy weather

Until I fall again

8. Marathon

by Ellyn Maybe

On the footsteps a trace of blood remains
Yet life walks us into tomorrow’s window

Seeking sunshine to nullify the dark
So deep the knives go into the aching
So drowned in the history of red

Brutal machetes held in the psyche
Rage in a culture that has lost its way

A marathon we run or we fold into a fetal bandage
held together by bones and scars

There is ash falling from the broken wood on a tree people shook
Waiting for answers escaping in the wind
Time racing through our hands

Migraines are colliding in a world that won’t subside
And all we can do is grieve and put on one shoe at a time

A moment changed from exhilaration to silence
A calendar that dripped of taxes and violence

Carrying the bodies away
But trudging forward
Into the midnight sky

One shoe at a time.

9. Onset

by Robbie Fitzsimmons

As soon as I come home
The children have already gone
Off to their beds and I am all alone
With the thought of tomorrow

Well everything was fine
Before I set it all aside
I was afraid of what I couldn't do
And that was part of the problem

I see you
Feel you
Missed the chance to be the
Ways you
Were supposed to
Be before you left it all behind

Don't get me wrong I know
This family was no mistake
Still 'fore I wake each night
The yearning grows
I regret it, I'm sorry

Tomorrow I will rise
I'll take a chance and realize
All of this burning inside

And it will

Save me
All the world will praise me

I'll close the door and leave it all

10. kingdoms in the City Lost to Time

by Ellyn Maybe

Kingdoms in the city lost to time.

There’s a crown floating in a boat with a hull of history’s brightest teeth.
Country life in the cityscape.
There’s a skyline in a vase.
The world is growing like a flower.
There’s a plane with a kite nearby.
The past was seen as progress.
The future was simple.
Now is something to be held in our pocket.

We sang into the lightning like thunder.
We sang into the rain like tears.
We sang into the dreams asunder.
We sang into the creature’s ears.

We looked at our feet.
Another day danced into the mountain.
What next of last year’s promise?
What next of last year’s pain?

There was a kingdom and it was dangling in the corner of the sky.
Like a cobweb, like a proverb.
We jumped into the chessboard like our lives depended on it.
We jumped into the very art deco of it all.

All was wood,
All was wonder,
All was good,
All was clockwork, chalkboards and time.

All was the lips of time
Meeting the glass of what is champagne
And what is painless.

We ran to the towers and looked down at the people.
Their bones blinked as their shoulders remained shrugging.

Our eyes met.

Kingdoms became cities became oceans.
We are treasures underneath water.
We are jewels and bright gems.
We were given everything and more.
We were skywriting with glitter in our teeth.
We were singing the history books on our mouth.

We knew a kingdom and soon we knew what a throne was,
Soon proclamation, soon off with their ideas.

Power took its toll like a bridge we shouldn’t cross.
The other side is drenched in sorry, lime and bitter angels.

The kingdom was in our past and our past was in our ear
like the seashell screaming listen.

And the Earth danced on its axis.
And the kingdom was sleepy.
And the night shed it’s skin as the kingdom snored.

The world looked at the throne with envy.
The kingdom looked at the throne with scorn.

It's all in the crown,
All in the angle,
How you wear your jewels
And how you let the music drip off your fingers.

Let the past be the past.
Now is the cup you hold in your hands.
Time is frozen without your landscape growing.

You are a kingdom,
You are a queen and a king,
You are a jester,
You are a servant
Dropping life’s dishes at the heels of power.
You are everything.
You are the sky in a blood shot rose.
You are the puzzle piece hanging over the map like a cyclone.
You are every moment history has breathed.
You are every dungeon.
You are every oasis.
You are every moat.
You are every flight.
You are waiting, don’t wait for the bright shiny garment.

You are all that you need.

History is written in the mouth of the ready.
Sleep is spoken on the face of the moon.

Astronomy and kingdoms
Are two dwellings on life’s coin.

And look at the stars

Twinkling your name
Twinkling your name
Twinkling your name

Remember your name.

You are here singing.
You are here to sing.

Life is the reflection you make

Sparkling into the moon.


Thank you.