A Poem by Maureen Miller

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

Voices from the Field

He reigns over me like a meadowlark in the meadowlands.
Underground wiretap. They buried my heart under the stadium stands.
Some of us have to work for a living. Saviour, my sin, my paisan!
Pobody,not even the nerfect,has a fetish for his peeling calloused hands.

He sticks it in me with his workman’s hands.
I want a man with a ruddy tinted hand.
I want a man with a slowhand.

Do you venerate your dad?
Who watches Watchung Avenue?
My prayer hands fuss Holstein Manti mantilla.
Squawkbox mezzo soprano while I kneel at altar rail bands.

My turnpike binoculars see the ancestral homeland tenements. Semper sperans.
Montclair as Mont Blanc (poem), but with Parker pens.

But listen to your side stitch. Don’t write poetry.
The hand that rocked me slapped me out that sleep.
The money’s in spec screenplays. You can’t eat your spikes, sweets.
You steeplechase with bench-pressed Princetons who thought they hit a triple jump heat.
Born meters in, methinks I hit a puddle for the entrance fee.

I want his times vetted by Brenda Patimkin’s surgeon, man.
Ali MacGraw didn’t need a rhinoplasty to look ethnic cool.
No chest, though. Some Weehawken loonie must have done her.
I’mma do me in milky bucks and madras sew.

Spike Lee in a knickerbocker get-up.
Forty machers and Abdul.
My old man reneged the two-state solution.
Then I jumped in the duck pond of the office pool.

Cogsworth is the voiceover and the basso is the treble.
Have you ever clicked with your boomtowns on that borderline level?
I split Penn Relays rods-worth on your clever little bevel.
Something Neptune dipshits with the integrated hipsters but the version by Manfred Mann.
This shore doc says “I got this” looking hella like Dukakis and the pediatrician gave me a ride.
Something something opposite of the devil.

The ridge where I come from is a small town.
I wish I could step off that ridge, my friend.
Think Short Hills Mall. They use small words.
They release birds. The means justify the ends.

But not me! A broad’s as good as what she does for me.
A passable wifey’s better than the fastest wi-fi via broadband.

Your turncoat Audubon binoculars needn’t tell my binaca to knock it off.
You have a tight box. Make some calls.
Keep my hundred dolla bill when I’d no change from Ras Baraka.
What’s your old man’s retirement plan?

Spike Lee in a Knickerbocker get-up.
Forty machers and Abdul.
Gentrification. Loathsome.
Then I jumped in the duck pond of the actuarial pool.

Maureen Miller, M.D. M.P.H. (doctorwritermaureenmiller.tumblr.com) is a medical resident in anatomic and clinical pathology and a founding editor of Rap Genius (www.rapgenius.com/momilli). Her research focuses on environmental origins of chronic disease in low-income urban neighborhoods and Vampire Weekend.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.