Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Three Pieces From Lisa Marie Basile

SAILOR (BRIAN), 63, was a capricious drunk for most of his life and then built a six-room dollhouse for the child of his child complete with hovering heaven attic. Called his daughter's husband that drug addict to come, take me out of here and kill me five hours before he rattled and died. Scared child of his child too scared to attend funeral, pulls anchors from ships and hopes to find dead grandfather seaweed.  


I am become death.

At six you played in black snow

as the sky glowed in the dark

behind you like a marble quarry

of quick, multiplying ghosts.

You had a broken wooden soldier,

a black hole front tooth. It was so hot,

me cooking arroz in the kitchen.

Chilis in my cuticles, burning —

my fingers were never the same.

I watched you through the window,

the whole desert expanse glittered.

You never called me by my real name,

wailed, "Mama" instead.

But, bebé, I built your coffin,

mashed the aguacate down.

The green was gone, and now everything

was black, and the soul of it fell

to the floor. You always wanted to lick

the pit, and I let you lick the pit,

with all that dust on your face

and on your mouth, and 

in the bathtub you became

the water, and when you became

the water, you became the earth.


Heard sitting on white chairs in the sun

perfecting vernacular, planting short consonants

into wet soil pots and watching long sounds grow. 

Seen swimming in Vulgar Latin,

parting reefs and disintegrating coral with solecisms,

exorcising the demons from his sea.

Or was he bathing in preparation for white nights?

Perhaps a pilgrimage to his quantum self, where finally,

he hired a murder of mourners to vacate his shell

in a lingua franca caterwaul.

Please visit him in proper tongue 

      (mi manchi).
--Lisa Marie Basile is he founding editor of Caper Literary Journal and Patasola Press.  She has been published in Word Riot, decomP, >kill author, elimae, Moon Milk Review Poets & Artists Magazine, Metazen, The View From Here and others. Her full-length poetry collection, A Decent Voodoo, will be released by Cervena Barva Press. Her chapbook, White Spiders, was released by Gold Wake Press (2010).  These pieces are from a collection of obituaries.


Martin Leonard Freebase said...

love these

Emma Eden said...

These are quite beautiful.

Anonymous said...


Lisa Marie Basile said...

Thank you, everyone. I appreciate your comments! Please visit to read more poetry and keep up with me at

Lisa Marie Basile said...

Thank you, everyone. I so appreciate these comments. It means a lot to here it!