Marnie of the E Street Shelter

Her hair is the disheveled label of manic misadventure,
her grey coat splattered with the drool of depression
her shoes, each different and each well-worn, schizophrenic.

She shuffles from doorway to doorway smiling,
her eyes deep dark orbs that have seen discrimination in all forms,
her lips tight shut and stern, afraid to speak her mind.

She welcomes intrusion as a safety net from a crazy world,
the taste of liquor the only medication that made her happy,
her wrists and forearms scarred with the doctors promise.

Now she passes like a will o the wisp, shameless and without guilt,
her mind swimming in her dressing state, tomorrow a string bikini
in a Wellington wind bent on sending everyone to hell and back.

Tonight she will dine in the bins outside Maccas and BK,
tonight she will drink from half fill bottles,
tonight she won’t dare dream about the kids she left behind.

Copyright © 2010 Thane W. Zander

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:
Thane Zander has lived all over New Zealand, either as an itinerant child (Father moving to jobs from deepest south to farthest north) or as a 27 year veteran in the Royal New Zealand Navy. He was struck down with Bipolar Disorder in 2000 and has since moved “back” to Palmerston North and environs. The onset of Bipolar Disorder also heralded his entry into the poetry world, and from 2000 to 2005 he had written around 250 poems. This accelerated from 2006 to well over 1000 poems, and counting.

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Life Dancing in a Rear View Mirror

I’m a double-edged samurai sword in a pregnant tsunami,
a conundrum, an atheist, a monotheist.

I apply a three blade razor to a two-year stubble,
the mirror coated in more blood than an erupting aorta,

Touching the pain of passing, I eat daisy chains
constructed from barbed wire fencing and knitting needles,

when a reality check finds me eating dried apricots
to cure the cancer I caught from just being alive.

I bite back fear, obliterate mind numbing memories,
and place carefully on a rough round dining table, souls

that have been hung out to dry on a windless day,
the irony, cooling on a line where clothes haven’t been for months.

I suck Lollipops with bad teeth, bad vibes and a very bad breath.
The dustman empties my outtake weekly, the rest I keep,

and so the Sword of Damocles cuts deep,
my face bleeding with the pain of despondency.

The dark annals of my writing echo my living thoughts,
and those reading my dying thoughts will cringe.

They didn’t help me – families, the depth of my ache,
several children who don’t ring, siblings who squabble.

I pass my memory to the volumes of poetry I have written,
my knuckles bare from years of chagrined living.

Succinctly, I approach the sunset of life, the sword gone,
just painted visions of a life lost in a missing rear view mirror.

Copyright © 2010 Thane W. Zander

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE:
Thane Zander has lived all over New Zealand, either as an itinerant child (Father moving to jobs from deepest south to farthest north) or as a 27 year veteran in the Royal New Zealand Navy. He was struck down with Bipolar Disorder in 2000 and has since moved “back” to Palmerston North and environs. The onset of Bipolar Disorder also heralded his entry into the poetry world, and from 2000 to 2005 he had written around 250 poems. This accelerated from 2006 to well over 1000 poems, and counting.

In the blind building

In the blind building,
the blind see with infrared
and a touch that opens a minefield,

the ladies with groom coiffured hairdos
in a parlour
talk of husband infidelity and Miss Tuffnel,
she that walks the streets at 17.

We chalk up experience
so withered oaks
and grasses can make lawn
a mower will keep it down,
like the thoughts of society
will keep down the greying eyes
the blue veins of the aged in mobility scooters,

watch the dog with the red collar
and the dimes and cents gentleman
wending his way past tuttering ladies
his eyes fixed on the black of his reality
his fingers tapping out the years of his triumph.

Take umbrage in the cage of deceit,
wallow in the lies that paint rotten pictures,
ask the girl with curls where her daddy is, she won’t know,
but her tears will dry as soon as they form,
sheesh man it’s a tough world.

Copyright © 2010 Thane W. Zander

Contributor’s Note:
Thane Zander has lived all over New Zealand, either as an itinerant child (Father moving to jobs from deepest south to farthest north) or as a 27 year veteran in the Royal New Zealand Navy. He was struck down with Bipolar Disorder in 2000 and has since moved “back” to Palmerston North and environs. The onset of Bipolar Disorder also heralded his entry into the poetry world, and from 2000 to 2005 he had written around 250 poems. This accelerated from 2006 to well over 1000 poems, and counting.