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Ellaraine Lockie: Three Poems

Poetry

Ellaraine Lockie is widely awarded and published, both nationally and internationally, as a poet, nonfiction book author and essayist. Tripping with the Top Down is her thirteenth chapbook. Earlier collections have won the Poetry Forum’s Chapbook Contest Prize, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest, Best Individual Collection Award from Purple Patch magazine in England, Encircle Publications Chapbook Competition and the Aurorean’s Chapbook Choice Award. Individual poems have found their ways onto and into anthologies, broadsides, buses, rented cars, bicycles, cabins, greeting cards, key chains, bookmarks, mugs and coffee sack labels. Ellaraine is a frequent judge of poetry contests, teaches writing workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh.

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*****

Anywhere Hotel

I turn down the covers to find
a curly blonde pubic hair on the bottom sheet
A violation of the virginity code
contracted with the hotel
Accommodations where we pretend
no other occupants have prefaced
We depend on hotel personnel
to master this immaculate deception

To protect us from thoughts of
used condoms, blood stains or other body fluids
To paper strip the toilet like a chastity belt
Free us from fear of bare bottoms in the bathtub
Of whether towels or washcloths
have touched foot fungus
Or if anonymous streptococcus
have been sterilized

But now worries from the real world
weave through this ringlet
Wind around my sense of solitude
And snarl into a ball
that clogs my drain of delusion
Exposing images of strangers
Voyeur bed reverberations
Smells of unfamiliar aftershave

And ghosts in mirrors with memory
in this serial monogamy of one-night stands
Where I resign to the reality of a rented room
Where it’s midnight
and housekeeping has gone home
I Google germs in hair
to find there are millions in one follicle
But that most die in 60 seconds
I pull on sweats before sliding between sheets
And into ¬¬the immaculate world of Morpheus

Previously published in Ibbetson Street

***

One Night Stand

Twenty six miles of insulation
from Los Angeles insanity
lies Santa Catalina island
Ocean mountain merged
in a past paradise

Where people drive
golf carts instead of cars
And mail isn’t delivered by either
Where economy is the shape
of sightseers brought by boats

I arrive spent from deadlines
Energy fogged over
and solar lifeline depleted
European atmosphere envelopes me
with back-to-belly bodies

But populations of poppies
fish, fowl, unpredatored cats
and outback buffalo
lure me away from
the tourist tug of war

I lodge with Zane Grey
my idol-author ghost
in the cactus-covered hillside haven
To lie in literary lust
at his Pueblo Hotel panacea

Ride the purple sage
Discover desert gold
Spark my wildfire spirit
in one sleepless night

Like a quickie with
an accomplished lover
Catalina will shadow my trails
on the next sunlit day

Previously published in MG Versions (France)

***

Running on Empty

My latest addiction is Wrigley’s Polar Ice
I unwrap all fifteen pieces from the package

Lay them on the passenger seat
like a long line of cocaine

Or Salem substitutes
during the 160 Montana miles ahead

Or subtle similes aside
an endeavor to undo the habit of you

But the bumps and ruts in the gravel road
have their way with the Wrigley’s

And when I reach over for a fix
I find again the emptiness I try to feed

Previously published in Chiron Review

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