ISSUE FOUR
August 1998

Julie Bonaduce

Julie Bonaduce Julie Bonaduce is recognized as a popular singer/songwriter and recording artist throughout the Northwest. She has been published in several small magazines, including Wild Word and Poet's Guild. Julie has won multiple slams and was selected 1997 Anima Poet of the Year, (an online poetry forum sponsored by Simon & Schuster). Her first chapbook Magdalene's Daughter is slated for publication this fall.
Outmate    Read Along with the Author

        for Anne Sexton


A spacious cage; free
to move about, pull threaded needles
through cranberry tasks
strung onto life's limbs
this berry-blood pinprick
the only allotted sharpness for
a chronic plucker of the seed
digging at myself like the
mental patient I want to be.

These cool round totems squaring
the softness, yet
no smug turnkey wears
my fury on his coat;
no rolling greenness outside my window
meticulously plotted with therapeutic intent
no kind words riding surreptitious glances
from friends that I
pretend not to know, because

I know
They're Mine
as mine as the everydayness of
hyphenated grayness or sun
elongated elements spilling
between the bars.
Stick your hand in.
Pierce the warbling penumbra.
Dare to feed a waiting wildness;
see if you're frightened when I
take you in my teeth or
rub you against
my dully polished almond.

Maybe this dichotomy will offend:
such fierce obsessions layered
beneath a manicured smile.
If you don't splinter like bone,
or splash like thrown china,
you will emancipate me
and watch us trail the undone string
of niceties; the round red jewels
splatter and roll between the bent bars.

 

 

Diamond Sutra    Read Along with the Author


An impossibly blonde Jesus steps
up to the Mudville plate
swinging his turnkey providence
knocking Calvary from his cleats

Rowdy boosters spill cola, rend their clothes,
shout in mysterious licorice tongues for this
unspeakable congress with the
sacred slugger

The pitcher wears an emerald snake
around her arm
she shakes off a sign or two
ignoring first the locusts, then
the burning bush
opting for the inside curve

Jesus mutters something pithy
to the squatter, blessing and
assuring him that his services
won't be needed, as
this one's going outta the park

But, caught in Magdalene's wind-up
her shiver, her twist, her magical shibboleth
scored by tiny brass ankle bells singing
a new qabalah into his brain
he swings

...high and inside

 

 

Bird    Read Along with the Author


Your geometry stands, backlit
on the stage in my head
cool as a double Brando on the rocks
waist-high in the blue miasma
of woody cigarettes and Chanel No. 5

Lazy-lidded kittens feed their
juniper smiles to
the hungry haberdashed
while on a great, golden fish
you spin out a bop cadenza
clicking down on it's scales
slick as wet glass,
slick as jazz kitten lips

dancers clutch in an
off-center sway, punch-drunk
on the precipice of some imagined rhythm
only you can understand.
Each note, an envelope carrying the
whiskey-soured truths of this and
every charged darkness:
Sartre spasms and Nietzche nodules,
but touting love and nihilism
with equal fervor;
your very breath transmogrified
to liquid longing or pain

Standing there with your
major seventh fermata, long and sad,
the boys close the B flat novel of a
necromantic Harlem Nocturne.
Pushing through your Cool-as-December,
a molten diamond breaks the blue-black
surface of your brow,
rolls down, running for it's life
to splash-fracture on the stage

chasing the notes, the truths
that birthed it like mother

 

 

Julie Bonaduce: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue FourThe Cortland Review