By: Terry Brix
I don’t know what it is about bed & breakfasts
That sets off a bacon sizzling panic and hard boils my soft-boiled patience.
Maybe it’s the carefully organized clutter of matched sets of figurines,
Breakable everything, stacked, providing nothing but dust a 3-D landscape.
The salt and pepper shakers molded into petaled ceramic rose buds,
Shaking crystalled thorns over my eggs haloed with hand painted flowers.
It could be the shock of matched lace panels serving as curtains,
As though a window tablecloth were needed to dress up the view
Of a full summer moon over Olympia Harbor,
Yachts tiding up and down as if jacked by sea otters.
Even the sinks have skirts to hide the plumbing
Making me think of a blockish porcelin skinned woman
With hot and cold knockers,
And a deadly secret non metal trap beneath it all.
Wicker everywhere as though every bush for miles
Has been bent, tortured and angst-coiled, waiting to rip through my ass.
Light, wrought iron stands hold knickknacks and towels,
Like portions of cages or hints of bars I have to breathe through to freedom.
Books like True Grit and Condensed Reader’s Digest
Add to the ambiance of an aggravated assault on good literature.
The walls, acres of cornflowers, grasses sifting down imagined pollen.
It makes me want to either sneeze or take a goddamn scythe to them.
Maybe it’s the apple blossom sheets and carnation-strewn pillow covers,
And not a whiff of scent or a sound of a bee.
Maybe it’s the dead plants, a kind of skeletal bouquet,
Strapped above a picture like mummified visual hay.
Pictures with flowers and pastoral settings dot the rectangular horizons.
Never a storm or non-spring setting, all to hide the past prison of the land.
Maybe I’m just a bull buffalo of a man that can’t swish his tail
With catastrophes waiting everywhere, stacked, tacked, hung, swung.
I am not sensitive or refined enough to appreciate Victorian disguise
Where collections of matched trivia imply a sense of power and control.
But she lies there amongst the flowered pillows and crumpled sheets,
Her curls slowly land like blond butterflies on her forehead for the night.
I am amazed as I wallow amidst this carnage of old and faded,
How much I love being here to see the contrast at point blank range.
The only real thing here is this woman.
The rest are dead images and bad camouflage.
Terry Brix, a green chemical engineer who lives in Blue River, Oregon, divides his time among Israel, South Africa, Scandinavia, Iceland, Finland, Canada, and Japan. Inspired by his travels, a collection of his poetry Chiseled from the Heart was published in 2000 by Vigeland Museum, Norway. His poetry has appeared in, among others, Dos Passos Review, Concho River Review, The Evansville Review, Fireweed, Curbside Review, Rattlesnake Review, The Antioch Review and North American Review. He is currently working on a new poetry collection written during his travels and a month-long writer’s fellowship residency at Playa. www.terrybrix.com