3 Poems by Lisa Douglass (part 2)



Lisa’s fiction has been published in Transformations, R-KV-RY, and Westwind
(UCLA’s journal). Her fiction has won the Shirley Collier Prize (2010); Co-First place for The Ruth Brill Award (2010); First place winner The May Merrill Miller Award (2009); and was named best published work in Westwind’s Journal for 2009-2010. She has been a finalist in the Poet’s and Writer’s Writer’s Exchange contest (2009) and just received an honorable mention in
Writer’s Digest Annual Competition (2011) in the literary mainstream category.

“Some say Lisa Douglass is meta for god, but I don’t know if gpd is real.”


He Wore The Shirt I Slept In

My ex is behind me
Watching my neck, my ear, my hand to my cheek
I slump down in the black dress
On chairs that belong in basements
Cold and hard and rigid
My black suede booties slung out into the aisle
Covering the feet that inspired him
To paint the dead thing and stick it on my wall
Leg over leg or ankle stretched out
I am with witch girl
Who swears she sewed her soul into mine
But I can’t feel it
She laughs her puppet arms around me
I touch her face like a lover
And make fun of her blow-job lips
Not quite kissing them, but almost


I stand in the cue and turn to catch him
In the purple shirt
I used to sleep in
Hiding by the coffeemaker
Eyes like a showroom
Full of the things he once loved
And remembering the things he thought I could make him forget
I only glance in his direction then turn
To the two men who want to talk about
My outfit, my style and what they think about
Late at night
I turn again to see my ex hiding, but I can’t see his face
Just the shirt and the torso of my lost lover
He hasn’t been eating
That much is clear

Harry Dean Stanton It was hot outside I was working at the Grill in Beverly Hills After work I slid up to the bar at Dan Tana’s and ordered a beer Harry Dean Stanton was there drinking me one for one He drank silent like me I said, you must hear this all the time So I’m reluctant to tell you But Paris, Texas is one hell of a film And you’re great Yeah. Did you hear me? Yeah, I hear you He said it like I had found out he fucked his sister But then I ordered us both a round And he looked into my eyes Grateful That someone had bought him a drink “What was your name, dear?” I told him “Thank you for what you said before, sorry I’m such a prick.” No problem, I’m a prick too That made Harry Dean laugh like he’d found his hero Me, Harry Dean’s hero I told him some mean stories about how I was torturing my boyfriend But this one deserved it I told him about getting run off the 101 freeway And then he knew I was telling the truth When I showed him the papers from jailAnd he asked me if he could help by calling the house I said yes, it might just do him in He keeps threatening suicide after the meth wears offHe agreed to take my number and call a bunch And we laughed some more Some other guy A guy I didn’t even know, but wanted to Walked by and handed me a bindle of coke “Help yourself. Just don’t be a pig,” he said The bartender thought I was a good girl And gave me hatred eyes, like don’t do coke You’re mine But I gave a look back One that said, who are you? We’re friends like this I pay you for drinks, but mostly they are free Because you think we might fuck But it doesn’t mean shit So I slid off the stool and went to the can to “not be a pig about the coke” Then, I came back and Harry was crying Telling me he loved me “You don’t love me, you’re drunk.” Okay, I remember, he said Looking for love in my eyes but only finding weakness I put my arm around him and said It happened to me too last night, I forgot who I loved And then I ordered two more drinks To help us remember Who we really were Lisadouglass

How To Buy a Gun

Were you there at all? I can’t tell. I can only see what invisible imprint you left
three lines on my back, I won’t say how, just that to name it would be lying

An old married, “I’m un-attracted to woman,” turned out to be 22 and hot as hell
I asked you the question, our friends covered for you, now there’s valium

The lie was a wave, an empty doll stare, a gloveless, limp diorama of pretense
Words filled in for affection, I had seen the shiny thing before, it was a lie

A promise of future, this is hers now. just like you said, lips like earthworms
I went to her house, she was half naked, I saw things I shouldn’t see

Scabs on her skin, blow jobs every morning, but he can’t eat you out
I stood not knowing what to do with my hands—so I put lotion on it

When my father went missing, I asked where he was, the house had no joy
I knew when you told me, secure from your bed, orange juice couldn’t save us

The sky was empty, the moon went out, the stars stopped whatever that was
I walked around with bare feet on the wide plank floor, knowing but not saying

You told me you only danced for me, my face was your favorite, feet on top of father’s
I sat on the couch watching violent movies and wished for things that wouldn’t happen

 Lisa Douglass

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