Jeannette Allée
Poet & Writer


       excerpts from
"Eunuchs on their Lunch Hour"

SATCH
  by Jeannette Allée

Sasquatch, please come out of hiding.
Brooding in your dark forest is only heartbreaking, too revealing.
Nobody ever said working for non-profits is automatically nicer —
The fridges are smaller, leftovers older, and sometimes
Nobody talks in the offices, I mean, frankly.
The art world is hard, still, you can't stop creating.

Sasquatch, please give up your fortress.
Put those couch cushions back onto the sofa. Love isn't hopeless.
I've seen the circulatory systems of many creatures.
Sometimes what it takes is remembering to clear off the passenger seat
Before you pick a date up in the evening.
(Hey, and don't talk about your ex-girlfriend all night either.)

Sasquatch, please come down from that tire swing —
What, are you trying to break something?
Loads of us don't have perfect bodies.
For example, I'm shortwaisted.
I can't wear pants. Isn't that funny?
Listen, everybody's teeth get a little dingy.
Try parting your hair on the other side. Experiment.
Yes, that's it, a Whoopdeedoo forelock is quite becoming.

Sasquatch, blow out that candle — you know it's not safe under the covers.
What do you mean, you're not comfortable in your own skin —
You don't quite pass for anything?
Sexuality is frightening, all consuming, when what you crave is understanding.
Satch, stop picking at your coattails, are you even listening?

Sasquatch, unlock the door and climb on out of there now.
I know you once said you'd rather live in a car alone than be married.
At least scootch over, you Big Goof.
Don't you realize the world owes you a loving?

Over the years you've given and given,
Led us at down pine-sweet paths at midnight's edge
Where stars crushed against the roof of heaven.
You made us pant with curiosity, giddy with mystery,
Aching to slip our little feet into your slightest impression.
You taught us belief in what could be —
Trust in what is felt not always seen
.
O Satch, darling — Don't you know
Things are coming back around for you a thousandfold?

Now come on out from behind there —
Curtains don't wear wingtips —
Especially that magnificent.


    (published in Fence literary magazine)





HILLBILLIONS
  by Jeannette Allée

"So there was a glitch in the system."
-Donald Rumsfeld on Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, April 2004

Ashamed, of the squat-bodied hillbilly girl
thumbs up to the world
Dude-ing stripped captives
dogpiled for the camera.
It's the barn squealing grin that does me in
the devil-may-care, aw shucks malice.

What is class? Not monied connections or even proper
verb conjugation, rather, a willingness
— however mustered —
to imagine, with our homo meaning humankind, sapience
the life of the other.

Today, on a Baghdad street, this, from a prisoner freshly released:
They are treating us like women.


    (published in The Iowa Review and on PoetsAgainstTheWar.org)




THE MORTICIAN IMPRESSED
   by Jeannette Allée

                    Jump right in
                          Give old Pete skin
                         Jump for Joy!
                               -Duke Ellington

Who wants to be limping around glumly at ninety
Awaiting someone to refresh the tennis balls on your walker?

I want to use my body up here on this earth
wear it out with sheer shocking life —
Impress the Mortician.

Fielding! Reynolds! The Mortician will shout, flushed with a pinkness
even a quality embalming fluid couldn't expect to maintain.
Put your lunches down! You'll never believe this!

The Mortician stands matador-proud at the side of my gurney
holds the sheet by the collar then whips it off me with a flourish.
Somebody's finally got it right!

Fielding looks to Reynolds
Reynolds looks to the Mortician
The Mortician eyes me swimmingly.

See this woman here, the Mortician says, his mouth gone soft with desire,
note the unique exfoliation on these slender arms —
she came to the Table of Love washed clean up to the elbows.

And these fingernails, their worn shortness suggests she regularly
scrutched the balding head of her beloved in the bath.
Very playful that!

Say, boys, how about these gams?
These little chuggers turned down free cable car rides all over town.
She knew that the human foot was not designed for the gas pedal.

Yet look here, the marbling on the lass — that's quality fat.
We're talking Godiva, Toblerone chocolate. Butter on everything, you bet.
No cutting corners when it came to cholesterol — she hit the butterslut limit!

And what's this, mitral value prolapse?
A heart never murmured any sweeter I'd guess.
This ticker talked.

Gentleman, this is truly astounding, there's not a minute left on this body.
The pancreas clocks in at close .47 seconds.
That's it!

The Mortician suddenly grows quiet, waves away Fielding and Reynolds,
Dismisses them for the remainder of the day.

Early in the afternoon, the Mortician locks up shop and
         wends
                   his way
                             homeward

                            Where he sits down to pen
                                              his
                                              stunning
                                               first
                                              operetta —


    (published in The Spoon River Poetry Review and an edited version on thisibelieve.org)



Jeannette Allée, Poet & Writer

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Illustration: " So Long, So Long. Inexplicably My Pants Decide to Fly Away." courtesy Raimund von Luckwald