This sadness is bigger than B vitamins, it is not interested in working around my schedule, or all your good ideas, it arrives anyway on wings of fog and stays awhile

“Love Is a Messy Broken Thing, Part 6,” Jacks McNamara

Depression, the word, is useless. There’s no music no romance, no reclaiming it. Neither word nor illness can be made into bedroom play. Comedy, maybe? “So a guy walks into a bar...I mean the ER, no I mean a bar ... no I mean ER.” Same difference. Divorced from the root depression divvies, clinically scores me into that and this and this and this. But sadness is bigger than my last relapse. This sadness is bigger than B vitamins,    is bigger than the SAD lamp that brightens my desk. Bigger than ten milligrams twice a day. Sadness holds more than all the second- hand coffee mugs at an AL-ANON meeting takes more time than the self-help workbook my poetics professor gifted me longer than the long-distance collect call my mother refused to accept. Too urgent to be wait-listed, it is not interested in working around a schedule, or   another referral from the Red Book. So tremendous, sadness doesn’t know where the world ends and my body begins. Sure, no bullshit about communing with the universe but you won’t catch me being laissez-faire about upper case “W” Wholeness. I practice sadness because it subsumes all my shady moods and all my good ideas. It arrives any way   it can and yet it is always here like a lake forever fed by a cold creek. Damn right a nature metaphor! Want more? Sadness always has more to offer. Its occupation is fluid. It’s air. Notice you’re breathing? Sadness is as wide as rain on one end of town and a heaven-sent break in the clouds on the other and on the other wings of fog, and all of it stays awhile.  
VAGINA CANTATA How we applauded you, pint-sized tart singing and swinging to A Cowboy’s Sweetheart. Who taught you the art of sashay, of rouge, The French manicure. Who taught you to bruise? “American Pageant,” Rachel Rose Don't pump the wand inside the tube like that, it will dry out your mascara. You've got lipstick on your teeth. We paint our mouths poppy or pink so men think of talking vulvas. Vagina cantata: "Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?" Patent leather, mount up. Tie a ribbon round the oak. A mix of Giganta and Kewpie is the desired look. The pubic bone is a predictable body part. How we applauded you, pint-sized tart.   You're one of us, gobble-gobble, we accept. Are you ready to rule your nympholepts? Trust your idiosyncratic gut and follow these step-by-step instructions. Don't be nervous, men would rather buy your used panties than pay child support. After all they deserve, just deserts, desert ride the long hot hot long long hot desert ride. A mirage is mostly water vapor, play your fluid part singing and swinging to A Cowboy's Sweetheart   whistling and throb-gristling to Country Comfort. trilling and shit-uphilling to Old Red Dirt. "She can bake a cherry pie, quick as a cat can wink her eye She's a young thing, and cannot leave her mother." Loneliness is cured on the cactus farm. Nostalgia likes his feet scrubbed clean by the muse. Never put the money in your purse, darling fool gold suede Gucci is a decoy, a fake for the taking. Risky business, what was your first clue? Who taught you the art of sashay, of rouge?   Who set you for a chair? Put them ringlets in your hair? Stuck a pearl in your navel? Invited you to our fine table? "Did she bid you come in, Billy Boy, Billy Boy, Did she bid you to come in, Charming Billy?" Torch songs warm tongues. Get it now, while you're young. Who taught you what's good for the gander is good for the goose? Who said a honda knot rubbed on rock will come loose? Who taught you how to play a couch quail? Flash that tail. Hat your rack. How to moonlight coo. Ungate your sluice. The French manicure. Who taught you to bruise? ______ Amber Dawn won the 2013 Vancouver Book Award for her book How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler's Memoir. She is the author of the Lambda Award-winning novel Sub Rosa, and editor of the anthologies Fist of the Spider Women: Fear and Queer Desire and With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn. Amber Dawn was the 2012 winner of the Writers' Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT writers. She teaches creative writing at Douglas College and the University of British Columbia, and is working on a second speculative fiction novel.  She is touring in Canada and the USA this spring with her new poetry collection Where the words end and my body begins. Visit amberdawnwrites.com or arsenalpulp.com for tour details.   9781551525839_WhereWordsEnd