In This Economy

By Brenda Shaughnessy

The economical ikebana
of the lesser octopus
is disarming,

a sextopus, holding
its intelligence
& ink

in a concentrate.
Not some sloppy octopus
who suddenly

freaks, so princessy, rich.
Driven to abstraction
not unlike flowers

dropping their petals
because petals are garbage
off the bloom,

not expensive anymore
thus going inside
to find meaning.

Cut the eyes, then, from
the cruel ikebana
of the racehorse—

if a leg breaks she can’t
bear her own

long-blossomed head
turns to glue
and the fortune

zooms off like flies
from a carcass
when shooed.

The tripod fell
so I had to cast about
for my crutch

to walk over—my bad
left knee buckling—
to right it.

I want to take a picture
of the flowers
I arranged

after an ikebana class,
just one. I quit

but still hope to learn
to arrange beauty

Maybe I’m lazy, or
don’t apply the rules
to myself,

or maybe “laze” is just
“zeal” rearranged,
as in my case.

Even now, the clock
we need to punch
out on is too far

away to plug in,
so power collects
in its hands.

You Might Also Like:

Browse By Category

Select from our entire catalogue of poetry collections:
Click the dropdown below to select from our entire catalogue of poetry collections.