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Joanne Ratkowski

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Capulets and Montagues
by Joanne Ratkowski
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Joanne Ratkowski
•  On licking the plate of an afterthought
•  A spot could be anything. Like you
•  Smolder
•  If only
•  Yes
           >> View all 11

For every Yes
the reflection of an inevitable No
A fork to be etched in some road,
tread relentlessly by foot
or by mind


Twin rusty arrows point:
its the signage of the North and the South,
A choice remains.
Go thee!


The Wind comes
(or rather appears)
and to my fantastical dismay,
swirls round me as I stand
in the fork of some road
and spoon up my thoughts,
but all the while I stand immovable.

Hair whipping,
my comical white collar succumbs to the wind
and raises its pristine sail,
thereby grazing and staining
its tip with the red paint of my glossy mouth
but I stand immovable.

“Go right.”
Surely the (right) stained tip of my shirt collar
means Something.
Look to the right and go!
It’s a gift from some capricious wind god!

But I wait
and as I wait on the corner of ‘Here’ and ‘There’
I am poised and waiting
with a reckless randomness
and laces undone.
Waiting for the wind to strike and
to again flutter the
tips of this comical white collar in some direction.
Give me a sign!
To the Left?
Or to the Right?

Oh, here it comes:
It’s the wind
and the flutter of my (right) red-tipped collar
can only imply to go Right.

[Lipstick on a man’s collar?
“Cherchez la femme”
Trust it.
I don’t trust lipstick stained collars.
No woman should.]

I am not a man.

Only the wind is free
of the Yes
and the No.

Oh, to exist for the sake of existing
and not deciding.
Unseen, but felt like the wind
always a criminal at large
never captured or confronted…
Because it can.
Because it can.

What will it be, Madame?
For whatever it means to choose
I feel its consequence as an indentation
in the small of my back
For every Yes,
a No.
I can feel it stirring Circumstantiality's viscous oil
Round and round,
we all have tails to chase
and buzzing thoughts to capture,
like flies with Mason jars

Mine is a path to be laid
merely by choice and choosing
I am the bricklayer of my Fate
Confronting the forks in the road
of my own Eternal return
and so I create,
the very fork I ponder tonight

For every Yes
The 'what-if' of a No
Only the wind is absolved of the
and the

Maybe you say?
If you said or thought it,
leave my presence immediately.
Maybe is a just a poorly defended dissertation
Stacked away under Science (Soft and Softest)
Checked out for the sake of checking it out
and most likely by the author himself.

Maybe is psychotic a notion to me right now
because I sought my answer yesterday
My apologies! (the sincere ones)
How presumptuous of me
I am after all, a devotee of the Yes and the No
'Yes' on a Tuesday
and 'No' on a Thursday
Struggling, strong wind seeking… to be absolved.
Good wind, strong wind.
They call you Zephyr.
Choose for me. Push me or my collar
and give me direction
I call you my absolution! My fate.
My indifferent custodian whose neglect I infer to be
A state of temporary

I invite opinions over for hard liquor
Until the opinions have had enough
and leave of their own accord,
Drive home
Get home

There is no crime committed here
The weight of choice
stuffed in luggage like a last minute bottle
of duty-free liquor, glass fragile
so desired to be forgotten
back on a ‘sardined’ train whizzing through
Old Europe.
And there still remains… 

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