May 1998

Muffy Bolding


R.T. Smith

R.T. Smith
  Muffy Bolding
  John Kinsella
  Richard Foerster
  A.F. Moritz
  Miriam Levine
  Louis Armand
  David Shevin
  Stellasue Lee
  Adrian C. Louis
  David Sutherland
  Gregory Djanikian
  Paolo M. Bottigelli

J.M. Spalding
  R.T. Smith

William Heath

Douglas Thornsjo

Muffy Bolding Muffy Bolding's work has appeared in several literary publications, including two upcoming poems in Amelia. She has studied poetry under DeWayne Rail, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the monthly online satire magazine, Fresno Lampoon. Ms. Bolding is 34, and in love with Ted Hughes.

I have loved a hundred men—

Traveled the earth, sought them out, perused
The cafes, cathedrals, universities, auto
Shops, seaports, and hardware stores, acquiring each
Of them, a hundred strong, judging none

By just his cover. They are catalogued
All, sorted and filed, eager for my hands
To pluck, like posturing books from a potent shelf—
Waiting for me to flutter their pages,

Caress their spine, and preen their gilded edges.
They vie to seduce me with their blurbs, and impress
Me with the grandness of their frontispiece. I mouth
Their names, with a shake of the coils at my nape.

I love them all the same—

One, who paints my toenails like rich,
Italian tiles; And One who tells me
My eyes are the exact color of his first
Car, a '69 Camaro Rally Sport,
With tuck and roll upholstery.

One, who stoically bears my shame,
Gallantly returning the videos three
Days late, paying my fines
With coins of his own making;
And One who paints cerulean doors, bakes yams,
And reads Roethke aloud, like a warrior-poet.

One, watchless, who tells perfect time
By a graceful glance at a certain slant
Of light tilting in through a bedroom window;
And One who visits me in my dreams, whispering
Alchemical equations in French, altering
The composition of my leaden heart.

One who can tinker with a car and drink a beer,
While discussing Libertarian theory
And the space/time continuum;
And One who wields a hockey stick
Like a hammer of the gods, then stops
And buys me tampons on his victorious
Journey home from the icy northern rink.

One who charts the stars
From a vessel named 'Dissent';
One who roars The Wasteland
As he staggers in the snow;
One who eats thunderous apples
To fill my sullen silence;
One whose cruel, sensuous strides
Knife the air he moves through;
And One who weeps
At the sound
Of bagpipes.

I am their mistress and their keeper, these
Bound brothers, lined side by side
On the possessive shelves of my gallery.
It is my imprint between their covers.

No other book lovers are allowed to browse
My special collection, with their overdue root
Touch-ups, their screeching heels, their false
Beauty marks penciled on like dewy

Decimals, and their endless trails of perfume
On-recon. And if, peering over the top
Of my jealous spectacles, I should ever catch
Them there, sashaying my aisles,

I will raise one vengeful finger to my lips,
And shush them into nothingness.



Muffy Bolding: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue ThreeThe Cortland Review