c  a  t  h  e  r  i  n  e  d  a  l  y

Dress the Part

A woman can't carry a broad comedy.
A clumsy woman isn't funny, or,
            if she's supremely beautiful, so
beautiful we wonder, what's past this edifice,
how can celluloid capture

the next Marilyn Monroe,
Audrey Hepburn?

Those weren't broad
comedies.   Monroe didn't carry
Some Like It Hot. Drag creates a trousseau,
            the bundle women carry to marry.

A woman can be negligent, composing
in a negligee, loose and filmy-flimsy robe and gown,
at a delicate desk, dishabille,
receiving visitors, running around with a jeweled pen,
combing over cabinet comedy in a delicate peignoir.

What if form is revealed and the outline is that of an ordinary
            ball gown?
A woman buckled or strapped into an animated costume / in the main scene, / the dance

isn’t extraordinary.  Mascots are male.  Cheerleaders are model/actresses, neither
Redgraves nor actors.

After all, in skin,
a slip
of paper for a ship, over water in a skiff, a yacht,
elongated or slender, the one who -- slipper,
slipper chair, ribbons -- skips,
song and tender sentiment, reclines
under the paper umbrella of the orientalist,
umbrella in the snow in Umbria, not in the rain,
umbrella under the sun’s penumbra.

Smooth clay ornaments or decorates
first the outer garment, then
the inner pottery or lingerie
underneath lace, linen to make it opaque,
not shiny slimy scales
of sequins, Happy Birthday Mr. President,
running a fever, sewn in,
dead three hours,

designed by Edith Head and named for the movie,
            an alteration
of bateau or boat does more than decorate our sweaters
of our leaders who lettered in pep.  Frame the face, cinch the waist,
linen wing collars are sails, wind sends them,
let go, bikini chain, apotheosis of the belt, carry naught.

Give You the Dickens

“ladies who are dancing its favorite objects”

Ellen Lawless Ternan:

                                               1           0
Mrs. Gargery is the first domineering female we meet.
Molly, wild ghost, Miss Habersham, mild.
Others, disgust’s basis.

Stella, Estella, estrella, star,    x
          others contained, house-bound.
          Love & desire prompt Pip.


Jewels on her chest     (not in).

Note:  no meekness,
            wax heartless.               0
                                                   no identity
          stage and screen           doll
Where is a star soft?

Bella               Wilfer
            makes her way
            “more about money than anything else”

“kiss me kiss me before I die”

Alien Opera

little A-Lee-Inn          (what ails thee,
                                       my fern?)

can you tell me
                      tell us tell us
                      can you tell

where is the alien
                      the alien
                      is inside


Opera Synopses

love, like a pizza
         love, amor, love like Lawrence Livermore Laboratories –
more love        say yes

are you betraying anything by saying yes

tell me not
tell me so
oh tell me
in a motel
telus, talus, tool

here is a catalogue of bells
be ills bills Beelzebub my favorite oracle
beloved belted able buildable belief belie libel label

aubade buona sera with the fishes
names naturally rise to lips

let’s begin a whispering campaign
I’ll protect my love and its agents

how can she punish him?
she pardons her; she knows love too
they know the same love
they know the same love
he claims his new love stronger
the children
she gives him up
how can she punish him

masks hide hatred
a vehicle for coloratura

bee       Lord of the Flies

bridal   lapel

I can leave if you are a vision
                     occasion situation

monkey donkey funky chunky flunk spunk


          ballet of the none

lulled child slumber
the perfumed tree
the deadly tree
no paradise      nightshade

Belief System

that this overwhelming emotion

(pretty as an angel= beauty)

no faith in quotidian

(just a lot of references
to dia, tedium, ta da, tidy

corroborate this methodism?
hell, no (all nonsense words rhyme
because they are nonsense)


where to where?
traffic in “feeling realities”

like this padded then studded
steering wheel cover stamped
“Drama Queen”:

I have an image, and it is my self.
I have a self, and, etc.
No selves, but streams
of cars we call traffic,
as we call distribution and routing
and any exchange traffic.

where’s the value-add?

(the angel is you
are beautiful)

doctrine, a
dress with a train,
doctor, or
lab-coat white,

commuter rail
ships to
track, tracking

supply chain --kind of kinky

not the less stylish,
more familial dogma

there's a belief gene
I dont wear, either

entertaining ideals
gets pricey,
empty bottles inthe a.m.
with wet cigarette butts inside them,
stray pair of underwear on the lawn

mystery, no, passion,
seems a long slog

a buddy, especially a dumb
buddy, is better than the creaky
mechanism of internal monologue
let the three reindeer rule

they have theauthority of celebrity
“we all” “know their names”

ubiquity evidences truth
(thank heaven for 7-11)

this hallucinatory quality
is difficult to sustain.  Hubris
is a mark of hucksterism,
Mr. Solution Provider.

no practical fruit (Doritos?)
but my Mom has a brass
doorstop, a brass pineapple
which proves door stops
have a use
their confusing moniker
belies, and pineapples
are symbols, not pine nuts.

CATHERINE DALY lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Ron Burch. Her second book of poetry, Locket, will be published by Tupelo Press (http://tupelopress.org) in 2005. Her first book, DaDaDa, was published by Salt (http://www.saltpublishing.com) in 2003.