Archive for the Emalisa Rose Category

Three poems by Emalisa Rose

Posted in Emalisa Rose with tags on March 24, 2022 by Scot



A good strudel, with a side of shame

My daddy was bipolar. In again, out
of work again, Daddy. Bipolar, but at
the time, they just called him “coocoo.”

His immigrant parents knew something
was wrong, but were too ashamed to
look into it. Along with his “putz”
younger brother, that married that “slut
in the drunk tank,” they liked to rip into,

as we’d sit on the couch, covered plastic
by the table with that phony wax fruit in
that ornate gold plated bowl, Grandma Sue
brought at the Gimbels, and smiled “what
a steal at that 80 percent off, though the
snobs in the suburbs, bought it, full price,
without any eye blinking.”

For Sue and her shoemaker husband, that
good stuff just didn’t come easy. She’d
flip through the Sunday sales, hoping to
keep up with the Joneses, whoever the
fuck they were. I hadn’t a clue then, but
knew it that she longed to be like them,
for whatever reason.

She taught me about shame, how to
curse in the old mother tongue, and
how to make a good strudel.



The day Leo got lucky


“Yesterday’s gone.

Tomorrow’s uncertain.

Sands slip away our today.”

He had a verse of his own,
intercepting my nerves of
first dates and my cliched

“You talk too much,” he said.

“Let’s go fuck in the woods.”

So we did, as his nail
hit my heart.

Then we married,
eleven months later.



Like a red squirrel

“After a while, they accumulate.”

“Tell a few, you’ll be telling more,
like the leaves you keep sweeping.
Perhaps you’ll get rid of them, but
more will fall overnight.”

Susie the septuagenarian, the sage
and the troublemaker.

I continued with broom to the
sidewalk, and like a red squirrel
that fights to its death, protecting
its brood, with this need to continue
the lie, I will do so

Susie or no Susie.

He did them a favor by Emalisa Rose

Posted in Emalisa Rose with tags on January 31, 2022 by Scot



He did the dogs. That’s what they
called them back then; the ones no
one would touch with a ten foot pole,
as they once said.

The ugly, the fat, the frizzed ones with
glasses; the ones they’d never think to
ask for a dance with, at those ghastly
school socials.

He said they made the best fucks. His
name was Vinny; the first pig I’d

It was guys like him, making me check
myself thrice in those school bathroom
mirrors, with a brush and my powder
pink lipstick I’d straighten my seams,
on the skirt that my grandmother made
for me.

It was the time, long before I would know,
what the word confidence meant.