Artist Information/Contact  


Sex Between Two Mystics 

At the Movies 

Once Bled 

List of Relinquishments for Leo 


Difficult Work  


Mind Over Matter (Dentist)

Public Relations 

Dementia (Hot Fudge) 

Trickle Down Economics 





Artist Information/Contact  

Palline Plum began as a sculptor and photographer, then eventually gave in and also agreed to use words as raw material.  The poems have accumulated over the decades into several series that form a volume:  Slow Songs/Out Of Hand, available from the poet, who may be reached at:  isthataone@aol.com   

Individual poems have been published in Poetry In Buses; Oxalis; Feminista.com; and in two Out Of The Catskills And Just Beyond anthologies.  She recently won first and third prizes in the 2002 "Dancing Poetry Competition."

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Sex Between Two Mystics


Sex Between Two Mystics

Sex between two mystics
Is a heady business.

Bodies hardly seem to matter
Until the next day,
During a tax-audit
Or standing in a check-out line
This body
Becomes instantaneously sexual,
Dizzy and dysfunctional
At the briefest thought
Of contact.

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At the Movies

Between films
I touch your eyelids,
Afraid to hold your face
In public.

Your skin is like sunlight
In the dark.

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Once Bled

This sunset is full of purples and browns,
Like an old bruise
That once bled from the sky
Into this lake.

My body follows,
Releasing old blood
With a sigh
As we swim in the almost-dark.

We wait until the next night
To make love.
Mouths open.  

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List of Relinquishments for Leo

Once I burned the sheets we slept on,
Twice I burned your name.

Three kind old lovers saw my need
And slipped into my bed again.
Four psychics said you'd never gone.

Five trips
I took to other lives with you -
(In three I watched you die.)
Six ways I learned, in my despair,
To disinvite your spirit in the night.

Seven times I wrote to ask more practiced folk than I,
To pray for you.

Eight months I've spent in therapy -
Examining my pain

And nine times nine times nine, and countless more,

I've whispered your release
Unto your highest good.
And mine.

Monthly I have been reminded -
I will never bear a child with you.
Sundays I have found another place to pray.

And daily I have begged God
Take it back again! And please,
Put such love to some good use,
In spite of us.

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My uterus has become
An instrument of measurement
That hums and spins
Responding instantaneously,
In my shadowed flesh
To emissions of light
From the rock
And the water
And the soil
That I name as the lap of the earth.

I can smile
But seldom speak
While hosting
These fluencies of rarely visible light.

The man
Lying in his human skin beside me
Is often frightened.

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Difficult Work


Separating our bones
From each otherís
Has been a long and painful task.

Long bones, both of ours
Yours thinner, more fragile
As you were.


Difficult work
No! Easy work:

My eyes swam into your long frame,
Pumped life into your buttocks
Slowed your breath
Loosened your heart
So we could enter the dance
As a sigh
As one organism.

It was easy work
To make an alternate body
My habitat.
Easy to find shelter
Inside each otherís belly skins.


Separating your bones from mine
While keeping each of us alive,
Has been a horrible task.

Your bones are longer, lighter
More fragile,
As you appear to be.


We have been determined.
We have been disciplined.
We have tweaked nerve fibers loose
Traced each one to its core.

We have peeled back
My scalp from yours.
We have tugged both sight
And vision loose.
We have separated long smooth bone
From bone.
We have parted more flesh
From less.


As bad as that has been,
The pulling of our skins apart
Is worse.

We have been insistent
And deliberate.
We have flayed them.
We have been tenacious
And consistent.
We have tugged and pulled
And peeled them back
Again and again,
Over a period of years,
Across silence
Other bodies, other lives.


We have been futile:

Each skin,
Believing it had found
A permanent home inside the other
Has stretched beyond all reason,
Into amazing shapes
Across amazing space,
And kept on stretching
To keep a tiny spot
Of surface contact

You and I have worked
So hard,
So long,

Only to find those skins
Sucking up together
In our sleep.
Gossiping with God.

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Trivial Humiliations


Mind over Matter

I'd been breathing deeply
Evenly taking in air thru the tube,
Snorkeling over coral reefs again,
My skin roundly announcing its otherness
To the water it just had
Separated smoothly from itself.

(Doing Fine!)

The Dental Hygienist
Forgot to check the X-ray
Before she stuck that stainless steel hook
Way into my tooth, and I collapsed
Completely punctured
Body and breath rippling inside now
No longer me.

No dental Hygienist
Should ever
Have that much power!

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Public Relations

Recently I have learned the skill
Of packaging my personal waste
In little plastic bags,
So they will take it at the dump
Without a fuss.

This has gone on for months
In spite of early morning dreams
Of aiming wide - (Oh shame!)

And rushes of adrenaline
As I drive up in fear
Of some new dump attendant
Discovering the difference in my trash.

I am careful to exclude my mail,
But wonder if my waste
Bears some olfactory fingerprint
Immediately traceable to me.

I dare not ask these things
Or what the penalty might be
For letting golden fluid
Slip into the creek.

Somehow it seems so innocent
And even fishes pee.

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Dementia (Hot Fudge)

When I was young,
I was able to believe
That the ideas
Were the slippery ones.

But all along
It seems it was my mind.
Sliding and wrinkling
Along the edges of ordinary thoughts
That other minds found manageable.

By now I have learned
That if a thought is small
It sometimes helps to dump
A lot of Mind on it,
And feel it whole
And drag it whole,
Over time
Into memory.

Only the best
Small thoughts
Are worth
The effort.
With really big ideas
I have long since made
A sort of playful peace:

I dribble and spit,
And splatter bits of mind
All over them,

Joyful in my release
From relevancy.

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Trickle Down Economics

I knew
It was not logical
To loathe
Selling my blood.

It was not reasonable,
To dread those small,
Twice weekly,
Voluntary offerings.

It was not sensible
To cringe
From the burrowings
In my arm.

It did not satisfy,
To watch my body's food
Into plastic tubing.

And so, the anger was not quick
Or clean. It oozed
Into my breath, my gait
As I pushed the cart,

With food my blood had bought
For the child.

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Fibre - Optic Singing


I pray for people that I meet on line.
I don't know what else to do.

"Hey there! Is this Bro?", I type.
"No", the answer comes. " I am a Houseguest."
"Have I talked with you before?", I ask.
"No", they say, "unless we met sometime
At a party, years ago".

"I have never been there!", I reply,
"And never have met Bro. I've never
Even seen his face."

Then comes the pain. Waves of pain.
Rolling off their keyboards,
Comes their pain,
Floods my screen.

All the women and the man,
Even the child who once talked to me,
All want to be the only one he loves.

Each has tasted Paradise,
They say,
And longs for its return.

All know about each other.
All were warned ahead that Bro
Loves only briefly, never fully

I pray for each of them:

For the bone thin cover-girl
To eat full meals,
Grow fat and beautiful,
And let herself make babies

I pray for the woman delegated
After many years as something else,
To the status of "Old Friend".

I pray for the child who hopes to
Beat Bro at a game of Chess some day,
And crows that best of all,
He has Broís "Private Beeper number "-
What no woman could ever hope to own!

Then I pray for the man who still lusts
For Bro thru many years,
And wants to give him gifts
Of time and magic expertise.

But gifts are not allowed....
So he does it still - for pay!

Each of these prayers becomes
One word,
Whispered in my mind throughout the week,
Then Sundays, sometimes, spoken loud.

Separately, and for myself I pray
That I will never meet Bro face to face-
(Or that I will...)

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I had a lover of the heart this week:

For four days and nights
Our throats sang oceans of ecstasy
Thru fibre-optic cable.

The songs of joy that rippled, grew and swelled,
Came bursting forth as shouts ,
Flooding this large continent of earth and rock
That separates our bodies.

Drifting then...
Rolling on the swell, we sang -
Folded deep inside each other's minds,
Singing, sighing, as lovely buds -
Water blooms unfolding
We sang, blossoming, in bliss.


A lover of the heart.


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