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May 22, 2012

Purple Reign - T.L. Sherwood

Slices of sky just past dawn, foxglove flowers and wild
tangy grapes, bulbous, far flung, then closer
incestuous uncles traipse through my mind.
That’s what I notice. Purple things. They're what I live for.
Is this an affinity? A parallelism? I stagger
to breathe, anxiously scratch at wrists. Am I
to be captured? Bidden to be one of those
prisoners suspended from reality, encased
in a full body cage: silent screams, cries for clarity.

An unrequited passion matches the intensity
I had felt for Barney as a kid. How I had wanted
to marry that globular dinosaur who loved me
from afar. And this is what I manage to remember,
one drunken moment or two hours ago
during our latest euphonious ‘domestic quarrel.’

The police came this time 
separated his dingy thumbs
from my sweaty neck to reveal
his juicy plum impressions.
How his traces dazzle now,
black pearls worn opalescent
refracted by denials and stacks
of unsigned restraining orders.

T. L. Sherwood lives in a house made out of mostly recycled material in the armpit of Erie county in western New York. She's an avid organic gardener, but not a preachy freak about it. Her blog, "Creekside Reflections," ( is updated on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month.


  1. "traipse" is a swell verb nobody uses any more, bravo for reviving it

    (all dead things want only to come back to life)

    1. To traipse through the writing, that's the thing.

  2. Here in Birmingham of England, if we take our leave we talk of "trapping off".

    1. We like to coarsen everything.

    2. in america we expect everything to be precoarsened. spoiled a bit.

    3. It goes down easier that way, I reckon

  3. There is something terminal in trapping off that is not there in the aimlessness and ambulatory lassitude of traipsing.

    Trap off, for depart, taxidriver slang from c. 1920s, to obtain a fare: "Did you trap off to the Museum?" "Yes, I puts on there and I traps in ten minutes."

    Traipse, v., to walk untidily, listessly, aimlessly, gad about. 1590s, of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal Fr. trepasser "pass over or beyond," common 18th-20th c. "This traipsing to and fro." "I was traipsing today with your Mister Sterne." "She spent a week traipsing through the Ozarks, saying to herself, I traipsed all over town looking for the right dress, and now I'm too old to go traipsing around Europe!"

    Taking the piss about supporting Villa finally got to me, I trapped off and started to support Baggies.

  4. Blimey, Mr. Clark, you know your Midlands clubs!