Karen Fabiane reading at the Poets Speak Loud open mic at McGeary's in Albany, NY

Three Poems – Karen Fabiane

Any Child Knows

As any child knows, the ground floor
of her home
does not recognize the basement, nor the stairs; them
upper stories neither. All the walls
unrelated, seeming
to join,
but really drifting along divides
never united by plank, sheetrock, plaster, nails. Dusty
countertops, shelves of old vinyl, discs,
books and places in the kitchen
where remnants of life are stacked like a menu
from some familiar corner spot.
The lawn
mostly mowed; the voices
filter back.

A sooty father coming home
from work say,
messing the hygiene of rooms buffed by mom
on her day off
while he was gone. Guileless this living
process — repair’n’destroy, then cover with suds
or silk; sand, salad or squelch –
repeated like a distant memory, like a cough
at a concert.

But less practiced, no overture. Just being — the nature or essence
of the person, the everyone. Left unattended
& slipshod, hanging
from an ancient nail/outdoor wall like a rag
soaked in oil too long.


1st, April

Yesterday it snowed. Not for long. An hour
on’n’off, maybe. Sleet, mostly,
late afternoon,
but dry enough in spots that some remained
dusted on front lawns in Loudonville
today. April foolery
or not, it came down again today,
not gentle,
a little rash even, a lover maybe.
Slipping as she tries to slap your face.
Banging without a drum pad

Despite what you might’ve heard, it wasn’t me
who robbed those several Winchell’s
over the past few weeks.
Don’t even really like
donuts; oh, I’ll eat them alright
if they’re offered at someone’s house, or we’re stopping
somewhere for coffee,
but they’re like vodka – only drink it
when there’s nothing else

Some people luv ‘em I know, & its not
they’re so bad, just never
really understood their infamy;
but I don’t get Mickey Mouse or the Rubik’s Cube, either. Once
turned down a visit with Valerie, when she asked
if I’d like to “stop in for a donut,”
before saying goodbye.

Maybe not so smart; on my mind ever since.
But believe me,
if I were going to rob someplace, I’d use a real gun,
not a plastic toy,
like the reports say.


After we’re dead

Names numbers the feathers of the beast the rain
offered without request
or choice    Absent need for remembrance
to elicit them    Nothing
to entertain past their process & finish    How
this dinked-up everything    All
pleasure & play
Or thought
The shade the shadow the shark the chanteuse in the moonlight    The trees’
roots destination & so much

If we lay back in the grass looking up forever
at the sky
some might worry
the present was becoming the past.    To count
To name A task leaving
most without sleep but no more
certain or peaceful & while the details
require attention
many can be found in the sky    Rained
feathered Or not Her laugh
the happiest

We can
crawl all over each other later if you want
& forget the gun in your purse    Our only salary requiems
recited by multiple lame-ohs warning us
to stop To recognize
how wrong we are about everything, including the forever
Its immensity passing time in all ways    Regardless
of smoke encroaching    An old darkness finally harvesting
a crop & the shit
of greed    Now resident so much
the air
Just persisting without fear    No matter what
form it takes
after we’re dead


Born in NYC, Karen Fabiane has been writing/performing poetry for hundreds of years, turning to verse after failing to get a try-out with the New York Yankees. Most recently, a driver/collector with Foodscraps 360, she does free-lance writing about anything on assignment. Poems published in such small press journals as 2, Bound, CAPS 2020, Downtown, Heroin Love Songs, Home Planet News, MisFit, Momoware, New Voices, Newsletter Inago, OM, RagShock and Salonika, and 5 different Bright Hill Press anthologies. 3 books: Dancing Bears (2011), Seeing You Again (2014), and Between Canal & Ida (2022). Karen currently lives in Troy, no longer looking for Helen.

1 thought on “Three Poems – Karen Fabiane”

Comments are closed.