Category Archives: Poetry

People Food

You must understand, dear
that I made you a false promise:
that morsel of toast
so enticing you couldn’t pull away your brown eyes,
was never going in your mouth.

Give me your saddest, hungriest look
— a starving refugee from a strange land —
and still, the bite is mine,
and the languishing bark,
yours, alone.

Procrastination  

It’s the heat of the
long-awaited moment,
– singeing hair and melting fingerprints
until we all look the same
– charred, harried zombies –
to the government investigators –
it’s that heat and pressure
that allows us to forge new alloys
from common feedstock.
Here, at the end of time,
we have the clearest view
of those last few actions available us.
Entropy has all but won; I’d
raise my glass to concede, but I have
a few more minutes.

– 08/29/2009

Dinner with the Neighbors

The neighbors are out in their yard
eating and bawling and mooing
stomping their hooves
and pushing their fat bellies through the grass.
What a herd of cattle!
I’ll have the last laugh, though
with my carefully arranged pyramid
– small square, sun-glistening black –
in the bottom of my rusty old grill.
Hot times on the back deck.

Apple – An Immigrant’s Tale

I left the land of my forbearers
packed into a seasick shipping container
with countless others like me
– we all look the same to you;
no faces here –
and traveled the dark and swelling ocean
for twenty two black days
no sun; no breeze
only the others’ rounded shoulders
jostling me in the dark.
Then a creaking of salt-encrusted hinges,
accented voices and officious flashlights.
I am hauled under fluorescent lights,
poked, prodded, labeled
then put into quarantine.
A week later, in a restless California night,
a man with keys comes
out of nowhere; around the corner
and shoves me rough in the back of a truck
and I roll across the desert
heading toward sunrise salvation
but get detoured at the MegaMart
where I’m lined up with the others;
perfect rows of immigrants.
His daughter inspects each one of us,
listening, gently fondling
– his eyes have a proud shine –
until she finds me.
“This one, daddy!” she exclaims. “It’s perfect!”
And daddy pays for me
and makes me ride in the back
of the family SUV.
Driving home through sprinkler perfection,
daddy tells his princess all the
things she can do to me:
“First you have to wash it
to get off all the dirt,” he says.
“That’s yucky! Then, we’ll use a knife;
don’t worry – I’ll help.”
The SUV stops and daddy pulls me out
and takes me into the kitchen.
Princess gives me an abbreviated shower
– barely enough to get me wet –
then drops a shining stainless blade
through my core again and again.
I’m laying pieces on the counter,
my juice dripping from her weapon;
She smiles and reaches for me.
Bon appetite, princess.

2013/08/13

Try Again Next Year, Dear Robin

Try again next year, dear robin.
We gave you the deck when
you made your nest in the middle of God and everyone
We watched as you sat on four tiny blue eggs
We cheered when your babies hatched,
all naked and cold in the big world.
We were impressed with your diligence
feeding those bottomless pits, too.
Then one afternoon, the old deaf dog had to pee
and after a while, she came to the back door
with a little spring in her step
and licking her chops.
Try again next year, dear robin.

Heading Toward Poetryville

Took a wrong turn on the interstate.

Hear that’s a bad part of town to wander.

Get jacked.

Get beat.

Fall in love.

Nothing good ever came from poetryville.

No fancy car plant,

no pig processing,

no industrial byproducts of radiological progress.

Just these fucking, haunting thoughts.

These carnivorous brain worms;

the ones that just won’t leave

until they’ve devoured all my capacity

to not think of the dainty elegance

of a pink elephant on a circus ball,

the sexual possibilities of

a lesbian tight-rope trio,

the damp sweat rolling down

a chocolate malt melting in the afternoon sun.

Poetryville – Where the details hurt,

where observation can kill

with delicate, impossible gossamer

hummingbird aerodynamics,

where no rose is ever a rose,

and no stone lays unturned.

The biggest problem laying

in wait for the unwary traveler in the heart

of poetryville is the black hole

of self-involvement. “Oh, how

do I feel about this or that?

How do I look? What do they think about me?”

Get sucked past the event horizon

and crushed to an infinite point

and ripped into your constituent quarks

all at the same time;

It’s dinner _and_ a show.

Better to be in prison for all my days

– fuck the poh-leese –

for stabbing some motherfucker

than to be in prison for all my days

– oh dear, a rather poor review –

cow-towing to pernicious ass-hats.

I gotta make a hard burn,

go without shields

to escape that gravity well.

This car just won’t make it –

ain’t gonna do the trick.

Get myself a ship

– doesn’t have to be much –

and a clear sky with hard stars.

Light the fires, kick the tires

and let it rip right off the edge of the page.

Boosting to break orbit is no time to hold back.

Fuck the poh-leese

and fuck poetryville.

The Drowning – A Love Poem

Wrap me in your
cold, gray arms
and let your
windswept shores
be a sandy haven
for my young heart.
Let me apart from
your sweet, clear kiss
for just one gasping,
desperate breath.

I’ve been by your
diamond bedside
all day, but now duty is
the lever moving my world.
Here is the sun;
Tuck it deep
into your pockets and
keep it safe
’til I return?

Call me back;
call me back!
Let your voice rise from the northeast
and foam and fury
and lash and spray
and call me back
to your icy, dark depths
which no mortal lover,
least of all me,
knows.

Delicious Mistakes

Weaving myself a cloak
of the darkest chocolate
so that I might prowl the
soft folds of the midnight forest
slip through wavering shadows
weakly cast by the weary moon
and slip unnoticed to your doorstep
and relieve you
of your heaviest burdens,
these poor, unwanted truffles,
is only the most recent of
my many delicious mistakes.

0400

It’s in these early, dark hours
when the house is still gently snoring –
prowling cat confused by my footsteps;
stars in full, cold fire overhead –
that I can drop a small stone
into a slick, glimmerless pool
and slowly follow the ripples
to the heart of the matter.