Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Don't Normally Write Rhymes...

12.29 Tattle Tail

A little girl went padding by
a little twinkle in her eye
as if she found a treasure bright
or made it dryly through the night

and with this gleam she did draw near
her mother without shame or fear
and from a place in her far south
she opened up her ugly mouth

revealing rows of jagged teeth
just like a blood-ringed pearly wreath
and from her fat back without fail
there sprouted there a tattle tail

this scaly switch that grew so quick
stretched itself then gave a flick
as if to portend things unsaid
things she was to soon unbed

so from her nasty mouth-cave came
a proclamation to her fame
that someone wronged her moments past
their anonymity—it could not last

when such a voice cannot be kept
under the covers where it slept
it simply must bust forth to call
about the place this blame should fall

and point the fingers at a friend
or enemy if this that ends
no matter what the consequence
she simply must tell someone hence

her mother nods and thanks the girl
with bloodstained face and crooked pearls
and turns to us—our smiles fail
“She likes to be a tattle-tale.”


12.30  Bag of Nickels

If I could count the miles
that have passed underneath
this passenger seat
while I sing and he listens

take that tally sheet 
to the bank and cash in
shiny nickels for each
the sack I’d have to bring with

could never again be moved 
by any number of human hands
and yet I would still be less inclined
to move once more into that same seat

for any more trips
no matter the length
or necessity of such things
and that bag of nickels could sit.


12.31  New Year’s Eve

Her scissors severed everything
that was keeping me tied
to this year of injury
turns of ankle and fate
bruised monogamy and skin
expectations of employment
or any sense of enjoyment
of this misery that ends tonight

it now lies in a black bag
awaiting the landfill
where in a better time 
different place
it might become something soft
and beautiful to couch
a nesting egg
the pride a mother would guard
with her very own life.



Friday, December 27, 2013

Thoughts on Christmas...

12.25  Christmas Aria

All the greatest gifts
under the worlds tallest tree
festooned with every garland
that God ever made
could never make up the gap
that fell between us today.


12.26  Christmas Duet

And yet, 
your face pulls me into orbit
once again leaving me
dangling here like a mobile
ornament in this wasteland
of paper and bows.


12.27  Daddy’s Gonna Kill Ralphie

Those sonsabitches
flashed across the glass
in three rooms
for twelve hours
must have seen the damn thing
seventeen times
and still
I’d turn it on in a second
just to see that boy
under the sink
and the doom in his eyes
all solved
by a mother and her milk.



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Presented Without Comment...

12.16  Break

He stared at me 
from across the kitchen
startled from under my feet
and confused at my fall
at the crash
at the shards of porcelain
that spread out from
the point of impact
like some parking-lot comet
at the world’s least impressive mall
and only one person on the staff
responsible for addressing the Christmas cards
and issues of safety and cleanliness 
like this broken water dish
and the small tabby paws 
that might not wish to find
a tiny dagger of what was
lodged in his favored kneading paw.


12.17  Lapham Service Hall

This foggy village
clogging my arteries
veins choked with pedestrians
lingers after clear day breaks
from the concrete of sky
and leaves everyone 
but between the supermarket
aisles and the library 
stacks a whole world of
mistrust and loss linger
words of hope in corners
where a rough breeze has
deposited them
no interest
no rollover
and in the town square
a squire
shouts proclamations never meant
for public consumption
though he can’t see a single soul
which belongs to the footfalls
echoing from town hall
to the trailer park
ignoring the dripping foliage
that shivers inside
this red cage.


12.18  Broken Habit

This discarded square
sliced from life’s grid
and tossed aside
in favor of something
with more impact
more clout

and glued up days later
with a wish and a wad
of spearmint gum
complete with filling
unmoored like habit
of posting
and talking.


12.19  Don’t Say It

Your name on the lips
of other men might draw
a glance but nothing more
and yet
coming from this mouth
could start a war
no matter how mangled
the misspeech.


12.20  Entropy

Through the broken blinds
hanging askew in this winter haze
fog fingering bare limbs
leaving the slimy trail
of intentions ill thought
and consequences parked
across the street
like a flower delivery van
that stays for days
until everything inside must be wilted
and the floor littered with petals
that drop
from he loves me not
he loves me
he loves me not

despite everything I ruin
in his name
and in the name of years
passing on this landing
of the world’s longest staircase
and where in God’s name
is the food court in this mall?


12.21  Lament

never mine
and certainly not his
are the carpet
of this cell
I have built
screwing in bars until
the complete circle
leaves nothing unbroken
by a sight of iron
which does nothing to cut
the wind that steals
every hope from my mouth.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

At the Cafe...

Something born of my time at the cafe where our writing group meets...

12.15  The Regular

This stretch of fabric
straining pull
of eyes to skin marked
ink peeks and I sneak glances
taking chances while your eye
wanders back again
computer screen latches
face to glass you bend
shirt extends and ends
strip of skin and one line
drawing in deep
I creep a look 
that spine a book
and I curating a museum
hooked on nuance
I steal from you at no cost
except the growing notion
that this ocean separating
our two bodies might not be
quite as deep now
as comfort might allow.



Friday, December 13, 2013


If feels nice to get away from the same old cares.  This one is a vacation for me.  Nothing serious.  Nothing even remotely [word].  My brain is broken.

12.13  For Gloria

You tell me to get up
and also to make it happen
but without the sole-shaped cut outs
I haven’t a place to start

yet you moves on
imploring me to get up
to move oh a oh
and to stand from my spot

it will not happen, seƱorita,
the involuntary rise from chair
to miraculous movement
orchestrated by your words

like possession
like the rhythm, in fact,
did what it threatened to do
and made it happen

it’s not that I don’t appreciate
the encouragement and suggestion
but lady, today is a day for sitting
and you are not helping the cause.



Thursday, December 12, 2013

After the Funeral...

12.12  For Naomi

You waved from the frosted window
as you passed with flashers on
just a link in the funereal chain
and I knew that you at least
would break ten years of silence.

I just never realized you might 
break our hearts in the process.

“You can say hello to your father,”
and I dared to shake his hand.

Instead, he pulled me in to him
wrapped his arms around me
and broke my notions of my father
in that moment I was genuinely
sorry for his loss.



Monday, December 9, 2013

Not a Rant...

I wanted to rant about my fourteen hour day yesterday waiting on the gas company to fix a leak and turn us back on.  But.  It all seems so ridiculous this morning in the light of other things that came to light yesterday.  This is a result of all of that wreckage.

12.9  What Really Matters

Rage feels silly after waking
from dreams of family scuffles
at the funeral-to-be
when that paper dragon
leaving obscene paper scraps
scattered across the front lawn
and standing in its place
the real deal
chuffing brimstone
and throwing the fallen snow
upwards in a perversion
of natural ways
that simply shouldn’t be.



Friday, December 6, 2013

Pay Day...

In anticipation of my disappointment of a paycheck, although it didn't start out to be about that.  Clearly my failings are on my mind.

12.6  Pay Check

Belief brings action
but what action is for having
except that which decays
in the light of another day

spent making people happy
under the eyes of a god
with the power to cast you
out and down

away from what is known
and loved and familiar
into that cold grey 
miasma of the market

unsure of whether what is sold
is an opportunity
or just another mirage
designed for crushed hopes

and the latest thing to disappoint
when truth comes knocking
with its hand clenched
around a two figure pay check.



Eleven Hours...

This was written yesterday BEFORE I spent eleven hours fighting with customer support to get my new phone working.  It's a product of rage and nothing more.

12.5  Tech Support

My furnace blazes red
without heat
burning fuel I can’t pay for
without result

all because this metal
and plastic and glass
and iconography
refuses my advances

my touch drives it away
my voice turns its stomach
and inside is nothing but ice
refusing to meet me at the surface

yet here I sit under your gaze
poking and prodding at
this box of nothing

which refuses to respond.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I decided I need a place to put things, a place to display creations without fear of consequence.  No one will ever see anything I create if I don't get over this fear of looking stupid.  So my poem a day habit might finally have a place here.  And if no one reads it, that's just the same as if I kept it to myself anyway.  And if people read it and have nothing to say, same deal.

I don't know what the purpose of this place is any more.  I'm trying to find one.

12.4  Ration

This late March mist
of melted snow
clings to trees and glass
and falls like wasted soldiers
three months early
for that meal they needed
in order to survive
another day in the trenches.



Tuesday, December 3, 2013


12.3  Eyes

Be careful what words grow
in the garden of your white space
or the men will come to you
with plates empty and eyes full
hungry for something you don’t offer
rearranging you to fit them
their insecurities like a new dress
you struggle to throw off
but with so much taffeta
so much lace

the only thing you can do is acquiesce.