Daddy's bellyDaddy's large belly protruded past the rest of us,
sometimes it gurgled
if it sensed the presence of an
In N' Out Burger close by.
It would shake a little
when he laughed.
It would rise and fall
when he slept.
It would demand much room,
when he drove mother's car.
It came to be that I was convinced
his heart was in that belly,
that it was big simply because
he needed more space.
His Death Certificate reads
H e a r t A t t a c k -
and a small part of me still wonders
why didn't his belly collapse?
Why couldn't his stomach
have attacked him instead?
Not his loving heart -
not his love that everyone envied, admired,
that beat so loudly
as though it were a Chinese gong.
I look in the mirror now
and wonder if my heart too,
is lower than it should be.
The Death PoemsThe Death Poems10 years ago in Scraps More Like This
The Death of Starfish and Submarines
By noon, the coastline reeks of it:
rotting fish, rotting soil,
and all the little shorebirds hopping,
hoping to find free breakfast,
maybe brunch. The tourists
infest the scene quick as flies,
drop their oversized towels,
open lemonades, complain how loud
the gulls are—those rats of the sky.
The Death of Grandmothers
She lay broken at the bottom
of her cellar stairs for eight days
before the neighbor wondered
and called the police
and they wandered in
and carried her out
while the dogs protested
and the house protested
and even the limp dead body
protested. Then it was lunchtime
and they left her in the trunk
while they stopped for cokes
and gasoline and talked about
whose wife was prettiest.
The Death of the Butterfly Bush
This year the early frost came unsympathetic
and silenced all the life of my garden.
The monarchs fled to Mexico
and all the little pink flowers
withered from the heartbreak.
The Death of Presidents and P
HIT ME RUNNINGDon't sell me funeral plotsHIT ME RUNNING11 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
on late night television
if the end is already in sight
am I supposed to pull the sheets up to my neck,
count to zero,
smile, and cease?
keep your pills, in all their pretty colors:
celebrex, propecia, allegra, lipitor, zanex, viagra
keep them for scrabble
keep your rogaine, your facelifts
keep your death insurance
keep your graveyard reservations
hit me running.
let me go down swinging
make it a sport:
give me a ten-minute head start
and an obstacle course.
place a beautiful girl on the far side of a mine field
and whisper, "she wants to kiss you"
target me on my feet
dodging doomsday's in slow-mo bullet time
let me duel the grim reaper in a poetry slam
but let me lay where i fall
let the buzzards and coyotes
pick apart my bones
don't stuff me and sew me up
waste my estate on alcohol for my wake
instead of wood for a coffin,
build me a funeral pyre
and set me ablaze like a pagan-warrior-king
turningturning11 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Leaves fall like golden flame on to the road,
the sky stands still and blue.
The earth bears fruit, bright berries, purple, red.
The sun weighs heavily
in the autumn air-- fragrant, ripe, and warm,
like an apple ready to be picked.
There is no death here, only gentle turning.
A blush steals over trees
as they drop their many children to the earth.
Soon they will fall asleep,
exhausted by their own fecundity,
and winter's white blanket will cover them.
Derivative Depositsthey will derive consistencyDerivative Deposits11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
from the motion of lax drizzles,
engaging moments with precision,
each peace a steam travel
on a stolid amble amid lit trees
begging for constance,
begging for trespass,
begging for tide...
and you will be
that disconnected line
dotted, for meaning
in some transitory time,
aching for stability
and a thinner crowd.
the silence of a louder shrill
melts quicker than the pelt,
stirring smooth enough to
slick downside the stair
to where we meet in the foyer
at the end of our destination,
and breathless from the ride.
Annie Comes Home to RufusAnnie Comes Home to Rufus11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Annie tumbles from the car
and onto the driveway.
I watch from behind the curtains
as Mother and Father trudge behind,
dragging duffles full of god-knows-what
(sweatshirts, I figure, and a toothbrush, and gallons and jars
of bitter white pills and injections).
"Daddy – keys!" she cries,
and his mouth stretches, baring teeth
(he smiles, he thinks)
as he tosses a jingling cluster.
The latch clacks, and Annie comes home.
I hover in the kitchen –
I never know what to say.
She spots me before even hanging up her jacket and kneels.
"C'mere, mutt," like she expects me to pretend
I'm happy to see her
eight pounds lighter than last Sunday.
Annie is tired.
Only I am allowed in her room,
where the angled light shafts and the dust motes
turn the plastic hairs of her wig
into faceted filaments.
She slides it from her skull
and drapes it on the sleeping styrofoam
dalikrab daya holiday for nothing.dalikrab day5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
celebrate it yesterday if you want to
and make tomorrow its 50th anniversary.
wear a mustache
on your hind quarters
and speak only in sexual gestures.
have a translator present.
every dalikrab day
needs what every other
dalikrab day was missing.
to make this easy on you
i will tell you that every
dalikrab day so far has
been missing everything.
light incense made from cow manure
and filter your water with the
put that in your pipe that is not a pipe and smoke it.
draw from imagery that has nothing
to do with you. like nudity.
leave the house for once but remain
under the same umbrella.
praise our leaders with signs of support:
"i have a mustache on my bottom!"
"you and i have a lot in common!"
"may i eat your dog too?"
"life has not been the same since i saw your sex tape!"
the night...---the night...6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of all the nights, I keep this one for myself -
the night there was nothing but
streetlights in the rain and the soft sound
of footsteps under the cover of dark. even
when there were no safe places,
I was always making my way to you.
and you -
you, after the storm had passed,
making your way to me, that night,
hands shaking, knee on the ground,
and asking me
and asking me -
and that night there was nothing but rain
in the air and rain in our eyes
and rain washing us clean until
the only thing left was love.
prismatic rotationprismatic rotation11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
When I met her,
she was ice
that wasn't cold.
She was stone
that wasn't hard.
She was sour
that tasted sweet.
I gathered up
and put them in the car,
on the seat
next to me
and we drove -
on the wrong
of the road.
and at some point
I slammed my foot
on the brakes.
All of the hubcaps
and continued rolling
down the road
as if they were
to an invisible car.
into the distance
out of sight
Interim.Interim.10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
There's stiffened water added
to sprightly grass tips, and
I cower to the taste of involuntary
teeth clanging under
now sleeping stars, hurried
in a venture that loses its purpose
when the time comes to perform:
but it's the promise
of tepid entanglements in
sticky cotton and
breath that presses me
Like CactiLike Cacti10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the skies are cloud free and the wind sleeps
to a 95 degree baked earth.
in a faded paisley bikini – once
fire hydrant red – next to a man
who can never lay still.
you never know when it may rain.
Out here in the desert,
the cacti wait.
I'd like very much to have their patience.
And she stays with him.