I was afraid when you saidI was afraid when you said let's go seeI was afraid when you said in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
The ruined house, at twilight, down the lane.
The passing glory has a special lee
Where wind is faint and weeds grow tall like cane.
The window glass is gone and moss grows high
Upon the roof. Some shutters shut but some
Are ripped away to make it easy: spy
The simple proof, decay is king, he's come.
I meditate on something unsustained
A flower, a house, a life, a universe.
The plans to order, crystal-like, obtain
In growth, complex. Destruction's always terse.
I was afraid but now I'm sad. Let's go.
The past is gone, there's nothing we can do.
Fly the MissionIt's very personal, she saidFly the Mission in Free Verse More Like This
She reached over to take some chips
The décolletage became extreme
The eyes of every man in the room
Flew to her as if by remote control.
They were interested in
What was so personal,
What secret would she share?
If corporate secrets
They would hide, deny,
Move to a foreign city.
If a military secret,
They were prepared to
Fly the mission
In radio silence.
If it were the secrets
Of her religious cult,
They would memorize
The sacred texts.
She leaned back,
Chips in right hand.
The décolletage retreated
To the gentle folds of her dress.
I really can't talk about it, she said.
Eyes resumed a dozen focal points
No missions to fly,
No secrets tonight.
Moving Right AlongLife is like a conveyor beltMoving Right Along in Free Verse More Like This
You move along like a widget
Being molded and painted red
The rough edges, the burrs are filed.
Screwed onto an assembly
Which is screwed onto another
Assembly, you make your way down
To the end of the line where you
Jump into a box and the lid
Life is like rate times time equals distance
The rate is how fast you live but
Is the time in the equation
Your life or is the distance in
The equation your life for if
It's time t
All about the details though the cloth itselfIt’s all about the details though the clothAll about the details though the cloth itself in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
itself should be well-made and suited to
the purpose. Take an epaulette where both
the twill and perfect corners lead you through
a military primer. Red or white
or blue are best, no-nonsense colors: take
no prisoners, never smile, and might makes right.
A button holds the tab, a sash will make
a drape, a softness which belies the mad
and futile march of war which rips the cloth
of skin, the one true cloth that makes us glad,
whose rips, beyond repair, create the loss
that finds no purpose in that epaulette.
What wasted buttons, twill, and yet we let.
The trick is keeping everything so tightThe trick is keeping everything so tightThe trick is keeping everything so tight in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
it never leaks. You know the things I mean:
You shut your mouth at hair she keeps so light
and permed, the follicles cry out. That seam
you mend three times a day to keep your faith
in God from splitting flakes in angry shards.
The boss you know was born a dark ring wraith
is likely clinically depressed. The guards
you placed around your mouth, your hands, your mind,
remind you that your homeland must be pure.
You could not bear, you cannot bear to find
that lust and greed were set up to endure.
Remember when the Klingons probed Spock’s mind?
But you’re not Spock. I wonder what they’ll find.
You wish you were that deerYou wish you were that deer, to graze and cropYou wish you were that deer in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
the grass and munch some more, and never say,
I wonder if I ate too much. You drop
ten pounds in winter, trying hard to stay
alive in rain and snow and cold. You move—
no tender grass—to evergreens. You taste
the woody things, the bark. You do not love
this winter forage; still, you would not waste
that mouthful—yellow spruce. You chew and chew
and swallow, chew again. Just yesterday
you saw the robins. In the frozen dew
you yank a blade. This patience is your way.
You jerk awake. Go back to work. No spring.
You chew that meaningless and woody thing.
Slow down the days that show that life is goodSlow down the days that show that life is good.Slow down the days that show that life is good in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Speed up the years that held the pain and fear.
Make time the champion of all should and could,
And send would off behind the now and here.
Too many years have passed to say my self
Is better than the one you've seen. The true
Is what we do and not the couldn't help
Or would have done—no hidden faults from you.
When Robert told Elizabeth, the best
Is yet to be, he didn't know what lay
Ahead, but sweet to say that age won't test
The kernel of true love, and work, and play.
Slow down the days that show that life is good,
And say that love is all and always could.
This Christmas thingThis Christmas thing might be for few. I fearedThis Christmas thing in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
At first that such a jumble--symbols range
From silly to absurd, from Santa's beard
To winter's cold extolled like spring—is strange.
This Christmas thing might be for some. I learned
That people celebrate around the world.
The concept of a gift that's never earned
Is simple, like the scarf I knit and purled.
This Christmas thing might be for most. I heard
That Jesus might attend an early show
And stay for wassail too. And if he neared
Isaiah said he'd come (if hills are low).
This Christmas thing is for us all. Demur
If you insist, but peace and joy occur.
I cannot bear itI say, “I cannot bear it.” Then I do.I cannot bear it in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Unfair that you should catch me bearing up.
And that is why the world goes on with few
demurring, rather, bearing up and up.
One time I bore up hard and then I fell.
I fell so hard I could not tell an up
from down or right from left or hill from dell.
It looked as if I’d fully drained the cup.
But then I twitched and then I rolled and up
I came, both bearing up and bearing scars.
And when the daze was past, I knew corrupt
from good and lie from truth and space from stars.
You say, “I cannot bear it.” Then you do.
It’s fair that I should catch you bearing up.
I wondered where you wereI wondered where you were,I wondered where you were in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
I thought you’d left for good.
Lots of reasons we’ve all got
for getting out of this neighborhood.
The seasons came, the seasons went,
I asked the birds, I asked the cat,
I asked the mailman where you went.
I asked the sky, hey, where’s he at?
You know the spaces leave a hole,
the times away leave quite a gap,
the silence makes a little death,
the place you went has got no map.
The cat said, wait, he’s coming home,
the bird said, listen, I hear his voice,
the mailman said, here’s a letter,
the sky said, well, he’s got a choice.
DepressedOpen my eyes, slowDepressed in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Work to do, a life to live
I'll just sleep again
Point BreakLet me love youPoint Break in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Set you on fire
Smile with the rain
And, cry, cry, cry.
Ashes, roll in them
Cleanse myself of memories
Cleanse myself of you
Remember, care for you
Take the other's hand
Clasp tightly your fingers
Clasp also your throat
Caress you while asleep
But I want you
Want you far away
Spooning in our bedroom
Lonely by the door
And as I depart
(sort of coming home)
I'm letting you leave
(don't you run away)
End of the worldI knowEnd of the world in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
The end is near
Listen to all that crap
But, the real signs?
So slow, our earth
Flowers wither, ice melts
We, zombies, the
Grayer each day
Hearts closer to the flame
Burning in their
They tell you it's near
They even give you a date
But we haven't
We need to start
So we can lay to die
(not dying yet)
Next to youTime, time well wastedNext to you in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Holding hands with you
Someone waits at home
But right now, hand in hand
I can only watch the evening
Think of kisses and of flowers
I want this to be my future
My future, next to you.
Lai NoveauMuch more than our liesLai Noveau in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Our sorrow, our lives
The chance to turn wise
We just said 'I'm fine'
So now, that we try
Our words flutter dry
No more tears to cry
All feelings, inside
That invade our hearts
Their weight on our backs
If we could just find
Much more than our lies
The Split, the last glance
The nights when I lie
Thinking of the times
When we counted stars
We now, just share time
Our sorrow, our lives
Maybe I shouldn't write
Things gone with the past
But maybe, tonight
This makes me sleep fine
Our sorrow, our lives
Much more than our lies
Solar flareWe sink deeper in our fearsSolar flare in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
Sun sees from above
Spits and humankind is done
The tattooedWorms slipping through our fingersThe tattooed in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Our hate so pure and lush
We lie here forgotten
Until we turn beautiful
But let me tell you, let me tell
You must be born with it
And, ask me, what is it?
Can't grasp it with our fingers
Can't find words to tell
Of something so lush
So clean and beautiful
It cannot be forgotten
So if it's not forgotten
How come no one's described it,
With poems so beautiful
Fabrics delightful to our fingers?
Nothing but earth can be so lush
But earth will never tell
And if Earth will just not tell
Shall we stay here, forgotten?
Our bones, our hair, once lush
Now worms may dine off of it.
They got rid of our fingers
Of all our things, once beautiful
But this, my dear, so beautiful
Was love, they all could tell
The way we marked our fingers
Those dots won't be forgotten
And just we know about it
But all felt it, so lush.
Fingers fall apart, skin turns to dust, my beautiful
But our lush souls from heaven can tell
Things won't be forgotten as long as our spirits remember
Danse MacabreDanse MacabreDanse Macabre in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
There came a figure, black-robe clad
Towards a peasant, and his wife
And muttered, in a serious rhyme
'It's time to part, it's time to part.'
The peasants rushed to grab their things
But death said 'come, there is no need'
They walked inside the cot to kiss
Their sleeping kid, their sleeping kid
The black robed figure next passed through
A forest, where strong men cut wood
He signaled one of them , 'hey, you'
'Come join me too, come join me too'
An old man dropped to his knees
And cried and prayed and scratched and screamed
He said he was still healthy and free
He did resist, he did resist
But now, three poor souls in parade
Would follow those slow, black-robed steps
To a tall building, shining red
And spitting flames, and spitting flames
These three damned souls had never seen
The castle of the greatest king
But this robed figure just went in
And grabbed the prince, and grabbed the prince
'Let's all go now' the figure said
while the other four watched in disma
The cage of the beastsWonderfulThe cage of the beasts in Free Verse More Like This
How other people control you
The hands on your heart
The keys on the gate
That screeching voice
On the phone
When your heel decides
To follow your toes
And you try
To run away
It's their boredom
Which moves you
Leaving your comfort behind
How they open your cage
And let you spread your wings
Take you by your tail feathers
And throw you
Back into place
When your mind decides
To follow your heart
And you try
To be free
It's just a bet they made
Your loyalty, like a dog's
Is the one that moves the chips.
But all this
A love story for some
Just the story of your life
Your writhing pain
The cringe of their toes
Their music, the sound of your heel
Echoes of the city
The calm you're leaving behind
Freedom comes closer
it's worse to be calm
than to be in danger
and be free.
Me a liarHere is a painterMe a liar in Free Verse More Like This
Of unstroked insight!
A poet of
A dreamer of
A farmer of
A lover of
Here is a priest;
Of unfounded religion!
A prisoner of
A prophet of
Here is me, a liar
Of untold truth!
Harvest IILeaving years slowlyHarvest II in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
Carving my destiny..
Lonely leisure path..
Standing naked before
The land of planted tears...
To harvest the crops
of passed years virtues..
Flashing smile of
A cherishing child
Seed is the smile
Sowed in my childhood..
A wave of joy
served in my boyhood!
A glance of friendship
Planted in my youth days...
A stroke of love
I paved in romance..
A tear drop shed on
The thorn of dark night..
A feather i dropped
In the days of color dreams!
A R TMusic roll up theA R T in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
Waves of silent lake!
Painting is chasing
A beam in dark cave!
Dance is a whirl
On the line of stillness!
Act arise from the
Ark of agony!
Art is the mark of
Hours of FlowersHours of living theseHours of Flowers in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
Flowers of pleasuring;
Aroma giving me, the
Moments of miracles...
Anytime arise some
Achieves the goal of
Anyone beholds same
Dawn turns dusk, as
Doorway of doctrine
Drift off poetry!
Dearest becomes a
Dilemma drop into
Pain PaintingRainbows rift broken;Pain Painting in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
As raining red paindrops!
Spectrum swift scatter..
As painting sweep raindrops!
Painting swatt painful,when
Raining end as lightning!
Paining swells pleasuring..
So as drizzling drops flowering!
Veiling with weather of
Winter, freezes withering!
Weakened wishes will
Without a nailing, never
Who am II am the spiritWho am I in Open More Like This
Of an unfinished painting;
The soul of
Heart of a singing nightingale..
Ecstacy of dancing peacock!
And the current
Of a wild stream;
Bliss of blooming rosebud!
I am the blue sky..
The white clouds..
Hill and valley!
Spring and trees!
Breeze and butterflies..
Sound and silence!
Love and life..
Hell and heaven!
I am myself!
WINTER LAKEA word of Grace;WINTER LAKE in Free Verse More Like This
I await, flower on your lips!
A whirl of bliss which
I wish, quiver your strings!
And you, the Water!
But Winter Lake..
Frozen flutter of
Far or near doesnt
Make any sense;
I was a Rain there
Then bloomed as spring!
Flames of my summer
Strongly stroked your stiffness!
Far or near my prayer made no sense!
You buried inside Deapth!
Sailor on actionMe, the sailor searchingSailor on action in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
Secrets of season scrolling...
Me a dreamer, passing
Mountains of blooming magic..
Me,a walker wishes
Pace over winter musing..
Me a potter molding
Mistakes of muted mentor..
Me the sinner missing
Showcase of stolen shadows..
EchoHeart of motherhood;Echo in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
Lost in puppet!
Stretch its organs!
Scream of mankind
Magical Moment IIPond of magicMagical Moment II in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
Descending an angel
Once in a cycle!
Kissing the water
And merge into moonlight..
Magical moment offers
Fragrance of healing!
Shower in the water
Then cure one's
Aware of the moment
Or, figure out
The treasure lose!
Tongue truthTongue truth in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
Say "Of tears". Care!
Find one word to render lies.
What is the usual way of the cow?
Knocked on the head?
Give him coffee, landscape, fruit.
The girl in the blue dressJack and Jill interested me very much.The girl in the blue dress in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
All our hats and coats returned from the wrecked vessel.
Brave airmen stood on the village green.
My old hat carries people to foreign lands.
A strong wind was at the mercy of the waves.
My son’s watch was blown down.
The baker’s boy lay scattered on the floor.
A cunning fox carried the heavy basket.
Big ships grazed in the meadow.
The jolly sailor loves disobedient children.
My birthday stood wide open.
Cheap toys posted the letter on their way to school.
A heavy fall of snow clapped his hands for joy.
The hunter fell to the ground with a crash.
Nobody reached home at a late hour.
Some people were waiting at the door.
My pet rabbit was killed in the moment of victory.
The rising sun lit up the faces of the happy children.
A shilling was perched on the topmost twig of the elm tree.
Fine days galloped up the street.
Poem inspired by The TormentPoem inspired by The Torment in Free Verse More Like This
The sun like our own light.
By reflective light they revolve smaller spheres.
Known worlds to us than the smaller bodies.
They are powerful telescopes, the starry suns, revolving around.
However, and in due course,
which revolve around much better being derived.
Burning the godsAmethysts from groundwater awaken one by one.Burning the gods in Free Verse More Like This
I arrive when you hurry.
Fires awaken all at once.
Stream-of-Unconciousness #2An alien moon came down to give sausages to the drowned. I was sitting on the fence between night and day when I noticed the unusual event. Soon there were black helicopters everywhere, SWAT teams, policeman cordoning random areas off with yellow tape. So this is it, I thought, the end of all things. But I was wrong.Stream-of-Unconciousness #2 in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Pickles were still in abundance, and dancing people ate them and watched it all on TV.
I had to go to work, but having no job I grabbed a pickle from the great pickle jar, intending to dance. However, mine was a pickled egg, which reminded me of the horrible country store of my youth. It was run by robots disguised as an elderly couple who sold beer to kids.
I lit a Winston and threw the egg at some guy in a Fatal Karma T-shirt. I think he was a zombie.
I noticed that all the flags were flying at half-mast, and plastic haired reporters were milling about with their cameramen, talking about the weather. A clueless cop told me to move along, so I killed him. These are not go
NeedI need a ticket to Wrigley Field, I need a better dealNeed in Free Verse More Like This
I need a bus pass or insurance on my automobile
I need concrete to fill the hole in my heart, and
to stuff into my head instead of brains, I need a train
I need to get somewhere fast, maybe I need a plane
I need more daylight and less twilight I need a
stranger in the night to make things right I need
something new, shiny and bright, I need a new dream
I need some ice cream, I need to get to Wrigley before I scream
I need you more than flowers in this hospital room, I need
Devo on the stereo I need to go go go I need new sheets
I need a healing hand I need your kiss on my little feats
I need too much I can never have I need a gun to have some fun
I need to run I need a boat I need to sail I need to punch a whale
I need something like fun but not too much I need
to get some sun, I need to leave this room, I need to be groomed
I need to stop now soon before I rhyme moon and June
I need to stop.
Blue-Moon BrainIt stands in muddied water in a junkyard, among old refrigerators and VHS tapesBlue-Moon Brain in Free Verse More Like This
Learning to speak Spanish, because the French have all moved to Italy
It wants to know everything, but it knows that nothing is better in this pressed-down space
Limos drive by with gloved-hand steering, no heartbeats in the back, elegant skeletons
Driven to high-rise palaces of defecation, seeing nothing but shiny diamonds
Its ear is pressed to the ground, waiting for the vibrations which will reveal all
They never come.
Faint screams are heard behind the laughter at the Senator's party, all is well, all is well
Howl if you must, no one will hear over the roar of vacuous bulimic emptiness
This is life, this is the wounded in the ghetto scraping nails on doors that lead to nowhere
Pounding heads against brick walls, swarming like bees over the top of the walls
Eating the blue-moon brain and stopping nothing, the freight train is still coming,fast
It stands like a crucified Christ, among old tires and broken
EruditeI drowned last night in a teacup; the lady wouldn't stop shaking me with her pinky out and her cigarette mouth. I crawled out of the pipes like a buttered eel and gestured that enough was enough, but my mouth twisted wrong and she thought I was critiquing her mastery of misery and pork pie. She reminded me of my own less-than-pristine reviews on my last book about porcelain cat-paw painting. (drum roll) I have a grandson or two with birdhouses and ripe tomatoes, and an X who still gives me five stars. Pull in your pinky, Ms Education,Erudite in Free Verse More Like This
and write me an unpretentious poem. Ribcages and thrumming, again. I'll deal the cards next time my dear. I took forty-seven white pills and watched the sun rise blue at midnight. By the time I died all was peachy again as we strolled hand-in-hand at our Wal-Mart wedding. There is something of worth in here, somewhere, I (you, we) know that there must be. Nothing is completely worthless.
The Day I DiedI heard a noise like aeroplanes in my headThe Day I Died in Free Verse More Like This
The day was white, bright, blinding
I saw a movie of my life in the sky
But it was in French without subtitles
I immediately thought of Jim Morrison's grave
And noticed what a bit player I really was
My own life movie could've been made without me
Am I going to die in these holy jeans?
I would've dressed better if I'd known
CakeThe cake was disruptive, butCake in Free Verse More Like This
I'm glad that it helped you fly
My own wings withered years ago
When I was overcome by the croaking
of the frogs down in the swamp
The ferris wheel you loved has
been disassembled then re-assembled
in exactly the same fashion
Only I and a few owls know this
But we don't speak of it
Last night I left my feet at your place
Would you mind very much mailing them to me?
I don't think I'll be going
to any more parties for a while
I don't really like cake
RammsteinThe skies were grey and cloudy, filled with squawking birds of all manner. I opened the door to the refrigerator I was living in and climbed out to greet the evening. Lightning struck here and there, and the wind made noises like a soldier dying from a stomach wound. I searched for Honeypot among the junkyard debris, and finally found her lying covered by a large piece of tin roof.Rammstein in Sketches More Like This
"How are you this lovely evening, my Pumpkin?" I asked.
"Peachy as a pickled pepper in a jar, my Bug-a-loo".
"Well, let us take advantage of this fine night and take out the old Rammstein and bounce around a bit."
And we did.
Stick-MenStick-men with blazing matchheads march across the table, single file, towards a glass of water. Latin incantations are said by a sole stick man by the water. It's a mass suicide. One by one they scramble up the slippery glass and jump in, their flames extinguished. This is the way of the world. Someone has placed lilacs on the table. I don't know why. This is the way of the world. I am their god, yet I only observe. It is not for me to determine their end, only to watch, and keep from getting splinters in my fingers. The lilacs smell good over the smoke. It smells like rain outside.Stick-Men in Free Verse More Like This
On A LoopDawn again; lavender sky, darker purple clouds on the horizonOn A Loop in Free Verse More Like This
The slightest touch of pink begins to rise
The cogs of the city begin slowly to turn
The banner I watched a man working on yesterday has fallen again
It hangs by one side, downed by the night winds
Today he will stubbornly fix it once more
There’s a method to the madness, but there is madness in the method
As day stumbles drunkenly over night
In endless repetition, dark and light
Miles away, I hear the song of the dentist’s drill; dawn has broken
Time to wash the night from your hair
Time to hang your banners once again
BirdsThe birds on the ground had to climb the tree, because they weren't birds yet. Little lives in the process of Becoming. When they reached the first branch, they knew they'd become the closest things to angels. They grew wings and flew, and shit on the earth because it had been so tedious. They thought they were gods, until bigger birds appeared and snatched them up in their beaks. Some of the birds on the ground saw this, and decided not to climb the tree. Others devised plans of defense and climbed. It didn't matter in the end, except for the few who realized that they were just birds. The world ended ninety days later and none of it mattered at all. The stars laughed.Birds in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
SaintsSaintsSaints in Free Verse More Like This
Saints didn't eat very much but then saints are Catholic,
puppets of the Pope, and we are Baptists dunked
in the water of his love. They baptize me when I'm twelve.
The congregation crowding the river, a carnival crowd
"Come see the human pincushion, the alligator boy, cursed
by the Babylonian priest of the moss." But this crowd
is still. They don't have to push to the front for tickets.
"Leanne have you found God," asks Preacher Dowlin?
"Yes, I found him." I answer. He waits for a moment, wanting
the usual firecracker holy babble to tumble from my throat
like an acrobat. "Look folks, no net" But I don't oblige him
so we stand there, people waiting for a bus. The holy roller express.
"And where did you find the Lord, Leanne?" "Hiding behind my parents' bed."
Whenever I want not to be here, I crawl into the space
between my parents' bed and the wall, wedge myself into that rectangle,
happy because no one looks for a person behind their parents' bed.
It was there I felt God in my
TruckStopTruckstopTruckStop in Free Verse More Like This
We stopped here three years ago, "just to get our bearings",
Just Married scrawled in soap on the back window.
Our buick's backseat sagged with books on flying buttresses,
petalled windows, gothic stone spires that spiraled
like spinning tops. We wanted to make stone fly
and glass bloom. In the diner, I take orders;
the same truckers, same shirts, checker game plaid,
but no one makes a move. "The usual," they say.
You chop tomatoes, onions, baby carrots in the back, your knife
slippery as a fish. The smell of fried egg coats everything.
Earlier that morning, we found stones, flat with ridges, fins and scales.
They were caught in the chaparral.
When it flowers, the air will taste of butter.
This desert was once an ocean with whales huge as eighteen wheelers,
their bellies crammed with plankton, dried peas, car parts. We want a world
that will become what it is not. Where the road bends,
someone has painted a virgin on a shack wall, no babe,
just a cactus pear in her arms. With
ResurrectionSevenResurrection in Free Verse More Like This
Butterweed, thistles, wild okra snag the angels' wings,
leaving long scratches hard as the click of cricket wings.
There are seven angels but only one crouches,
crushes lemon grass against her grey blue hide.
The penny hard sun plows the fields, burning furrows
into the fields, gilded tattoos. But the angels never burn,
their hands are milk smooth. The saved child wants to drink their hands.
Perhaps they could cool the heat of becoming.
When the fig tree blooms, he gives them the puckered fruit.
"Eat" he says, "before it withers." But only one angel does,
her lips still stinging from the scent of lemon grass.
One day she will spout hooves and hair.
The others huddle. Fixed, invincible, bewildered,
they guard him. But life is as strange as death to them.
When the soldiers pound the nails into his fig dark hands,
the angels whirl, tunnels of dust, iridescent scales.
It is over. Soon death will fuse with life,
and both can be abandoned.
ListeningListeningListening in Free Verse More Like This
When the angel speaks, Mary dips a finger
into the wine, holds it out for the angel to taste.
This may be the last thing
of the world .... The angel's tongue
wraps around her finger, a string tied tight.
Mary wants to remember the cracked cup,
the wind fluttering like a trapped moth,
the taste sharp as a pinprick in her mouth.
"Chosen," the angel calls. But Mary is listening
to the scrape of an oxen's hooves
as he drags a cart, wheels crunching leaves,
the last thing .... She already knows.
She sniffs her hands: eucalyptus, pungent, crushed,
a bright thread tying her to this world.
"Innocent," the angel says. "No," Mary answers.
Going, going, goneGoing, going, goneGoing, going, gone in Free Verse More Like This
Three dollars, three fifty, four, the bristles
of Daddy's hairbrush, a handful of porcupine quills
rough as his unshaven face. In the trees,
moths roost like hens, their wings so still
as though Daddy had painted them.
The auctioneer, his black felt hat drooping
with the heat, strides across the snow of their wings,
Daddy's wristwatch nesting
in the palm of his hand, a raven. "Nevermore,"
Daddy would read to us. "Never again,"
Mama said bundling up Daddy's things with prickly twine.
He painted everything: house, barn, yearlings, tractor. "Sold,"
yells the auctioneer, a weathercock in his arms,
wings rough as the hides of Daddy's painted calves.
"Death is too smooth to paint," Daddy said.
But the faster he painted, the faster he died.
I cut the bristles from his brushes,
but he simply tied horsetail hairs to sticks.
Daddy even painted himself, skin translucent as moth wings.
I would sit on his lap. "Paint me, "I would ask,
patting his stubble until my hand stung.
Hamburg, GermanyHamburgHamburg, Germany in Free Verse More Like This
Seven years ago, on a street in Hamburg Germany,
angels told you things, their eyes unblinking
as a lizard's flat stare. You were fixed on the apocalypse, bits of sky falling.
You didn't tell anyone, no need to warn.
Instead you stood and watched as tulips of beaten sun filled your outstretched hands
until they towed you away and strapped you tight, sleeves tied in back.
Eventually the crystal in your blood dried
and flaked like old paint. "I was really crazy then"
you told me once, your hands quick as a lizard's tongue
as you stroked the inside of my thigh.
But now as we sit in this cafe,
angels once again buzz around you like gnats.
"Can't you hear them," you ask,
your own eyes flat as glass. I simply sit.
You can no longer hear me. Anything I say
will be eaten by the angels' voices: tangerines, apricots, cherries
dark as ink, old habits, the branches of the trees
hang so heavy with fruit. They bend then break.
ListsListsLists in Free Verse More Like This
We bask, the sun weak as watered milk.
We create lists of things we remember,
stalling on artichokes, "green" long forgotten.
Basilisks have returned.
They gather around the bird feeders,
clumsy wings batting away sparrows and hummingbirds.
Even honey water excites them.
Pathetic really. Until you remember
it was us who brought them back with our lists.
There are still people
who think money is worth something.
Their lists fill with numbers, denominations.
Paper bills swarm thick as locusts.
They are rich
until our dragons eat them.
We all have our distractions.
We thought it would be more exciting,
the apocalypse. Instead this slow unraveling,
edges blurring into pinpricks of color
becomes old after a while.
Then we found we could create life.
But ours aren't stiff horror movie shambles.
We're more like dilettantes
copying Mona Lisas and dissolving water lilies
into grimy notebooks until no one can tell the difference.
We could have left with everyo
SkinISkin in Free Verse More Like This
She wants her skin back, her wrinkled rough rhino skin,
not this skin so fragile and tight.
She wants transformation, water hardening into ice,
the pale brittle blue of a girl's mouth.
She is so cold, she wants grasses brimming with heat.
Her horn would shatter the frozen lake, shivering with cracks.
Another girl stares at her arm spider webbed with cuts,
the razor once moon cold now warm with blood,
pain so deeply buried blooms like red poppies.
She shudders. She is so cold. This blood did not taste like wine.
But it was warm on her tongue.
Even with twenty mattresses fat with swan feathers,
the princess felt the pebble, bruises surfacing
like a body when the ice finally melts.
So the princess drinks wine ember red until she free falls into sleep,
and dreams she is not a princess,
pain fading like cloth left too long in the light.
The frozen girl can now stare into the sun without blinking
They tethered her to the stake, piled dried branches around her,
no milky green sap. The su
PluckingPluckingPlucking in Free Verse More Like This
The table between us is a moon.
But the air is heavy. It lies
on us, muffled heat stilling
our breaths. You drop your fork,
but I still won't look at you. Even angels
would crawl if they were here.
"Why can't we be friends?"
I am thinking of a Flemish tapestry
I once saw in a white stone house,
walls dense and prickly with roses:
a line of stiff scarlet soldiers,
a rearing horse. The soldiers' thick fingers
grope at the blank cream cloth,
seeking purchase, gravity.
"What are you feeling?"
"I want to be a Flemish soldier,"
I tell you. Only my fingers
would constantly pluck at the expanse,
searching for the thread
that will unravel everything.
SleepSleepSleep in Free Verse More Like This
For the first time, the angels sleep. They perch in trees
above the river where the women wash.
Drunk on the angels' mulled breath,
the women wrap wet linen
around their hips and spin, the angels' snores
buzzing in their bones. They pound the dirt flat,
the earth humming, a beehive beneath their feet.
Mary pirouettes, whirls and shimmers,
her unbound hair eddies through the air
as though she is still a virgin. The child crouches piggyback
on an angel's shoulder, his hands twined
in the angel's mane. None of the women see them,
and he laughs. Ollie, ollie, oxen free,
he's safe. The angels dream of clay pots,
hot ground meal and asses' milk. They dream of sleeping,
their bodies curled around each other like snuffling, drooping puppies.
Heaven has yet to exist.
Sometimes in April XXVII.(I will not die clinging to a raft)Sometimes in April XXVII. in Free Verse More Like This
I know (this).
There's an island up ahead. Almost five (5)
decades out and the water still chops. The
graph of pocket paper sweating India ink
through my noontime bra, blood seeping;
rip-soaked margin staining my shark-belly
breasts, tattooing them an interstate of
exit routes like asphaltum under 40 tons of
rubbered-weight hauling a frozen slaughter
house of fragmented truth to be globally
warmed by us.
There's a lot of loneliness on a
raft, a lot of punctured floats people believe
will sustain them against rip tides, much like
subjugated spouses who manufacture a daily
excuse; the obese scourin
Shakespeare in LoveThinking I would suffocate from heat, or dehydrateShakespeare in Love in Free Verse More Like This
into a shriveled leaf, I wanted to crawl under a rock
like those little animals in the dessert, content
to watch the world turn when I felt you slip.
When the rain came I was content to drown, allow
the mud to rise above my shoulders, blocking
sound to sleep so I could cross over too, rolling
through light like milkweed until we were home.
Yet, just as heat is abated by rain, thus is rain
by heat, always in time to push the clock forward
another minute. How easily my hands could navigate
my own fate as effortlessly as the natural order of things.
I keep thinking of Romeo, had he only waited a few
more moments before swallowing his own flesh. Is this
how Shakespeare felt while penning his grief, too much
of a coward to surrender to his own death?
Absolution IAbsolution I in Free Verse More Like This
The wind is a trapped bird entangled in distance,
a refugee gull blown inland by a category two hurricane.
That angers her, because in younger days
it would take a five to separate her from the shore.
She hovers over McDonald's and Walmart for energy
to sustain her flight home, diving for concrete water life:
fries rolling like eels between cars and hamburger buns
opening like clams from warm-waves of the sun.
Sometimes bitterness gives way to memory: hermit crabs,
platoons of foam capturing the beach and sandpipers
defending against a navy of tourists. She hears the sea
under the sound of a tire when it rains; puddled waves of mud
slamming against the jutted cleft of a curb.
She forgets the drunken street and dumpstered potluck;
the sewer smell and sound of shattered glass; the crack
of rat bone between the teeth of a cat and waxes like the tide
into a sunrise of five am over a fishermen gutting a pike,
swallows the smell of blood before waning back to ask herself
'Is this what forgiv
AmnesicAmnesicAmnesic in Free Verse More Like This
The poem drained us; pressurized meaning from
marrow -- a tsunami of DNA colliding against your
tourist distance, binoculars dangling over the hibiscus
of shirt, saturating your lie into the mundane of us
before hijacking the last flight out. You'll show slides
back home. Guests feign understanding while checking
out the new BBQ instead. Your melancholy nature
of undercurrent shifts the patio bricks beneath their feet
as you pretend to refill a drink while staggering toward
the memory of crest when we were face to face
in the composition of it; the instant of discovery
destined to be desecrated by the truth you hid. It will keep
until a springtime thaw reveals the scent of us. You'll explain,
"It's just the past...I mean, trash..."
to anyone who asks. You'll try to shower but the odor
will linger like a fish-stuck dinner. The distance distracts
when a certain word is said and no one seems
to understand the centuries knotted into the moment
of it. Guests will complain about the
Not this Island MusicNot this Island Music in Free Verse More Like This
I. What it was never
(on J reading Robert Kelly)
"And after luscious months of living they would say it's not so
very different from what they knew."
It was never the verse, but something thicker
dangerous to the finger; a bait trap
of honesty foraged from a conformed colony by a dominant
drone possessing a new Queen.
It was never the voice, but something tougher
sharper under the skin; tiny lancets
a barbed stinger from a defensive maneuver pumping venom
through a corpuscle of blood and water.
It was never the delivery, disoriented in direction
from an insufficient species of pheromone; so
Magic FluteMagic Flute in Free Verse More Like This
The moment I felt Death courting you
my rib cage collapsed. I curled
into childhood: the strange little girl
always alone, talking to herself
on the playground, thinking she
was whispered a safe solitude
of hush-holy clouds, relieved
to slip away from mating rituals
unnoticed; a detached solitude
seeing only in shades of rock
beneath a surface any touch
or even death couldn't reach.
Listen: Love is the beginning of Truth
you were the first coup de foudre
I climbed and the last amour
out of this place. Wherever
the courtship carried you,
if ever a marriage or honeymoon,
I renounce this waiting of hope;
this solitude of celibate womb;
this misguided Magic Flute -
just to see Love embracing you
before finally surrendering
to my own destined course.
This I promise the Universe.
Image 'Romantic Encounter', 1864 by Mihaly von Zichy (Hungary) 1827-1906 (St. Petersburg)
Swords and Mistthe steam and stenchSwords and Mist in Free Verse More Like This
from a thousand fallen
and silk clad warriors
mingles and drifts
with the night mist,
and the sound of a tiny bell,
worn by a young girl who,
fleet as a ghost,
has come to steal
the soon-rusting swords
7 Fractured HaikuMy poetry described7 Fractured Haiku in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
as modern art with words.
I choose to be flattered
Waikiki Thug Poet
Hot Pink Baby-T
the cat has left us
a gift on the doorstep
half a chipmunk
Where is Michigan?
Somewhere between misery
and a Mexican Standoff.
at the Hotel Essex
flashes HOT SEX
catches me unaware
of my gaze
I reflect the world
back at the world
my own fractured view
The Real ThingThe Real Thing in Free Verse More Like This
No matter where I go,
Youre already there,
Showing the colors,
Of our destiny
A red and white rocket
Of the disposable
Not My Death Poemi was thinking to writeNot My Death Poem in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
about suicide . . .
i wrote this
if i kill myself
this is not
my death poem
coyote go see whats whatcoyote go see whats what in Free Verse More Like This
coyote he hungry powerful hungry
and they tall-walkers they movin' in
tearin' up the ground scarin' off
rabbit and snake they timid folk
don't like much coyote anyway
squirrel and mouse they stay
coyote still powerful hungry
yeah they tall-walkers they
movin' in buildin' they strange
hutches, they bright hutches
makin' rabbit get gone snake too
they bring some big others
some not so big others
some small others too
coyote but not puma but not
easier than rabbit sometimes
still tasty but too few
so coyote go down
down to the strange canyon
with the hard ground and
the big movin' run you down
you not careful yeah coyote
go down and see what's what
tall-walkers they dangerous
but they tall-walkers
they always have food
Sleep the FerrymanSleep views the world at right angles and has never seen a rainbow. He lives by the river where he was once a ferryman, in shack that he built from railroad ties, orange crates, and old typewriters. The shack is not plumb and groans in the wind. When it rains, he sits under its tin roof and listens to the symphony. Sometimes it plays Chopin, other times, Beethoven. He wishes it would play more Mahler, but the roof never plays the same piece twice. He thinks that were he to get a new roof, maybe he could hear some of his favorites one more time.Sleep the Ferryman in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Sleep once took passengers across the river for a price. He might ask for food, or a fishing fly, or a fool-me-once, but he'd take almost anything as long as the name of that thing began with 'f'. He traded these for the other letters that he needed. A German tourist once offered his wife, who in turn offered to set fire to the shack. When Sleep declined her offer, she suggested a fusillade. Sleep took them for free; they f