Saturday, June 23, 2018

Things Placed In A Velvet Box

It doesn't matter to me, anymore
if your buried name feeds flowers or wasps or nothing at all.
All day there is bread on a board, and a book's pages rolling with the breeze.
There is rain and minutes dying and both the best and least of these...

The things I placed on velvet, in a box
as children or idiots do, with fistfuls of forget-me-nots 
staining fingers blue, as ink will do
when spilled across pulped pages, entre nous...

It doesn't matter whose way 
is the less foolish one
or which moon 
will rise on the ash of a setting sun.


for micro-poetry

Friday, June 22, 2018

Mulberry Rain

Rain falls from the leaves 
of the mulberry outside my window--
purple berries drop from its branches 
staining the walk--
my dog tracks them into the kitchen.

I love the rain--
my noisy neighbor stops working on his truck.
The rain, the berries, my dog
all soothe me,
but I am falling, too--
just slowly.

A 55 for my excellent BFF.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Hologram Family Robinson

The Hologram Family Robinson
lives nowhere because they don't exist. 
"You're projecting," they sneer at each other,
auto-tuned assholes that they are.

They become peevish.
They become representations of reptiles
dying in a dream sequence involving a tar pit or peat bog.
"Discover us," they plead.
"Split our rock with a hammer, release us, love us."
But they are assholes, 
and like love
good advice
or last night's dinner,
everything goes right through them.
"Hail, signalman!" they cry, larynxless
like insects in the rotting ear of a dead man. 

for "Unhappy Refrain" at Toads. I recycled a comment I left at Paper Tiger for this.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Maison D'oiseau

Here is the house with rivers for walls.
Mine is the body with voices for skin.
In your eyes, setting suns and cycling stars.

Mine is the port with a shore made of wind.
Docks are easy, moorings leaden;
morning birds fill every tree. 

for quadrille #59--cycle

Friday, June 15, 2018


I folded a love letter
inside a bible
and left them both

on a table
in the garden
in the rain.

As expected,
my new lover 

wearing the sun
and the wind
like epaulets 
on his shoulders.

With a strong open fist
he broke my loneliness.
A dove flies
to cold

for my BFF's most entirely awesome 55 thang.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Orange Peel

The white inside an orange peel
velvet soft as a water dream
bears the stunned blankness of betrayed wives.
Circles and sections,
heart beats, desires, babies, birds,
all in a grain of sand
or the eternal and silent dome of the sky.

The white inside an orange peel
fragrant with what it has already lost
remains beautiful, sensual, for a short time
but is already dying.
Circles and sections,
heart beats, desires, babies, birds,
none of these are meant to endure--
their purpose is goodbye,
their pinnacle sleeps in dust.

The white inside an orange peel
was/was never/ was/ was never one with the fruit it sheltered.
Lover sweet, lover who stings the knife's cut
all the same, and doomed themselves.
Circles and sections,
heart beats, desires, babies, birds,
all born of the branch and gone to the table,
the plate,
the necessary separation and then--
returned to the garden, the turned soil, the green shoots
and the endless rot and rise of everything. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Geometric Onion Dome Girl

Geometric onion dome girl has a resentment against stars.
Everything must be rooved--taxis, coffins, bus kiosks, and especially churches
because every little light can't be a christ.

Geometric onion dome girl got a paper cut from a phone book
while trying to give blood to the past to revive it.
The operator denounced her, 
just for old time's sake,
and quoted maxims instead of backing up her soul
with a more modern device.

Architects don't care about onion domes anymore,
and geometry is all angles and curves.
Revolutions never happen in the rain.
Tea is weak and poetry no longer burns.
Stars don't even light cigarettes,
and so the savior of circumferences plots a mid-point
shooting herself into space like old light in transit. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Three Short Poems


finds Empty
and fills it
with lonesome lies
in a fake truth suit.
There were better Parts Unknown meant for you.

"Chop Shop"

this shit
into lines-
it still won't be
poetry, baby.
You have to pay to learn that foreign tongue.

"Mercy Clouds"

Gone tomorrow
with the mercy clouds.
Kiss me now. The sun will warm my suitcase.

for Fussy Little Forms--tetractys. 

Suicide happens when a person's emotional pain exceeds their ability to cope with that pain. But there is help. If you are in trouble, pick up that ten ton phone--tomorrow can be better, even if you don't believe it right now. National Suicide Prevention Help Line: 1-800-273-TALK.
" friend. I didn't know you, but I've been places you've been." (Tim Hardin)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Crimson Amperage

In my fingers, a knife with two blades and no handle.
On the blades, blood.
Enter my relative, with ten mouths
who wears the knife as jewelry.

In my mouth, a scream with two pitches and no end.
On the sound, a honed edge.
"Hush," say the ten mouths
but I sing back crimson amperage.

some cold steel 55 for my BFF.

Thursday, June 7, 2018


A ceramic cup
is my body--my bones are
stems of brushes--
my blood is paintwater.

The window is nine panes.
The walls are blank, the door to the hall ajar.
wintry mix.
Traffic, graylight, finger-wind.

Rain falls of its own weight--
snow's geometry fragile as dreams.
When they kiss, one disappears--
the dull shine of sidewalks
leads everywhere, nowhere.

A ceramic cup
--winter white--
is my body.
I touch yours (again) in the stems of brushes,
soft tips brilliant and singular
then done, swirled
in the cup's anonymity.

for Toni's "Shades Of Rain" at Toads.

Jose Feliciano's amazing rendition of a Fred Neil song about rain:



Saturday, June 2, 2018

The City Of Concrete Birds

In the city of concrete birds,
shoulders lately blessed by a lover's face
--an egg on her tongue, feathers in corona around her eyes--
bear risk as heavy as Sisyphus' tears.

In Paris, the paradise of concrete birds,
tablets are struck from the hands of poets in cafes.
Hats must be sturdy,
utility workers must brim in stadiums,
never resting.

Every morning, I leave you without leaving.
I wear a dress of twigs and string,
perpetuating the world;
my bones double helixed
 from Billie Holiday records and plaster,
I am a nest for concrete birds.

We must be careful, as we promenade.
The Luftwaffe are old leaves blowing,
but when we think of each other,
what to say,
how much to lie,
which tender sensibilities to spare,

Waiters in doorways open their lips to birth air raid sirens.
The concrete birds select our skulls,
without pity or malice
 landing in our destruction like swans in summer,
at home there,
symbols of love lifted by our obliteration.

for Kerry's "Camera FLASH!"


Friday, June 1, 2018

Origami Angel

A local origami angel, 
aged out of foster care,
kept a treble clef  in a wicker cage
perched on a wing and a prayer.

I kept dying and coming back 
all that winter, every time we kissed.
In spring the treble clef infected us with sense,
took back its hour and scorned such pious ornithologists.

a 55 for my BFF.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

From Bone To Lace Edge

Don't let your wings drag in the sand.
There's only so much white from bone to lace edge.
If you need to, borrow from the clouds.
Fill yourself with rain.
Remember that lightning on sand makes glass.
Walk on the sky when you get the chance.

Don't let your wings drag in the sand,
no matter gravity always trying to work you.
Feathers fill in one at a time--
there's all day or there isn't.
Earth turning will create its own breeze.
The sky is in motion, sure of its place from any angle.
Everything is ready, ongoing, self-defined.
You should be, too. 

A bit of impromptu nothing for Sunday Muse #6

Friday, May 25, 2018


Remember the Alamo.
Remember the Maine.
Remember yourself, in my dream last night,
tilting your head the way that's done
when the next word is "no."

In our bed, Santa Anna's Mexican army.
At the breakfast table, saboteurs asking for the Tabasco.  
Sunken steel and mud missions know
how it was and
how I remember you.

a 55 for my BFF.


Thursday, May 24, 2018


baby Bosc with a stick
My pet store refugee, four months crammed in a small cage with another dog. Stinky but beautiful, I knew you were the one. They had become concerned about you, you'd been there so long. Don't worry, handsome boy, you're coming home with me.

It was obvious you'd never had space before. At first, your gait was clumsy and unsure, but within a couple of days, your herding instincts kicked in and you were running my other two dogs around the yard like a champ. (They weren't thrilled about being "sheep" though!) 

You were a handful, chewing things, peeing in the house for weeks, scared of the dishwasher. One particularly difficult night, I gathered you up and told you, "I know you are very special, little boy. I don't know how, or how I know, but I know it's true." 

Captain Handsome
Not long after that, you seemed to catch hold in life. You began to shine. So much energy! So much joy! And so tireless! You were a brat, too, dropping your toy just out of my reach, again and again, or standing exactly far enough away that a turn of your head put the plaything out of my reach as you grinned impishly, squeaking it, egging me on to keep trying. (My hallway walls are still streaked green, red, and blue from all the toys that caromed off of them for you to chase.)

You only loved me, and no one else, though you grew to like my son late in your life. When guests visited, you silently placed yourself between us. No one else could even touch you. Only your mom. At bed time, you'd bring your toys for me to throw. Why sleep when we could be playing?!? You learned early on that begging didn't fly, but that turning your cheery smile up to Warp Factor 11 worked like a charm. And you had a trick of coming up on the couch, pretending to want a scritch-scratch, and then plopping your large self on me and turning both your winning smile and your Aussie Shepherd stare on me, for a cookie. You always got one.

Whatcha doin', Mom?
When you were 8 years old, you were diagnosed with diabetes. You lost your sight shortly after that, but you knew your home and your yard so well, a stranger wouldn't even have known you were blind. I had to give you insulin shots twice a day for the last 3 years of your life. I never minded. I'd have done anything for you.  Your toenails used to get caught in your curls sometimes, and you would patiently wait for me to notice and come carefully free them. Every day, I always came straight home from work to see you and take care of my sweet boy. You were my whole heart, you know? One day, I had a breakdown on the way home, and was two hours late. You were panicked and beside yourself, and I was too. Didn't you know I would always come home to you, no matter what? 

Bosco the Brave vs. the Snowstorm
All you had to do was walk up to me and you were sure of a happy greeting. You always believed that I could fix anything, make any situation right for you, and I always did. But as you got frailer and more unsteady, I worried about you. As winter approached and I remembered how you struggled the year before despite my best efforts to clear your way from the door to the yard, I knew i couldn't ask you to go through it again. You were 11 years old and more dear to me than I can possibly say. I held you and told you that I didn't want you to go, but if you needed to, you had my blessing. I cried. In less than a week, your back leg failed due to the diabetes and you could no longer stand or walk. The next day we said goodbye. I was there with you, and so was my son, who you had decided was the one other person on planet Earth that you would allow to pet you. 

My son Joe holding his doggy brother at the vet
Bye, baby. I love you so much. I still feel you close by. One day, when my own time comes, I will see you again, my bright-hearted boy. Until then...tears from missing you, smiles at remembering our time together, and your paw print forever on my heart.


(guard mom)
Good-N-Fun bone
chew chew chew
take mom for walk!
sniff sniff sniff
home again
pant pant pant
Frosty Paws!
lick lick lick 
chew up container
help mom
dig dig dig dig
tug tug tug tug!
belly rub
dog on tv!
good boy
guard mom
(MY yard!)
lights out
good boy
turn turn turn
(guard mom)
feet flipping
am loved!

for Sherry at Real Toads.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Hey Smoov,
talking out both sides of your mouth,
tell HER, she's got the rabbit ears for ya;
me, I'm deaf, don't waste your breath. 

All night, she toss and turn if you don't call;
me, I dance all night,
kick the phone right off the wall.

Smoov, you think I'm stupid?
Think you not made of glass, I can't see through ya?
Save your bullshit tap dance for HER,
she hear ya but can't see a damn thing.

She the sweet child, 
I'm the stone bitch.
Everywhere I go, she got to follow me,
crying the blues over you.
She's in my ear,
under my skin,
out to double every losing bet.

Tell HER whatever made-up fairy story you got.
Tell HER how it's gonna be different from now on.
Tell HER, you whiney-ass pencil-dick motherfucker.
Tell HER, not me,

Cos she's the one who loves you.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The November Eye Of God

Born with a Fleur-de-lis birthmark,
I said, "De la paix du ciel, 
je suis venu pour la guerre."

Men who spoke against me,
who minced and mocked,
have seen their teeth and tongues curl and fall
like leaves under the November eye of God.

Now, as rodent churchmen scurry to lay a puny trap,
I light candles for those I pray for,
and dance on the graves of the rest.

I am not afraid; I was born to rise in righteous flames untouched
to Heaven and there be judged--
leaving behind the clever, the craven,
and just my body's dust.

This is a rewrite of an earlier poem "Novembre" which I have reworked for Brendan's "hero" challenge at Toads.

 "De la paix du ciel, je suis venu pour la guerre." = "From the peace of Heaven, I have come for the war."