Saturday, February 18, 2017

Moon Men

You bring in Moon Men to take your side, the way you always do.
They seem unaware of their own absurdity,
and miss the irony when I offer them cheese and a jaundiced look.
Martians, Venutians, your whole catalog of 1950's movie space-crash schlock
take up for you and goggle at me with their several eyes, some on stalks.

I've had enough. I'm going to swing away on the rings of Saturn
and land on a moonless world, where everyone is courteously silent.
But just as I start to unclench, here you come, with Moon Men to the right and left,
charting my shortcomings, agreeing after much discussion, 
and then stuffing me into a sock to be swung like a cat until dazed, dented, dead.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Garden Wall

They stood daddy up
against the garden wall
and shot him through the head for writing against the regime.

Our ginger cat
hid behind the tomato vines.
Its eyes were yellow. The sky was blue. The leaves speckled red on the green.

for "Walls" at Real Toads.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

In The Year Of

In the year of the pestilence,
in the time of the puppet government,
we fell in love.

We held hands, and gamboled 
as others doubled over and died.

In the year of the pogrom,
in the hour of the public noose,
we were giddy,

and grateful for our milky corneas
our couplings, and our luck.

another starry-eyed love poem for flash 55.

Thursday, February 2, 2017



That is what I would do for you--

Write my
Put it on pastels, the little squares I keep just for these occasions.
My heart, and the ornate clock on the face of the observation level
are in harmony--


That is what stirs me when I look at you
and your sweater rides up in a fold at your hip, soft as a cat.
How could I deny you
if you stand there and tease me, so deliberately, like that?

Here is the key.
The one I keep next to my heart, warm from the skin of my breast,
where the two freckles stay, inseparable, like us.
Here is the key.
The one for opening the carefully restricted,
strictly-by-appointment reading room with the soft lamps and the throws.

Possessed by me, made accessible to you,
with fragrance of rosemary, pansies,
fennel, columbine, rue, daisies, and violets.
Find me, look for me
at the desk beneath the clock at two,
across from the locked doors,
I'll be waiting--wearing colors, not white, and my little slippers.

I have catalogued our love, collected our sweetest words.
Find me, curl your arms around my head, whisper to me and don't stop,
don't leave, just kiss my hair, trace the edge of my ear, and love me back
like Anything.

 for my own Fireblossom Friday challenge "Looking Beyond The Obvious."

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Love Me

Love me.
Do it by post,
or even by foot messenger.
(By the way,
I've moved.)

Poor drowsy tippler,
so sad for so little reason.
There are only a smattering of countries.
Don't you see, we can hardly avoid crashing into one another
at some point
if only we stop looking.

Remember when I read you
the poem about the falconer?
The widening gyre, and all of that?
You'll remember Yeats better for the way I recited it
with my tongue in your ear
and my finger lightly circling with every syllable.

One day, not soon,
I'll be giving myself a manicure with a jack knife,
having forgotten all my softer ways, when your signal will arrive.
Send love, little sparrow.
Send me your heart with a red silk ribbon tied around it.
Time is pitiless, and I need a tangible token
to prove that someone, once, looked for me

Even though I'm the way I am--
just bones and scrimshaw
in a language that whales know, and sing, and go...
to find harpoons that only hit us when we rise.

for Get Listed at Real Toads.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Book Review: "Insomnia"

InsomniaInsomnia by Stephen King

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

A friend, who knew I liked King novels, gave me "Insomnia" for Christmas some 20 years ago. That was during King's unfortunate "Gerald's Game"/"Bag of Bones" descent into the yawning trough of crap writing that afflicted him around that time and led me to decide he had been shot in the head or something and become unable to write. I didn't read him for years after that, but books like "Cell" and the excellent "11/22/63" brought me back.

So. I was stuck for something to read last month, and pulled out this long, overstuffed turkey to read. Giddy with naive optimism, I thought a book with a 70-year-old protagonist might be kind of cool. Indeed, it didn't start out so badly, but neither did the Titanic's maiden voyage. We meet Ralph, a nice old fellow whose wife has recently died. Ralph begins suffering from ever-worsening insomnia. One would not imagine that his nightly struggles would make very good reading, but in fact I cared about Ralph and his circumscribed oldster world. Then the weird stuff starts. Good, right? It's Stephen King, the "Master of Horror", right? Not by a longshot.

Ralph starts seeing people's auras. He sees so very many auras, on so awfully many people, and King describes each one of them in loving detail. This continues throughout the rest of the book. Trust me, auras are not something I ever want to hear about for several hundred pages ever again in my life, thank you very much. There are also balloon strings floating above people's heads. Don't ask, they aren't very compelling, either. At this point, the reader begins to wish to be impaled by a javelin, or anything, just so as not to have to keep reading, but I did, because I'm ever-hopeful.

Wait, it gets worse. Much worse. Ralph hooks up with neighbor widow Lois, or as I took to calling her, Lois The Load. Lois mostly seems to be there to emote, and to go, "Oh my god, Ralph, what is it???" Lois speaks in this particularly cloying fiddle-dee-dee super G rated parlance that would make the Pope long for some good hearty cuss words, and she stands wringing her hands as Ralph does battle with an unspeakable creature bent on their destruction, bleating, "Promise me you won't HURT him!" She survives all the way through the end of the book. A shame, if you ask me, because she made me want to stick the spine of the book in my eye sockets so I wouldn't have to know about her any further.

Add to all of this, King at his worst, making absolutely sure to slow down any actual action or plot progression to a glacial pace through the use of myriad tedious tangents. Is Ralph in a showdown with the forces of evil, with thousands of lives depending upon his swift and decisive action? Time to have him launch into some lengthy "that reminds me of the time..." side bar. Time to stop and describe the full history of the surroundings, or to flash back to a conversation held with some irrelevant third-tier character during calmer times. Time to recite the full lyrics to obscure songs by The Turtles. Time to attract attention while riding on public transportation by screaming, "GET ON WITH IT!" repeatedly at the book, which only stares dumbly back and goes on another skull-crushingly dull tangent.

If you're dying to read umpty-hundred pages of utter drivel, this is the book for you. NOT recommended.

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 22, 2017


"If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." --Matthew 5:29

"The best deal is the one that makes the most profit." --Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, Rule #2.

I have been making some changes; scaling back.
Behold my lovers, who brought me poems in baskets and cages,
with locks and without, with good intentions and without. 
Here they are,
male and female,
two by two,
plucked before the flood.

They are white and hollow, and have nothing to say.
I shake them; they grin and nod, just as they did in life, but the best thing is
that they now lack any flesh, and cannot shit me like before,
cannot use curve and skin to make me stupid
and set me to my writing like a trained seal clapping.

Nonetheless, the itch remains, a wind in my ear,
a crawly under the pillow case, the world's most beautiful bubo blooming 
in places where the poems are kept.
Listen, they say, listen to us....

I have been making some changes, scaling back.
Mama croc is dead, my lovers rolled away like an aftershock,
and I've never been happier, but the vapors find their way up
through cracks in the foundation.
It's God, isn't it, mightier than the utility company,
whispering, instructing, handing me the Golden Wisdom which I spout,
serene as a vegetable,

no idea what I'm saying, 
but free to say it and unencumbered by wondering what you'll think.

for Brendan's "Voices" challenge at Real Toads.