Tuesday, August 19, 2014

From The Mouths Of Crows

From the mouths of crows came a second sun,
pinned to the sky by a minor bureaucrat filled with holy half-light.
Marie Antoinette stepped out of a suitcase and asked, where is the other one?
The first one, and why is the jug painted blue and the sky painted white?

Did I say crows? They were not crows.
They were emblems made of ash, blowing themselves into new glass.
This is the kind of mistake I've been making, wearing the wrong clothes,
and going around selling blank subscriptions, riding on an ass.

I wept because there were pear blossoms.
I wept because it rained and a splintered bench curled green stems from itself.
Crows memorized my face, for reasons of their own.

Under a second sun, a second spring,
false, crafty, from which I hid in the shadows between ivy leaves.
A city worker collected blood from the pavement. I heard a cardinal sing.
See the light in bands, refracted. See how the night, resurrected, weaves.

I wept because wandering dogs were removed by ordinance.
I wept because they had blessed my cold sleep with their simple comfort.
In the morning, the crows in their kindness gave me back my face,

then flew away
forming circles
like smoke rings.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Goodnight Kitty

Excuse me.
Please lie down on this plate.
I will watch over you while you sleep.
If anything happens, just jump inside my mouth.
I will rock you on my big pink tongue.
Wear these bread pyjamas.
Just trust me.

Believe me,
despite our differences,
I am here to protect and serve you.
Say goodnight to the cameras, it's past your bedtime.
Goodnight stars, pop-popping in the street.
Goodnight moon, goodnight air.
Kitty's here.
Kitty cares.

for the real toads mini challenge. my absurdist take on the nauseating, paternalistic, entitled, baffle 'em with bullshit, tone deaf authorities in Missouri, USA.

apologies to Margaret Wise Brown, author of the beautiful and beloved children's book "Goodnight, Moon".



Friday, August 15, 2014

Hands Up Don't Shoot

Can someone please tell me

what in the hell

is going on

in America right now?

When one person is denied justice

we are all denied justice.

Hands up, don't shoot. Justice for Michael Brown and all human beings.


Thursday, August 14, 2014


Devils stole my face before I drew my first breath,
and so the laughter of devils became my lullaby.

Mothers were scarce, though I searched for them
sang for them; I was a mermaid with a tail of shame.

I had no face, so I stole other faces.
I never realized that they had been left by the devils, for me to find.

My faces were kissed, but the lips weren't mine.
My faces were mocked,
turned to nightmares;

I went to a wedding in a false face, and the wedding was mine.
The devils congratulated us.

I drowned a hundred faces in every spirit I could lay my hands on.
They grinned, vomited, and ate words the devils gave them.

I would have died, you know;
many times, I wanted to die.

In the time before my first breath,
in the time before devils,

I was loved. Someone told me that, and from then on, inside my head,
was a church made of those words.

Mothers were scarce, and so I turned to the Mother of All.
I said, I have no face. She said, use Mine.

Devils are everywhere, on top of skyscrapers,
wrapped around the wheels of city buses,

killing the best of us, killing the spirits of the brightest of us,
whispering in my ear like a flock of empty crows;

but someone told me that I was loved
in the time before my first breath; in the time before devils.

Someone told me that, before the beginning, I was loved,
and in a church made from those words, I kept living.

Here is a poem. Here is a little light from the Mother of All.
I said to her, in tears, I have no face.
She said to me, wandering child, use Mine.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Genius rides in the sidecar of a driverless black motorcycle
which is really a dark bird flying across the sun.

Look Ma, no hands.
There is really only one choice to make
if you are afflicted by the relentless beauty of angels--
suck it up, Bo Peep, and wave to your lovers and assorted vampires,
or make a daring leap onto the berm
and begin instantly wishing you were back on the road with sunspots in your eyes,
and who cares where the whole thing is headed.

Making funny out of don't-touch-me
can leave a person buried in a breathing graveyard,
calling for one's self, but one's self has left, or gone mute.
It's barbaric, but that is the price the muses demand,
that the genius ride that sidecar,
cracking wise all the way.

All I can say is,
don't murder your angels
just because the imp in your head says to do it.
It is the angels who would have guided you home.

for Get Listed at Real Toads


Monday, August 11, 2014

From The Curve Of A Blue Womb

From the curve of a blue womb,
the one at the far reaches,
but as close as the next breath or the first,
the last,
spun from the flung white shine of a million stars,
into this space as narrow as a letter slot,
delivered by a Divine hand into a bone bowl,
sitting here, writing this poem.

From the curve of a blue womb,
by way of the jaws, the wound, the perpetual shriek
of the keeper, the watchman, the madwoman,
set into a ready cage,
stripped of language and sex,
set out to dry and called art
by blind idiots with broken hands holding dawn in a coffee cup.

Something has been making its way up the stalk of my spine,
by increments, by prayer, by instinct, by race memory,
an insect, an emotion, a soul-flag strung on a line,
lifted by animus, by glory, by reflex, by holiness,
a mouth on a face on a body on its way
from solar plexus and on out through lips as an anthem or a gasp.

I'm telling you these things in your arms, in confidence,
in darkness, in fear, in recklessness, in sound mind,
in breakdown, in nakedness, in touch, in aphasia,
everything that curls and weaves and strikes within me,
this storm passing over the island of your body-sanctuary,
and losing strength even as strength is gained,
leaving bootprints in blood all the way from the start of the circle
to its end, a path out of myself,
through an impossible gauntlet of everyday 
spiraling up from the half-lit heavy pool of me,
aiming for an element only dreamt of in fevers and in ecstasy,
promised by absent angels speaking from the aviary of flesh and spirit combined.

From the curve of a blue womb,
I come spouting rot, nonsense, paperback scripture,
recipes for holy observance, bank holidays, disaster, doubletalk,
finding only in your kiss a distillery for spirits and the restless dead,
the quick, the clever, the blessed, the crazy, the torn apart, the unsatisfied,
the wise, the wept, and simple coneflowers
tossing like anti-aircraft gunners in the breeze
at the foot of your steps,
inviting me to at last fall into them, 
into you,
into some kind of peace I barely remember,
and which only comes back, for a gorgeous moment
when I am loving you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Realtor

Just a little sprucing up
is all this place needs.
Just some spray cleaner and big black bible to wave around,
and everything here could be restored to its original middling banality.

Come in, come stagger down the staircase clutching your left arm.
We'll throw a party, 
invite the mayor,
the cognoscenti,
and EMS.

Feel free to collapse on the piano bench.
Just blow that dust right off the keys and play!
I've always liked Percy Grainger's Country Gardens,
but if you don't know it, just bang away at the keys with your elbows
and we'll manage a dance.

Peach, I can see by the look on your face
that you think this is wasted effort.
Trust me. Just spit on the sleeve of your dress
and use it to wipe a circle of clarity on one of these lovely old windows.
Let the half-light and fog in,
as you fall to the floor in one of your fits.

I've been at this business for a while,
and I always bring spare keys and smelling salts.
Look at the ad!
"Motivated seller, no reasonable offer refused".
Let me call their agent.
We can be at her office in half an hour--
me at my professional best,
and you giddy and rambling in light restraints.

Then, in a week or two,
after the fire, but before the funeral,
I will breeze in with a housewarming gift especially for the new mistress--
Beelzebub on a chain,
ringing a bicycle bell and
asking, despite his slight speech impediment, which room is to be his.

A deficient effort for the Sunday mini-challenge at Real Toads, -- " This apparent deficiency is purposely used by the poet to produce an intended effect—the reader's uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty and harshness that corresponds to the tormented attitude of the lyrical voice and to the passionate character of the poet's worldview.--and a comment on empire-building, given the current state of events around the world.