Sunday, March 18, 2018


I've got an Irish name, but I've never been there.
In fact, over there I understand it's a boy's name--
mom and dad were expecting such. Surprise, surprise!
See, I was contrary from the get-go. 

I've got Irish all up and down one side of the tree--
they'd sell ya a car with no wheels 
and you'd thank them, smile, and miss them after they were gone
with your cash in their pocket.

Don't be bitter when you read that, they're none the richer for it by now.

The other side of the tree is stodgy English.
All they'd do is frost the windows with their personalities,
take a fearless and searching moral inventory of everybody else,
and petrify from excess of reserve.

Guess which side I take after? Aw, Daddy, you're always the one.

When I was young--just a lass...joost a's that? Oh shut up.
Anyway, there was this man, James, who could drink as much as I could,
was ten years older than me and knew the Poets. 
He'd been all around the world.

I was with him in Detroit, in Texas, in Manila and in Denver.
We wandered through St. Louis and New Orleans, drunk as ducks.
One day, he disappeared, nobody knew where, and I never heard from him again.
Thanks, James, even so. Here's a half-Irish smile for ya. I miss you.

And thanks for not going into my bag--you'd have found the pawn ticket
for my Claddagh ring because I had to feed the stray I'd fallen for.

for Weekend Challenge "Blarney Me."


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Emblem & Anthem

The streets are full of emblem and anthem.
The sky is gray and slack as a dead man's face.
Megaphones are a needle in the brain
delivering seizure and sanctimony.
Behold our enemies, the ghost and pipsqueak
Writ Large, melting eyes to roiling goo.
All hail our emblem and anthem,
jingoist putrefaction turned glittering bauble.

A Friday 55 for our Witchy hostess.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Love Letter From A New York Girl Stuck In Texas


I'm so glad that this has reached you--and that you wanted to open it and read my words, as you used to love to do. Maybe things haven't changed so much, after all?

I won't say "wish you were here" and I wouldn't will it so, even if I had a genie on my shoulder taking down every word. But I am with know that, yes? Even still?

I'm thinking, tonight, of a song you once played for me on the phonograph--you with your vintage records you love so much. It was called "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." Do you remember? And do you recall how I wouldn't believe you that it was "The King of the Blues" singing it? It sounded so old-timey. You had that sparkle in your eye and your lips turned up at one corner, it amused you so, knowing you were right all along. How I insisted! I'm a silly goose, darling. 

Tell me, sweetheart, is it evening as you read this? Have you had a nice meal, are you feeling content? I want you to be, even if you don't believe it. (I can grin that Cheshire grin at you too, you know!) Even though it's late here--nearly midnight--I am only now sitting down. I'm having crab cakes with baby carrots, plus Raisin Rum Cake for dessert. Yes, your favorite--I specifically put in my request for it, in your honor. You say I always get what I want--not always, I'm afraid, mon coeur. Not always. In spite of all my best efforts.

Well, sweetie, the time has flown and I need to get this into an envelope for you. They don't let us seal them, did you know that? I hope they don't undo my best intentions by redacting the heart of all I've said. I love you, I love you, I love you. There. They can't black out all three, can they?

Please forgive me, mon petit coeur, for anything I may have done to offend you...ever. It would mean so much to me if you could. That girl, she was coming between us, ruining everything, and the thought of losing you made me not myself. Blame it on that Other Me, won't you? Could you? I won't beg--I know you like me best when I'm all devil-may-care, and I promise to try to be that way from now on. I'll pretend I'm only visiting the doctor, getting a routine inoculation so that our next weekend won't be ruined by me sniffling and honking like a sea bird. All right, off I go any minute now..."down under" let's call it. That sounds so much better, yes? "Tie me kangaroo" Poor kanga. 

Forgive me. Don't forget me. Be glorious, for us both, all right? 

All my love,


This letter inmate-generated from Mountain View Women's Correctional Facility, Gatesville Texas. Contents have been screened. Recipient is advised to view all such correspondence as being possibly coercive, manipulative or false.

For "dear poems" at Real Toads.  


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Poem About A Cat & A Blue Fence

As if, having scaled the sky,
he had stopped to gloat
there above my head
with the afternoon sun behind him.

Cat, gamboling among the gods,
are there fish in the sky?
or must you bargain with the deep
for your dinner so desired?

Cat-stronaut, glide down and grant me a boon.
Tell me, how is it when trees become fences,
fences become divine
and cats-turned-to-birds appear at my toe tip

with eyes the color of the Aegean?


Friday, March 9, 2018

Her Real Name Was Lexi

In a classic case of form over function,
Doctor Dal Canton transplants a candy heart into Sugar, the topless dancer.

It melts immediately, as did Doctor D. upon seeing her the first time,
up there,
like an aspiration.

Later, in custody, Doctor D. insists
that it is his heart which is broken. 

Authorities disagree,
punishing doubly, sleeping well.

a flash 55 for my BFF. It's 55 words if you always count the doctor's name as one word.

A free ankh for anybody who catches on to what I'm actually saying here. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Ditch Diggers

Ditch diggers make fine lovers
if you can put aside all that fussy shit you love so well.
They don't bring flowers
or some stupid-ass wine;
they bring shovels that scratch the wood of the floor and the wall
when they prop them there 
to hold you 
like flotsam after a shipwreck.

Ditch diggers don't fuck around. 
They get right down to it
and could care less about the shams or the thousand count sheets.
Grit is good, 
shut up and kiss your ditch digger, girl.
Learn to love the sweet earth smeared across the queen size.
Ditch diggers get up early,
do what needs done;
come nightfall, they sleep righteous right next to you
and don't listen to you yap about your classes or your bullshit.

Go down, girl
to the new roadway in the rain.
Meet that ditch digger's eyes.
Then go home, leave the door unlocked.
The world will never miss the poem you would have written
tonight at your tidy desk
wearing your white dress
like a bride stood up and shamed despite all her careful preparations. 

for Camera FLASH.

Note For No One

Here is my note for no one,
a boot undone
in the flower bed 
by the path.

Here is my letter that isn't there
forgotten on the stair
of an empty house
in afternoon.

The coffee is cold, the pen is dry,
the sun-slant hours idle by
like dolls upon a sill
that softly mummify. 

another 55.