Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Black Jaye

He said, "Black Jaye, when you strike a match
you so quickly shake it out
as if each time you find you're with,
you long to be without."

I can't spare love for the Promenade
where searchlights cut the sky.
I paint my dreams in a bed of wheat
growing golden four feet high.

"Black Jaye," he said, "so small and slight
with your scarves of indigo,
why do you sing in Quebecois
telling no one where you go?"

Down by the shore, down by the sea
I loose my hair and call
to bones of birds all crossed and cursed
to stop me if I fall. 


Saturday, December 19, 2020

Greening The Jade

There are wheels on cobblestones
outside the windows of her words.
There is a sailor's parrot on a velvet swing
and strands of colored beads in the doorway to her room.

There is never any summer, no noon to white the wall
and so she'll understand if what you told her wasn't real.
A Persian's ears are there to warm her hands
indifferent to the wheeling way she feels.

San Francisco gray as gulls' wings in the morning
or Barcelona in the lazy afternoon
are in the jeweled clip that holds her careless hair back
to ease her eyes to catch the moon.

Don't say you're sorry, don't sing softly in her stairwell
where the echoes' angels fade.
She always knew that open windows let the rain in
to blue her dreams and green the jade. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

A Tale of Ravening Beasts

She wandered into the forest.

Summer rolled lazily into leaf-blown fall.

In winter, her hair turned white, as camouflage from ravening beasts. 

She crawled into a cave

and lay down with a ravening beast.

Spring arrived.

"Well now," spoke the ravening beast, and she didn't care for his speculative demeanor. 

She returned home.

"Well now," said her mother, her brothers, her cousins,

who fell upon her as ravening beasts

disguised as petticoats.

"Now she's an albino."

The year turned.

The girl swam to an uninhabited island

and set up a badminton net as metaphor.

There, she began writing her book of poems,

entitled "Ravening Beasts."

Her hair fell out and she wove a boat from the strands.

"Hey cue ball," came the welcome in the seaside town.

"Hey head case."

Her great spiked crimson heart rolled inside her ribs,

and she breathed fire.

"Crazy fucking bitch," they said,

but no longer to her face.

She was wings and tail and ten feet tall,

a ravening beast come among them.


for Sunday Muse.

Sunday, December 6, 2020


It is not new

this interviewing of myself.

In a dark or dull hour

ghosts rent my tongue,

black flocks rend my mind's sky.

I called a nightmare by name

to break its back.

Making a paste from fury and innocence,

I conjured a papier mache landlord,

all purpose, no heart.

The renters scattered.

The birds flew into a vortex, blind and damned.

Moving into my own skin,

I learned new oxygen

with my keys held tight between my fingers

just in case.


for Sunday Muse.

Sunday, November 29, 2020


Come on in, the water's fine.

A stitch in time saves nine.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

He who hesitates is lost.

Are you calling the plumber, or shall I?

Call 1-800-WET FLOR.

Call upon God in times of crisis.

Bring a positive attitude.

Bring it, come at me, bro.

Bring in the left-hander.

Bring that up again and see what happens.

How long can you hold your breath?

How far is it to Katmandu?

How deep is your love?

If you laid the Bee Gees end to end, what good would it do?

Stay on point.

Stay on topic.

Stay. Sit. Roll over.

The water do wave, the water do roll.

Do the water a pour into this little bowl.

Climb up, climb out, do a cartwheel and a bow,

and see what I've got planned for you now.


for Sunday Muse #136.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Whistling Past The Graveyard

 I had hired him for an hour in the afternoon

though gigolos aren't my usual thing.

I'm an Egyptian tomb of a woman.

Scarabs whisper to me about daylight.

He was intense, dark, beautiful, 

with a nemes crown and a heqa scetpre.

I turned to dust in his Cyprinum-scented arms,

and wobbled, satisfied, into Duat.


for Flash 55 at my BFF's place. 

nemes crown

heqa sceptre

Duat--the Egyptian realm of the dead

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Mixed Marriage

"We are not like other families,"

remarked my father

impaled sideways through his head by a stick,

feet dancing in thin air.

My mother wore black crepe

though her husband lived yet, suspended,

and I, the fruit of her womb, refused her invitation

to stay still beneath her fingers at the bottom of the bath.

We had a dog with a nervous condition

and a ghost in the basement by the water softener.

My father covered the story and his un-impaled eye,

seeing old sweethearts in his dreams.

Mother tried to move me into the basement incinerator,

but was prevented by the ghost. 

Daddy liked swing music and Dixieland jazz,

insisting the stick was a clarinet and the dog Benny Goodman,

And though not observant, he did walk on Saturdays.


for Sunday Muse #134, where I am hosting.

Sunday, November 8, 2020



I have a confession to make,

an obvious thing, like a cardinal perched on the back of a white Adirondack chair.

There's a hint of smoke on the air,

slight yet insistent as I still imagine your body to be,

not altered by time,

even as my boots kick leaves gone strangers to the trees.

I still think of you,

no matter the closing door of my words.

A neighbor's burn barrel glows in the dusk

giving only the notion of warmth, across the yards.

The truth is, I burn down for you sometimes, even now.

I blaze, bend, lose cohesion and fall to ash.

Something reminds me of your face,

your October hair,

your old desire,

and I fall,

red and solitary as a maple leaf,

silent but still in love with you.


for Sunday Muse #133.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Re: Staircase



  • City building permit not obtained/posted. 
  • only union certified workmen may be hired for your project.
  • project (decorative stairs) is not uniform. All risers must be level. Tripping hazards will be cited. 
  • hand rails are required as per city safety regulations
  • construction in unzoned areas must be approved by board
  • all noxious plants, weeds, and unmown grasses must be removed. After six (6) months, the city will intervene and the cost added to your taxes
  • proof of residence/authority to alter property must be presented. See Table B for necessary documents. 
  • stairs to nowhere in a bunch of trees. really? 
  • wtf is your problem?
  • wtf is wrong with you?
  • please correct these issues no later than ten (10) days after receipt of this notice. Failure to do so will result in fines, forfeiture of lands, and/or public hanging.
  • Have a nice day!


for Sunday Muse #132.

Friday, October 30, 2020

On The Thin Edge Of November

 On the thin edge of November

smoky air flirts with freezing and the stunned birds

seem to lean forward on the precipice of a warning cry.

Last night I dreamed of you,

my chest a redding leaf poised at a point of immobility.

A wind came up.

Windows grayed.

I rose, denying ghosts.

(Even yours.)


for my BFF's Flash 55 bash.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Book Review : "From The Ashes"


From the AshesFrom the Ashes by Christie L. Starkweather
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I chanced to find this gal on Facebook and liked what I saw, so I picked up her book. I could really relate to it. It's split into five sections, an almost classical hero's journey from pain and ashes up to self-acceptance and strength.

Christie Starkweather has a roaring strength and passion that I really loved. She doesn't sugar coat her hard times or the despair they engendered, but throughout, there is always a fierce will to survive and rise up.

I liked "Redemption" in which neither angels nor devils can take in all of who she is. This necessary duality is at the heart of the book. "Playing Pretend" is a deceptively simple piece about the seductive emptiness of living inauthentically. I liked "Missing Me" because I've experienced that sensation of having lost myself. "Stolen Pieces" displays her characteristically sharp and unflinchingly honest style. "Into The Flames" is back to duality again, and it gave me a shiver of self-recognition. "Sipping Tea" is a fanciful entry in the more light-hearted middle section. The fourth section was my least favorite, as there were several almost greeting card-ish love poems there, and to me she seemed to lose the thread a little bit, as those drunk on love will do. I did love "100% Authentic" because, as a Detroit girl, the line "I wasn't built on an assembly line" pleased. In the final section I felt that she really found her footing again. It's full of hard-won wisdom and celebration of being there for one's self, there for others, and at peace with who one really is.

This is a strong honest collection and I recommend it.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Book Review : "The Sun Down Motel"

The Sun Down MotelThe Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was okay. It's about Carly, who goes to Fell, New York to try to unravel how her aunt Viv disappeared while working the night shift at the Sun Down Motel 35 years previous. The POV shifts between Viv in 1982 (which I much preferred) and Carly in 2017. Carly annoyed me. I kept picturing her as Denise from Stan Against Evil. Appropriate I guess, since the motel is quite definitely haunted.

That said, this is less a ghost story than it is Nancy Drew Visits The Bates Motel. The first half tried my patience and I couldn't decide if I liked it or not. The spooky motel was cool, but the two dopey girls running around playing teen detective wore thin quickly. I also got very sick of the author's habit of invariably and everlastingly describing everyone's full ensemble every time they appear. Yes, we want to be able to visualize the characters; no, we don't need the full Marie Claire.

In the second half I have to say that I did get drawn in a lot more, as Viv consistently held my interest with her determination and resourcefulness. Carly, OTOH, continued to grate, with her super convenient luck in finding just the right (you have no idea) apartment, and her crush on the straight-from-central-casting handsome rogue Nick, who stays at the Sun Down because it is the only place he is able to fall asleep. (Um, kay.) The creepy motel is certainly the star here, and there were other things to like, including the weird baddie who checks in from time to time, but I just could never shake the tv movie feel of the whole thing. Not really recommended, though it is readable. Kudos for the cover, which is excellent.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Patos Extraños

We are odd ducks, motherless

full of gunpowder and honey.

We see everything onrushing,

through the prism of a bus windscreen,

drinking to stop the chatter,

always bumming a dollar and then drawing on it,

turning it otherworldly, gorgeous, useless.

Dead brothers rise up from their graves

as we try to have dinner, watch tv.

"They're weird," say the women 

in their housedresses and galoshes,

whose dreams are unyielding as can openers.

A woman is expected to be beautiful,

a man stoic.

Where does that leave us?

Gauguin never came around again after the thing with the ear.

Mothers die, Lorca wants to kiss you,

and Diego fucks everything that's not nailed down.

We live in a snow globe inside a tornado funnel.

We are divine strays

leaving tracks on new sidewalk,

ducking thrown shoes from a holy or profane hand.

Here we are in Vinnie's car,

seeing swirls and jagged edges,

bizarre permutations and fields of flowers

in some cop's mirror shades.

The New Mexico night seems to bless us

as the cop lets us off with a warning,

his common brand of gibberish 

as foreign to us as ours is to him.


for Sunday Muse #131.

Saturday, October 17, 2020


Luck doesn't just happen.

It bakes. Time is the oven.

Like that? ^^


You're lucky to know me. 

You could have been hit by an SUV

and ended up in the hands of a quack hiding from the Anti-Defamation League.

Geez, would you look at the weird shit in jars on his shelf

(If he existed.

If that driver hadn't swerved.) 

Luck is the residue of design

like jam on a knife

at the breakfast table of infinity.

Whoa, nice, right? ^^

You were lucky when you ran out of here

carrying all that shit.

Lucky traffic was light.

Lucky the sun was up.

Lucky you got me to sign my (brilliant, fantastic) book

before you ran out of here like a chicken from the skillet,

jabbering about luck

and some other unkind hoo-ha about the funny papers.


for Sunday Muse #130. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Book Review : "A Wartime Love"


A Wartime Love: A World War Two DramaA Wartime Love: A World War Two Drama by Shiralyn J. Lee
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I'm stunned, really. I'm stunned by the many plurals spelled with apostrophes (like this: apostrophe's), the blessed FLOOD of tears at every turn, the constant whimpering and trembling (What ever happened to that famous English reserve?) and just the whole host of offenses against Good Writing which are to be found here. What a mess.

The novel takes place in wartime England and that setting was one of only two things I liked about it. The other was the touching sweetness between the two main characters, Stella and Ruth. In their private moments, they really are lovely together. However, except for the love scenes, the writing is so laughably bad, and the editing non-existent (despite a claim that it was edited by some outfit called P-ink), that I had to resort to extreme measures just to get through it without extensive therapy. Arriving exhausted and annoyed on page 98 (of 222), I got out my pen and starting marking every clumsy, misspelled, repetitive, awkward, nonsensical, irritating passage as I went along. This process kept me interested enough to tolerate reading to the end.

The whole thing is stagey and melodramatic. Yes, life during the Blitz was certainly enough to try anyone's endurance, but here the only one being tried is the poor reader. Every time someone's teacup is upset, the characters start trembling and whimpering. Tears and more tears ensue. Even when a person might actually react that way due to bad news or whatever, it was done so often, and in such a predictable, plastic, over the top way, that it almost became funny. Then we have the mother, whose answer to every event is to make more everlasting tea. Moving right along, I am not one to shun the deets, but oh dear me does the author go into endless detail about trivial stuff. Every time a door opens, an inventory team gets its wings. We hear about the lamp shade, the dresser, what's on the dresser, the wallpaper (always flowered), the rug, the spider in the corner, everything. This is especially vexing when it's the middle of an important plot development and Lee pauses to inventory the soup tins or something. Moreover, the segueways are weird and jarring. On the occasions that the bombings or a sweet moment between the women absorbed me, Lee would jump to some wildly different mood and tone. For example, she manages (somehow!) to nail the perfect ending and then ruins it by segueing into a pedantic summary of WWII, followed with a painful and unnecessary "fifty years later" bit in which we discover that two of Stella's sisters live happily ever after with kiddies and the other mourns her life away over her dead serviceman boyfriend who she seems to have only known for two weeks or something before her steady boy yelled ships ahoy and joined the nay-ay-vee. (Or the army). In short, the "update" was really just a depiction of bizarrely static lives. Whee. So, even when Lee gets it right, she then turns around and messes it up.

Revel in this tortured sentence about Christmas decor: "It gave little in the way of joy but at least it was able to offer some sort of normality in the way of celebrating the traditional holiday." Now *I* want to whimper and burst into tears in the way of hammering my head against the desk. I haven't even mentioned the Spitfires leaving to bomb Germany, never mind that Spitfires were not bombers. And I've spared you the handy plot resolution near the end that is as unlikely in tone as it is emotionally false. All I can leave you with is that this is NOT the worst book I've ever read to the end. That "honor" still goes to Linda Rentschler's godawful "Mother", which makes this disaster look like Shakespeare. Need I say...NOT recommended.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Michigan: A Short Subjective History

Always wear gloves when handling lanterns,

good boots in spring, cowls or hoods in fall.

Mothers kill,

that is what I know.

Fathers carry vinyl primer and epoxy out to the slipway.

I played cards with my father, we lit the diamonds.

Mother was the ace of spades, a concentrated gravity.

Only flame can light a lantern, though fuels vary.

Throw flour on a grease fire,

tarpaulins across fresh graves.

On the water, my father and I, 

we kept our lights above the horizon.

Mother called me by the wrong name

and sent hook-tides to force me back.

There was no electricity,

she had stolen voltage from the fuse box to commit suicide. 

My brothers arranged the funeral, one sad, one stoic.

I danced a sailor's hornpipe,

one arm in the air,

the other on my hip.

Later, I sat on a rock in the rain like a mermaid.

Wear oilskin for weather, tie your hair back for wind.

Cry if you need to while cleaning the oarlocks,

and recite by rote the lakes you know 

by temperature, reputation, and depth.


for Sunday Muse #129.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Book Review : "Hotel du Lac"

Hotel du LacHotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This short novel reminded me a lot of Anne Tyler's "Breathing Lessons" which I hated. They both won a major prize ("Breathing Lessons" the Pulitzer and "Hotel du Lac" the Man Booker Prize), they were both written in the 1980's but feel more like the 1940's, and they both annoyed me as I read them, but this one redeemed itself a bit in the end. Getting there, however, was quite the tedious chore.

The blurb at Goodreads describes this book as "witheringly funny." It is not. There is the odd mildly amusing wry remark here or there, particularly in the opening chapter, but that's the full extent of any humor. The story concerns Edith Hope (This is the second time I have read a novel in which the author heavy-handedly names their character "Hope"), a writer of romance novels and an unmarried woman of a certain age who has been sent to a Swiss hotel as banishment for a social misstep. Heart-stopping stuff we can all relate to, not. The Hotel du Lac is a well-run but stuffy and colorless place for people who like their getaways calm to the point of coma, rather like the bulk of this book. If you enjoy reading reams abut what the women are wearing, what they think about each other, and who took a walk today and who went shopping, this is the novel for you, you wild thing. Reading this book was like one of those dreams where one tries to run but remains in frustrating slow motion.

Everyone cheerfully bullies Edith without malice or second thoughts. She appears to them to be a pleasant cipher, someone to fill an empty chair and behave as they would prefer for her to, but she has more spine than is readily apparent. Suffice to say, I felt I understood her in the end, and was proud of her, but it took the entire torpid, dull, endless, mind-numbingly repetitive book to get there. Not recommended, in the same way that I would not recommend for you to take grandma's dusty old lampshade down from the attic and put it in your living room. It is not charming, or nostalgic, or ironic--it is just lifeless. One star for the first 186 pages, four stars for the final two.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Migration Patterns of Leos

Twice each year,

we migrate.

As a child my parents drove

from Mexico to Michigan every spring,

then back in fall.

Dirt roads, blacktop,

Nesbitt's orange

and Stroh's Bohemian for dad.

"Again? For fuck's sake," says my sig other, encouragingly.

Sig Other is sober, stable,


I gift him this shared happiness

and kindly drive.


for Sunday Muse #128 and Flash 55.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

I Walk Out On The Fragrant Fields Of September*

In The Barn of Morning I found a stool, but its cow was in the field,

south of the sun,

and just north of the earth.

The stool was called The Stool of Error,

Its legs named Impulse, Disaster and Wisdom,

each one held in the jaws of a laughing hyena.

I took my bonnet and breastplate

and walked out upon the fragrant fields of September,

following the shifting arrow of a weather vane

and the cowbell-call of my wandering girl.

"Halloo," I called, carrying The Stool of Error

and shaking the hyenas off.

"It's just me, with my bucket and milking hat, 

dandelion blooms in the pocket of my smock."

"Bessie," I said, beginning my work,

"In The Barn of Morning, when all is quiet and you face the east as all milkers do and must,

Do you think of your lost calves 

and the bulls who came and went?

Or are your big, kind eyes on the brightening world

and all of its clover and blue sky bigness?

Moo me a clue, girlfriend. 

Under this gingham and chain mail I am fierce lonesome

and sorely unsure."

All afternoon the sun dripped across the heavens

while hyenas chittered and hid behind a buckthorn bush.

I picked up the Stool of Error and led Bessie back

to the Barn of Evening.

She lowed softly as she settled in,

and I thought that was as good advice as any,

The Soft Moo of Stay Tuned, Chickie, 

a sort of psalm for this moon-hearted milkmaid to ponder.


for Sunday Muse #127.

*with apologies to Grover Lewis ("I Walk Out On The Wounded Fields Of October")

Saturday, September 19, 2020



Back then, I hung lanterns on my heart,

kept my own counsel

and spoke Romany in front of the marks.

I appeared 18 or 80

depending on the phase of the moon, 

or the shape  of my dreams.

I kept The Fool and The Tower up my black lace sleeve

and slept with other girls

thinking to cure my fever and my thirst.

Now a young man comes,

his mute-bird girlfriend behind a pace

with her patience and frybread face. 

I long ago burnt my heart down to nothing,

fueled with equal measures bravery and turpentine.

So, why does he make a visible ghost of me?

Do I wail for wanting to touch him,

or because my unringed fingers die behind my folded arms,

cursed by years?

Once, I hung lanterns on my heart,

and spun spells that only worked when I didn't care.

I mixed brown sugar with oleander

and wrapped my sorrow in a million words.

Young man, these are not crows, they are flying ash.

I want you and cannot say it,

but you came here with intention of unraveling old spells

and have done that

fiercely well.


for The Sunday Muse #126, where I am hosting.

image at top by Brooke Shaden.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Book Review : "Unclean Jobs For Women and Girls"


Unclean Jobs for Women and GirlsUnclean Jobs for Women and Girls by Alissa Nutting
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I loved the first three (of eighteen) short stories in this collection. They were very funny and also had a deeper point. I thought I was going to love this book. One of the stories was about a boozy assistant to a Swedish (?) super model who attends Andy Warhol-ish parties and speaks in riddles. It concerned feeling empty enough that reflected shine from empty celebrity seemed like a move up. Another was about a sex worker for a reality game show where one of three men wins anal sex on the moon with the narrator by winning a competitive eating contest.

So it wasn't the bizarre story lines that made me give this collection one star. I like Donald Barthelme, Russell Edson and Michael Andreason very much, for example. Ms. Nutting is very clever. A little too clever, in fact. As she parades this laundry list of self-loathing women, worthless men and violent mothers across these stories, she is long on bizarro details and story lines but she seems to either mock her characters or distance herself from their pain by making them and their situations crazy and laughable.

I'll use the penultimate story, "She-Man" as an example. She has her trans narrator start right off by saying that she "is really a man." Transphobes say that, not trans women. Her pro bowler boyfriend somehow doesn't know that she's trans and the author sets up a ridiculously kitschy parody of a certain idea of white-bread normalcy which includes her making beaded Christmas sweaters as a sideline, and the bowler boyfriend having a penchant for Kat Klocks and such. The narrator's old pimp--because, of course--shows up to blackmail her, kills her dog, and outs her to the bowler boyfriend, resulting in his bowling alley pals beating her to death with baseball bats. Nutting tries to inject some pathos at the end--as she does with many of her endings--but she has set the whole thing up all the way through with a smirk and wink, so her attempt to switch gears at the end falls short.

If Nutting concerned herself less with showing how very clever and outre she can be, and showed a little more heart for her characters--not to mention giving them some admirable qualities once in a while--her stories would be improved considerably. Not recommended.

View all my reviews

Monday, September 14, 2020

Book Review : "Daisy Jones & The Six"


Daisy Jones & The SixDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Think Fleetwood Mac meets Almost Famous meets As The World Turns. This is the fictional story of a 1970's rock band called Daisy Jones & The Six. It's done in a faux interview format, which I liked because A) I grew up devouring CREEM magazine and Rolling Stone and any rock biographies I could find about my favorites, and B) because it shows what happens from multiple pov's, which sometimes contradict each other or see things from very different perspectives. It's an easy and engrossing read and I basically couldn't put it down.

There are several strong female characters and I especially enjoyed their takes on a lot of what went on in the male-privilege-gone-wild world of '70s rock n roll. I liked how the relationships in the book were all complicated in various ways, a trade-off of good and bad, just as relationships of any depth always are.

That's not to say there weren't annoying flaws. The ending toward which the whole book careens, comes with a whimper, not with a bang. And the where-are-they-now bit at the end was so cliche (Adopted orphan children? So '90s!) and the big reveal of who the interviewer is seemed forced and movie-of-the-week to me.

So, I enjoyed the book, it captured the scene as it was in that very memorable era, and so it entertained me but it didn't move me. The only time it really did that was as I read the included lyrics at the end and came to "Aurora", the title song of the band's mega-hit album. That got me, but it took until literally the last page. Recommended, but well short of must-read.

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Fox With A Feather

Fox with a feather
wait until dark.
Fox-brother with your clever face
calm the careless bird without a mark.

September is your gotten grace
fallen from a limb.
Remember when the keeper comes
to hide where he's just been.

Lonely is the blue light of the moon reflected so
upon the calm and silent bird roosting on the snow
without a song, with unlit eyes, its feathers pulled and dull
with sobriquet of red it gets from names your teeth bestow.

Fox with a feather
wait until dawn.
The keeper loads his gun to bless
the live ones on the lawn.


for Sunday Muse #125.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Jingo Farm




nourished by rain and rot,

they leave room for nothing else

save rats and borers

giddy with vicarious triumph.

Here is the butter-bland vision,

every bloom the same,

all weedy twist of grasping arms

cradling babbling seed-faces

with their cheap coronas.

Already dying,

their identical progeny prop them up,






for Flash 55

and Sunday Muse #123.

Saturday, August 22, 2020


I represent actual things

with a representation of those things.

Come in,

sit down.

I'll select posture, expression and language

like semaphore,

 an agreed-upon symbology

like mailing some version of myself

to some version of you.

Behold this Orinoco

made of ink;

this range

comprised of bumps.

Roll your fingers over them.

That, is real.

Let us fall in love

with what we seem to be.

Let us share a border

clear on charts but apocryphal on scene

where we may meet and express our confusion.

I am a cartographer.

I can tell you how far from here

 to there,

from where I am

 to where you are,

and at how many degrees

 longitude and latitutude

we can expect to find various landmarks--



retirement and so forth.

I am a cartographer;

come live with me

and be my love.

Some day,

I may write you a poem

throwing everything we depend upon

into chaos.


for The Sunday Muse #122.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Following the Fathers

 Fathers' throats fill with wind.

Stars bay like lost dogs

defending the edge of the world

from the shriek of memory.

Take my hand.

It is made of Egypt and empty windows.

I build monuments

to sparrows with royal souls.

I am dead, blown to the borders

of everything I am and was.

This little hill of baubles

is yours now to sell or sew into the sleeves of poems.

Mothers, strangers, mute myths of shadow,

leave me in peace at last. 

I follow the fathers with their wind-throats

a girl again, sung to, willing to be fooled for a kiss.


a second poem for Sunday Muse #121.

Think Fast


We come from clouds

and end in dirt.

In the time between,

a reeling dance,

a disappearing interval





look very much the same.


for Sunday Muse #121 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Buck Moonskull, Private Eye

 Buck Moonskull, private eye

slugs down a spring water, heaves his hooves up on his desk, and coolly sizes up his client.

What a dame. 

Big "who, me?" brown eyes behind long lashes and a come-hither look. Buck laid odds they'd be sharing a salt lick before this case was over. 

"Jane Doe," she said when he asked her name.

"Sure, dollface." Did she think he was born yesterday? Why, it had to have been three years ago now. He watched a blush creep up that perfect face.

"I--" she began.

"Stow it, Toots," said Buck Moonskull, a little sharply. He didn't like being played with.

"I know who you are. I'm not the kind of flatfoot who can't see the forest for the trees." Buck picked up a cheap plastic folder and waved it. "Does the name Bambi mean anything to you, doll?"

"Where did you--"

"You're his mother. Don't bother to deny it. Oh sure, that faked death scheme paid off when Stag Antlersen copped the insurance money. I'm on to you sister."

A sly smile played around the edges of her kissable lips as she drew the .22 and purred, "So. You found out about Stag." She raised an eyebrow. "You're good, dear. But not good enough." She raised the gun and, as fast as a landlord on rent day, Buck Moonskull dipped his rack and knocked it away with a practiced swipe of a his 8 points.

"I must have been crazy to try to con a con," stammered Ms. Doe. 

"Lunacy," said Buck Moonskull as a gold halo of light shone above his head, like tacky foil on the neck of a bottle of drug store champagne. He picked up the black rotary phone from his desk and, gesturing with it, asked, "Do you want to come clean to Bambi, or do I put him straight myself?"

Jane Doe sighed, crossed her legs provocatively, and reached for the phone. In the middle of the dialer it said "Buck Moonskull. CLOverfield 5-2999." Watching her, he had a feeling that number would be ringing again soon.


for Sunday Muse #120

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Book Review : "A Dirty Job"

A Dirty JobA Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It's rare for me to give up on a book I've already invested time on, but having slogged through a third of this one, I was not about to endure any more.

If you like middle school level humor, casual white male privilege that thinks it's cute, or reading the phrase "beta male" seventy thousand billion times, then this may be the book for you. Moore has evidently been told how hilarious he is so often that he never says in one sentence what he can stretch out to five in order to include all his knee slappers. Ugh.

The characters here are not really characters, they are caricatures. The plot had promise, but Moore tangles it up in so much nonsense and convoluted silliness that it leaves the reader wondering WT exact F? I found it not to be worth the effort of finding out. By the time I had waded through the easy shots at women, Asians, and blacks, I'd had enough. You don't have to be the PC Police to know stupid.

NOT recommended.

View all my reviews