Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Saturday, February 27, 2021


Green as the cat's eyes reflected in the pane
separated from the season and the sparrows in the rain
Green as the moss on the shingle near the sky
as distant from the sparrows as November from July.

Green is the dress I'll wear when I die
and watch my spirit rise in the green of her eye
indifferent to my dying, indifferent to the way
the blades green up and mock her from half a breath away.


for Sunday Muse #149.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Wanderer

The nuns were missing their cat, Beelzebub.

When they held him against their black habits,

he seemed to vanish as thoroughly as worldly temptations.

The nuns bake Russian black bread

and share with Beelzebub, who is what he eats. 

"Such a naughty kitty," scolds Sister Robert, more fond than mortified.

Where is Beelzebub? Is he

walking up and down the earth, seeking the grail

of a fish skelly in a silver garbage pail?

Or is he wandering the tile rooftops,

closer to Heaven than the nuns?

Beelzebub is visiting Bathsheba, a woman of certain skills.

She picks him up and holds him against her camisole

where he vanishes as thoroughly 

as a married man in the morning.

"Such a naughty kitty," she scolds, but smiles.

Beelzebub does not blink, but rumbles like Barry White.

Where is Beelzebub, why here he is,

back from wherever he was 

and smelling like Tabu.

He jumps on the table and inspects a loaf,

vanishing behind it like a hidden desire. 

"Such a naughty kitty," says Sister George, but she loves him as God loves her,

Beyond reason, and forever.


for The Sunday Muse #148 where I am hosting this week.

Friday, February 12, 2021


Our horse was haunted, afflicted with a doppelganger

said by the stable hand to portend death.

She could see the moon like an ornament on the dawn,

or the bulge of an apple in my coat pocket,

but not her double dipping its head as if weary from its own mimicry. 

Aunt June said she has to see it, the way we saw owls in the barn rafters.

If she doesn't, it's just foxfire

the devil dancing on a rotten log.

She won't get moon eye from a dream.

All spring and into the summer the double stayed,

unfed, unbidden, inexplicable. 

Rain on the roof sounded like snap beans.

Sun made the ground stream, ghosts rose, bewildered.

An old horse collar fell from its nail

though it never had before.

After that, we stopped seeing the double, and Aunt June said 

that's the way of things, girl,

but it gave me a peculiar feeling, 

like hearing a handsome boy tell a bald-faced lie.


for Sunday Muse #147.

Book Review: "Joyriding To Nightfall"


Joyriding to NightfallJoyriding to Nightfall by Joan Colby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is so much bad or impenetrable poetry out there that it's a genuine joy to find a collection like this one. Joan Colby draws from the classic poetic subjects: nature, love, death. She uses what manages to seem simultaneously like conversational language and also head-exploding, unexpected metaphors and combinations of disparate things to achieve poetry that is true and honest and visceral. And besides, this volume has the best cover art ever. Absolutely recommended.

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Blemish

In the morning, the blemish appears.
Haughty mountains, snow-topped, hard as weapons.
Brave explorers dying in a violent wind.
The blemish brings with it
financial ruin,
the sniggering of false friends who ride in your ears.

Blemishes through history:
the canker of Robespierre.
the pimple of Marie Curie.
the cold sore of Trostsky, as he folds papers into bullets,
himself the hapless one,
sitting in a chair with an antimacassar,
a revised edition with limited press run.

On the thankless mountain side, Sir Edmund Hillary
examines a blemish with gloved hands,
his visage cracked across the cheek in a broken mirror.
The sherpa sniggers, riding in his ear.
Upon return, parades,

The appearance of the blemish betokens the icy  marksman,
behind you there,
delivering the avalanche
dead center, mid-beat, shattering.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


It's like a telephone call from the bones,

a song that sings you, whether you love it or hate it,

persistent as a blow to the head.

While all this is going on, you must smile,

set the table properly, oyster fork to the far right.

Lay a linen napkin across the mocking lie.

Walk through the funhouse to your job, 

your marriage, the gibbet of your identifying papers.

Become an object of hilarity if you finally birth yourself.

In short, do anything but this, and then

cut a rug, or your wrists, when all other options expire.

We are the girls half gone by the time we start,

Brave, gorgeous, cursed, strangers even to ourselves.