Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022



A man wearing only a sodden overcoat and one dress shoe
led a seasick stallion by a rope along the beach
slowly, so slowly
like their ship that descended the ghostly green.

He said to me, "No kiss of yours can replace deck and cabin,
keel and hold. No woman is as precious as the next breath."
Sadly, so sadly
he wandered away, wearing only one earring and a felt hat. 

I was, then, a Multilingual Sister of the Silent Bell
and led the abandoned animal through our courtyard
carefully, so carefully
so as not to disturb the stillness with the thunder of his heart.

Wearing only a sundress and carrying one rope sandal,
I know now that summer pavers are warmer than a drowning man.
Slowly, sadly, carefully,
I flowed that day like water from the stone of Samarkand.

for Word Garden Word List--Keith Reid.

Music: Chantel Chamberland Temptation

Monday, December 26, 2022

An Article I Wrote On Medium


You can find it HERE

It's about 5 singers who labored in near or total obscurity in decades past but who have found a new following thanks to the internet. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Friday, December 16, 2022


All she wanted was 
pretty horses with feather plumes,
standing balanced on their backs
as they circle the moon.

All she wanted was
Christmas morning and fruit on a plate,
candied stollen sliced and served,
rising early to start sleeping late. 

Now, visit her where
cornball Napoleons roam the rooms
spouting blather in poetry's place
while staff cup the pills and count the spoons.

for Word Garden Word List--Ferlighetti. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Word Garden Word List--Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Hello poets and welcome to another Word List! I'm sorry to be a day late (and presumably a dollar short to complete the old saying) with this, but I had too many irons on the fire yesterday, plus I generally have no idea what day of the week it is, only whether it's a weekday or a weekend, and even that is sometimes dicey with me. 

Anyway! This week's List is taken from A Coney Island of the Mind by the late San Francisco beat poet Lawrence Ferlighetti, a strong early influence of mine. Ferlinghetti was also the owner of the famous City Lights Book Store. 

For those interested in reading something by Ferlinghetti, you can read a favorite of mine, Junkman's Obligato, HERE.

What we do here is to use at least 3 of the 20 words from the following list and use them in a new original poem of any style, length or structure, and then link up and visit others. That's it!

And now, your Word List:


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

And Now You Know.... The Rest of The Story


Somehow, the Modesto Mud Pigeons vault into second place in the Pacific Crust League baseball season of 1930.

A perennial doormat playing in a ramshackle firetrap of a ballpark and managed by an unstable loon called Double Hatchet MacGillicuddy, the team's fortunes changed when rookie phenom Handsome Henry Faraday arrived and slugged 42 home runs in 25 games, all while setting ladies' hearts aflutter.

Imagine then, how Double Hatchet and the soft-hearted ladies reacted when fire-balling Franco "Frank" Spizeymeatballi cracked Faraday right in the dome with a pitch! 

Down he went, and down went the Mud Pigeons with him, finishing a distant fifth as Spizeymeatballi's San Jose Hosers took the championship. :-(

Double Hatchet MacGillicuddy was last seen running amok on the Pacific island of Watyagonnadonow where he vanished into a grove of palm trees and was killed by a falling coconut.

As for our hero Handsome Henry Faraday, his head injury resulted in a new and amazing musical talent, enabling him to invent the electric piano--not popularized until some 40 years later--when his recording of a barrelhouse version of One Meat Ball unexpectedly (and posthumously) topped the charts, making Handsome Henry second only to Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin in 1970's musical importance. 


for Denise's Six Sentence Stories. Key word: "vault"

Music: Tony Pastor One Meat Ball

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Lantern On A Wooden Walk


The lantern's body in autumn is cold
because its coat is a gift from the wind.
The lantern lies close to the wooden wet
in order to hear where the tree has been.

The lantern's handle is ever unheld
so that silence can take it further than words.
Left on the path, left ever low,
left to consider the motion of birds.

The lantern's glass is lit by flame--
its mother the match that gave and went out.
A lantern on a wooden walk--
pass by, pilgrim, with or without.

Music: The Bee Gees Lamplight

Monday, December 12, 2022

Crackerjack For Lancelot

I set out Crackerjack for Lancelot,
candy apples for his mount--
licorice for dancing devils
too numerous to count.

I bake pie for the Lorelei
and salt water taffy for the sailors--
honey for all my winning ways
and bitter ale for my failures.

for Dverse quadrille "candy"

Music: Lindi Ortega Fall Down Or Fly

Friday, December 9, 2022

There You Are, Little Sparkler


"You are everyone to me,"
said Caligula, and he gave me a scarf
to hide the hickeys--
when you split with a devil
it gets tricky
not to fall apart.

Spending Christmas at Joan of Arc's
with real saints, a faux fire
and presence under the tree--
I can't think exactly which to do
for truth or dare
except to keep my tail clear of the rocking chair.

Joan's guest room smells like
balsam and baguettes
and oh you crusty evergreen--
who's the fairest
of them all?
Who's so full of shyness
that she can't steal on down the hall?
That Frenchy firework, me
mais oui. 


for Word Garden Word List--The Smiths. The middle section has been edited.

Music: The Smiths Ask 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Word Garden Word List--The Smiths


Hello poets! Today we'll be joining Mr. Peabody and Sherman as they graciously lend us the use of the Wayback Machine so that we can go back to the 1980s and listen to The Smiths!

Led by Morrissey, the Smiths were known for their irresistibly catchy melodies and sly, sardonic lyrics. I remember the first time I heard them quite clearly. The song was "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" and it began

I was looking for a job and then I found a job
and Heaven knows I'm miserable now

My ears perked right up. I sensed a kindred spirit. (And for our purposes here, we'll skip over some of Morrissey's more recent bouts of foot in mouth.) Somehow these songs managed to be fatalistic and funny, edgy and vulnerable, all at once. I know, you can't imagine why they appealed to me, right? *rolls eyes*

Your word list this week is taken entirely from the lyrics of songs by The Smiths. No doubt, at some point I'll do a Morrissey solo list, but for today, it's all Smiths. Here's the lowdown: please use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in an original new poem of your own, then link up and visit others. So easy a child could do it! 

And now, your list:

Joan of Arc

Monday, December 5, 2022

Lil Bruja


Lil Bruja rides on into Dust Flats, New Mexico on her trusty steed Viejo Loco.

It's been a long slog from the wild gold rush towns where she spent a hard year and a half, on through Gila Valley where she barely escaped old jealous Pecos Charlie and his branding iron in the middle of the night and lit out across the range in pitch darkness. 

Now, watching Viejo pick his way around rattlers and tarantulas, with her Stetson low over her eyes and the same bandana around her neck for the last 200 miles, Lil just wants a hot bath and a shot of whiskey.

Finally she hits town, leaves Viejo at the livery stable with a nosebag of hot oats, and pushes through the swinging doors of Texas Jim's Saloon, her spurs jingling with every step and what in blazes does she see but a sign over the bar that says KALE SANDWICHES, ARUGULA QUICHE, MANGO FLAVORED SPRING WATER, WINE COOLERS.

The barkeep has a man-bun and chuckles at Lil when she slaps a silver dollar on the bar, saying, 'Oh my, cash is so over!"

Lil pulls out her Colt Peacemaker, grabs the barkeep by his man-bun with one hand and with the other tucks the cold steel barrel under his chin and growls, "Gimme the veggie burger and a banana smoothie, Hefe," and he does.

for Denise's Six Sentence Story ("range")

Music: Cyndi Lauper & Jewel I Wanna Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart

Friday, December 2, 2022

A Man


A man of some note,
wearing the planets on a chain
'I can't swing a cat without hitting
a faggot or a 
or a
sinner of some variety."

The birds inside my throat stayed silent
but I could feel
their wings
I turned my shoulders to July noon
as a favor
to such small, light riders. 

A man of great learning,
with entire
alphabets lined up on the 
tip of his tongue,
kept them all like pets
and taught
each one
to balance prettily on a circus ball
while he went at them hammer and tongs
to no purpose.

Three times that season,
my eyes
became eggs
and fell to my 
Finally, flocks flew filigree patterns
all around 
my head
and a man said, "Harlot! Sapphist!"
and a man said, "Anarchist! Libertine!"
but I was an 
beyond such puny mewlings.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

On The Way Home From Finishing School


On her way home through a deep dark wood, after studying rhyme and meter, what do you suppose should greet her but a big burly black bear. 

"You are in my woods," said the bear, "and I don't know if I should eat you or lick you."

Hands behind her back, the girl replied, "You are a very burly bear, and I don't know if I should teach you or trick you."

The bear eyed her hidden hands and pointed out that "you could be holding a pistol or a picnic basket, a treat for us or a blunderbuss." 

The girl brought out her hands and the bear's eyes grew wide, his face funny.

Then the bear said, "Oh, honey..."

A bit of fun for Thursday's Six Sentence Link-Up. The required word was "meter." A bit out of my m├ętier, I must say. ;-)

Music: The Bare Necessities

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Word Garden Word List--Paige Ackerson-Kiely


Hello friends, and welcome to this week's Word Garden Word List. Hey listen, do you ever just take a chance on something because it sounds like it might be interesting? I know I have. Sometimes it's a dumpster fire, sometimes just a dud that doesn't do anything for me at all, but sometimes I find a new favorite song, dish, friend or whatever it may be. This week's words are all taken from a volume of poetry I bought a year ago or so, just because I liked the title: My Love Is A Dead Arctic Explorer by Paige Ackerson-Kiely. I just wish the content had been as interesting as the title, but as an old supervisor of mine used to say, "Eat the meat, spit out the bones." Therefore, that's exactly what we're going to do.

While I wasn't that keen on the poems--she seems to be about to dig into something important, then continually gets lost in dense language; moreover, there is so much alcohol in these poems that I could practically hear the ice cubes hitting the sides of the glass--she does make some very interesting word choices, and that's right up our alley, yes? (And I do need to add that occasionally she does make her point simply and strongly.)

I hope you'll enjoy this List. Please use at least 3 of the 20 words provided in a new original poem, then link up and visit others. Nothing to it but to do it! 

And now, your List!


Canada Heart

The chime of your kiss
Made me forget the chalk 
that marked the stitch-line
where madness
met easy charm.

I don't wear vanilla scent
anymore--it reminds me of
your flocked, bread-crumb skin
the braille I
got lost in.

Toronto has Billy Bishop Airport--
you can fly in,
fill a bag at the duty-free
then cab it
to Yonge Street.

We made love at the Double Tree
with a balcony
to waver on the edge of, after.
Oh, Canada--
Canada heart

is the half sweet, half bitter
half bustling,
half empty landscape where
missionaries say,
"I knew her."

That is where I found this poem, north of Yellowknife,
and south of solace not looked for anymore. 

For Word Garden Word List--Paige Ackerson-Kiely

Music: Gordon Lightfoot Affair On 8th Avenue

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Self Portrait


There's someone in here,
inside my
someone Frankensteined
up from a girl
I used to be or
never was
someone on a greased slide
to the boneyard
(yep, that was
but she got
off at
El Paso
sweet little woman get along.

See, I'm living for two 
preggers with myself
and way
but we're cute af
in certain light
or in 
my imagination
in the sight of God
with a 
and a
I just couldn't let her go.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Stone House


There is a stone house
with a soft bed
on a metal frame.

The sheets are sky-stolen blue,
the blanket tartan.
I have the feeling I was

a child there, or died
or held someone with love
or was held.

The air is fragrant
like a meal just finished
or being prepared.

I feel sure that you are there
in the next room
or arriving or remembered.

I wrote this poem
yesterday or some other day
or will write it soon.

Now the door is open.
Come in.

Music: Cat Stevens Into White

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Nurse to the Water

photo by Jeanloup Seiff

 I am nurse to the Water,
Moon in a bowl at its bedside.

It looks back at me as if to say, "I am here,
deep and permanent; I will always stay,"
but its language is Leaving and every movement
is a perpetual going-away. 

I am bride to the Lake Grass
expending itself in a season's rising.
silent and thin, the Water its artist's garret.
It finds me neither interesting nor surprising
as I see to its unbordered house,
my face a familiar detail that passes. 

Are you dying, Water, a Gypsy in love with sand--
the sand in love with and holding the Cattails?
I make my rounds on the wooden walkway,
Child of trees the Lake Grass envies.
Death beneath my feet, mercy at my hand
I am the Double-Spirit who must be her own comfort
and work by Night, the sister-ghost of Day.

Music: Roseanne Cash Seven Year Ache 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

My Question For The Unabomber

 I asked the Unabomber
if he had ever been in love.

You know--before Montana--
before wandering the howling tundra
holding a frozen tulip
and a folded poem
for Victor Frankenstein.

I wanted to know
if anyone had ever inhabited
the slow-cooking smoker
of his heart.
Was there ever the very emblem
of desirability
in the formula of anyone's eyes?

In your Harvard classes
full of second-week quitters
and callow
nattering plebes
was there never any elevated romantic
to solve for your
innocent, milky

Oh Teddy, 
you were never meant
to be the broom-pushing custodian
of cowardly murder and printed echolalia.
If Victor appeared to you
in phantom form
or if Mary herself
cupped in cold hands your wobbling soul,
could you still be fixed
even now? 
like a stamp
on an envelope to carry your remainder
out of shame
or into Hell?

for Word Garden Word List--Ghost Eaters.

Music: The Fleetwoods Mister Blue

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Word Garden Word List--Ghost Eaters


Hello, my intrepid group, and welcome to another Word Garden Word List! Not long ago, I was on Goodreads and saw an ad for a new book called Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman, an author I was not familiar with. The cover art was creepy and striking, plus it was Halloween time, so I investigated. 

The novel is about a girl named Erin, who has lost her friend Silas, whose lead she always has followed, for good or ill. She's pretty lost after his death, so when she hears about a drug called Ghost that lets you actually see the dead, she's game. What she doesn't count on is how it will take over her life. The hard part, it turns out, is to unsee. 

It's a great horror novel and also a terrifyingly accurate portrayal of addiction, whether to a person or a substance, how strong the allure can be, and how difficult to break free of. I absolutely recommend it. And so, our list this week is 20 words taken from the pages of Ghost Eaters. Enjoy, but use only as directed, and the directions are as follows: use at least 3 of the 20 words on the list in a new poem of your own, in any style, length or form. Then link up and visit others. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Oh and... don't let it haunt you. ;-)

Your list:


Monday, November 14, 2022


 I'm not much for babies.
Oh, I dispense a few sweet noises on demand
like a reluctant gumball machine,

but as often as not, the nickel gets jammed and there I am,
stifling a yawn.

My own child was different of course, but he's grown and gone.
I look around, and it feels like my heart is bunged,

So today I'm on the sidewalk in front of a pet supply store,
navigating the cages, looking.
I'm drawn 
to the shy ones,
the small ones,
the hurt ones,
the lonely ones. 
C'mere baby, come to mama,
Come on-a my house, my house-a come on.

I will make you bold.
I will make you safe.
I will make you well.
I will make you loved. 
It's mother-magic, presto! and we'll make a ton of it
out of thin air.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Bareback Rider


When I was a girl, I often dreamed
that I rode a haunted horse whose head was ether
and its steady breath was my own pulse
sounding through my ear pressed hard upon the pillow.

We rode in slow procession through 
the house gone unfamiliar in weird shadows
pulling a death-carriage behind us
and it seemed that I labored while the horse hovered

With lantern lights for eyes
on each side in concert with the slant moon
dim-blind through silver windows
but watching as the horse's flanks rose and fell.

A bareback rider, I hooked fingers
through streamers of jet mane like widow's weeds in a breeze,
hoping to hang on, to wake up
only to see Thanatos the ostler smiling and standing

At the stable door holding a gleaming dark apple for his charge.

Music: Snakefarm "All The Pretty Little Horses"