Friday, April 30, 2010

Lost and Found or Not

Lost and Found or Not

All the things I've tossed away
Careless vicious afraid, most forgotten.
A photo quirk of memory recalls
Oh what ever happened to...
But a few choice items hurt
a book
a scissor
a hammer
smell of turpentine sawdust linen rags brings it back

You'd give me wooden chests tables a desk for my precious
I give you words
We wear scraps

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rude Behavior

Sitting here, not paying attention
rudeness to the nth degree
but at least I sit quietly,
absorbed in myself.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Complex Arithmetic Computation

So many layers of misery
I cannot even count them
They climb, they mount, they push me further down
I add them up, a Fibonacci progression of woe
Am I whining or am I, perhaps, justified?
Am I?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Foibles of Youth

My daughter, joyous in the newness of love,
rifles through my closet,
evaluating shoes and doodads
taking into her room this that the other.
I smile and pass the baton.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Child's Play

He tries so hard not to be afraid
of me
for me
to cover how he stops himself from saying, ‘Don't!'
He knows the surest way to push me is to try to stop me.
I kiss him and skip off to play
while he hides a frisson and a tress of my grey hair in his wallet
or perhaps takes to the santeria for a holding spell.
I don't know.
I'm long gone, until hunger, for him, pulls me back,
with skinned knees and scabby elbows, sunburnt nose and streaks of dirt on my face,
to be scrubbed clean and nurtured.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Comparison Shopping

She is stunning in her concentration on the task at hand,
English muffin price comparison,
list in hand and furrowed brow.
I can see her hands, naked.
How could such lovely long fingers be ringless?
I see her, veiled; me, sliding a wide band onto the third digit of her left hand.
Her eyes flick at me. Does she feel my stare?
Her ponytail curves under, caressing the back of her neck.
It needs pearls, a long strand, with an extender hanging down the bones of her spine.
She pushes her cart to the end of the aisle and disappears around the corner.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Little Bird

Little bird, little robyn bird,
Come out and play.
I'm waiting for you.
The world isn't so big.
We'll find pieces you can handle.
Perch on my hand, little bird, and peck my earlobe.
It'll be okay, I promise.
I will recount the week and smile at what deserves smiles
little things
direct looks
sunburn in new places
aching muscles and rich coffee
the peaks of early morning before the day gets flushed.
I will recount the week and ignore the rest
so I can get through today

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What Once was Whole

It was, instantly, an alien place, devoid.
I was afraid,
not of what I'd find,
of what was here,
but what was not.
Not any longer.
The air was damp and too warm, shuttered feeling,
despite the hum and click of the air conditioner,
loud in abandonment.
I look around. Bookcases, knitting, kitchenware.
Shoes. Walker. Wheelchair.
Gauze pads and Betadine.
I calculate how many boxes I'll need
to empty this already empty place.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Just Another Night in Paradise

It's a slow night, here
Few patrons to pay patronage to those seeking accolades
If not money, support, stipends, then at least applause
I stare out the window, restless
When can I leave, when can I leave
Cold air blows on my thighs.
They'll be warm later.
Personal heating blanket will wrap around them later.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Left Right Straight

All roads lead you somewhere
if you put one foot after the other, turn the cranks,
with an eye on the sun to keep track of the time/space continuum
All roads lead you somewhere
and when that somewhere isn't here,
this crime scene where I am reduced to a chalk outline on warn carpet
and the forensic team measures the splatter pattern of regrets and guilt
on walls, furniture and bedding,
they still lead you.
All roads lead you somewhere
I can disinfect the wounds, stitch them, cover them with gauze
and kisses and prayers for forgiveness.
All roads lead you somewhere
maybe even home.

Monday, April 19, 2010


If you save a life, it is yours.
If I save you, are you mine?
To have and to whole?
Are you?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Broken Promises

It's just as important
No. It's more important.
The omissions. The deletions. The Halfs and the Half-nots
the thing claiming to be truth, claiming to be real , to be whole
Only they're not.
Every piece puts together it's own story
as far from reality as cheese from Chesapeake.
The unsaids loom, dive in with pointed beak, grab a slug and return to the clouds
having swallowed it in one gulp.
It rides the heat tunnels, beautiful shadows on the ground.
Cower at the edge of light where the words and actions disagree
beyond the fields of knowing truth.
I will meet you there.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Return of the Cat

I am the cat who walks alone
You may walk in front of me, watching me over your shoulder.
Behind me, next to me, on my path, but not with me.
I am the cat who walks alone
even in the midst of all
even surrounded by loudness and cushions
I am the cat who walks alone
isolated, obsessing, apart

Friday, April 16, 2010

Carding the Three Fates

Spin grief into the fibers of a fine woolen jacket
Weave it on frames of wrong
Fashion it with repentance
and wear it as a mark of Cain
warning the world away.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Television Isn't Life

They say, no more sadness.
We want happy happy.
If you want happy happy, go watch ‘Emeril Live' reruns.
If you want truth, listen

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Name is Sylvia

I know why she did it, why she put her head in the oven.
She was looking for the key
to unlock the door
of the shambles.
Only the key wasn't there, way in the back by the pilot light.
It was hanging there, on the wall, like always.
She just didn't see it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tonight's Sonnet is a Dish Best Served Cold

He has plans, detailed plans.
When he gets home, he can see it in his mind.
Unlocking the door, climbing the stairs.
Muffled by the thwack of ceiling fans,
movement, scent of orange rinds
being grated into tea. Pulls out a chair
and sits, drinking. She asks, can you reach those pans?
After he kisses her, how did I find
this treasure? It's all so clear
to him. He has plans, detailed plans.
He wants tonight to be all kinds
of celebration in the apartment up there.
Only-it's quiet. He looks around. Nothing. No one. Gone.
Drinks a six-pack, then another. When she returns, she, she too, is alone.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Billy Collins Redeux

Behavior doesn't exist in a vacuum.
It's all situational.
Guess what?
I don't give a rat's ass about why
I'm still going to shoot your mother fucking cujo next time I see it.

dedicated to Billy Collins, Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And You Will Know Them by Their Shadows

Harken to me, the Eternal.
Lift up thine eyes, for this, this, is the land I have given unto you.
You shall beget children here, and your children will beget children in their time,
And this is the woman whom I have chosen for you who will bear them all.
This woman, lovely as a statue, as a graven image,
who you will worship on your knees as you did the golden galf.
You will woo her with betel juice and almonds and honey, sweet, aromatic, sticky,
and sing songs which are pleasing to her for she is the fated one.
You will sacrifice the fatted calf to her, to this woman, in her whore shoes,
the angle of her foot, her leg and the broad hips you will bury your face in
and pray, hands clasped around her thighs.
You will adore her as you have adored no other before, nay, not even me,
the Eternal, your God. You will put her before me, to be the mother of your people.
You will cup her breasts, weigh them, and when they are heavy with milk,
you will have suck of them.
Arise, turn now, and follow her.
Lay down your trivial amusements for she is the anointed one.

NB: this is what happens when i'm given a random bible verse to read

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Bowl of Cherries

She holds the bowl, scant amount of cereal and milk inside,
holds the bowl with two hands, laps at it, laps at the dregs.
Then turns it over into a hat, so proud, as a few drops of milk crawl past her eyelashes.

"Oh baby, why'd you have to go and do that for? Look at this mess!"
Hush, I say, hush.
Look at her, not the floor or the counter or the shirt.
They'll wash, they'll be fine.
Look at her.
Look at her before you crumple her face.
The shadows of those creases will always be there, haunting us.
Hush, now. Give her another bowl to wear. Let her have a layered hat, a confection hat
And another to be a different drum to beat with her forgotten spoon.

Friday, April 9, 2010


When I was ever so much younger than I am now,
a classmate cracked an egg
and let it drip through his fingers.
The assignment was to draw a hand holding an egg.
It didn't specify.
So he cracked that egg and let the white slide down past his knuckles,
while the yolk remained cradled in his palm.
I've never forgotten that sketch
or the hand which held the egg
or the hand that drew it.
If I was a palmist, able to read hands, I would have read his.
I wanted to read his hand, trace the lines, see what his future was
where he would go, learn, achieve and who he would become.
I wanted so to read myself into his future.
I wanted so to be the yolk cupped in his palm
while everything else slipped away

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Totem Mask

He's waiting. Churning. Trembling, watching the clock numbers change,
I know everything that will happen when we put our public faces on the wall for the night.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Polly Wanna Cracker

I should be used to it by now, to death walking through the door and sitting on my shoulder, squawking, "Polly wanna cracker, Pretty Boy, Polly wanna cracker."
I'm not.
I've done this for years, long enough to see babies conceived, born and walking in on their own, asking if they could please have some milk and cookies while they wait.
But I'm not.
Used to it, that is.
"I'll be doing this as executrix for the estate, filing on his behalf."
"I found your name in her papers. What do I do now?"
"Do you need to see the death certificate?"
"Can you help me?"
I'll never get used to it.
Especially when it knocks on the door from the inside, when it's here and now, sitting on my sofa, not on someone else's shoulder, but hovering over the dinner table, salting the food with bitterroot.
She doesn't know.
I know, but she doesn't and ignorance is bliss, sweet bliss, chocolate covered pretzels, whipped cream with slivered almonds, a fig tree, comfort with apples, letting her function, smile and concentrate on important things, whether the black and turquoise top goes better with the white jeans or the khaki shorts.
Don't snatch this from her, Polly, don't.
Eat my crackers. I don't need them any more. I am fat. I am a feast.
Eat my crackers, Polly. I'm ready. I've been ready for years.
Give her a chance. Let her stack crackers, crumble them, enjoy them with dabs of jelly.

Leave her alone, Polly.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bright Light Blind

What tragic mistake did I make, at some point in my prehistory?
What led me to this?
Staring up at the guillotine, sunglint blinds me.
If I press a little harder...
It doesn't matter, does it? Press or don't press. See or don't see.
All lines converge on the horizon,
No matter how they skew out.
All lines converge and disappear,
Whether I run, hide, stare it down in an attempt at stoicism.
All lines converge into smoke.

Monday, April 5, 2010

With a Candle and a Feather, Seeking an Honest Man

They asked her: Are you a ???
She made the big mistake of being honest
when she answered.
Used to hyperbole, no one can read truth any longer.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Lost in anti-Wonderland, that dark place which is my refuge,
where everything is wrong, negative images bombard me.
Demands, pleas, they strike me, beat me, break my bones.
Where is the White Rabbit to lead me out of here?
Jaws of Life trepane my skull, looking for Hope,
her aiglet caught in a fissure.
They free her and leave me in the dark, alone, again

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Uh huh. Tell me another.

Given options, choose.
Make it better, with a smile.
Accept or move on.

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Ask. If you don't ask,
the answer is always no.
Ask Improve the odds
to fifty-fifty.
Take a chance on you."

No, Daddy, you're wrong.
I asked. The answer is still no.
I don't ask anymore.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Morning, y'all. It's
April Fools Day, another
Big Ole Fuck You, World!