Sunday, May 28, 2017

Natural Causes

I want to die
Of natural causes
Not from flying debris
Not in a plane crash
Not from a bomb
Or falling off a mountain
                When passing a truck
                On a road blocked by massive boulders
Not from being hit by a train
                Or a trail derailing
Certainly not by brake failure
Natural or sliced
Of a car or bicycle
Not from a pill and alcohol cocktail.
From natural causes
In my bed
Feeling my ribs pierce my heart
And the blood seep out
In pretty spatter patterns,

Yes.
Although a gun would also
Leave a lovely spray.

Brave New World

When I was a child, I wasn't afraid of technology
There were faraways to be discovered
moons to walk on
dimensions accessed only through the wonders of light and sound waves.
Now I stare at the skittering phone, black hole life
It falls to the floor, still vibrating
I match it, quiver for quiver, terrified of the other end

House Arrest

The blinds shake and he flings open the door,
“You, I should have known you.”
A former roommate slides past me,
empty sounds, that he’ll be back
in a few days,
with groceries.

Trading places with me, ceding me possession
of the vestibule and life within,
we’ve danced this dance before.
The call of ‘change partners’
with a nod to me or him and a puzzlement
to others.

Where would I be if not here, if not now,
folded into arms that pull me to
the comfy chair
head resting against mine.

We sit, quiet together.
We are very good at being quiet together.
After a long while, I ask if he’d prefer
donuts or muffins.
He replies that he limits himself to
half an espresso per day so
It doesn’t matter,
as long as I come back,
come back soon.
With comfort silence in this cacophony nightmare,
I kiss him, on the mouth, and pinky swear.

In the Mulch

She finds things in the mulch
Finds things everywhere, she is gifted that way
But mostly, the most interesting things,
Are in the mulch.
‘Look, mommy, looka dis. What dis?’
Crayons. Photos. Keys. Half a sandwich.
Half a key.
Hair clips. Money. The Maltese Falcon.
Once, a passport from New Zealand.
Fodder for stories she writes every night.

‘Baby Hippo found a crayon and a passport
And made a picture in the passport and went far away
And lived happily ever after. The End.’

Yes, fodder for the stories she writes every night
Wherever we are that night, wherever we find ourselves,
And once or twice or a hundred nights,
We find ourselves in the mulch,
Safer than a shelter or doorway.
The police keep the druggies and pimps away
But they let us stay
And they listen to her stories and
bring her cookies and
chocolate milk
And happily ever after is the greatest story of all.

The Median Divides the Here and

Another night to forget
another night with the man who will not be named
Hamelech Malchai Hamlochim-
or so he acted, and so he thought-
Another long trip back to the house-not-home because
I was never asked to see the morning
car redirected, traffic crawls past flashers
battalion of emergency vehicles
even Jaws of Life! slicing open a belly up Civic,
wheels still spinning.

And then I
And then I
I know that car
Where’s my phone and I’m pushing buttons and
I Don’t Know

And my ex answers.
What the hell are you doing calling at 3 am?
She’s upstairs, asleep.
Like you care.
Bitch.

Pale ribbons, soggy bears, rivulet ink paeans,
marking a long ago night to forget.
Families move away, move on,
The crypt island shrinks, as the road is widened
“to facilitate more, faster, travel”
Now, barely large enough for one faded cross,
crooked with years,
three new crosses join it.

My baby is asleep in her bed.

The hand-me-down Civic is in pieces.

Shadow reaches from my stagger
I find my keys and drive to the house-not-home
But still more of a home than where 

New York December - Revision

We spend the solstice together
testing, toes frozen in puddles,
testing if I can live in darkness,
on streets of solemn quiet,
an audience for
the garbage man’s orchestra,
arias of pimps beating the last few
quarters from crack whores,
the applause of my heels on concrete.

You have already rejected my
sunrise. It made you squint and plead
for inner corridors and musty Victorian
drapes and carved doors locked with
fobbed keys.

We share a $2.95 breakfast special at
Moondance.  You pay the check.
I leave a $5 tip before I dive into the light.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Catulli Carmina

You think I’m a pathetic little turd
I’m not
I’m something much stranger
Much sadder
Than that.
A Hack.
Yes, a hack.
Paid by the word
By the line
By the verse
To spew

Joy to the newly wedded virgins [Ha!]
Sadness to the mourning widows [Ha!]
Enlightenment to the beardless youth [Ha!]
Success to those who pursue [Ha!]
Redemption to those who repent [Ha!]

Please don’t insult my intelligence
By believing in
My output.
Why do you think there are cliché phrases?
Formulaic thinking?
Repetitive images?
You think I’m not better than that?
Excuse me while I sip my wine.
You’re such a kidder.

Except …
The words I write for me
And for her
But I don’t want to discuss those.

Barkeep! More wine.
Shoo. Leave me in peace.

Ave atque vale in pacem. Shoo.