Saturday, January 24, 2015

if i stay---

photo from Seattle Municipal Archives

The boy working the register is dying
you have to be quick
to catch it

the skin etches one molecule at a time
& the cracks in our mask move with us
keeping illusions complete

he doesn't
know this

as he makes change
a chip inside computes
& even tells him how much of each denomination
he should give back

we've lost our capacity
to count

& he's too young
to understand all we go through
to find ourselves

in his line,
surrounded by news
of our modern gods --- relationship
statuses, paternity tests
& impulse buys---

check your breath
you might need a mint---

one day the paint becomes too heavy
for the wall, when you cover it up
so often

"have a good day."

"you too."

& the receipt he hands me
crumples between my fingers & palm
into a small world

i discard in the can by the door

i need no reminder
the cost.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

this title is an advertising scheme to get you to read the poem that comes next & begs to be a poem itself

photo by totomai ramirez

poetry is passion for real people,
a political act a destructive force, at times
complete nonsense
it is the sudden process of verbal compression
a spontaneous overflow of feeling that takes its origin
from emotion recollection & the plucking
at onelivingthing in the neuroanatomy

the bread connected to the body of a story
 in which the art form enjoys a broad & the fish won’t eat it,

a drug of choice, where choice is to see the person
or the flower in their eye; opening to the sacred sense of life
in everybody, a complex thing, the luxury
of intimacy afforded the ear by tongued beats

& they will tell you it is good,
if it can not be understood,
but I am here & now to say that is bullshit

their poetry is driving everyone crazy,
I can’t read it
I don’t read it,

but feel it building whole worlds under my skin
in its skyscrapers of meaningful thought constructs,
each footstep the inhabitants take

echo in rhythm along the walls of my being
& someone opens a window to yell
"Hey, we are trying to get some sleep here!"
I want to stop

& talk to them,
over sushi & sunsets

it's a good thing i always carry
my chopsticks

as a reader,
we need only knock ---

they will let us in
& then---

for dVerse & PJ

Monday, January 19, 2015

chapter & verse (&the idiom of myth)

photo by totomai martinez

my heart's dog-eared, page edges worn dark
from thumbs holding it open to peer between the pages

& beyond the story
there are notes in the margins,
left by those that have been there
the front
covers a bit torn
& though you'll never get
what it's worth

it's more than half off at the used bookstore,
or the couple quarters they always ask
at a yard sale ---

but before this becomes a hallmark moment,
like i collect the caps off beer bottles
in a basket by the silver,

i keep a box of already read books
in the trunk of my car (nearly full)

& i've felt the hot breath on my neck,
of the arriving subway
                             enough to know
some are only used to fill the time from one stop
to the next & others left
                                   on the seat ---
if finished, for the next person curious enough
not to care
                who spread the pages
i bought two more today,
just for fun---one, about a prince that contracts a wasting disease
& is disowned//thrown into a city of pariah
awaiting their last days

i'm only sixty pages in though,
so we barely know each other...

for dVerse - to the photography of totomai

things i do when no one is looking

ha. so you were wondering where that title might be going eh?
well, I did a rather zany interview over here, full of things you never
wanted to know about me.

Jason Statham drops in and I wear children's clothing.

so what are you waiting for?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

the grind of gravel beneath the soft boots of a blue lion

photo by darwin bell

he's more

acrylic than watercolor
for the texture

life's left brush marks
& spatters---
                   beneath his dark top hat/
                                           a duster,
long, white hair
joining his beard down his chest
          in marriage
              & what little skin there is
is mottled magenta

but he's blues all the way
& a thin white line

jagged as smoke
from the cigarette

he smokes to warm his insides & i

could see him with a guitar, perhaps
one of those tagged
                               & hanging
from the ceiling
of the pawn shop

dream given up to pay the rent or ---

i'd add a bit of spice
to the paint, not too sweet
but something to tickle the nose,
draw the viewer

he licks a thumb
as if to turn a page & turns,
letting his eyes follow the road,
giving his mane over to the wind.

for PU

Thursday, January 15, 2015


A couple months ago, I created a form as a bit of a joke toward all the counting you have to do in poetry...particularly syllables. I figured anyone could count ten words --- i mean between fingers and toes we have a pretty good chance of getting there. So each of these stands alone.

the roar of 1000's of feet
          ---  further i go.

2 red cardinals
& 1 brown
search for seed,

snow melt converses in the gutter,
co-passengers heading for earth.

i am bare feet
& feel
every rock
             --- all's well.

the dishrag on the bar
awaits a hand
to move.

for dVerse
& PJ

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

if a flower opens & goes unnoticed

photo by kevin dooley

everyone thinks they are a poet,
it's the ones that are sure
who scare me.

i have little taste for arrogance,
wine & oppression, but i know them ---
like wanting to kiss you,

when i didn't

that kinda self control is seldom found
in poets --- they'll find sixteen ways
to say the same thing,

until a feeling lies
battered & bleeding,
raising a trembling hand
from the linoleum
begging for mercy

let them get published,
--- they'll fade

it's the beauty of arriving,
until then
we'll find something good to say

i make such a terrible asshole,
but i will ---
                   if you ask,

for Poetics @ dVerse