Thursday, November 6, 2014

the deadman a'fairing

photo by David Bote' Estrada

the deadman goes to the fair,
                                   but never plays
                                   carny games.

fair, like its sibling, equal, are constructs
that can't answer prostate cancer, menstral cramps
or how the ring always skips the rim
of those damn milk cans

there are too many stuffed animals in the land-
fill already, he thinks,

but likes the music laughter makes
as kids spin on rides with names like The Vomitizer,
or when the goats nibble their fingers,
squeal, squeal --- faster, faster

& the feel of fresh sawdust in his phalanges.
he has no need of fried Oreos or Twinkies,
the strong man or contests determining
the prettiest babies
                           he knows
                           the bearded ladies
                           & is far more at home

among the freaks, where you'll find more truth
than at kissing booth & six feet under feeding the roots,
or what's actually in the recipe of the chili
cook-off winner.

no, fair
          is a useless measure to hang a framed picture
in a house already fallen. fair, tell it to the down-
trodden & politicians, a kid born
already addicted & the guy looking for jumper
cables, cause he left dome light
on in his car

            hell, the tickets to ride cost
40 $s --- & the deadman
gives hugs
               for free.

for dVerse, where gay has us exploring 'fair' in all its aspects.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

pebble, tidal

photo by Andrew Urquhart

a pebble in the shoe works a blister to remind us
our penance & lancing it --- creates a wound,
but what relief
                     we find
                     our wounds
                                                                in the wind
                                           the truth is in the un-wind
a pebble under the tongue slacks thirst
but burdens the voice if too large
                                    &given the choice i'd aria
mountains & mustard seeds
                                    one pebble at a time

drop enough in a pitcher, even
the crow can drink


flat ones across the sur/face
                                         all sink

            one pebble
                       raises the level
of the ocean

                                  that much,
& most times
                         that's all it takes.

for Pj

Monday, November 3, 2014

the deadman dreams

photo by luna sin estrellas

oh, hell.

i hope i never see you again,

not here, at least,

the deadman thinks, out loud at times, funny things
he would write on a postcard.

I don't have a a stamp though, is always the second thought.
having lost everything else, Death has taught him to laugh
& a list he keeps, an oral history he repeats
to himself each night, in order, to fall asleep.

in his dreams, the dead man doesn't visit old friends
or stop for ice cream, though he would die again
for pralinés & cream.

the dead man sits at a small table outside
one of those trendy coffee shops, music pumped
through corner speakers

& pens postcards, affixes stamps to each,
the self adhesive kind, cause he hates the taste
of the paste --- of all the things he didn't say
& mails them

he sent you one.
                       did you get it?

the dead man always wakes up, on the right side
& watches the dream smoke dissipate
as reality overtakes & once gone,

only then does he raise his head
from the soft, soft pillow
to begin the day.

for dVerse Poets - where Grace has us writing Deadman poems in the tradition of Marvin Bell.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


photo by H Adam

The wind wants in, throws itself against the wall,
like a door --- but is no breach team of cops
& no pry bar wrenches the hinges,
                                                   it is more

a lover
          angry at being left out/kicked out,
          dreaming of being
                                    under your skin
          alive on nerve endings

The wall bends in,
                     grunts under its breath,
                     joints popping with ex-ertion,
& the wind wails

in ways i understand,
but would never say ---
                                       we have to
work out our own foundation, before
we can listen---

a potted plant flies into the yard,
cornhole boards slam to the deck,
& the full weight rests on the door
sliding down to the welcome mat,
grows silent

enough to hear the music
rain makes in releasing.

the puddles
                       will dry in the sun,
but the walls,
settled & firm, already
                       has forgotten.

for PU

Thursday, October 30, 2014

why we skipped church today---

photo by anne arnould

the shadows of falling leaves
skitter across the grass like field mice
on the run from the cat
                                 or a hawk,

& the sweet, sweet smell
tells me someone on the street
is smoking up

this is autumn
& maybe they have glaucoma

i pick up fallen limbs

while my son cuts the grass
in my neighbor's yard,

he broke his hip a few months back
& we bartered
                       grapes for a couple jars of the jam
                       it makes & yard work
                       for use of the mower
there is not enough

for a fire,
             not tonight,
if the wind keeps up,

maybe next week.

they released the dam
before winter & a creek ripples
in the ditch at the base of our property

& my knees ache from crouching so long
on its new bank, baptizing hands

but the song
is so clean
                  & pure.

for dVerse Poets - where Claudia has us writing looking at things with fresh eyes

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


photo by lost in space

i collect the broken
        a stamp collection,
cleaned, framed, put in a book,
to shelve
             & amass dust
of our appreciation
& i don't pity them;
whatever heaven
               or hell
                         they came

i am
only a man,
myself; a patchwork
              of rough edges

that makes
tiny rainbows
                when the sun
at just
the right angle.

for PoetryJam

Monday, October 27, 2014

parcheesi to politicians

photo by r2hox

war is what we do for the illiterate,
          a DEA agent for every drug pusher,
          & a soldier,
                          an oppressor,
                                        an answer to struggling economy
how we fix poverty

what we do for lower gas prices,
          or our vices,
                 a buyer of choices,
                     a way of saying my country can beat your country
                     like an honor roll student

don't gimme          no mouth,
                                i have              a bumper sticker

& i know
                how to use it

war is the new peace,    (re-pack-aged)
                      without all the hippy mess

& controlling our borders
                     our women///our children

& jobs none of us want to work anyway,
                          but they are important, damn it
               for profit
what we make
                       against other religions
                       because we
                       stand for freedom

is a buy back program
in the walmart parking lot----turn in your weapons
                                            & we'll give you gift cards to grocery stores
is nationalism,
     is expansionism
          is an ism                   WAR-ism

is no longer in fox holes --- think bigger,
               i'll take your tank & raise you a joy stick
in the hands of an MIT graduate,
         is a video game
                   where you guide SMARTbombs
                    thru windows
                              to catch terrorist
                              in the bathroom
is collateral damage
            is rubble
                     is a broken toy that smells of cordite
                            & mushrooms
is reduced
to slogans for rivalry games in college football
                        "battle of the unbeatens!"
is a pacifier,
                 a parade as soldiers
                                                        but what of the returning
what we rub on our body like butter
to get rid of wrinkles,
                                is over
visitation rights,
                      take back the nights,
                                     equality in all things,
a big box office thriller,
a dream we can't wake up from
and if it comes to
                                      multiple choice
it's all the above
                         & then some,
is this poem
                is now done

Over @ dVerse on Tuesday, Gabriella has us writing WAR poems....