Saturday, August 30, 2014

the curse of instant replay

photo by


i always wonder
how
they got here

the ones that can't read // can barely
spell their own name & no one has yet
to notice---

i sit at the desk in the back
of the field house // coach's office
uploading game film @ 10 pm

so the crew can watch it over
& over, til 2 am, re-living each down,
snap, lost fumble & re-considering what
we could have done different

the air tastes like four quarters of sweat
uniforms & jock straps

as the computer turns,
i unfold his paper from my back pocket,
pick apart the heiroglyphs born of a primal place
in the mental cavern where cave painting depict the day
& we all want to be heard

JONAHEN (if the T is there,
it's hidden)

Ptolemy's harem sabre cider squird...
(and there is more, in the scrawl of whirling curs-ive)

& this is from math class so what's the point,
isn't it
           all numbers & a letter here and there as a variable?
maybe a radical, lines & angles
                                               & so what a kid can't
                                  read,
at sixteen, it's
                  too late // & he'll
never need it
                  as a farm hand // & you do know how much
work it would take to turn

Ptolemy's harem sabre cider squird...

to

In the Pythagorean Theorem, sides are squared

& how many have tried // or just blind eyed,
passed him on // passed on him &

                         ping*

the upload is done & i refold the wet creases
lift my bones on aching knees, pop

a text FILM IN as i cross the floor mat
& one day his kids will sit on his lap, ask
for a story
                & i step into the night
         & breath
                     easy, the empty field,
the goal post in the moon light

come monday,
we'll find
that T.

for OLN @ dVerse....doors open at noon

Thursday, August 28, 2014

heaven is the stairway to the left (by the ladies room)

photo by Scot Creswell

i've run the course on bootleg Zeppelin cassettes
all live concerts
pop'n scratch wind warbles & a disembodied voice
trying to bum cigarettes

over other crowd noise,
vocals & rifts, raw as fish
at the sushi bar --- the faint hint
of the cross on the stone faced chef's mouth, at joys

he takes in the art of parting flesh, the glint
in his eye as the knife works --- on instinct
finding the flow of tires the asphalt
where the road bends & the woodwinds

join in, through downed windows, exalt-
ing ten years gone & all the assembled,
as the sun descends again to its vault
below the arboreal cathedral threshold,

halt
breath held
ass clenched
as the car roars over the hill & far away /// Orion drops his belt

letting the moon out
& night falls, like a sequined dress in all its splendor
& i, now, at home,
& we with miles
                      & miles
                                    to go.

Over @ dVerse, Bjorn has us writing ruba'i and rubáyát --- doors open @ 3 pm.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

fall like stars

photo by hans gerwitz

halfway through first period,
blue ink on the white board solidifying
into a window, we all wish we could look out
& see pink flamingos or at least a circus
high wire act, any thing but
                                              word problems
which seem the bane of existence
for students at all levels, makes,
models

(one student covers his ears, every time i say
"word problems," which tempts me to keep
at it like a skipping record)

           & we've already deconstructed
the story of when my son got his head caught
in a canon
               ok, really it was the wooden wheel,
more specifically the spokes
                                           & Alex,
thinks this is ha-larious,

"maybe the solution is to take off the wheel
& make him carry it," he apes,
pretending a yoke lays flat
on his neck

only, at the time my son weighed 28 pounds wet
& the wheel quite a bit more

"well you could just roll him around,"

"but does that answer the question ---
                               how do i save my son?"

as if this five step process could dismantle
the fear that comes calling when my head hits
the pillow// or they understand the feel of the hand
slip-ping through your fingers// falling// car crashing
or some as simple as choking ---

"no," another class member,
the girl in knee high boots, nose pierced but hidden
behind hair in her face with a purple stripe says,

"no"
the first things i've heard grace her lips
in a week's worth of periods---

"good, then lets go back
                            a step
                            & try something else,"

& we're off --- determining how many CDs
we can purchase for X dollars, substituting for S
to check the rate of work it takes to dig ditches
together versus separate, taxes on stretchy pants

& yes, we save my son, by lifting him up where
spokes are wider, no ears torn off
in the process

& yes,
we fail,
we fail
            gloriously

because if we are wrong enough,
we just might get it right,
but never will

if unwilling
to take the risk & give word
to our problems.

for PoetryJam

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

i swear its what i heard when listening


photo by raffaele esposito

Dubious, dire, noir --- this ain't in the ribs bereft
of learned men and their keening
"is we sollen women?", akin my airbrush

dying, will such wonder under tree know, when
drying out, under barley bees lust  
such and the will to make it --- clambering or gaining,

days in rehab to jewels, and such from dust  
you then, get filled in, over and then

(oh shit it's better than a laugh)

guys, we shouldn't erred and hem & haw, shouldn't we been
so straight and ire'ed as them golden dufts

and for as much, we go sin, used and battle bent,
aware in urine, sober men --- tell me, in
au contraire, mission free man deal her
mere salty rum, across the sun and go under.

Night, fill him in and cunning's mantel sign

 (BELOW: original text from Faust: Der Tragödie erster Teil by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe --- retrieved from Project Gutenberg)

 Du bist dir nur des einen Triebs bewußt,
  O lerne nie den andern kennen!
  Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Brust,
  Die eine will sich von der andern trennen;
  Die eine hält, in derber Liebeslust,
  Sich an die Welt mit klammernden Organen;
  Die andre hebt gewaltsam sich vom Dust
  Zu den Gefilden hoher Ahnen.
  O gibt es Geister in der Luft,
  Die zwischen Erd und Himmel herrschend weben
  So steiget nieder aus dem goldnen Duft
  Und führt mich weg zu neuem, buntem Leben!
  Ja, wäre nur ein Zaubermantel mein,
  Und trüg er mich in fremde Länder!
  Mir sollt er um die köstlichsten Gewänder,
  Nicht feil um einen Königsmantel sein.
excerpt from Faust: Der Tragödie erster Teil by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (retireved from Project Gutenberg), as homophonically translated by me --- for more fun with homophonic translation, drop in @ dVerse this afternoon --- doors open at 3 pm.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

how to take a punch line

photo by orin zebest

first inning, he gives up
two runs,

one
when the catcher loses the ball
behind him

walks three
in the second & they pepper
a few hits --- it's six - nil

before his team
gets its first connect, a bloop
over the shortstop
& they're patting his ass,
showing support

by the third it's all
going to shit, like they're
reading his book,

pop, pop, pop,
every thing he pitches
comes right back

no one loves him //
he hits a batter bringing
another run in // beer sales go up
& he is the reason

there is war
starving children
& car bombs

"get a real job!"
one chunk of a man yells,
others worse

cause we
are him

& why pay eight bucks
to watch more of what we can have
at home / at work / at whatever
table we gamble the hours at

in the fifth,
after yet another conference
at the mound (like bitch'n
helps)

"let him have it!"

ball in hand, in the glove
& bases jacked
he looks up

at the meanest darkest
cloud & the first merciful raindrop hits him
in the eye

& all the fans scatter like ants,
under awnings // out to their cars
out of his sight

& right before i take the steps
i see him, still on the mound, soaking
wet, shoulders a bit less

slumped
laughing

cause that
is the only way,
it is.

I was sad today to read of the passing of a good (blog) friend -- Tina Downey. Tina and I wrote a story together a couple years ago and we often exchanged emails checking in with each other. My thoughts and prayers to her family.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

wood hearts

photo by joel robison


i find her watch in the woods,
                                       like i know her,
hands at 2:15
                    & she has class,

it's not plastic, but pebbled gold,
a treasure --- on any street corner // store window
bus stop, perched lightly on a bar top

all these places seem out of character
for her,
             so unlike here,

the middle of nowhere,
among the trees, twigs SNaPping each step
& the birds
        & the squirrels

have no answers, wouldn't tell if they did,
so good at keeping conversations & secrets,

what made her pass this point, if she dropped
it, lost it, threw it in a fit of rage at what it represented
to her // a life lost, a love
                               so
                               tight

her fingers lost feeling
                                 & does she miss it,
                                     running along the pebbled band,

there is no path here
just wilderness

& with no other clues,
beyond a nut, a few feathers & little dime size frogs
skipHop-ing around my ankles

i look upward,

because even treasure has no purchase
on new//found wings
                            & gravity being
the only explanation our minds can fathom
heart matters,

                     wish her well,
& follow
              the light, through the forest,
each tree full of rings
            & unique stories.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

the rise & fall of interchangeable parts

photo by KM Klemencic

opening game, friday night lights ---

from the crows nest // as the camera man
i watch it unfold forward & back

above the masses, air thick with expectation
& pent up frustration // the rhythm of several thousand
feet on the bleachers, the last sting of ache
of last seasons heartbreak, hoRNS&bUgles,
a call for lines to form, a call to war,
a lions roAR &

cRunCHcNUrCRunCH

a helmet careens into the wide out's knee,
spikes catching in the turf, leg buckling backward first
& then curling off to the side, unnatural as a signature
is cursive //
              & he falls,

reaching on for a first down

never curses, can barely breathe // more a growl
like a wounded animal, grunts & squeaks
          coaches scream for the trainer
trainer yells for the EMT

all players on both teams take a knee,
holding hands mumbling prayers,
some happy
                      it's not them

the meat wagon // spins red
but spares the siren, cheerleader's crying
into pom poms & parents at the fence
as close as they can get, waiting
through the burn
                      for an exhalation//

the rain palms make together,
when he raises a hand
as they load him in,

off
they pull,

a whistle blows

i push the button,
find the ball &
                        zoom in

ignoring the ache in my own knees
from a brush with the ghost
of lost dreams

                             focus
                   instead
on the next hero to rise
& face the teeth
of
the
machine.

Over @ dVerse, Victoria has us writing on patterns --- both as a subject and how we write...i tried addressing both a bit --- how quickly our heroes get replaced eh? in business, in life, in sports...and there is always another superstar waiting in the wings for the eventual fall...doors open at 3 pm.