Tuesday, March 17, 2015

expecting, nothing --


a man steps off the curb
@ the corner of an intersection
                  his face a mess of angles
                   & shadows in the green
                 of the streetlight,
      
& finding the center line//
traffic oncoming @ 50 - 60 mph
                   stops
                      & throws up
            his arms

like Moses parting the waters,
a player scoring the game winning shot
a symphony conductor about to strike
the first note

tires squawl/scream, metal buckles
booM, BOOm, bOOM goes the bass drum,
cars dive & spin, smashing into one another
in a mad ballet
                      to avoid
                                           him.

woodwinds, woodwinds, woodwinds
a hub cab crosses the road in a straight line bisection,
alone & unafraid

airbags burst
out their hidden compartments, horns
blare, (there are no fireball emplosions//special effects
cause this is no movie) glass
                                        tinkles
                          on the
            asphalt,
PERcussion.
oil, gas& wiper fluid mix
a cocktail in the cracks,

heads bow
& he stands there               unscathed

lowers his arms,
adjusts the bag on his shoulder, as if the weight
might be cutting off             circulation
& continues the rest of the way
a-cross

"What the hell was that?"
a guy yells out his downed window/ pissed off
& oblivious cars still coming

the man looks 
over his shoulder, lips & teeth---

"What did you expect?"
he shoots back & keeps walking,
deeper into the parking lot,

sirens wailing,
             in the distance,
                  as our turn comes
               @ the cross
     street, getting
the green

& the wind blows our tune---


for dVerse

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

while i could read your hand, your eyes tell me more ---

photo from wikimediacommons


I should go see Sister Rose, the gypsy
fortune teller  & her sisters -- she had eyes
like a thunderstorm on the prairie,
hands like a wheat field ---

my cousin bought us each a session
for $20, and according to her---

i'd be a rock star

but now, i coach girls soccer,
surprising, what with all my experience,
two years in middle school as an asthmatic
full back ---

there were games i could barely walk,
from lack of oxygen, the world retreating
to pin pricks

i have this girl, a bit overweight, lacking
coordination, the first day
she said ---

"this is the most social engagement
i've ever had"

we've already been through tears,
the ball caught her mid calf & you'd have thought
her leg fell off

"MEAN BALL"

she lashed out, & she's always last,
loping back to the line, kicked beehives eyes,
surprised at herself, but making it ---

she's an easy favorite, because it's not effortless,
as with the long-legged gazelles
tearing down the field

we used to get bottle neck turtles out back
at our house in florida, they'd rise from the lake,
coated in slime, moving slow
across the grass --- my son toddled
on barely stable legs, reaching
for the monster

nearly as large as him,
eyes wide enough to fall in,
& sometimes,
                    --- we did.


for PJ

Monday, March 9, 2015

confession is good for the weak, so i do ---

photo by frankieleon


somewhere, in the back of my mind
a still small voice always reminds
me
      this ----
               is not going to work out
      & that ----
                  is what keeps me
                                          going.



for dVerse

Saturday, March 7, 2015

i've grown soft ---


my hands ache // are black
as miners', one knuckle busted
on a shard & the blood

dries, red to mud,
like a river that's lost
its flow---

is not always apparent
to the naked
eye & if you
push your cupped fingers
a few inches into the loam,

like one of the big yellow earthmovers
excavating a pad, so the foundation can be
poured for the new neighbor's house,

you find the river
never left, only turned inward & still
veins, as it returns to the ocean (as all things)---

as this ice,
flash frozen in the night, into jagged teeth
after the county trucks pushed clear
the road, will eventually---

i lean into the shovel handle
& try not to

rub the remnants
of salt/soil//gravel///exhaust
in my eyes
                the trickle of melt
makes the rocks glitter & air
trapped
              beneath the ice
         in bubbles defies
    gravity, the pull
downhill -- works
      its way back up,
             to  the surface
                        in silent
                               ex-
                              hal-
                            a-
                               tion-
                                       s


for PU

Friday, March 6, 2015

at times i say planierraupe just for fun, and other times i mean it ---


photo by derek lee


life is a beach

which is to say,
it is never the same, sand
turned by tides // taken // replaced
somewhere down the line
that separates

the ocean
from us, or across it
to other continents // older
countries

& soon enough,
even though the texture
still pushes through the paint,
it becomes a woman
and a cat

just the hint of a tree
in the blue //
                    but it's not

"it doesn't look right."

"who's to say?"

i am sure the beach
doesn't ---

taking footprints
with its wet tongue
& sending them
                  on
                     & on

Thursday, March 5, 2015

i protest --- (social media)


platitudes, common place kiss-assitudes,
words, neither half full or empty //
                                       the cups cracked
& spilt in your lap, be luke-warm
                     I'LL SPIT YOU OUT ---

                             you need a map
to negotiate
your way around the issues today //
i wonder if people believe half what they say,
or just appreciate wagging their lips
expecting a captive audience
as if ---
     our treasure is buried in this present heaven,
of car bombs & terrorists,
            their mouth has a loaded clip,
is half cocked --- having half baked
any truth they once thought

we sell opinion as facts
to our kids, in plastic bags
                    & second place trophies,
where everyone's a winner,

denying reality
as long as it promotes self-esteem,
a dream ---
           & a fall farther than Icarus
                  when the wings melt off,
                         but ain't no one willing
to take a bullet
                    for nothing,
                              much less a scratch,
our palms pierced to be cross
a busted knuckle
                 or what passes for work,
cause even sitting on it
                someone will kiss my ---

i protest ---

platitudes, common place kiss-assitudes,
of words, neither half full or empty //
                                       the cups cracked
& spilt in your lap, be luke-warm
                     i'll spit you out ---

our quest for peace
wars our thoughts processes each breath,
past the heart, up the throat, down the tongue
across our teeth//take the teeth
take the teeth,
                     i'll bite
the apple
               violent,
& speak
                                           peace.


photo by el payo

for dVerse - both abhra & anna's prompts

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

lynchburg, not the place with the lemonade

photo by Boston Public Library


The first time i saw him was on the viaduct,
the bridge into town, just down
from where the boxer used to battle the stop sign.

it was a coke bottle then,
balanced atop his head as he tight roped
the median,
                  dark mahogany skin cracked
by white teeth, he was laughing in a joy
few this side of madness know,
& dirty as hell,
                      shuffling
along, arm out
as if he could fall

further

& then,
under the rail bridge,
in the same grungy pants,
tossing a tennis ball
                               up
to meet the crest
of the sun
              & it falling
to rest
         on his head

maybe he had a show once,
or played parties, or a family he entertained
on Sundays & all other days that end in sundowns,
always so happy,

                        i served him once
at the Kitchen, downtown, he was ---

different,
"what, you ain't got no sugar for my coffee?"
                         ---brusk,
"well, go get me some"
                   ---laughing, to the other men,
gathered round plates of chicken,
corn, green beans out of cans by enough different
names, they probably qualify as a mixed drink,

i still look for him though,
crossing town, in places you shouldn't suspect,
laughing, carrying on like a clown,

balancing something,
                  always something.

for PJ, where I will be hosting this evening --- writing about LOCAL characters, places, spices that bring our towns to life.