Thursday, October 23, 2014

what's in your backpack?

composition books w/ ,marble covers
& stitched pages, one for science lab,
another as a journal for English,

where Wednesday you wrote
a brief scene in which---oh, wait,
a three ring binder, tabbed for each subject,
each a different color & behind them scrawled
notes & doodles in margins full of curly-Q
puddles that look remarkably like---

a hand-full of pencils, both dull & sharp, 2 pens,
one red to check your neighbors paper when the teacher
is just too damn lazy to do it themselves,
an eraser, 116 note cards

definition on one side//word on the other,
a chocolate bar wrapper, a couple paper
clips, lost notes written to friends crumpled
in the bottom & barely legible, safety scissors
& a BIOLOGY book, because that damn teacher
docks points each day you don't---

& i expect these things, cause no one wants
someone to tell them they don't---

a copy of letters by a long dead serial killer,
a map of teacher movements & locations by hour,
5 pages of loose leaf paper, bound as a letter
beginning Dear---& detailing what & why---
your weapon---
                       your weapon,
ready to be wielded

& it's not that my name is listed,
not once, not twice, but four times on your death
threats, nor is it the note i wrote to your parents
extolling your effort, even after or the look,
not fear, but fire, i find behind those two auburn eyes,
those windows to your soul---

this is nothing new,
but i had hope
                     for you
                     once---when not shaking my hand
                     became an elbow, became a fist bump
& you said i was the crazy one,

a small scrap of paper w/ your lunch number,
folder full of forgotten homework,
a stick of gum, unchewed,

Over @ dVerse, Tony has us writing list poems

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

but just bearly

photo by sergio martinez

she is meticulous in twisting their wrists,
&ankles into just the right angles
as if everything depended
on getting this

with tenderness//not the way
an angry god might smite a marionette
string, sending life into chaos

&there no angst
           no yelling when they don't cooperate

this is not a control issue

to keep her life sensible, so she can fit
all her rocks & sand into a fishbowl, balanced
precariously on a Franklin-Covey planner

she sits, legs neatly tucked
under herself, on the concrete stoop
showing wear along the edge of the step
from all the foot traffic
                                 one arm raised,
                                 hand up,
                                 fingers pinched
to give emphasis to what
she is saying
                   arranging her dolls,
as i would, Luke, Han, Leia
& the Hammerhead alien from the cantina
building stories
                       around her-self

oblivious to those of us that pass
on the sidewalk, without a thought
to stepping on the cracks.

written for PoetryJam

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10 things to know for Tuesday

photo by Geraint Rowland

Obama builds a coalition to fight Ebola
in West Africa, as the US air-drops arms
to Kurdish in Syria & Colorado
                                 won't ban edible pot

(So does that mean, you can get the munchies
from munchies? )
sold $39.3 million in Ipods, third quarter & Pistorius
will finally figure out what's next

will never make the front page of the paper,
just kickflipped by the costume shop window,
2.6 miles from his mom's work & a good 20
from home and my lips can't contain a name
i have not said in two years
                                    & what seems another
life, too long &
all the wanna-be superheroes, princesses,
vampires & Ebola patients, in the aisles where
picking sides in a middle east conflict is easy
as the skin you slip in, even if only for a night,
like a bumper sticker decrying abortion is,
to slip the back off, stick & display til
it's your daughter & (insert a foreign
location, religion or ---)
                                     no one knows
all that is contained in two syllables, much less
the history between us---of late night calls
& hospital visits, or a summer spent at the park,
on the ramps & rails teaching him how to ride,
how to glide, his first board, or buying deodorant
as a boy began to stink, as a man was made
in a world he could not process most days,
crying in corners & cussing cause he can't

but by the time i make it by glue on dragon horns,
fake blood, scythes & third eyes, he's rounding
the corner, alone & further, on wheels that surely
smell like freedom
                          & i ache
                              to know,

not what Republicans promise to business owners
about cutting insurance to dead beat workers,
that the Royals & Giants are well rested for the Series
or Matthews will face yet another charge,

because bodies go missing daily, but the blond hair,
never combed right, for a cow lick & eyes
that droop just a bit & news, that he is alright,
but will settle for alive---
                                     until next time.

for dVerse, where Mary has us writing of news, both or either, personal, local, national.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

the raccoons are playing in the trash again

photo by dzpixel

the world

when our lies
don't cloud our eyes

our own

it only lasts
so long

& my son, from the backseat,
says, "the sky looks like
a rainbow

& green,
then just a little blue
before the grey" 

his pale pointing finger
rests on my shoulder
& for a moment

creates a warm spot
between us,

as everything
darkens a bit more
toward night.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


coyote blew the bag
causing the Milky Way---
'cept the trickster didn't
cease & bomb sniffing dogs
circle the school buildings,
cars & we waste a day,
cool as the tick, tick, tick...

written for dVerse Poets - where Vandana has us writing pleiades.

we had a bomb threat at the school yesterday---and spent the day sitting in the bleachers at the football field while the school was searched...about 5 hours...and nothing was found.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the psychology of burial

photo by marco

my first time was as a teen, six feet
down the empty grave that's been in the family
cemetery as long as

                               i can remember
staring up // out the earth frame, dark as the abyss
into the vast cosmos, a million stars away
& drifting in a void, that much lighter
than where i was

                         & again in college,
as a right of passage, entering a coffin,
the last look beyond the closing lid, parting of wood as
nails were driven in, the soft rock of the bearers bearing,
hearing the ropes wear, lower
lower, still,
         the thump
         of landing

the echo in the first handful of dirt,
the next
           & the next getting softer

fingers growing tighter in the soft spot
held by your ribs in the cage of your chest

the long silence

broken only with each labored breath
& the settling of soil
                           of soul
                                of flesh

& just when you become comfortable
with the quiet//with what's next//with the smile that returns
your stares --- the scratch//sCRatCH//SCRaTcHing,
whining sigh of boards unwilling to let go & sweetness
of resurrection's first inhalation

"WELCOME back!"
they hoisting me up by the arm pits & Frye's thousand winds
to settle bare feet on the tickly prickly grass

i know now in a way
i never had.

for PoetryJam

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

the prayer in old photographs

photo by liam moloney

So you can keep me
Inside the pocket of your ripped jeans
Holding me closer 'til our eyes meet
You won't ever be 


Having finished grad school
for the moment

i have nothing left to learn

ha, funny huh?

we are like that
at times, thinking
we have everything

we need & not

can stop
on the interstate, cars whipping by
and be

& our hair won't blow out of place
& we won't run out of food

hunger is so far away
& the gazelles prance, laughing at the lion
too fat to hunt

abiding in old photographs,
denying the fading corners, the writer
at least can blame the muse//the artist lack
of inspiration & lovers ---

god, geld me
if i ever ---

claim to know anything,
ask for an easy kind of love,
& stop measuring the distance between
the constellations

in the freckles
on your cheeks, on your bare back,
the feel of your lip on my thumb

being in your pocket
                 is not good enough

do you ever dream
of Venice?
                    of Africa?
a cabin in Montana?

wait for me 
             to come 

Over @ dVerse, Anthony has us being inspired by music. Lyrics in italics are from Photograph by Ed Sheeran -- a current favorite.