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,
                      shuggling
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.

Monday, March 2, 2015

even the night knows --- (i am proud of you)


out the door, i leave the crowd
and walk along the glass
separating us

to the side of the stage
for the last song
of the last show

you, at the back of the cast
embracing the moment --- pushing
your voice for that last bit of air
in the bottom of your lungs,
body given over to dance

soon, the lights will go out,
the applause will fade,
you'll hug & kiss, take pictures
swear you'll always remember,
strike the stage, stack the chairs
& all this ---
                   will be behind you.

until the next show
 & the next
   & after

in the car, on the way home, you'll ask
for the radio
                  i'll click it on
                                    - a second,
as the road winds
                 through the trees
                          stars playing
peekaboo

between their limbs
        & one hand on the wheel
                i'll flit your hair with the other
then turn off
                  the music ---

these moment
               deserve silence.

My son was in a performance all weekend, so we were running back and forth between shows --- i am proud of him, and i took the time to let him know last night. Have a great week everyone.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sean ---

photo by Luke Price


He --- is an odd bird, always wearing sweat pants
& when the waist stretches enough
he pulls the draw string

up
& around
his neck

making an X across his folded chest,
pushing his belly into a high paunch ---

"what?"
he asks at my look

buck teeth overbite pushed out//all pink cheeked
he's had a moustache since middle school
when he gave up thick plastic

frames for wire rims
that make his eye brows look like dark waves

"Don't,"
i tell him.

"Fine,"
he exasperates

pulling the cord over his mussed hair
leaving a red line where it bit into the fleshy part
of his neck

everyone else laughs
i look&

"Don't."

my anger is not at him.

"Don't."

it's not even at them.

"Don't."

"Don't become what they think
you are more than that, more than a caricature
of humanity, you ---"

"Don't

have to debase yourself to entertain the masses
who lack---"

"Don't. You don't

get to choose

that path."

                                     but he can.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

how the dartboard feels//after a furious game (or The duet we never sang)

photo by Bogdan Suditu

"i should throw darts in the dark
more often,"

he says from the end of the conveyor

tick //TocK//tiCk /// time stands 
                                                still
he stands, awaiting ---
                                   an answer?
                                   a question?
eyes big
as a tower bridge into the night
chasing lines//laughing//joking from cheeks,
pupils searching for cracks on boardwalks,
iris; an old house in the very heart of things

we all have them

milk, cereal, butter, pasta
beap/ beap/ beap/ beap -- they take turns riding
from her well manicured hands to his//then in-
to bags
              for easy carrying
staples to see us through the storm to come,
& i am a stranger in the corner with a piece of minty chocolate
half awake all night, listening 

“it is not the same”

"i got a magnetic dart board for christmas,

and found the darts in my bed last night ---"

the cashier keeps scanning///determining worth
                                          i don't
                                know 
                     either,
but

"i woke this morning & hit three bullseyes,
in the dark---
                    can you believe it?"

"sure."

----miracles happen & sometimes we bullshit
them, needing something to believe in
&that is where i lie
                              a place where
time’s measured in a thin line 
                                       on a cat’s back 
between money changers 
                                         & the bagman. 


for dVerse where we are having a friendly joust --- where poets will pick a line from either this poem by claudia or my poem found here (words in italics above are from claudia's) 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

inside/outside//reside/b-side

photo by Thomas Galvez

i sometimes wear clothes
                          
inside/out,
not jeans or pants,
of course, but t-shirts
usually
             if i need

a particular color
undershirt
               & don't want
people to see the comic book
logo

at night,
I am Batman
& wonder

if we turned ourselves inside/out
if it would not be more honest;
intestines
               wrapping our waist,
lungs
          like angel wings on our chest

inflating/deflating

if you ate too much
you'd spend all afternoon
cradling your stomach

like a basketball,
a spleen, a pancreas ---
fatty tissue

who would we laugh at
then?

"your tag is showing"

"more than that."

"look at the heart
on that one."

"ah, babe,
you know ---
size don't mean a thing,

it's what you do with it."


for PJ

Monday, February 23, 2015

chivalry is not dead (at least not like turtle soup)

photo by Jakob Jankiewicz


i will not wear tights

even if we are called to court
& the king orders it  --- i might not

even wear armor,
perhaps just a breast plate --- to protect
my heart,
               though we do that
                               far too much,

and i imagine all that steel plate
would make it hard to climb the vines
outside the tower
                             to take a night//flower
                             to the fairest princess
(you are a princess right?
not that it matters --- )

i will joust,
if you adorn my lance
with your
                  colors,
defend your honor
                   & kingdom,
but please don't ask me to fight a dragon,

i have this
small fear of being cooked
in a shell, like the turtles i saw once
in Mexico, they sold the soup in wood bowls
for cheap ---

the only good thing about soup
would be to grace your spoon, for then
i'd be in you // a part of you,

it's not so far
from the stomach to the heart

& then,
        maybe,
                   i would ---



for the medieval tourney @ dVerse

Sunday, February 22, 2015

if you find me naked in my tent, walk backward & cover me ---


Noah must have felt this,
finally escaping the confines of the ark,
          the old familiar animal smells couped up
          tired of shoveling the same square feet
          day & night ---

the desire to kiss the first thing you see, after ---
mine was an old man buying a pack of Pall Mall Unfiltered
at the Dollar General, hair down his chest,
a beard thick enough to hide
a whole flock
                      of birds ---

"How you---"
he says in the voice of Sam Elliott

--- do i tell him my cat won't sleep through the night
& is determined to wake us up every hour --because he thinks
it might not be so cold // and deciding, standing in the door
he can hold his pee, another hour ---

---Forgive me,
it's been 7 days since I talked to another human being---

or---

--- my sons have been holding conversations with Siri
& she has been telling them stories which all begin,
Once upon a time or It was a dark & stormy night---

& it was,

another 5 inches of snow & 1/4 inch of ice, last night,
but today it's 46 degrees, in the ice/melt puddle
a rainbow rims & i don't care
                                    it's leaking oil or gasoline,

i drive my Town & Country van like a Monster Truck
into the county dump // over heaps of gravel grey snow
& slush. So much trash builds up when you are stuck.

"Don't make me go home yet,"

i tell the cigar smoking attendant, she an understanding sort,
hooks a cardboard box from the jaws of a certain crush
& carries it over to recycling.

my fingers hurt from playing the Creator
of Lego Cities, I can't watch another movie, for the third time,
again ---

everything is spongy,
all the melt runs in rivers beneath the icebergs
our yards have become /&/ we can not see
the flood coming ---

some well meaning guy on the radio, safe
behind the grill of my speaker, says
"It will get down to ten tonight,
so expect a refreeze --- "

i cut him off, like a car on the expressway,
which is to say, i deny him a place -- because two of each animal
surely did not mean weathermen

& their false prophecies ---i have seen neither raven or dove,
but surely,
              there is dry land around here
somewhere.