Tuesday, July 29, 2014

a flower growing in the jungle

photo by ian burt

i shaved my head
(but 've had enough ashes)

& listen to A Tribe Called Quest rip
for the easy roll of  bass & rhythm // of words over
EZ as eggs & butter // on toast // used to sop the juice
& Jazz in June, like Brooks said, we real cool
but we die real soon, in a parking lot

w/ no ropes, no cops, no tickets

two guys on a street corner, spontaneous
as a rain storm /// filling side walk drains with rivers
to overflow ear canals //& we build bridges

of close eyed kids dancing // un-sync-ed
arms & elbows, knees bent in & out, as an open hydrant
collects heat // & fingers thump

strings & stroke the neck // & old paint buckets
powder drum beats in lines,

soft as baby bottoms //
hard as the end stop of angels
& airplanes falling //
i need a trumpet

to announce the coming //
airdrop leaflets
warning of a bombing
the whistle of air passing over lips
like tail fins & they are not forceful // just
have a story to tell /// as you do /// as i do

& it's that they are tired of their generation
being the glove that wraps the fist
of the old men in power // without a voice
in the conversation

so they sing /// a cardboard sign
at their feet, reads "free songs
to anyone that will listen"

the way a leaf bows down
at the end of branches & prays
the roots are well

grounded & the rain
is making its way
upward //

across the continents
between us.

for dVerse Poets -

Monday, July 28, 2014

this present history // back to the ordinary

photo by Jan Smith


8 - 9 - 10 dark skin kids
(10 years & older)

                 in the pool
& between each


fists in the air,
        & spin

clear crystals / crystal clear
water in the air---

i think

of how they learned this
& my thoughts

fearsome & beautiful.

We are home. Got in late last night. I will be recovering today, ha. I will be around --- catching up with you. Missed you --- was watching the kids play at the pool one day and captured a bit of their play, that intrigued me.

for PJ.

Monday, July 21, 2014

off the grid, going dark, lost in the wilds

i will be gone until Monday, July 28.

we are on vacation and the nearest wifi connection is like 20 minutes away.

i may need therapy after this.

just kidding.

well maybe.

see you in a week.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

invocation // now is the time, this is the place

photo by yulean park

a little turkish coffee house & Callahan's Crosstime saloon
in a blender// a watering hole you wake up in, 6 months later
w/ no recollection how you got there

surrounded by strangers & aliens//of all tongues
a' flame /// but they all know your name
(cue the Cheers piano roll)

& there is no juke box here,
cause you can't buy a poet for a quarter//can't pop
a coin in their mouth & expect//them to get
into line & verse---


i count scars like stars forming constellations
on the bar as my rag makes space for the next person
through the door ---

& someone says "let's write"
& no where is safe///napkin backs, table tops,
the little bit of white space left between the wall braces
(some of the best verse i ever read was written
tween the walls of bathroom stalls)

there's this joint, McGuire's, in Pensacola,
ceiling covered in dollars & last time i was there
the owner was talking about how much it cost
to insure it---

& all i can ensure is ---

if we run out of space, change the color
& write over what's there // cause there's blood in the water,
there's blood in the ink & ain't no quarter gonna cover
the price of what we have to say tonight

& if you find truth offensive//
if you can't take a little guts mixed with the cherry blossoms
& plums, if you'd rather everything make sense
(we'll discuss denial later) or prefer silence

might i suggest the quiet little hoytie toytie place
down the street

cause we are poets & this is not a library
filled with books // written by dead people /// you can return
when they make you uncomfortable & we are about to ---

poem all over this place
in a mess that's gonna leave collateral damage
so if you need a drink///get one
need a pen//take one
need to leave///go on

cause it's time, now
to get our poem on

the pub, is open.

for dVerse Poets - the last day of the 3 year celebration - honoring the pub itself. Doors, 3 pm.

Friday, July 18, 2014

the ode/owed to the serpent

photo by Kool Kats Photography

oh snake, you low of the lowest---
destined to look like a penis
your size, your girth,
make all men envious

& beware the ultra-Feminist
their kitchen knives, i fear,
may Bobbit

in the grass, you moniker the sinister
how smitten,

you are by God to crawl on your belly,
the salesman have milked you of your oil
& left you wanting, like Rodney,

"just a little respect,"
thank you, thank you for every mouse & insect
that finds your gullet, & crop you save
to fill our supermarkets

keep us
in balance,

& we,

we will ever malign
your existence.

for PU - i left this in the comments earlier this week, but figured it was goofy enough for a friday --- it was world snake day on wednesday.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

boboli, under the stars & us

image by renee rossi

i'll shake
hands // kiss cheeks //

share a dance //
danse / danza / dansul
dansa / danca / tanz
dans / tants

sample d'verse offerings
at the banquet table // take

the time
to pick the sauce // spice
that holds each together
& share it with you

what more do we have to give
but words

& if later you look
but can't

find me

check the court dwarf
on the turtle // one fool
alone with another

admiring all others
arranged in their finery,  conversing
& spinning one arm to the next //
regardless the difference between us,
from a distance

a tear in my eye,
it's beautiful
isn't it?

Over @ dVerse Poets, we are having a Poet's Ball to celebrate our three years together -- serving the poetic community --- care to dance? The fun begins @ 3 pm EST.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

who can tame the tides//

photo by Feans

What we don't know of ourselves & each other is discovered in middle school locker rooms. There is no way to hide, standing in front of a locker in your underwear or in the cascade of a mass shower -- everyone inspecting the ceiling, in fear they might be branded a faggot & be given the wet towel whip treatment.

"They are from my octopus,"

he said, of the quarter-size purple/black bruises that climbed his rib cage. Absurd and intriguing, at once.

"You don't have an octopus."

"Yes, I do."

He pulled a shirt on over his chest, the same way you cover a bird cage to silence the inhabitants. I ran the deodorant stick under my arm. He grabbed his bag and walked out through the wood door. I closed my locker and walked by the coaches office to show my wet hair.


It was disturbing and fascinating to think of Kyle at home with his octopus. I had only ever seen one in encyclopedias and movies - like that one which mutated so large it was taking down ships, wrapping its large suckered arms around them and tearing them in half, pulling them under.

The way the marks wrapped around to his back, he had to be hugging the octopus or perhaps it was riding on his back. I imagined its arms being soft and slick like the belly of a fish --- where we cut them open after catching, to remove the guts. The pull & smack of the suckers with each move of the eight little arms.

Did the elongated head rest against his? What did he see in the dark slits of its eyes? Did he talk to it?

The dark shadows on my ceiling held as few answers, as my pillow held comfort. The lone sheet was too tight, the moon to light. Sleep was long in finding my room, for a visit.


"She wore a purple dress, and had a gold necklace,"

Blake said as we stood on the sidewalk, under a tree, across the street from Kyle's house. Nothing moved. A lamp in the bay window of the living room glowed through sheer curtains.

"Was there an aquarium?"


"Did they take an aquarium with them?"

"No, just his back pack, a cardboard box and a gym bag. Why?"

"Nothing. Are his parents still there?"

"His dad's at work. I haven't seen his mom."

I began walking toward their house before I could think, as if my legs knew something, as if something was pulling an invisible rope attached to my waist, a tentacle, pulling me under.

"Hey, where are you going."

I didn't answer, on the sidewalk, crossing the grass, pushing through the hedge that bordered the end of the house, to Kyle's window. I didn't look in. I didn't need to. On the inside of the glass, the perfect circle where a suction cup was once attached marred the surface.

I reached up and ran a finger around its circumference. It could be anything; a basketball hoop, a sun catcher, but I like to think, it was Kyle's octopus, reaching for him one day as he left for school. A wave. Perhaps a game they played.

If he did not take it with him, maybe he left it for his mother. Maybe now, she danced with it, somewhere in the recess of the house. Long puckered arms, each a snake of its own mind, leaving kiss mark bruises on her arms, as she thought of him.


The locker by mine stayed empty the rest of the year. It smelled salty/sweet like old sweat, like salt water
from an ocean that seemed so far away.

for Poetry Jam