Thursday, December 30, 2010

55 - untitled song lyrics

grey sky morning
burned blue by the sun
a new year is come

sealed with a kiss
the last one done
a new year is come
a new year is come

sing me no songs of yesterday
those days i've already known
and tomorrows too far for me to see
until todays had it's run

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Just some random lyrics running through my head tonight, i can even hear the music for it...hope everyone has a wonderful new year's safe...see you on the flip side.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

yo. yo. man.

yo. yo. man.

we travel up
& down
cats cradle
(rock the baby)
walking the dog until
we have traveled
around the world
back again &
ready we
shoot the moon.

it's so far
so far

(jerk. jerk.)

up & down again
at the whim
of the finger
tied at the other end
of this umbilical
then slip
trick missed
left spinning
dangling haphazard
slow hanging

yo. yo. man.

wind me up

yo. yo. man.

don't leave me

i watch the old man, beard blending yellow, wrap the string with care through the middle, just enough tension to keep it stable, but allow it room to play. his crease wizened eyes twinkle as he sends the cosmos spinning once again, letting it roll off the end of his finger. we travel up & down...

yo. yo. man.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

one shot: timing & mix tapes

we made mix tapes
to commemorate moments,
spending hours putting them
together, running tapes forward
and back, sifting through shoe
boxes of recordings seeking the
perfect song, to set the mood
& switching them in & out, hitting
play & play & record in a
synchronized finger dance to
not leave a long pause or catch
a snippet of the wrong song
breaking the feeling generated,
yes timing was everything

(these are the things you
will never understand now
that all it takes is ripping
music straight from the CD
or downloading direct &
arranging in minutes)

yes timing was everything
cause it took time & effort
if you "wanna know what
love is" just remember
"every rose has it's thorn"
which seemed like a bad omen
but made its way onto every
one i ever made, but the dream
was if you got it just right, it
might win her heart & not end
up in the weeds by the side of
the road, brown tape unspooling
in the breeze, after friday night

& nothing was worse than
finding the one you just made,
trash bag in hand for adopt-a-
highway, community service
beer can, beer can, mix tape
strewn by the side of the road
we'd pick up, wishing it would rain
to hide the feeling generated
in that long pause as you held
yours in your hand realising
the song is done and you are
just waiting for the pop of
the tape having reached its end,
yes, timing was everything.

ragged pencil in hand we'd try
to wind it back tight the whole
time knowing it would never
play the same again having
flown from the window, its
wings clipped by the same
fingers that once entwined yours,
but it did not deter us from once
more doing the dance on the
buttons with our fingers, finding
the perfect song & winning the
heart of the girl because
it was just a matter of time &
yes, timing was everything

One Shot Wednesday - a poetic flashmob, write a poem, come join us for the last one of the year! And to all those that participate each week, thank you for your support. The new year is only going to see One Stop getting better and better. Glad you are on the journey with us.

Monday, December 27, 2010

& the line moves

young man, blue jeans and green shirt, dock shoes, elbow on his knees, leans in, waving his hand accentuating each word for his lover, eye lids fill with the weight of the conversation, ready to spill desperation, leaking down his cheek.

"it's more than the sex..." the line moves.

a middle aged couple, lost in their own conversation, slip between me and the scene unfolding. she leans into him, lips parting at his ear, her words a breath, he smiles, hand sliding from her shoulder down, pausing lightly at her elbow.

"good morning, what can i get for you today?" the line moves.

kicked back, relaxed, white shirt & gym shirt, in deference to the cold outside, he sits passive to his lover's plea. the line moves.

tap. tap. tap. cane's rap across the floor, eyes ringed in creases, they settle in comfortable seats, he into his book as she sips. cup to lip, stolen looks like letters to each other. the line moves.

my fingers find the warm walls of my cup of coffee & play at the seam, where the cardboard comes together. bells rattle on the door announcing another coming, another going & the line keeps moving.

& the line keeps moving.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

160 + 160/Sunday Sketch - Great Expectations

amid discarded balls
of brightly colored
wrapping paper,
of what holidays
could or should
have been---

gathering the refuse,
we carry it
to the fire

& watch ashes rise,

walking away,
when the remainders
refuse to even smolder.

What can you say in 160 characters? (spaces included) go see Monkey Man...and ok, so i took twice as many characters...its a 320...smiles. And for my friends at Sunday Sketches, a watercolor...

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

55 - lighting up

christmas lights,
fallen fireworks
still burning on the shores
of these roads our cars row

why is it we choose
to light the night only
one season a year?

perhaps they would be less special,
not as bright, forgotten as
we drove along on our way
to wherever

i have seen it
with other things


Tell a story in 55 words, then go tell g-man. Yes, I know I am early, it does not open until 8 pm EST...I am on holiday time, forgive me....smiles.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

twas a couple nights before christmas...

nothing special, we sit, pushing cars around a make believe town created by blocks and talk about the holiday. he won't see his dad, hasn't seen him much in a year, hung up on him the other night. "it doesn't matter," he says, but it does.

he crawls across the floor, stumps, where legs once lived, pushing him along. his wish list is not great, he does not expect much. a stack of packages balances precariously against the wall between the couch and the kitchen table, brought by people he does not know. his brother is jealous, but he reassures him that they will share whatever is behind the shiny paper.

rounding the corner, a blue camaro pulls into a driveway by the lego house and he looks up at me, his brown eyes plumbing mine. pushing his body into sitting position, he lopes his one good arm awkwardly across my shoulder, the nest of his nappy hair pressing into my face.

"you my best friend, you know."

i sit in the moment, while he goes back to pushing the cars around the neighborhood on the faded plastic map, creating life out of little pieces of plastic, stuck together. tucking his words into my pocket, i will pull them out on hard days, when he is telling me to go away, when he is yelling obscenities, when he is throwing things at me and remember a precious christmas gift.

better than anything you can wrap...

Monday, December 20, 2010

one shot: today

she is just a girl
but today is different

daydream walking
she spies an old gas can
name emblazoned in
red & yellow on the side
marred by cracks,
large sections of paint
peeled back, eaten away
by rust runnels running
through in red brown streams
puddling in the whirls
of concrete fingerprints
on the side walk beneath

& everything in her wants
to feel its weight, sloshing
to and fro from her fingers
like the last time, cracking
the lids grip and spilling it,
all over, watching it burn
entranced, it was just a
regular day until now...
but now sits on her chest,
seven stone, & tries to escape

twitch, twitch, the itch,
she reads the words etched
in her arm from before, the
razors hiss, sweet kiss giving
air to her lungs, even for just
a it, do it, take a hit...
the tiger stalks her thoughts
ready to pounce on any scared
rabbit that runs out, pant,
sweat, breathe, please...

but today is different
she is just a girl
but today is different
because she keeps on walking
& today is different
because she knows
she is not alone

daydream walking
into today, it's a new day

One Shot (not quite) Wednesday - It's holiday time so we are starting the party early and leaving the doors open late. It opens around noon EST on Tuesday....write a poem, I'll see you there.

Also, its the last One Shot that is eligible for entry into the running to be in our first anthology. What you did not hear about that...well you better jump over now and check it out.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

160/SS - declaration of dependence

paycheck to paycheck
where is it spent,

"we hold there truths
to be self-evident"

follow your money
& you'll know
who your massa is

all men created
equal & all

What can you say in 160 characters? Go to Monkey Man. And for my friends at Sunday Sketches, a pen & ink I did of Monticello, about 20 years ago. It is actually done to scale. I am traveling this weekend and left the art materials at home so enjoy the blast from my past.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


reading Bukowski, at a high top table by the coffee shop in the bookstore, a man's voice, but little, pricks my ears, pulling my eyes from the prose...

"i like your mohawk."

"thank you"

"i guess people look at you different, huh?'

"oh, i don't know. as long as i am comfortable with it, right?"

"i used to have one, six months ago. they called me last of the mohicans."

"i guess people will think what they want, you just have to decide if you mind."

gap toothed, fro tight, he's maybe five-six, mid-twenties, festive scarf around his neck, bright as the grin on his face. one eye drifts just enough to notice...

"you are not from around here are you?"

"i grew up not too far from here but i have lived up and down the coast. how about you?"

"oh, i have always lived in the south, but here is where i have been mostly. i would not mind living in South Carolina or Atlanta. i like the warm feel of the people."

"both are nice places."

"yeah i don't know that i could live in a place like New York. they might make fun of me cause i am different."

"New York is pretty cool, i have visited there. lots to do. lot of art. lot of different people. i think you might be alright."

"i just don't think i would fit."

wiping his hand on his jeans, he extends it in expectation, his skin a bit dry as i take it. we exchange first names and i invite him to sit. i don't know him, but i see in him he just needs to fit somewhere and for twenty minutes, it's at a high top table by the coffee shop in a bookstore.

just him and me, as the world blurs around us.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

55 - love & rocks

what is love...

(many have asked)

...that one minute
it tears the heart
from your chest, squeezing
& the next be
the very blood
it is beating

(tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump)

i toss rocks
at your window
hoping you hear,
and if so, that
you want to
open it, to me.

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


perhaps this is it,
someone's last hope
dumped overboard

washed upon shore
waiting to be found,
still learning to fly,

only so high inside,
dreaming beyond
these invisible walls, i.

quick, find a rock, break
the glass, release me
once more to dance

among the clouds until
a gentle breeze carries
me across horizon's line

artwork by tera @ olive hue designs, who commented last week that she would like to do a pic based on one of my poems...i just beat her to it by selecting one of her pictures. do drop over and pay her a visit.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

one shot: an evening visitor

stale cigarette smoke pokes
its finger in my nose from
somewhere over my shoulder
and though i am alone i know
you are here again, hiding in
my shadow, old bones rattling
along my neck as you pass by
leaning your scythe in the corner
on your way to the refrigerator

door open the light reflects
in your hollows, for who have
you come, is it my time or
that of one i love
, but you just grin
lipless settling into the chair
sipping egg nog as if you were
invited, and if i ask you
would not answer anyway, this
is the nature of our relationship

sated, you place your empty
glass in the sink, robe swirling
as you move to leave, don't go,
for i know someone waits, another
unready, but you will take them
anyway, and i can't stop you if i
try so i just follow out the door
into the night, watching you
drift between the street lights

just checking in, maybe i imagine
you throw over your shoulder,
as you light up, off to find a
midnight lover and steal her
breath with a kiss, leaving me
in tension and a sad kind of relief
as tears drip, drop to shatter
in the moon light like stars
on the cold concrete sidewalk.

One Shot Poetry - Write a poem, come join us. The fun begins at 5 PM EST.

Monday, December 13, 2010


bright the lights stay festooned in the corner...& she not so much takes that stage as finds herself on it...shirt hanging barely by her bones...a shroud...a step...that takes forever all in one second & her lips....her lips let spill the broken road...feelings in torrents, sand papers our faces...raw with her story...Daddy don't...Daddy no...a baby born too early...a baby born too late...finding solace in the arms of her lesbian lover...still the need...look at me...what i have become/what have i become..look at me...won't you just me....shaking now, she...draws to a close with words that whip heads & puree hearts...& i have to put a number on a dry erase board to tell her how she did...who she is...another person judging her performance...another person ignorant, except for 3 she steps from the stage and fades into the blackness...unnoticed...

side street art one on the streets...except shadows that creep...around cracks in the door...its dark in here...hard to see...except in the light...when you step to the mic...& one day...maybe...she will believe again, in...herself & not need...another to define her...& tell her....things she never heard...& won't fall on deaf ears...who she is...who she be...

Over at One Stop today, I am highlighting the poet of the Detroit streets, The Walking Man, who helped me find slam, and his new book The Line Between.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

160/SS - city of angels

hand in your back pocket
my other stirs the heavens,
as we
traipse among the stars
i in bare feet
so as not to miss
a single sensation
of our time together.

What can you say in 160 characters? Go tell Monkey Man. and an unfinished colored pencil sketch to accompany for Sunday Sketches.

Had a great time tonight with Richmond Slam Poetry. Will be back in town tomorrow afternoon and play catch up. Hope everyone has a great Sunday.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

55 - back bumper soap box stone flinger

i saw the bumper sticker
on your car today

(freedom of speech)

& wonder when love
became a cat o' nine tails
striping the backs of those
deemed different, whose life
circumstances, not as
lily white, robbed them
of your grace

& i hope

your god has a special place
for bigots posing as zealots.

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see g-man.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

peace on earth

the night of the college talent show
i went to watch, not participate
as my great talent was touching
the tip of my nose with my tongue
which was good for Gene Simmons
impersonations and a few other things, but...
& toward the end this guy took
the stage, fish bowl under one arm
and funnel in hand, proceeding to
pour them in, then drink them down
with a smile, but he wasn't done...
no, pushing his finger into his throat
he thew them back up into the bowl
to swim in murky water among
the remains of a Big Mac meal &
holding it aloft proclaimed proudly
"eleven out of twelve lived" to an
increasingly uncomfortable crowd...
i always look for him at press conferences
when politicians talk of humans
in terms like "acceptable losses"
as if any of them are...

peace on earth...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

one shot: sing me a lullaby

can you hear the lullaby
dancing through the streets
twirling carefree like
a little girl in a sun
dress pretending she
is a butterfly in spring---
but it is winter now
& snow clings between
blades of grass, glimmering
in a hollow sun
that forgot to throw
another log on the fire
before going to bed
& now knows it's
too cold to touch a toe
to the frosted floor---
it's still there
beneath, this lullaby,
not to lull you to sleep
but awake...AWAKE...
a finger tracing the lips
of flower petals, coaxing
them open---
come out...COME OUT...
lazarus from the blanket
in which you hide & we
shall create a new spring
to that slow love song lullaby
you into me into you into we---
can you hear it, dancing
through the streets?

One Shot Wednesday - a poetic flashmob...opens at 5 pm EST. What are you waiting for...write a poem, come join us...

Monday, December 6, 2010

faith, hope & other things

will you catch me
when i fall?

the hardest part
of taking that
step when you
stand at the edge
of the cliff,
toes digging
in the dirt, doubt
roots wriggling
for purchase,
is trust...because
i don't know
what is coming crossing
the gym floor to ask
a girl to dance...
& if i do
it might hurt
but if i don't
you can sure bet
come sunday
when you peruse
the news
my name will be
listed among the

will you catch me
when i fall?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shooting the Breeze

Honeysuckle in late August, warmed by the sun, sticky sweet; the flavor of Chloe's lips intoxicates Jason, his hand working beneath the back of her shirt. Gun oil and musk; she feels the throbbing pulse of his heart as she nuzzles his neck, hand on his belt.

She bites his shoulder, hard enough to snap his eyes wide. He gasps, taking in a cool breathe, the noise of the city thirty stories below momentarily crashing into his consciousness. Streetlights, traffic, shops, all flow together in a glittering tableau, far brighter than the stars above the rooftop they stand on.

Twenty four hours ago they barely knew each other beyond a name, given to them by someone else. Twenty four hours changes everything.

He catches her with his eyes as she walks through the door of the restaurant. She has a rugged beauty, far from porcelain doll but not junkyard dog either. Someone that can hold there own enough, that it was hard to show up and ask for help. When he got the call this morning, they told him she was in trouble, he could see that as well.

She turns once around, measuring the crowd before finding him. She smiles, faint as if they are old friends, not a name on a piece of paper slipped to her by a housekeeper. Shoulders back portraying confidence, he knows is false, she crosses to his table taking the seat across from him.

"Hello. Are you..."

"Jason. And you are Chloe. "

"Yes. I..."

"You need help."


Dirt and pebbles burst into the air, chaotic clouds born on fierce wind washed by the prop of a helicopter roaring over the edge of the rooftop. A spotlight engulfs the couple entwined in each other, clothes akimbo, washing them white. Jason feels Chloe coil tight into him

"Step away from the girl," a disembodied voice bellows over a loud speaker from within the light.
Her blue eyes bore into his, pleading, then turn to steel as she spins away from him, slipping the gun from its place at the small of his back, swinging it toward the blinding light, pulling the trigger again and again.

Bullets slam the rear panel on the drivers side and when Jason feels the tires regain traction he releases the horses to do their job, accelerating away from the men that had been waiting on them. They knew where Chloe would retreat to for safety, time to get creative. First he needs answers.

"Why do these men want you so bad?" he asks the quivering woman in the passenger seat, slipping quickly over the edge of her sanity, "and I don't believe your story about taking money. These guys are really trying to put us down. Who did you piss off? And how?"

She tells him and everything goes from bad to worse

Chloe looks at the gun raised toward the helicopter, pulling the trigger continuously even though nothing is happening. Looking at Jason, his arms out in an open handed shrug as if to say 'sorry' before retrieving another gun from within his casual sport coat.

"It had to be this way, otherwise you might have hurt..."

"You bastard!" she screams, covering the short distance between them, raking his face with her nails. Droplets of blood patter like raindrops on the roof, collecting dust as the helicopter lands.

"He raped me," she explains, "and when he found out I was pregnant, he sent his men to retrieve me."


"He wants a son, an heir. His wife is unable to," she chokes on the remaining words.

"Ok, we wont last long in the car. They are probably converging on our location as we speak, but I have an idea."

"United States Secret Service, put your hands on your head!" the men scream over the howl of the still spinning blades of the helicopter, as it settles on the roof and they disembark surrounding Jason and Chloe.

"Hey, take it easy. I brought her in like I said I would," Jason barks back at them.

Pain amd anger snarl Chloe's face as she realises the depth of her betrayal by the man who was supposed to be helping her. By the man a few minutes ago with whom she had been making out with, convinced that they might actually get away. She sends spittle across his face as they haul her toward the helicopter.

"Can I get a ride back?" Jason asks the Agent in Charge.

"Sure, since you brought her in," the silver haired man chuckles, "and I will let you be the one that tells the President you were making out with his cousin."

Climbing aboard the helicopter, Jason smirks, "I think we both know she is not his cousin," and hands move quickly toward holstered weapons. Well passed the time for just shooting the breeze.

This is a 10DOM entry.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

55 - walmart romeo

if asked (or if needed)
i would climb atop the
shelves separating
aisles at walmart
and sing loud a sonnet

& wouldn't even stop
when the rent-a-cops
tackled me, slapping
handcuffs on my wrists

(think they would let me
keep them?)

& juliet, don't drink
the poison
i'll be right back,

or call from jail...

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more,go see g-man.

Just having a little fun tonight...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

42nd St in the snow

in the empty lot,
over grown with brush
and discarded stuff,
i am waiting on the snow
to come cover up
the chalk line, drawn
in the shape of my heart,
wrapping it in a crystalline
blanket (shiver, shiver
it's warm in here)
but soon enough
i will wave my arms
making angels
to trade for people's
smiles, as they stroll by
on the sidewalk, forgetting
it was a crime scene.

a Magpie Tale