Monday, October 31, 2011

Magpie Tales: ClickclickclickclickclickclickclickTing


The page stares back into his heavy lidded eyes, bloodshot and burning, he forces a blink knowing the contest is unnecessary. Flexing his fingers, he feels tension release from within each joint, then brings them to his face, dragging them down from hairline to hollow cheeks. His tongue dampen his lips, as if he has something to say, but doesn't. A fly lands atop the typewriter, rubbing its front legs.

Taking a cotton cloth from the table top, he works his hands, removing ink and oil, paying close attention to the nails. Longer than he usually kept them, he wishes for a moment he had clippers nearby, contemplates retrieving them from the bathroom. This would mean crossing the room and he can barely feel his legs as it is, just little pin pricks of life along their length.

Stretching his legs under the desk, a small fire erupts in the muscles. It hurts, but feels so good. He smiles and retrieves a crumpled pack of cigarettes from one of the drawers that run along the right side of the desk. Shaking one loose he places it between his lips, where it dances. He inhales, even though it is not lit, savoring the smell of the tobacco as he centers on the fly on the typewriter.

The fly walks a small circle, now facing the page that still rests, pinched in the roller. He wonders if the fly is reading and if it likes what it sees. Kill it, a stray though dances through his thoughts, but he dismisses it. The desire to touch it, to feel its wings, is almost overwhelming. The tobacco tastes sweet on his tongue.

Careful not to disturb the fly, he puts one hand on the roller knob and takes the top of the just completed page in the other and rolls it until released. The fly cares little, remaining where it is, as the man lays the freed page on an inch deep stack of its brethren.

The wall behind the typewriter is grimy with years of fingerprints and sweat of its occupants. Notes are etched in its surface, notes he has left himself among those of others, he left while typing, too busy to pause and find paper. Some he can read and understand, others are nearly intelligible, scrawled hastily in manic swirls.

 كلمات غير      מילים לא נעמרות Unausgesprochene worte
parole inespresse

Gouged deep in block letters he recognizes as his own, UNSPOKEN. Puckered edges bite his fingers as he traces each letter, he is sure, not for the first time. His eyes spasm wide, accompanied by a sharp intake of breath. The fly launches itself from the typewriter, turning a sharp corner over the man's shoulder disappearing from view.

Grabbing the stack of completed pages, he flips through, a river of white cascades to the floor where pages splash in various directions. Blank, how can they all be blank. A moan begins deep within him, the distant call of a train rising into a howl. Abruptly, he wrenches open the top drawer, removes a fresh sheet of paper and feverishly feeds it into the machine.


The fly lands on the crest of the man's ear, crawling to the point where it joins the rest of his head and begins rubbing its legs, which if the man could hear so minuscule a noise, would sound like chaotic laughter.

This is a Magpie Tale.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

160 - viewing heaven in earthen frames

in the cemetery
behind my childhood home
gape two empty graves
like waiting mouths

in one once, i lay
on its dirt tongue
& for a moment
it ceased
to speak

What can you say in 160 characters? Say it, then tell Monkey.

I did grow up with a grave yard in the back yard and there were plenty of times we dared each other to crawl in one of the two open graves while the others waited out of sight. Perhaps to see if we made it back from beyond .

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Poetics: Echoes across generations

Jeremy spoke in
.......................................................spoke in
class today.......................................class today

and Rocky Balboa was a god
at nine
........................................................I am nine
when he lay Clubber Lang
out flat in the third, taking
back a bit of what was taken
from him, doing something
I couldn't
........................................................I can't
........................................................each day at recess, as
........................................................he waits, not for the first
time and...........................................time, like he did the same last
time..................................................time we were in the same class,
........................................................kindergarten, and now we are
again................................................together again in the third grade,
and each day....................................and each day
....................................................through the glass, the wolf smiles as
He waited.........................................he waits
in the bathroom for the chance
to teach me my place, at his feet pinch my neck in his teeth
kissing piss soaked tiles, as the
rest formed an impenetrable circle
of faces, was it pity or were they
........................................................and why does no one notice
really just, consumed with blood lust,
glad it wasn't their ass lesson
........................................................and no one listens
........................................................sure the teacher pulls him aside
........................................................muzzling him for the moment
but nothing changes......................but nothing changes except the fire his eyes, burning brighter
inside and i hated my weakness
almost as much as myself and all
those blind eyes that saw it all and
at night plotted ways to get even.......with ways to get even
that make Jeremy's speech in class
today, seem like a red crayola
.................................................and tonight he glared across the hall
and tonight I saw it all
.......................................................trying to make me feel small
and he saw that I saw it
................................................and felt firm fingers grip my shoulder
as I put my arm around my son
.......................................................and knew I was not
because he is not
someone will listen...........................someone is listening

there is no reason to take back........there is no reason to take back
what WE never let get taken............what WE never let get taken

This is a performance piece, done by two poet performers. When lines appear together on the same line they are meant as an echo or to be said at the same time. In this one the lines on the left are mine, the right are my son. He did not help me write this, more than sharing his story with me of what is going on. And we will fix it together.

Lyrics from 'Jeremy' by Pearl Jam used without permission. If by chance one of them happens to read, know you are a fav and appreciate you allowing this indulgence.

Today at dVerse Poets, Claudia has laid an interesting challenge before us and don't worry it is no where near as complex as I made this. Ha. See you there at 3 PM EST to join in the 'conversation'.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

55 - The fall, of kings

thrum, thrum

my neighbor
waves his blower
piling then bagging
leaves until his kingdom
is immaculate

smiling at himself
he enters his house,

door clicks,
wind howls, laughter,
as hordes
of vagabonds invade his
from mine

and tomorrow he will
once again, engage in
futile attempts to superficially
change the nature
of things

& kings

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

Over at dVerse Poets, emmett wheatfall introduces us to new concepts in poetry for Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

god of this city

between big box buildings of concrete and glass, on the street corner exists a farmers market. awnings and tables, fresh produce from farms shipped to the city array in rainbow mosaics. they fill the air with their musk, of creation and earth, of sweat in their birth. hand made magic marker signs in all sizes post prices, three for this, a bushel for that.. wooden baskets. cardboard boxes. brown bags. scales to weigh the pick of the day. a plate bearing samples to taste.

vendors are colors as well in personality, the ones pushing the sale, some just waiting humbly for you to choose them, and then those that come to talk and if they take less home than they brought, it's a blessing. voices on voices on voices as people amble through. the pace is different within the confines of this space or savoring.

at the fountain, where the sidewalk takes people back to work, reality and the road out of town, men, women and children sit, just a little removed and dip shirts in the water, sometimes bringing them to their lips to assuages the cracked flesh. they are different and the same, dirty, frayed around the edges, carpets walked on too long before replacing.

across the street an art gallery crouches with its back to the river, a man stands outside the stenciled door, wires and pipes, an old motherboard broken in the shape of a heart and a telephone for a crotch. his finger points up as if he is hailing a cab or trying to get your attention to whisper prophecy, old 35mm lenses focusing uptown. he is art. he is junk. all in the eyes you use as you look at him.

a few spare parts scatter on the side walk, finding toes that send them into the gutter of the road. how many has he lost and where do they go to find their own home. my son keeps any we find in a shoebox under his bed and dreams of one day building his own robot.

on Saturday mornings a Hispanic family unfold worn lawns chairs and sell the prettiest flowers out the lowered tailgate of a rust eaten white and blue truck, wrapped in pages of yesterday's newspaper, for five dollars.

written for Imperfect Prose.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

OpenLinkNight: (I'm) Too sexy for this shirt

I have the T-shirt, cause I been there,
done that and wear them daily until
my closet, full, floor to ceiling, spills
out to fill this life, space I would rather
hide behind a slogan, to hold your attention
and keep me busy, not to notice the empti-
ness, of this empty nest tucked tween my limbs
now seen in falling leaves, falling, I'm falling,

Down Alice's hole, where the rabid rabbits
with pocket watches burrow
& multiply, multiply, multiply unmercifully
munch-ing carrots
in earthen dens, houkah, houkah, have tea
with me please, tweedle-me-do, tweedle-be-
dumb, my head's off and the Queen of Hearts
has no need to scoff or send her knights to chase me round
the checkerboard and the cheshire cat just grins
as I eat this, drink that, not
wanting to miss a single



I'm left with a lot of sodding laundry,
at the end of the day when the three ring circus
goes back in box, and no line to hang
it on. What use is this

life built of T-shirts?

Is it
really sexy, so thin the wind blade slips the rib cage,
and lays me
akimbo, chalk lined out, among the


now i run.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - Time to write some poetry and come join the party. We open the doors at 3 pm EST.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Magpie Tales: So you say you want a revolution, well you know...

Twenty four ladies walkedoff the Canadian lingerie football team
quoting Malcolm X in unfair
firing treatment and I can not get
Schweddy Balls

by Ben & Jerry in my store

freezer because a million
moms don't want their kids
to see it

are they athlete's or entertainment
and lets be honest, who wants
to put Schweddy Balls in their mouth
but sex sells and sails ships, south

around the world in search of

Magellan's westward route to the "Spice
Islands" leaving little mystery nor
virgin territory for exploring, perhaps
Al Gore was just a little off on this
Global Warming thing---

and at what age now
do you have 'the talk'
with your children?


and in the uncomfortable silence

I roll the window down to catch my breath
as it flows passed fresh, and in the Escalade
next check the reflection of who mine
are becoming.


only if I fail to take responsibility
and stop acting helpless, freedom
should not be confused with neglect
and when mixed with ignorance

well, just wait nine months
and you'll figure it out,

just like they did
in less than ten minutes.

This is written for Magpie Tale.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Poetics: playing Mama

is a game we play
in'a morning

shirt stuffed with a Goodwill animal
birthed to sit my hip

stirring sketti-o's
or ra-men with a wooden spoon

when will it be ready mama
when will it be ready mama

an i tell'em


real soft so not to wake no one
and we giggle
til the food bubble ta be served
my brother and sister.

an i only take a little
n' read'a want adds
looking for ma' name,

stamp my smoker
tween puffs, jump

DAM, lookit'a time,
get every one us out'a house
ta da school bus, n' close
da door real soft

as not ta'
wake no one up.

'specially not mama

Mark Kerstetter is running the pub today over at dVerse.  Doors will open at 3 pm with an'other' very interesting poetry prompt. See you there.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

55 - All Fall down

stain glass, 
trees break, leave, their 
shards pirouette tiny dancers in 
brilliant colors, brave soldiers lay down, 
fertilizing future generations, crackle under foot 
& blown in the wind, others yet cling denying fall 
even              as they dry and shrivel,                 a 
husk of what once 
was, sun shines indiscriminate on 
ea                 ch &                 we 

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

Over at dVerse today Gay is leading  us on a merry adventure in writing concrete poetry. My leaf above looks a little dried up already. Originally I was going to do a sunburst pattern but I am technologically challenged. Do drop in and see what others were able to shape up.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Someone's Son

He is a snarl of metal pierced flesh and ink, a hieroglyphic life story, each body part a chapter added, still adding. Atop a bag he sits, back to the columns guarding the door to the big box book store, arms on knees and head bowed to the sun of the Indian Summer.

Through the doors, aisles of ideas and thoughts wait for one to take and eat, collecting dust. Fiction is the real winner and relevant life stories of the rich and famous, names familiar along the best sellers. Every once in a while a new name joins the ranks for longer than a week.

Coffee cups guide people by the hand round and round, periodically talking seats on shelves as they thumb through or sit reading magazines they have no intention of buying, but gleaning enough to talk intelligent in office conversations or at lunch. A pair of hands bridge the gap across a table, eyes sending instant messages encoded/decoded by cardiac code breakers.

Music subtly sets the mood, pace, tone, a soundtrack. Children run down the center to their section, train station, story time. They color pages in bright colored crayon to post on the faux tree wall.

[Rewind] He sits outside the doors, his empty hands, palm raised to the sun. An idea once, now shelved, name etched on his spine waiting for fingers to grace, blow the dust off and decide he's worth reading.

One car passes and then another.

written for Imperfect Prose

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OpenLinkNight: I wish I was a sex phone operator

There are days I wish I was a phone sex operator---

I met one once and that cured me of ever feeling
the need to make that call because she was nothing
like any wet dream fantasy I ever had, so I know
I would qualify---

And when you'd call I'd know you wanted me
or what you wanted me to be and would tell me
in minute detail exactly what that was---

Super-size with fries on the side, some ex-boyfriend
you still think about but only when life at the house
becomes too much, how you wish your husband was
or was when you first met, long lost to too much
Monday Night Football beer---

"It's a gas tank for a love machine, baby!"

A-her, A-her, he laughs like Gomer Pyle, or perhaps
it's your daddy you want, to read a bedtime story,
a guy on the bus, your boss or some stranger whose
name is no longer important---

Maybe you just need someone to remind you once
more you are beautiful, a gardener, bare chested
in rubber boots with a long nosed water can to damp
your desert and plant deep the seed of meaning
in the womb mirror you look in each morning---

But don't confuse my motives as altruistic in answering
that phone, I'd pick up and in asking that initial question,
"What is it you want?", because it sometimes seems easier
to tell the anonymous than the intimate, at $4.99 a minute
it's far less than the cost of this silence---

gain understanding and feel like i might finally
stand a chance at delivering, because i'm just a man and

There are days I wish I was a phone sex operator.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets Pub - where we get crazy versifying and poeticizing and just loving on each other. Even if you dont write a poem, feel free to stop in and meet some of the amazing people. Doors open today at 3 pm EST.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Magpie Tales: The Anniversary

Peking Palace is not the best Asian restaurant in town. Hung duck carcasses awaiting their turn to grace the plates of diners turn many away, people like separation between themselves and what they eat. The food is well enough to keep a steady flow of traffic on the weekends, but most Tuesday nights only a handful of tables are taken and the atmosphere is much more muted.

Chris is here neither for the atmosphere or the food. His arm raises and lowers the fork bringing food to his mouth mechanically. He chews and swallows, never tasting. It is a forced effort, the pushing bits of sustenance down pipes to the tight twisted confines of his stomach in effort to calm himself for what comes next. 

Tonight is the anniversary of the death of his wife, and this another echo of the last meal shared. 

The first year after her death Chris found himself sitting in the same booth, unsure how he had arrived. He had every intention of going home after work to a quiet night alone, but that was not meant to be. He had ordered the same meal they shared, completed his own and was staring at her untouched plate when the waiter broke the spell asking if he was ready for the check.

He must have waved a hand because the check arrived with three fortune cookies. He did not even like fortune cookies, and their manufactured messages written by some back room hack with nothing better to do than spout nonsense on unsuspecting patrons held no more sway in life than newspaper horoscopes. Chris crushed them one by one, more to feel the texture of their texture in breaking.

Opening his clenched fingers, crumbs scattered across the table and he retrieved the three slips of paper. These fortunes were different though than any Chris had read before. They were messages from her. I am still here, repeated once on each white rectangle.

Chris waved the waiter over, animatedly asking for more, offering to pay for a box. Cooks stared through the hanging duck bodies as his voice got louder and behavior more frantic. To appease him or perhaps in hopes he would leave, the waiter brought him a box, which he tucked under his arm as he ran out the door into the cool night air.

Sitting in the center of their bed, his bed, Chris crushed them one after another, the silk sheets filling with grit and discarded fortunes. Each one mocked him with insane riddles, but no further messages. Howling in anguish, he tore open kitchen cabinets until he found a dusty bottle of bourbon that quickly emptied, becoming another and another.

Staring into the mirrored window by his table, Chris runs his fingers across his face, each whisker a thorn in his palm. His hair is a mottled nest, barely fit for an animal. Cheeks hollow, eyes vacant unfathomable pools. He is little of the man who once strode confidently into meetings with customers, pen in hand ready for the sure sale. All the trimmings that had come with being a successful sales man had disappeared.

Raising his cup to his lip, he lets the liquor spill into his mouth, no longer feeling the burn of its advance. Five years. Was it five? He is no longer sure of time, other than each year he is here, on this night and she will speak to him. Try as he might to keep himself from this moment, it always came.

A soft click against the table announces the arrival of the check. Turning, Chris is confronted by three fortune cookies in their shiny plastic wrapping, the waiter familiar with what to expect retreats to a safe distance.

Taking the first, the wrapper crinkles, cackling laughter, as Chris' trembling fingers struggle to hold it. Hot tears scald his face, lips sputtering, as he tears the plastic skin. Dropping the cookie, he chases it as it rolls from the table. Aloud crash erupts as the table over turns spilling his empty plate and cup into the adjacent bench seat. He scrambles gathering each of the cookies to his chest, his wild eyes casting about at other patrons.

Cooks yell in chaotic chirps, the waiter appears, grabbing at him, but Chris fights frantically pushing him away. Remnants of his meal soak into the seat of his pants. Their eyes, every person's eyes crawl across his body on sharp feet. What little meal that resides in Chris' stomach forces its way into his throat, hands strangling him from the inside. Duck carcasses dance on the ends of their strings.

Searching his fingers between the shards of cookie, Chris finds the white strips. Words dance in red until his eyes focus. The message is the same. The same it has been every year since the first.

I know it was you. I know it was you. I know it was you.

this is a Magpie Tale.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

160 - food for thought (#BAD11)

i write poems in my breakfast
between hash brown & ketchup

egg wash on toast
salt & peppered to taste

opulence unafforded

17 thousand children


What can you say in 160 characters? Go tell Monkey.

Today is Blog Action Day as well, where once a year bloggers around the world focus on global issues. This year the topic is food. I used to change the channel when I saw the infomercials, but it is harder to explain to real faces than to statistics. 

There are many practical ways to help. I had a chance to hang out with these guys for a couple years and they have dedicated their music to making a difference. Their website provides some practical links to help.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Poetics: Real or fake and other sexual protests (lets go to church)

Meg Ryan ruined me for all other women,
with moans of ecstasic pleasure from some
where deep inside her to mirror the bass beats
of my pulse rate, repressed tension thick the air,
hair whipped wind blown wheat and when she
gasped "Oh God!", I was deity on a chariot
pulled by horses begging for release from the bit
muscles hard and rippling in sweat sheen
in When Harry met Sally, she faked an orgasm

And tell me you didn't sit erect and take notice
because for me this is when sex became
the great conspiracy & I began to understand
the preacher man's railings on forniCATION
bein' a sin and the "devil's hands loosening
the button flies of the American populust jeans"

Actually, I am pretty sure that last part was
Freudian, but I chuckle at the way his red face
shook as he pounded the podium
(can you say sexual frustration?)

But the very crux was 'did I measure up?' or
were you a good liar with altruistic intentions
of making me feel better or riding it out to
roll over? Behind those eyes you close when
you writhe in pleasure, lover, is it me you see
or am I just a vessel for your fantasies?

And men, there may be questions better never
asked or answered but this is indignity, and I will
no longer accept being used so callously, so we
need to stage a sit in, refusing to move until
we can have sex with eyes wide open, we could
tweet #OccupyTheseSheets, pass out pamphlets
decrying the mockery of reality & burn our underwear
in effigy, chant, "Sex is better, When we're together!"

and we will win back what was taken from us by
the digitally enhanced six packs and chest of
movie stars or I guess

perhaps we could start by opening ours eyes first
do a few sit ups and stop playing whack-a mole
to porno so stamina wont inhibit us in our endeavor
to show her why imagination is cheap imitation
to this hurricane, she should stare right in the eye
as it devastates her slowly

because the sin is in thinking it's all about me
and not we and we are the only reason
she'd need to fake anything again

now congregation

can I get an AMEN

Today at dVerse Poets Pub we have a rather provocative poetry prompt where we are encouraged to post poems that are provocative or talk about things no one wants to talk about, so I chose sexual inequality as my taboo to tackle. This should be fun and interesting on a Saturday, so go write something  poetic and come join us. It opens at 3 pm EST.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

55 - clowns in town, shut the circus down

ever lick stamps til your tongue numbs,
tasting so bad you didn't
put it back in your mouth,

just hang(s out),
everyone pointing

someone would have said
they were self-adhesive?

These are poLIticAl conveRSations.

Dead fish stink
from the head
yet the body follows


to crash rocks
bellow, in


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

Over at dVerse today, Victoria has laid down the challenge to mimic or borrow from another poet, perhaps one from whom you find inspiration. E. E.Cummings does some amazing things with word play and while he may not be widely known for his political poems, he did write a few. A favorite is 'how to hump a cow is not'.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

There must be meaning under there. Under where? Exactly.

3000 pieces of underwear
line the highway, on road side rocks,
clinging to trees, crying out in protest
for all to see---

what?!? I fail to understand

what message is scrawled
in the base of your skivvies?

The new ones, still bare tags, is this
statement of greed, so much for just a patch
of cloth to make you feel pretty

And what of the old, worn thin with wind,
do they remember better days
are they tired of taking all your---

morning commute traffic spills
by in long lines & unforced chuckles
cross lips, some honk for thong spinnakers,
re-moved and bagged by cops as evidence
of your fifteen minutes of fame stretched
to hours of wasted time, surely
you will garner a tweet or two.

For what?!?

Leaving us confused as to what
Victoria's secret really was, and was
it really worth it to know.

Under the over pass near my house
an angel looms in prophecy, "Turn or burn"
so I put my blinker on, but only because
I near my drive way &

have a sudden compulsion
to do laundry.

True story. Three thousand pieces of underwear showed up along a mile stretch through town, on rocks and in trees. Police are still baffled, as are anyone other than the perpetrators of this great mystery. I am sure someone will some day get to the bottom of this. Smiles.

Linking with Imperfect Prose.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

OpenLinkNight: Black Hole Sun Shine On

leaves flash their brilliant last breath
then let death leach every bit left,
mere skeletons & brittle skin
they ride the wind

stars supernova then collapse
birthing black holes and there are
lots of quantum details with temperature
and mass, but i will leave that
to someone smarter than me

i first felt the pain just left of my chest
as i ran a towel across my naked body,
water still clinging to the angles, what hadn't
puddled at my feet

it was just a pinch, nothing much but
a mass it was, tender to touch, my fingers
measuring it as if a figment of my
imagination running free across the front
lawn of my chest hair

no, it was there, is there,
is there and

today it turned dark but before i let it eclipse my sun,
i will magic marker the sky black to
enjoy the cool kiss of shadow
like a summer day beneath tree bows
a piece of grass between teeth staring into the green
well before bare limbs reach
for the heavens.

and so i wait
on the event horizon
howling into the suck,
you will not snuff

the light.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets Pub - Serving some of the finest verse on the net, brought to you by you. Today, hedgewitch goes all hallows on us as she host week 13. Go write something poetic, come join us. Or if you just want to read some great poetry, stop in for a sip. Doors open at 3 pm.

All too real. I am going to the doctor later this week and will let you know. Prayers appreciated.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Magpie Tales: The King of Everything

The day the King of Everything returned was rather odd. He first appeared to a bus of catholic school kids, who promptly laughed at him. An elder nun rapped the King with a ruler and threw him off the bus for disturbing the peace, pronouncing him a loon.

His next appearance was to the world leaders at a United Nations summit, where they were arguing percentile points in latest political popularity polls. Say that five times fast and you might begin speaking like they do. They gave him five minutes.

Truth be told, they only reason they gave him five was they were out of ideas to try and fix the mess we were in, everything they had tried before only ending in further disaster. Rumor even had it they would not be getting Christmas bonuses from their special interest groups if they did not do something soon, so they were desperate.

They called a global press conference and gave the King the floor. People around the world tuned in to hear what this strange man had to say. Pepsi sponsored the event, mostly to promote their new talent show that would be on later during prime time.

The King spoke softly, so even the people at home leaned forward to better hear what he had to say. He spoke only ten minutes, telling a story about a wedding. When he finished the sky opened and a beam of light surrounded the King. A hush fell over world, even flies grew still. The only sound was a lone phone ringing, the agent for a certain pop star with very expensive hair answered to hear his client ranting about the poor quality of their pyrotechnics and how he would stop touring unless the heaven's shined on him too

Within seconds, the internet was a buzz with blog posts and opinion polls and within twenty minutes, he was denounced a charlatan. He was too small. Too fat. Too old. Unless you were in Florida, where they decided he was too young to be King of Everything. Needless to say, he was nothing like what they expected, so the next press conference was preempted by Survivor, because people needed a healthy dose of reality to get back to living.

Fearing for their lives, the politicians abandoned his cause and for once, their popularity increased, even if only for a week. Figuring him hungry after such hubbub, and not wanting him to think they were heartless, the politicians dropped him at the Goodwill with a twenty dollar clothes voucher.

After several weeks, a child found him forgotten on a shelf and begged his mom a quarter to purchase the slightly used toy. To quiet him, the mom acquiesced and for many years, after being tucked into bed at night, the boy would listen as the king shared stories with him then close his eyes and dream of one day changing the world.

This is a Magpie Tale.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

160 - Legacy


thin w/ cappuccino skin,
nappy fro & whip cream grin

makes boards dance
'neath his feet
while life


& we
bounce checks
on his future


What can you say in 160 characters? Say it, then tell Monkey.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Poetics: Bumper to bumper

We bumper our stickers to remember
what we stand for, work shirts with our
names on them, just in case we forget
in our ignorance, opinions are rectums
every body has one, and when peeled
layer by layer like onions, tears run rivers
at their intentions, lack of forethought
or motivations & if you're close enough
to read this, back off, get your nose
out my---

SCreeeeaaacHHHH! KraSHHKH!

Oh that does it, if you wanted to know
you ain't even got to ask, as John Mayer sings
I'll say what needs to be said, cause slogans,
every body got one of those too, short & to
the point so it can be tweet and re-tweet
on global repeat, grace our t-shirts
and change just as easy, put through
the spin cycle and lost in the laundry

and one day I will figure out where all
those socks go

but tonight, with the stars as my judge
and jury let the scales of justice rest
on the backs of proud parents of honor
roll students from this school or that,
that patrol streets be-tween activities,

I got my own protest against the in-just-us
which begins with the match of my thumb
on the arch of your feet making bold statements
on billboards rising in red heat up your flesh
where the crease of my dress shirt you wear
parts and my fingers march

grab the collar and pull you close so in
the glow of the fierce intensity of my eyes
and U's even the blind could read my lips
and be no mistake in my message, as hoarse
breath on that tender place at the base
of your ear and neck

"This riot
is just beginning."

Today at dVerse Poets Pub, I will be hosting Poetics, with a poetry prompt that will surely get people talking, making statements and taking it to the streets. Slap a sticker on your car and we will see you at 3 pm EST.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

55 - #OccupyThisStreet

ten trillion butts kissed,
inhaled then flicked, nine percent
of Americans admit piercings
below their hips, three(.)four
million blog posts hit the net,
thirty-five thousand four hund-
red people died of hunger

that is

life by the numbers

stocks up or down,
i dunno, just whats
at stake, 2morrow.

writings on the wall

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go see the G(man).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Up on the billboard

Coming around Richmond the asphalt sings harmony to the tires, which is a good thing considering thirty minutes ago we sat in a red light parade at rest. Some band plays a song I never heard through the car speakers, part of the Must hear Song compilation put out by SPIN magazine. There are a few I will keep ready.

A roadside billboard announces a fourteen minute wait time at the emergency room. Good to know, just in case. It is the same as the last time we came through and there is something to be said for consistency.

It has stopped raining, but the sky is still grey behind the buildings. Brick is my favorite urban color, except the artwork under the bridges. I was actually disappointed when the light turned green at the on ramp after the last bathroom break, it was like visiting an art museum on our left. Someone always has something to say. We choose to hear it.

We are at the point of the trip where silence is a warm blanket on our laps and after a few days at the beach we are ready to be home and feel Berber carpet on bare feet and boys await. I miss the smell of their hair. Two hours. Two more hours.

A third layer of music joins, my cell phone and I fish my pocket and open the line without looking to see who it is. Not that I screen calls. Not yours at least. I must have been busy the last time you tried. This is not you though, but an old boss I have not talked to in years.

We check in on each others kids, how they have grown, what they are into, each realizing we are older than we once were without saying it. Talk moves to shop next, no they did not get bought out, the name change is a marketing thing. Business, as usual.

Did you need anything? Not really, I just thought of you today and gave you a call. That warm feeling begins in the base of my spine and we disconnect with promises not to let it go so long. One hour and forty-five minutes to go.

Her hand finds my thigh and we exchange smiles and even though we have a ways to go, it feels a lot closer to home.

written for Imperfect Prose.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

OpenLinkNight: I was a m---

muscular level 36 ranger with a vorpal blade
and ring that multiplied my armor by eight,
when you walked into a dungeon full of
bugbears, kobolds or gelatinous cubes, with
hit points low and your life on the line,
you wanted me at your back, cause i was
one bad ass m---

middle schooler tired of getting that ass
handed to him by those thinking he was
weak, why is it they always picked those
of us that were small, still developing,
waiting on our first hair on the chest
and well every where else

Everyone wants/needs/has an escape

so give me a twenty sided die and I could
be anyone I wanted to be, and at the end
of the day, when they counted the XP,
Redmond Trantell kicked ass and it felt
good to know it was someone else's and
not my own, that I was not the one going home
to explain why my new shirt was ripped,
lip busted or eye black and lets not start
on the bruises and contusions hidden
because who wants to be known forever
as the punch punch punching bag m---

maybe you're already judging me, D&D?
seriously? isn't that for...for...for what?
as if you don't feel good playing angry
birds, or writing fiction on your twitter
to make you look bigger, collect friends
on facebook or count your blog comments,

trade dollar signs for status or use
your job title in casual conversation, use more intials
in your introduction than an alphabet dissertation,
leave your real opinions anon, maybe even
beat on someone you think
is weaker, m---

man, so tell me, tell me
what fantasy does your reality
hide behind?

no don't cause then i would have to
tell you m---


OpenLinkNight at dVerse Poets Pub - where we get dressed up in verse and hit the dance floor until...well for 33 hours to be exact. So come dance with the stars and bring something poetic. Nice culturally relevant intro there eh? The ever incredible Tashtoo is see you at 3 pm EST when the party gets started.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Magpie Tales: Henry

I hope that this finds you well, understanding that once you read this, that might change but I don't want to let you down. We made a promise to each other all those years ago that I will keep until I am no longer able.

I sometimes wonder about you, in the same way you do a dream of which you just remember the edges, vague impressions like an over exposed polaroid. I have so many questions for you, if we ever have a chance to stumble upon each other again. For now though it is important that you remember something that happened when we were children.

The sidewalk was lined with people that day, more so than at the holiday parades and we pushed through the knees and elbows to get a better view. We hunched there by their feet, the asphalt burning our own, our shoes long forgotten or never put on in the first place. Everyone was quiet, but the anticipation was thick enough to give us goose flesh.

One neighbor gave a yell when just the roof of the truck was visible, a great silver box on wheels rising through the waves of swirling heat rising from the road. It was bigger than anything we had ever seen, towering over even the two story houses owned by the more well to do families. Everyone started talking at once, as there was much speculation as to what this was really all about.

Mr. Keller beamed with a smile as wide as Christmas, announcing boisterously, "The world will never be the same."

The great truck drew closer and closer until the sky was no longer visible beyond its borders and gave a great hiss as it stopped in the center of our neighborhood. A sigh so fierce it pulled at uncles toupee howled through the crowd as the back of the truck folded down and a team men in blue over-alls marched out bearing boxes.

The over-alled men gave no notice to all the people, and the crowds parted at their approach, falling once more into silence. They carried one box into each home and then returned to the truck. Curious, each family retreated into their homes to see what had been delivered. Door after door after door shut behind them in a great thunder.

By now we had moved to the base of the big bush at the corner of our house, just you and I left to watch as the men surveyed the empty street. Each one returned to the home where they had delivered the box. Some went inside, some went into back yards, some started shaking trees or looking behind trash cans. In extreme cases they used what looked like cattle prods to herd their findings back into the truck.

They were some of the most fantastical creatures you have every seen. A wide eyed cat with purple and black stripes. A gnome with whiskers that stretched to his feet. Panthers. Green skinned aliens with long tentacles. They all paraded into the open maw of the truck.

The last they took was a great elephant. It made nary a sound as it floats on two wings attached to its great shoulders. As we watched them push and shove with those prods to get him to fit, the dirt around our hands became wet with our tears. We held each other as with a great shudder the truck began moving once more,  on to the next neighborhood.

That is when we made the promise and why each year I write to you, just to remind you, even though I have not received a letter like this from you in years. I do hope this finds you well.

The elephant, his name was Henry.

This is a Magpie Tale.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Father 2 son(s)

of all the words

ripped from notebooks
& crumpled

or canvas coaxed/uncovered
then slashed

my greatest body
of work

is in
your flesh

Be still
the Muse

What can you say in 160 characters? Say it, then tell Monkey.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of both my sons. Cole's was September 19th and Logan's is October 4th. So I am about to go hide scrambled clues for the scavenger hunt and just putting the finishing touches on the Pittsburgh Steeler birthday cake. Off to have some fun.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Poetics: Pop T'arts contain essential vitamins necessary for proper health

Men carry their lollipops like palm pilots, flexing
with each step, while lamp shaded women
recline on the couch with canned hams,
fine print beneath the nutritional content
can be read if you really want to know
what's in these

it ain't ham baby

but he could care-less, just wants to know
how many licks it takes to get to the center of
this tootsie---

roll-ing its eyes the moon sighs from above
not for love but because they are listening once
more to Milli Vanili, blaming the rain for numb pain
while all the romance stories stay safely hung
on the wall behind glass

an attached bronze plaque reads,
if it could be read underneath the dust

cut the TV off, cut the F&$%ing TV off
too many animals died to make this imitation
snow leopard pattern rug, for it to go to waste

This poem was brought to you by Ford,
vacuum cleaners with big hoses
lose suction per inch and front page
news is written for entertainment
and to sell newspapers

So let's take down the picture of President
what's-his-face that commemorates the last
time we went on a real date, doll yourself
up babe, the show starts at eight---

cause i,
i can no longer live


Woohoo daddio, Victoria has a treat for you today at dVerse Poets Pub. Her poetry prompt is sure to inspire, so swing on by around 3 pm EST just to see what all this craziness is all about. Haha. Smiles.

The artwork above is by Richard Hamilton and is entitled "Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?" and is representative of Pop Art.