Wednesday, November 30, 2011

inside the lines


"i am a homosexual wiccan," he said the first time we met,
in the middle of the park.

the trees did not leave, nor the sun stand still, though
i think he thought they would

my only response was, "and..."

and his, "and what..."

"well there has to be more than that."

and he was taken aback, because he had accepted
the line where most people stopped

got scared, or left and that is where our friendship began.


written for imperfect prose and theme thursday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OpenLinkNight: Pawning yesterday, for today in hope of tomorrow


do you know how many times
i go looking for a CD, song stuck
in my head, realizing it was in the collection
i hocked, the year i thought, "fuck
what have i gotten us into?"

i don't miss the golf clubs my parents bought
for Christmas, returned the next week, to keep
the lights on, i was a hack anyway
and probably would have wrapped one
around a tree when i missed a crucial
(to me only) shot

& perusing the pawn shop today
guitars, glitter and games all hang
tags like the ones toed at the morgue,
dead memories walking, i am anxious again
remembering desperation's fingers
twist of my spine as i was learning to lose,
being broke & and the lines
on all its various faces

there is not much left
there is not much left, but

52.4 billion was spent this weekend
by Americans in Black Friday shopping
for tomorrow's bankrupt masquerade,
but i refuse the mask,

and if i can't find the song, hell, we been here
before, i'll just hum along as we slow dance
in the tree glow, knowing i got everything i need

merry Christmas, to you
merry Christmas, to me

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets Pub opens at 3 pm EST today. I will be hosting and look forward each week to what you bring, so go write a verse, simple or complex, and come see us for the greatest poetic party on the net.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Magpie Tales: Creature comforts


I.

A red couch sits beneath the freeway overpass. Nicer than what you would expect of street furniture, but nothing most affluent would want sitting in their living room or would dare invite guests to sit upon. Denizens of the street have less concerns with what others may think. A free place to lay your head is treasured, all the more so if it bears some comfort.

Scrawled on the wall in dripping red spray paint, where those entering its lair will clearly see, are the words 'BeWare Couch!!'

II.

"Hey! Hey! What do you think you doin man?"

Startled, Joe raises his eyes from their view of the next square of sidewalk, the one after the one he was currently crossing, which came after many others since being rousted from his place behind a dumpster on Twelfth Street. Everything he owns is stuffed in plastic grocery bags tied together and affixed to an old broken broom handle. A small bit of blue rubber that once coated the whole think provides little comfort for the hands that now carry it.

A ratty man, hair nesting in large fern-like growths at odd angles on his head and eyes of angry bees ran arms waving up the asphalt toward Joe, screaming. Pants that are several sizes too small inch closer to the mans knees as he raises each leg high as a flamingo before bringing it down to slap the asphalt. Slap-slap, slap-slap. Each footfall a double tap due to disengaged soles that hang like dog tongues.

"I said what you doin?" the man repeats, through chipped yellow teeth filling the puckering gash of his mouth, though his hands do most of the talking.

"Looking for a place to sleep," Joe mumbles, continuing to move forward despite the crazed man.

"Don'chu go sittin on dat couch, da couch is not the sitting kind, eatchu up n' ruin yo mind," his fingers dance as if to cast a spell, moving in ways knuckles should not.

"What couch," Joe begins but before he can finish the man is on him, all arms and legs, tugs and pulls, no punches.

Joe collapses under the surprising weight, the stick flying from his hands as the tries to gain purchase to pull the man off of him. Old mustard and vinegar smells run down Joe's tongue, his gag reflex taking over from there. The man's hands push into his face driving it into the grit of the road, the small ledge of the sidewalk creases Joe's back. The burst bags of his possessions spill their entrails in puddles of shirts, an old can rocks. Steaming vomit chars his throat and sprays across the grey black toward the yellow line down the middle.

"I tell's you no couch, why you make me hava do dis," the man's fetid breath leaks into the hollows of Joe's cheek.

Sepia pictures of a swing set, his little girl in a billowy dress, with a gap tooth grin fill Joe's eyes, forcing a tear from the corner. The pressure on his head, in his head is suffocating and he succumbs to the shadows that laugh as they overtake him.

III.

"Honey, did you see that man on the couch?"

"What couch dear? I am trying to focus, the only reason I took this way is because someone took too much time selecting the right jewelry to accompany her dress tonight. If there was a couch, it was probably some bum. The city needs to clean up their mess, it only encourages them."

The car settles into silence, its headlights slashing the night toward more civilized sections.

IV.

Clouds. An ocean. Joe is floating. His bones no longer hurt as they grate against each other inside his flesh. Spreading his arms he relaxes, letting the waves take them where they want. His finger finds something semi-solid. A bag? Slimy and cold. Tight weave cloth, rough, a stick, coil in his back. His dirty body.

Awake once more, Joe only moves his eyes, surveying where he is. His feet burn from loss of circulation, propped on the arm at one end of---a couch? One arm rests across the top, a used condom under one finger. He pulls the hand to his chest and checks but the old rope belt is still cinched tight at his waist. He rolls to his side, wincing as he puts his back firm against the back of the couch.

Across the road, against the opposing concrete wall, the crazed man that attacked him crouches. The man's long fingers dig in a ball of aluminum, pulling bits of something then bringing it to his mouth. He hums and chews, licking his greasy fingers, before turning his head to look at Joe.

"I tells you dat couch is bad noose. Shoulda listen. Mama sed listen. Da couch is hungry doe. No time ta listen."

"What are you talking about?" Joe croaks the words, pain coming alive along his body like red ants, but unable to muster the energy to move.

The man is crossing the road on all fours, eyes wide, yellow as the teeth. Joe sighs hard, wanting to escape but his muscles unwilling to answer his call. The man is close, his hand crawls on Joe's cheek, turning the head to look directly at him.

"De couch is hungry," the man laughs, a mixture of screeching tires and steel drums then retreats back across the street.

He is picking once more at the aluminum, when Joe feels the first tugs at his lower back, then the gnawing and begins to scream.

V.


A red couch sits beneath the freeway overpass. Nicer than what you would expect of street furniture.

This is a Magpie Tale.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

160 - i read my days by-


-soil in whorls
fingerprint remnants
evidence of experience

creation's moment
must have been a blast

echoes of its laughter
still expand
into untouched

space(s)

What can you say in 160 characters (spaces included)? Go tell Monkey.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Poetics: More wild rumpus than late night infomercials trying to sell you videos


GRooooWL all you want, nothing wild is left
our elders were felled for suburbs & shopping malls,
they make cages comfortable these days, cause
tamed animals cause no trouble but must be coaxed
to procreate to further the existence, their own
and the myth---

Where the Wild Things Are was never a manifesto
for revolutionaries but the world needs monsters
to wild rumpus the streets, not the ones we have
been left with to run the zoo and tell us to feel
at home here behind iron bars, Sendak said it was
about children mastering feelings, not numb from
losing them---

Do you remember the stars, God, they were so vast
the night we sat and dreamed a life, your eyes
contained them in swirling mass, sparks passing
twixt n'tween fingers gracing each one to another,
and time was an elastic band we stretched til it
SnApPeD with the sun rise?

Who domesticated us? Did they neuter us at night
while no one was watching? Who watches even now
to ensure our children fall in line like the rest?
Did the black rhino know he would become extinct?
So big, so strong and yet---

The Mayan calendar ends next year and mama nat forgot
to buy them a new one for Christmas, the impENDing
apocalypse might be the stimulus this economy needs,
what all the canned goods to stock up and army surplus
or maybe they just wanted to leave it open so we can
interpret ourselves, where we go from here---

when did you last dance, for no reason? For reason
has nothing to do with it, don't blame a limp synapse---

Let me draw you a map on a napkin, don't wait
for the world to change, to fit, it wont and will leave
you disappointed, eat all the puzzle pieces you want
for breakfast but you will never truly feel whole,

the wild things they know this,
if they are going to live they must slip
silent through high grass, it's easier to hunt in packs
and always go for the neck, only then will you feel
life's pulse on your tongue---


Today at dVerse Poets, Mark Kerstetter has quite the adventure in store for us with his poetry prompt for Poetics. One you will definitely not want to miss. Doors will open at 3 pm EST.

Friday, November 25, 2011

55 - boxes of love, packed away in closets


i pop the lock
on an old cedar memory box
we found pulling out
Christmas

ballet tickets, mix tape, notes,
the torn corner of a shirt,
a drill bit,
spill across the comforter

"what's that?" my boy asks
and all i have
is "it's

the opening rifts
of a beautiful song---

listen can
you hear it?"

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

Thursday, November 24, 2011

enjoying the music


through the mountains
the road winds, up and over,
around in some places
before dropping down
to swim upstream by the
wide river.

James Durbin's new cd
wails over the wind
through the window which
tugs at my hair, roughly
waking me for work.

clunk, whzzzzzz

these are sounds you do
not want to hear, especially
in the middle of no where
but the little arm that marks
the RPMs shoots skyward in a rather
rude gesture and the hamsters
under the hood
spin out their wheel
and rattle around as i
s l o w
to a
c r a w l
and pull over

after a quick obligatory curse
i make the call for a pick up
and sit atop the cooling corpse,
fine rain shoots holes in the clouds
of my breath and share a moment
with a curious bird that surveys
it all, looking for a bite to eat.

tomorrow is thanksgiving
and neither of us need
to worry, much.

Obviously, I wrote this yesterday. All is well, car is in the shop. We still traveled to see family. And I still have much to be thankful for, including you and all the encouragement your words and friendships are to me. Smiles.

Today at dVerse Poets, we are writing poems on Thankfulness or Thanksgiving. We will open at 3 pm EST.

And on a side note, Hank wrote a wonderful poem about me today. Thank you Hank.

linked to Theme Thursday as well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Which way is normal?


Among the bricks that make the sidewalk outside the county library
is a rectangle of green grass,

a soft contrast to the firm foundation on which you pretend to stroll
at peace, as if, and if you go too fast,

or everything is just too much and you fail to notice, i hope you trip
and fall on your ass

and as you sit there, massaging your posterior, cursing yet another
assault, see and understand

where once a space was filled with loss, new life exists.

This is the nature of things.

Sorry for the whole tripping thing but i did not want you to miss
and not sit where i sat when the world stopped for a second
and i saw this.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Much love,

b

submitted to Imperfect Prose

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

OpenLinkNight: Just a damn balloon


A metallic blue balloon bats in the wind,
the end of its string entangled round
the sign for Holcomb Rock Road

but have no time to stop
with much to do, so promise
in passing that next time i will
and for three days, keep
making that same oath because
there's always something

Maybe it marked the way to a
birthday party, or escaped the grasp
of a child to dance away, or any
number of things, surely it has somebody
a
history.

Today i
pull the car to the curb,
work my fingers under the strings
frayed where chewed trying to get loose
now knotted, twisted tight and it cracks,
pops, screams in protest
to its restraint, a calf caught
in barbed wire,
howling as i
desperately
pull, PulL, PULL...

'Come loose, dammit!"

anxious to see it fly free,
the more it fights the harder it is to
see any hope

"Stop! I am trying to help!"

it claws at me and i work faster
only clumsier, cutting my flesh
and when finally released,
i sigh heavy
watch it rise, stutter, rise,
stall, rise
and then fall
twenty feet away
in the scrub grass ringing the road
side ditch

its eyes,
i feel its eyes, where it has none,
and they do not condemn me
for being late,
but are pleased to pass in dignity,
no it is i that slides the shiv in my own side
for all the times i promised and didn't
and today if you pass by
seeing a tear in my eye

it is not for a metallic blue balloon
that died, but for
my self.

Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here for one reason and one reason alone and that is to share our love of poetry. Sorry, Big & Rich, I stole your intro, but tonight it is OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets. Go write something poetic, come join us. The pub opens at 3 pm EST.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Magpie Tales: Sinatra sang it


It was at camp one year.

Fire consumed the logs in angry red, shimmering on our faces. Pops and hisses, the wood let us know it was not going willingly, but its screams were unheeded. Outside the ring of its warmth, where we only ventured to relieve our aching bladders, the night quickly crawled under skin and into bones. Those that did leave in search of a tree returned pale and shaking.

Our counselor, the one in charge of our lodge, was Chris. His last name is no longer important. He was a college kid only a little older than we were at the time. Being his first time in charge of other human beings, he made sure we followed his every whim. If you did not, you were made to stand on the deck while everyone else settled into their bags.

This night Chris was showing a different side. For the fire time of the week, he was one of us.

He spoke low, causing each of us to draw closer until the heat from the fire clawed at our faces, but we would gladly pay the penance to hear what he was saying. His words were dark magic, explaining things we had never heard before, arcane and unusual. His eyes may well have birthed the flames they were so close to color in their reflection.

Chris spoke of a man who one day found himself burning with a flame that he could not put out. A fire that ate his body, little by little, that had no means of starting, other than it just did. It appeared and began the job of disposing of him. Chris called it spontaneous combustion and swore that it was real, that he could show articles as proof that it happened.

I lay awake that night, staring at the springs of the bunk above mine, tracing how they joined in hooks from one side to the next. They flexed and recoiled with each move of the bed's occupant. I imagined the pain as flesh blacked and cracked and wondered if it would hiss as the logs had on the fire that evening. Would it be quick or slow enough that the horror of reality would drive me to madness.

I know now that it will and that it is real. It gnaws at me, my muscles clenching and releasing in their rebellion and I listen for the hiss. It escapes my lips and I get a sideways glance or two but mostly everyone ignores or returns to the conversations. Happy, gay and intoxicated with the holidays, intent on trying the hor d'oeuvres, their talk is a dull roar pierced by laughter here and there. They are oblivious.

You bite the edge of your lips in a mischievous smile. Despite every one's ignorance, even fully clothed, you know what you do to me, with just one look. An olive perched on the edge of a tooth pick rises to pass your lips and I fear the pain may take me before they leave if you don't stop. Desperation lays siege to my thoughts with fantasies of how I might get them to leave, a slow burning madness that is us. Leaving us laying in a field of ash, the remnants of all else.

You look ravishing tonight, my dear.

This is a Magpie Tale.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

160 - black friday and egg nog lattes


forget 4 a moment

red ryder b-b guns, tongu3s
frozen 2 light poles, candled windows,
even Santa or re1igeon

gaze full on the face
of Thanksgiving

& her children

Written for Poetry Jam & Monkey Man's 160 character challenge
 Photo by Dorthea Lange.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Poetics: Changing Lanes (or A roadtrip with Poe)

The car is out of control, careening corners
and Edgar Allen Poe has commandeered the radio

Every channel he turns to the songs are so dour,
and between them, even using his happy voice,
dj E.A.P. can't make the news more bleak---

He mumbles something about populous pits
and politicians controlling the pendulum,
or---maybe he said asylum, it was his
third point so i forget.

Looking east, I wish on satellites, somewhere
over Georgia in decaying orbits, a 'little
change in my pocket' and though it may
be little, it is Change, You Can Believe In,
at least what is left after taxes---

We dreamt once, but the raven's wings
blot the horizon & without the sun we've lost
direction, we just sing along to songs replaying
but don't stop to think what the words are saying

"Nevermore, nevermore," I hear, then ask

"What?"

He sighs, "Take me back to Baltimore,
so I can Usher in the Apocalypse."

Brakes squeal, smoke from our tires passing us,
"Get out! I know you been here before, so poor
you burned the furniture, but I can't take it anymore.
You may wall yourself up in the wine cellar, but
as long as I have two cents to rub together to keep
warm and share, I  refuse to settle for a better future
we won't recognize when we see her."

He stares grim, then the raven once more hugs
his head from behind, covering his eyes

And my heavy heart settles in my foot on the gas
leaving his last words hanging, "For the love of God!"
by the side of the road

Out the window, I answer, "Yes, For the love of God!"
because, I refuse to become another disillusioned victim, just
in time to hear a campaign ad come over the radio, so sing
at the top of my lungs---

"Don't gimme no lines, an' keep your hands to yourself."
 
Over at dVerse Poets today, Sheila Moore is manning the pub and looking for change, because we seem to have run out in the register. Perhaps you can bring some change in your poems today to help out. Smiles. See you at 3 pm for Poetics.

All due respect to Poe, he is a favorite. And a nod to Terry Jacobus who was one of the first spoken word poets I listened to and thought, I can do that, changing the way I looked at poetry.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

55 - Fool's Anthem


'Every rose has its thorn'
was a fan fav, we played,

under white twin suns,
bulbs directed at that simple stage,

with as much emotion
as nights we sat beneath
the stars wailing it to the crickets

chirup          chirup          chirup
          chirup          chirup

they echoed our foolishness,
at blaming the rose
for how we held it.

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Flying brains & bottle caps (Treasure)

Logan and his brain

The husks of leaves crackle beneath our feet, trees mark our passing silent in their circles. A cold sun glimmer dancing the small wind stirred chop of the lake, peaks through the gaps in their trunks. Old limbs lay here and there and full bodies fallen to the elements or bug that made home inside their bark. We pick a path that winds to the low ground where the crystal creek spills beneath a wooden bridge to join that greater body of water.

"Treasure," my son opens his fist dropping an object into my proffered hand.

An white plastic bottle top, dirt between the grip. Thrown from a car window and carried by rain, or dropped by a hunter, perhaps just another passing this way, unwilling to carry it further. We have several adorning bottles of soda at the house, but this one was found in the wild and can be owned by him, which makes it treasure.

"Look, a brain," my other son holds up a fruit or nut found beneath a tree.

This is his treasure. More poke their heads from beneath the quilt of leaves and are soon found by probing fingers. They fly well and leave a sting when they hit, but the boys laugh as they throw or try to jump out of the way when one is coming. They race between the trees chasing each other.

I turn the bottle cap over in my hand measuring its edges, tucking my sons treasure into a pocket before taking off after my own.


written for Theme Thursday and Imperfect Prose.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

OpenLinkNight: Truth in adverti-sin

Photo courtesy of Flickr: marissaorton

Tags in clothing are a pain in the ass
and pointless, just a place to put the logo
brand name and no one flips it over to notice
where it was 'Made in...'

does it really
matter as long as its priced right or sports
the look?

If I had my way, the tag front would
be the face of the one that made it, kicking
the corporate logo to the back, I want
to see the mother that sweat it out in the back
room, the size of the immigrant cheeks telling me
how much they made per stitch, and in the child's
eyes a reflection of the boss on nights when
his wife would not put out and he came
looking for the help,

So that every time I pull the shirt over my head
I have to look---look them in the eyes, I want stickers
on plastic packaged beef of the cow whose
hank I am about to chew, supermarket
vegetable bags with hollow farmers faces
and gas pumps decorated with oil covered pelicans
instead of cartoon cars that swill gas like
chocolate milk and smile like Joe Camel---

Let's put a face on our consumption,
because there always is a price

We might...we might...stop wearing clothes,
lose weight and be forced to walk rather than
confront the images that questions our preferences
of human dignity or fashion sense---all us, naked people,
walking around trying not to peek, planting
great gardens but steering clear of fleshy apples,
petting snakes and we'd call it Eden and
rebuke the gods living in our wallets, closets
and stomachs

But then again it's almost winter and frost-
bite could lead to painful nights and those
winds can cut right through you, am I the only
one shivering, who really cares where it all
comes from any way, as long as
I am comfortable

You are comfortable---

aren't you?

It is OpenLinkNight, where all the brooding poets come out of their coffins in search of tasty verse, so no matter your blood type, spill some on the page and bring your poems. This week Hedgewitch is stirring the cauldron at the pub. Doors open at 3 pm EST, do stop in.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Magpie Tales: Seat Taken


Is this seat taken? she asks, her hand resting lightly on the back rail of a simple wooden chair.

What about this one? she moves without moving to another.

The field is littered with them, chairs turned this way and that. Fog eats the edge of my periphery where still more stand skeletal within the grey. Hundreds. Thousands. I do not try to count, just follow her through their maze as she appears next to each. The grass is green but brittle, grinding under each step.

Damp with morning dew, my fingers slide the virgin surface of unused chairs.

What of this chair?

Wild and tangled, her hair is living fire tongues all speaking at once and not at all. Her dress plain, revealing nothing more than it needs. Bread fresh from the oven, butter melting atop, is how she smells.

I am home and laughter musics the air. Moms apron is covered in flour and she is
telling me to go out and play, the bread will be done soon and the kids are playing in the lot between the houses. Green grass. A white clothes line stretched between metal T-shaped poles. Robins egg blue paint peals. Chairs.

Three. Four. Five neighborhood kids and chairs. Music pours out the screened window to the next house. One blond girl in a billowy dress yells ok mom and they begin dancing round the chairs. We begin dancing round the chairs. More and more chairs are taken from the circle, now sat in by those that could not find one when the music stopped.

Can I have this seat?

The field of chairs is before me once more and her voice is breath on my lips, close enough to feel the shape of her body without needing to touch, though our fingers do on the back of one chair. Her eyes promise, silent compared to the chairs.

All possible futures, unfound yet there, topple in the concussion as our lips meet, none of them ever mattering again. And the music just keeps playing with no need to stop.

This is a Magpie Tale.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

160/PJ - taking responsibility


The toothbrush sits
head slightly turned
waiting for you---

to open your mouth

she wont press
just leave you

the choice

bacteria slowly eating
your need for her

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

Also for Poetry Jam, whose prompt this week is still life.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Poetics: a lonely 'n-' for 'ever'


Carved in the wall
above the men's room toilet
is a heart, once branded 'forever'
crossed through & renamed
'n-ever'

in hopes that at least
someone will give a shit

As if they would actually find him
special enough

to fill just the right size box,
wrap it in sparkly paper,
snake ribbons and address
salutations

Leave it conveniently
where first thing in the morning
while sleep still sits on his eye's lids,
he might find behind breast bone
a fluttering as heavy as a Joe Frazier fist
from the fight of the century
with thoughts that someone,
maybe her,
cares

& he tears, TeArS, TEARS

only to find the boxes gooey center
with the aroma of their
loosing

but that,
that is the feeling that births
desperate pocketknives to chew
'for' from the drywall

leaving
a lonely 'n'
to remember

Taking a pen from my pocket
i add 'easy' beneath,
because adding 'alone' seems too trite,

And the next time the golden river flows
echoing the angry grunts of his fury
he will know

someone does.

Poetics @ dVerse Poets - I have the honor of hosting this afternoon where we will focus on word play that many of us use every single day and may not even realize. So hey, you may be a poet and not know it, so get ready to come join us. I won't let the 'cat out of the bag' just yet on our prompt, but it opens at 3 pm EST.

Thanks for the well wishes yesterday. It went great, had a lot of fun doing the reading. I wrote this on the drive up actually and then delivered it as my closing piece of the night.

Friday, November 11, 2011

On the Road (w/ War and Peace)


Traveling today to perform poetry at Art 6 in downtown Richmond, VA. If you are in the Richmond area, stop by, I would love to meet you. Guest posting today for Emily, entitled War & Peace.

Remember to honor those that serve, have served and those that fell never to rise again.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

55 - Dust on the Bottle

 
My parents once bought me
a bottle of black label Jack, straight
from the home distillery
in Lynchburg, Tennessee, yet

all its promises were feel goods,
that ultimately left me empty, so

untouched & impotent,
collecting dust,
i finally
got rid of it

Tell me, by what
do you measure
'the truth' you
pour me?

This was written based on the following quote:

Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.
~Stephen King, Roland from "The Last Gunfighter"


Which I re-wrote poetically like this:

Only enemies speak the truth;

friends and lovers
lie endlessly,

caught
in the web of duty.

As part of today's challenge at dVerse Poets by our guest Zsa, to rewrite a piece of someone else's prose poetically then to make it our own poem.


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

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Solving Shakespeare's Gourd-ian Not

is it arrogant thinking you
were made for me?

in your knitting, each stitch whispers us,
in layers of color,

your eyes, i

imagine all the little touches that led us to this
place, we did not understand

them once, the rent flesh
of a skinned knee that kept us from arriving
in time to meet another, my trip

to the hospital that slowed me enough
to notice

when you walked in, the snow
storm that kept us apart, immediately

after, allowing seed to root, the pumpkin
on the porch is rotting, nature's

ready to give birth in death,
much closer

to the sun and earth could not sustain
life, i don't know

how high this elevator goes, but let's push
all the buttons, so it stops

at each floor and takes forever to get there
while we make out

in the corner and if they 'doth protest', just laugh
as i explain, all of this

was meant
to be.

written for Imperfect Prose and for my good friends over at Theme Thursday.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

OpenLinkNight: It's the funniest thing ever

Seven hours in and near midnite, and I am stuck
in a bad B movie, a blend of Harold and Kumar,
meets American Pie with some High School Musical
blended in for good measure, as hundreds of pub-
escent and pre-pub adolescents curb the street,
strong, viril and young, except me, to get the game

and gain valuable experience killing the enemy
in our latest brand of Modern Warfare. The Navy
is here to recruit the best and brightest, Papa John's
to feed them, and parents, for those that can't buy
an M for mature game on their own, complain about
the cold as the kids run in and out of traffic
and keep saying

"It's the funniest thing ever" after each story
because everything in life must be epic to truly
count or be YouTube recordable then badged on
Facebook, a conditioned response to inadequacies
passed on generation to generation and they don't
mind telling us everything, the budding poets
in the group adding colorful metaphors, even I
have never heard before

"My mother is working the polls tomorrow" get's
a snicker after he drops his response "Mom, I
knew things were bad but has it come to this?"
but she's no dancer and it's not a slight at pol-
iticians, but underlying they know the pinch
of economic conditions

Cheryl's dad if you are reading this, invest
in a shotgun & vet your daughter's dates better,
and Natalie, your armpits are distressing the boys,
get yourself a razor, Arctic Monkeys are the new
scene, some British Indie music thing and if that one
adorable delinquent with the green laser pointer
doesn't stop shining  everyone's crotches seeking
attention i might engage in
some genetic cleansing---

but I know, when my head
hits the pillow tonight I will sleep well,
and don't need to release the spoon
on this grenade.

When this one kid out of nowhere says, "I met
the guy that is going to cure cancer," and pins drop,
"He's in my math class, got 2300 on his SAT
and has it written on the front of his notebook."

cause there's hope yet, it's the funniest thing ever
OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - Where it is not the size of your verse, but what you do with it. A weekly gathering of poets from around the world to celebrate poetry at all levels. Write something, come join us. The ever illustrious and always artistic Natasha Head will be hosting.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Magpie Tales: Re(pinning)tails on the Donkey


There are 46 shopping days until Christmas
but this should be no surprise as the store
decor is already collecting dust, its been up
so long and the sale fliers promising the best
deals have stuffed Sunday papers for months

Chances are if you haven't bought it yet,
you might not get it, at least  that is what
they want you to think because
There are 46 shopping days until Christmas

Do you feel the stress, the need to fulfill all
your children's wants, the guilt if not, 'cause
you know your neighbor will, and what about
white elephant gifts for office parties where
you will drink too much to make it feel like
the holidays or help you forget all the money
you spent, or that you cant even pry open
you wallet for all the melted plastic, because
credit is your friend, and works in your best
interest, at 18 percent

(or was that the 99, i get so confused) but
There are 46 shopping days left until Christmas

Dearly beloved, friends, family, family friends
and acquaintances who happened to wander
in to make me feel obligated to give you presents,
Moore is dead, the ghost of Christmas Past
when our spending habits were dictated by gluttony
masquerading by prosperity and please don't act
as shocked as when you get the bill in January
that he left you nothing in his will, so you will
have to rely on your own will-power to keep
from paying for it, and it's not holiday cheer
the bill collector's spread after the first of the year
because

There are 46 shopping days until Christmas
And thousands of Turkeys out there hope
Thanks-giving only refuels you for Black
Friday spending, because love is bought in
the giving and its second cousin getting, not
the thanks-fullness at the beginning---

Ho, ho, oh no, pass the egg nog because
There are only 46 shopping days left---
until Christmas!

This is a Magpie Tale.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

160 - & his face became butterflies dancing



In maroon jacket & WWII helmet
he slumps a seat in the library's YA section
though he isn't & with

grunts & whistles

convinces me
to read him
Shel Silverstein

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


Met this man at the library. He was on the autism spectrum and when he saw what I was reading got so excited I decided to do an impromptu reading for him. We both had a little fun.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Poetics: BLACK & WHITE, and RE(a)D all over


Between the crease and newsprint
and ads, oh my the ads, all promising
lower prices, and if not they will match,
life sits waiting to be worked out

In cryptic clues, tiny boxes, both black and white,
dictating the number of letters we're allowed, aloud
      d
a-cross &
      w....o
      n,....u
.............t
& with the right written answers, the next
becomes clearer, one step closer to feeling complete,
but one mis-placed, mis-play or mis-take and all
the letters cascade in a jumbled comedy of errors,
who dare laughs as you wish life was written in pencil,
so it wasn't as permanent

Six letter word for 'bell ringing for dog/food researcher'
so far i got  P_ _LO_
and i'm salivating to figure it out, my welfare's
at stake, right?

Write your life story in cross words
and the walls close in, no air, but
always conditioning, as you walk the
four corners

and what do they hide behind
those black spaces, that stare
like blank faces?

i erased one once,
making a small worn hole and peering through
the page found an article on the next, having
nothing to do with the puzzle, a piece
of society

It seems upwards to 70% of lottery
winners go broke after winning, words read,
seldom understood, so stop giving them
fish, but someone better teach them how to

because twisted, this newsprint, stack of
black & white view points, makes
a great fire starter 

and gas stations hand out matchbooks for free.

Today at dVerse Poets, under the great inspiration of Victoria Ceretto-Slotto, we are writing very colorful poems. So grab your crayolas and start writing. The Pub opens at 3 PM EST.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

55 - walking the maze

we weave hedge-rows,
a-maze out front the library
when he asks for a break,

sits on the dirt path,
eyes rolling round sockets
taking it all in, then
screws his face serious

"are you my new dad?"

"no," i reply,
kno-wing by four
he's had three

& he
smiles

"good, cause they
never last."


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


Over at dVerse Poets, Gay Canon had invited Lady Nyo in to the Pub to school us on Man'yoshu Poetry. Truly it is fascinating, so do stop in sometime after 3 pm EST.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

speaking love through stitched lips

i wept

which is the shortest verse,
i will ever write in this gospel
of me,

notice the lower case,
i am no divinity,

but weep i did
the day Art met God
on the street

starting quiet,
it quickly escalated
into a fist fight, on the level
of a Presidential hopeful
debate


you are too controversial,
thundered the skies

and in spilled paint
on the sidewalk scrawled
in rainbow hues,
you used to be.

me, i just weep
in the distance be-
tween, for the loss
of Greater Things.

written for Imperfect Prose.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

OpenLinkNight: wHor-to-culture, the science of plant cultivation

What does love look like in the fall,
when all the leaves are gone
& bare trees
raise arms to grey skies,
finding a white cold sun?

Do we rake leaves in piles,
smoldering pyres to what once was,
mourning?

Or duct tape them back to limbs in pale
pantomime to fairer seasons, pretending
the mockery, our reality?

Take axe to the tree, cut, Cut, CuT
reducing it to kindling, feigned re-kindling
so that it might once more
warm or be useful

for something?

Clear cut the way to thrust a new planting
in fertile soil?

Fools rape the land for their own profit
while sap still runs, deep maybe, yet---

Press your ear to the tree's chest, explore
again the textured skin with bold,
gentle touch, circle round each stiff knot,
climb to its heights as you did
& nest in its boughs, dream together blue skies
under the clouds, speak and then speak more,
each ring earned inside tells a story,
let them enter your ear
in groaning utterance---

still
the mad chainsaws GroooWL

what is love?

Far greater have tried to define,
but this, that this tree might be read and
re-read, a book, until framed in ink stained
fingerprints, pen never resting
in its writing.

OpenLinkNight @dVerse Poets - come sit, listen to the words of poets from around the world. bring your own. share. We are poets. Hosted tonight by the marvelous Claudia Schoenfeld.