Saturday, March 31, 2012

Poetics: Night Mer(d)es


They all start the same
these days, my son, one or the other
the place doesn't matter
   it's the falling----

watching as something happens to them,
each whorl of their fingertips felt
bumping across my own as they slip further
    from my grasp
&

i can't do a damn thing

but awake in sweat, bed sheets
holding me as prisoner as my help
                                                less
                                                   ness

it wasn't always like that, once
i was in the woods, all butterflies cocooned
& hung beneath empty bone arms
tearing at me as i ran, breath ragged
on my neck, of the one hunting

the moon, a white hole, in the black
crush & crackle of leaf and limb with each footstep
drag & night calls, i fell
   rolling,
                       rolling,
           rolling
his weight upon my chest, a drawn dagger flash
in upraised arms when his hood slips
& i see my own face
    the last second before death

but awake in sweat, bed sheets
holding me as prisoner as my help
                                                less
                                                   ness

perhaps i need to lay off spicy food before bed
or anything else that feeds this illusion
i have control over anything
          but myself, killing myself
to spin the world in my own direction.

Today at dVerse  Poets, Stu McPherson is exploring what lurks along the shadowy rims of our REM where the sandman turns tales darkly. He will open the doors at 3 pm EST.


Just got home and had an amazing trip and wrote many happy poems, which will just have to wait until tomorrow. Thanks for all who stopped in while i was away. I will be making my way around to check in with you soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

See you on the flip side

The actual dung beetle rolling his nugget up the trail

I got an email the other day and knew it was spam as soon as I saw it, because the man it was addressed from is dead. Richard died a few years ago and I found out in a blog post written by a family member. I had been chatting with him on Yahoo just a week prior. We used to do that occasionally, our online schedules similar. He was one of those that would stop in daily and leave a comment and we got to know each other fairly well.

After reading of his passing, I did not write anything for a couple days. I couldn't. I was chatting with another blogger from India that knew him as well and she was expressing her dismay and how she was handling the emotions. Richard's passing was the first time I realized how much you can grow to care for those we have never met, but  read every day.

It was a few short weeks later that Barry passed away. I had followed his progress through his blog and even written a piece on him--- ringing the bell at the end of cancer treatment. Over the last three and a half years, many have come and gone. Some you never hear why they disappear. Some you still see around, but for whatever reason you no longer connect.
-----

I learned how to write from a blind man.

He used to come tune our piano when I was a child. He would sit on the bench and fumble his fingers around feeling for what he needed in his box of tools, then cock his head sideways and play a note. He would reach around and make adjustments, then play the note again.

When I write, I realize you can not see what I see, so I often close my eyes and fiddle around with words until I can see clearly what I am trying to say. What it sounds like, feels like, tastes like---so you can experience it. Whatever it is.

At the time, I was not even thinking about writing and I assure you he was not as well. I can't even remember his name but I can still picture him sitting on the piano bench every time I write.
-----

Today, another email came. It was from another blog friend, letting me know of the passing of the son of another blogger. We know each other from one of the writing groups we frequent online. I would not say I know him well, but enough to feel the moment for him in my own way. I stopped in and left him a virtual hug in the comments.
-----

Behind the words we write, behind the pictures we post---there are people. While that seems elementary, I think it is important. Each day when we stop by and read or leave a comment, we leave fingerprints in the play doh. What may not seem like much, may mean the world to someone. It's about people. Nothing else really matters all that much.

I just needed to hear that myself today, as I sit here watching a dung beetle push his nugget up the hill of the trail over looking the city.

I will be gone until Friday night and will not have access to a computer. Be well.

See you soon.

b

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Strolling through Pleasantville

image by Kat Mortensen©2012


do we
     live in color or black & white?

unlike classics in the hands of Ted Turner
it's a choice and honestly
     i like the detail of the second
unless of course, this is a metaphor

then i'd rather shadow & shade,
       where dark & light mix
in a living colour slow dance,
as there is seldom two sides
    & to jump is no option
if you read the signs

(& i so want to sing Five Man Electrical Band
          here, but)

we're walking, this boy & i
across the bridge between downtown & Percivel's Island
a railway converted to walking path, passage
over the James, & pass a soiled, discarded
teddy bear, a matted lump of discolored hair,
           some kid dropped or---

we pay it
    no mind, as we walk on & talk, life &
as we make our way back, an hour later, a girl
    barefoot on the old railroad ties
worn with dirt herself, in a faded Goodwill sun dress
           stares out along the water
hugging the bear

the last of the day glints the tears in her eyes
& behind her the lights of the city
    give way to night,
          pale in comparison---

♪ signs, signs, everywhere there's signs...
do this don't do that
            can't you read the signs ♪

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - a warm place where verse flows in abundance...and you don't ♪need a membership card to get inside♪...just come join us, write something poetic and come on in. Doors will open at 3 pm EST and this week the lovely Tashtoo is tending, so do stop in.

The image at the top is by Kat Mortensen, who is my poet mama (smiles) and the one responsible for me even writing poetry. All because she left a comment challenging me to do so a couple years back. The original notes for this piece were shared in the comments at Real Toads last weekend.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hungry for more

Picture/Art by Bonnie Zeiman

"how is it you know all these homeless?"
the boy asks, hat kicked to the side
as we drift the side-walk,
after the NA meeting

"you'd be surprised
what you can learn about people
when you are willing
to share a meal," i shoot back,

not really an answer, or
what he was looking for,
quietly he turns it over,
   pinching his eyes, curling
   lips in consternation

examining fingerprints
in play-doh, whirls both rigid and pliable
then,

"will you buy me some fries at Burger King?"

"sure,"
because aren't we all---

My good friend Bonnie posted this on her blog the other day and I fell in love with the picture. She graciously has allowed me to write to it. It helps to know incredibly talented people. Smiles.

This is a bit of a follow up piece from yesterday, or at least it happened the same night.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Poetics: Who's Johnny?

photo by James Rainsford
Johnny-5 asked, "Am I not alive?"
in 1986
and we are still asking the same questions
about when life begins

who controls the decision---
 & i have no answers,
     but

it doesn't end there, as we ask it again
throughout our lives, "Am I alive?"
and does that mean
    
            something more than breathing?
does it have to do with making a living?
can we cobble it together like Frankenstein
and hope for lightning? i am---

out back a small brick church,
on 12th street, after a meeting and this odd gaited guy
in a mustard colored Yankee cap, cracks wide
a toothy crease in his mahogany face and rasps
"i love to dance. i means it's just good
(to dance) even if it's only with your own shadow.
we forget that. i forgot that,"

then ambles on down the sidewalk,
caster wheels on his junk filled grocery cart,
     squeak, squeak, squeak-ing
well after he is out of sight---
and tonight
      against the ebony, stars shine a little bit
                 brighter, and i whistle all the way
                          to my car, to come home

only later realizing it was El Debarge
        as you smile in your special way.

Today at dVerse Poets, James Rainsford is hosting Poetics and inspiring us with some of his wonderful photographic art. Pub opens at 3 pm EST---see you there.

lyrics of Who's Johnny? by El  Debarge, from the soundtrack of Short Circuit

Thursday, March 22, 2012

55/FormForAll: A pair of shorts on a warm day


URU-KNO (from an out of state license plate)

 three words on the wall of the train
are passed everyday like a stain
unnoticed or detested
& seldom digested
by those carrying, like balloons, clouds of rain

At dVerse Poets today, we are playing with limericks for FormForAll with none other than Mad Kane.  It really is a fascinating article that really clearly lays out how to write them, unless of course you are me and have an allergic reaction to form. But I try.  Do stop in any time after 3 pm EST.

And for the best looking sleeveless host on the back of the bike that speaks only in 55 words, here is my 55 word story for g-man.

Each our own Shop of Antiquities

Wind up toys have gone the way of the dinosaur
or pocket watches---
         too many springs sprung
from being wound too tight,
         now it's all battery powered, which
when they die can just be replaced

Our metaphors stack up---
                  we, trading one for another
the older ones laugh from the shelves
      like dusty-eyed porcelain dolls.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Being spring and all

Random graffiti

The library is quiet when it first opens, the only voices those on the shelves, their spines packed tight together to keep them from escaping without a proper swipe of the plastic card. Story time is still an hour into the future, so moms and their children are on the playground across the parking lot, being spring and all.

I like this time. The clickety clak of the keys keep company with my thoughts as I decipher little phrases scribbled in my notebook.

      Empty page diary                   Man picking his nose

                          A mole unprecocious sits on the hill of her lip

Heitz Marcus                          

and two knock, knock jokes i evidently made up that have to do with my life, or they did at some point.

"Hai", is all it takes for me to jump, so lost in the wander of thoughts.

Little stubby fingers pull at the cuff of my red t-shirt, crumbs from breakfast still in the pucker of flesh around his fingernails. He is blond, almost white haired, his upper lip pulled into his lower teeth and grinning, with ears big enough to catch the wind.

"Whachu," he asks and i look over him to see if his mother is far behind. The librarians chat about some workshop they are going to, oblivious to us. Otherwise, we are alone.

"Hi there," I smile.

Disengaging his hand from my shirt, leaving it twisted in a pinch, he digs into his pocket with great effort. His pudgy face crunches in concentration, showing more teeth, then releases in relief as he finds what he is looking for and places it on my table.

"There you are," nervous tension fills his mom's voice as she whirlwinds around the corner scooping him up and giving a quick pop to his bottom. "I'm sorry," she adds and they are gone, leaving me alone once more.

"No problem," I say, to no one.

Stray hairs and blue pocket lint cling to the green gummy bear that stares back at me from the desk. We share a moment and then I begin to type this to you, being spring and all.

submitted to Poetry Jam for 'connections'

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Taking a joy ride on a front scoop loader

photo by lesteph

a man on tv takes a hotdog,
wraps bacon a-round, rolls it in flour
& deep fries it

he puts the crispy pound of flesh
on a bun & loads condiments
    grilled onions, mustard & ketchup
               are just the start
   
i can't help but think
     i am watching a suicide, live
& at least he will die, with a smile on his face
     but what about everyone else

or is this just about pleasing your
                                                 self
& whats good for me is good for me
i don't need all that responsibility
                                            ---on me

& she's in the hospital again,
as she is every other month, all the weight,
enough to seriously harm her legs, rests
on the tawny haired boy sitting next to me
passed around house to house
                                    as he waits to see

if this is the time she doesn't come home
& what's he to think? at twelve what is left
when---

and before you think i am picking on the obese
or start spitting excuses, please
     i could list any number of ways we are killing
     ourselves, just to please our self

pile it on
      pile it on
            pile it on
                   shovel. shovel. front scoop loader

but that matters little to the tawny haired boy,
who's sick to his stomach with worry for his mother
so i cut the tv off, pull him up from the couch
    & we go outside to catch
    the last bit of sun,
          before it goes down
         
before it goes down
              one more time.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - where it is all about poetry---nah really its all about people---willing to put pen to feeling & thoughts---no matter their skill witht he verse, so write...write...write something and come join us.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Magpie Tales: The tinker, the salesman & the death of god(s)

Image by Robert & Shanna ParkeHarrison (via Magpie Tales)

The whisper in the thunder is discernible only by the most astute listener.

The old man on neighborhood's center had no problem hearing it. Long ears adorned his head, the lobes drooping, covered in a fine white that made them halo in those moments he stepped out to sigh at the sun. He would sniff the air with his bulbous nose, screw his lips, accentuating the creases in his stubbled cheeks and return once more to the darkness of the shop within his garage.

He was a tinker. Turning useless items into what we fantasized were the most fascinating inventions. We never really saw what it was that he made as we watched him from behind the across the street neighbor's car, catching small glimpses of old hubcaps and half deconstructed washing machines, through the always open garage door.

A blender sat atop a rusted oil drum, its clear pitcher filled with nuts, bolts and washers. An old bathtub overflowed with pipes. In the back he sat, under the glow of a lamp, at his work bench, clinking and clanging, his flannel shirted back to us.

Occasionally he muttered in some unintelligible language, took a well soiled towel from atop a filing cabinet to work at his long thin fingers, then would dig through cardboard boxes making the most awful racket until he found what he was looking for and returned to his work.

One morning we exited our house to find a fire truck and ambulance in front of his house. The paramedics wheeled a sheeted mound on a gurney down the sidewalk into the back of the ambulance. After they left, we crept down to his house peeking into the still open garage.

Beyond the shadows, in the pool of light where he he had sat every afternoon, we watched a small orb spin slowly round and round just above the surface of the workbench. It was blue and green and brown, like a marble. Small white swirls seemed to dance across its surface.

The blare of a horn startled us and we turned to find the school bus waiting on us. We gathered our back packs reluctantly and ran to the catch it before we were left behind. After a slow day of school, we returned home by the same bus, anxious to investigate the old man's garage, but the door was closed.

To my knowledge it never opened again. The home was purchased shortly there after by a car salesman. He always wore a suit and had the whitest teeth we ever saw, even to this day.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Poetics: dreams of gnomes & knaves

Random graffiti found yesterday

♪ down the well i wait for betrayal
the rock to come whizzing back to the bowels
my brothers retreating n' treating the princess
with gropes and kisses
bought on the blood of kin ♪

♪ grimm, grimm, it's not so grimm
this flute i'll play to light the din
to call the elves
& hang your sin ♪

♪ yea, i'll call the elves---
& hang your sin ♪

every voice joins the refrain-ed chorus
to up-raised tankards, then clap loud clunk-
ing to the tables---our fairy tales, now drinking
songs to the turn of the wyrm that rules the kingdom
back turned & turning as it curls round its gold cache

gnomes, gnomes, us all under ground, and m'lady liberty's lain down
after eating the apples o' her father's garden, to sleep eternal---
call the huntsmen,
                    she awaits true love's kiss
to rise once more, all lips & hips
wide & birthing
                  a day still to come

oh, that day will come,
                                cry---
                  reV-o-LUTION!

SOunds more braveheart, than prince charming
      doesn't it?
                   but
          a man can dream---

of the tales read when he was young
with endings only found in happily e'er after
and once upon a time---
         when all works out in the end

but then again,
      its a choice, this peace
      of mine.
              mind.
                  mine.

our bed warm, i find
              that space soft between you shoulders
salty, taste the ease of your breath
              and ride heart beats like warhorses
              back deep into the night---


Over at dVerse Poets today, Claudia is dancing dervish-like with the Brothers Grimm and their a'kin...do all fairy tales end, happily ever after or....i guess you will have to tune in at 3 pm and see...see you there.

Some allusions within are from The Gnome by the Brothers Grimm and Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault then later as Little Briar Rose the Brothers Grimm. As well, a wyrm is a dragon

Thursday, March 15, 2012

55/Meeting the Bar - A crude dependency

what makes you think i
        have a problem?

i can
         quit anytime---

(i drop
      fifty --- for a
             quick fix

before the shakes
              start)

perhaps at six
      dollars / gallon we'll see
               the seriousness

but i gotta go
        gotta get somewhere
        gotta get some

i can
      quit anytime---

maybe buy a camel
      drill
          & sell
              sell
              sell

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

Over at dVerse Poets today, Charles Miller has asked us to go beyond our poem and focus on the thoughts & what was going on around us that gave rise to the poem and the thoughts that came with it. I decided to focus on the above 55 words and expand them a bit.

A crude dependency (redux)

It's unrealistic to think
i can hit oil, as much as buy a camel
as it is that i can quit
       pumping gas

in my car, to get somewhere
different than where we are
we have to think different
        & we talk

cause it's cheap, and grumble but
the reality is numbers on a receipt
for the grocery store, is the sound made
when you suck that last bit of milkshake
through the straw, my wallet makes---

as i stand and watch the digital numbers
roll faster and faster & know i either
need to get another job
          or keep rationing
food to my family

& no one cares
               cause it's bad for business
(Big Oil pays the bills,
                    & not just in Congress)

maybe i will go back into banking or sales
         where i can screw people out of their money,
trying to help only leaves you broke

At what point it is no longer
                           about the heart?
                 is it?
           it is my fault---

& the road to hell is paved---
not with good intentions, but so that cars
        can drive on it

this is when it hurts
      but what choice do you have
      so you stop at the corner store
      and try to smile at your dealer
      as you
               pump
               pump
               pump

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

bomb scare at the DMV

the line at the DMV is out the door,
hundreds deep come for license or plates
nervous teens ready to take their driving test

a little boy, maybe three
tricked out in a button up shirt and jeans
more expensive shoes than my entire out fit,

     wails

high and piercing, enough to make ears bleed
his eyes slits between puffy red flesh

     wailing

i rub my neck but it does not help the throb
of waiting & wasting time mixed with the clanging
     gong, five alarm fire he is & i am not the only one,
       grumble, gRumBLe           
            a bomb is about to go off

to the oblivious and no one will escape alive
     so i make a face, screw my lip up, wide eyed
          and scrunchy, smack myself,  woop,
make strange animals with my fingers

the line inches slowly away to give me space,
making room for the cop inching closer,
     hand on his shoulder radio
& finally the boy peeks from behind little fists
    a little laugh on his little lips

silence, so sweet you could weep, except
  the lunatic with a mohawk, his mom
looks up from the magazine she's been reading
and mouths 'thank you' then buries herself
   once more, her finely manicured nail tapping the cover
just below 'How to have a life after kids'

Arriving eventually at the reception desk,
the older lady working whispers,
'I won't make you wait any more.
I'll take care of you right here,'

and that is alright by me.

Today, I am privileged to be highlighted at Diagnose your Characters, the blog home of author Josh Hoyt.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Midafternoon at the Mason Guild meeting (& built like a brick house)

Image by SueAnn
brick the sky
brick dirt, brick grass
brick brick, brick plants
brick everything
but you won't keep me in
and you won't keep me out

& Amontillado can't lure me to the cellar,
i thirst-ache for air filled lungs, fresh & biting
yet we build houses closer & closer together
one on top of another, not un-like our lives
leaving little alleys in which kids congregate to play,
rat tails wiggle beneath bags of trash & green space

is reserved in the city center, round-abouts
and occasional flower boxes, but only
on the sunny side

chink-chink-chink
chain nets on the basketball goals, chink
don't swish, chink
and bricks bounce to the chain link fence
where they gather to watch the cars go by
in a slow parade

my son & i on a sunday afternoon,
when i am tired
        and a nap would feel nice
after a long week, but each time my eyes
blink, he's there and asking,
     "daddy can we---"
         "daddy can we---"
               "seriously dad---"

chink, chink, brick, brick, chink, brick
we play, until sweat glistening, hair matted,
breath ragged we sit on the asphalt court
& suck water between our smiles,

our bricks piling up, moments & monuments,
 mortared by choices & children
   to play or---

either way
         we are always building

brick by brick by
brick the sky
brick dirt, brick grass
brick brick, brick plants
brick everything, brick every
                                   one

chink

Yo, yo, yo...it''s OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets and tonight your MC is me. I will be opening the doors at 3 pm EST, so I hope you join us. Grab a pen, get poetic...I will be waiting. Smiles.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Magpie Tales: Lollipop Kids

Image by Uzengia Aleksander Nedic (via Magpie Tales)
It is awakening naked in the hedgerow, thicket and brambles realizing your comfort in the cradle the branches have created around your bones, even as they grate together. The thorns piercing flesh to places untouched and feed on your lifeblood. No sun.

Hearing your name, the one no one knows & even you have forgotten over time for disuse, sweetness on your ear and at the same time knowing how much it will hurt to crawl out. Crying out and only your echo returns. Chipped finger nails etching lines on your legs as you pull away, making you feel wanted, whispering promises of pleasure in your ear as it strokes your sex.

This is what you will miss, it tempts. Don't you remember why you came to us, it chides. It will happen again and what will you do without us? Then guilt. Then anger. Then laughter as you lay just out of their reach in a pool of yourself, struggling to draw a ragged breath. The ache as it enters your body. Look at you, you will be back, on your knees soon enough, but I will not wait for you, it sneers.

Shivering and alone. Blind thick black, the light so bright & shadows reaching. Fear they might be no different, even as they welcome you home. Home, a foreign word in your mouth, much less your heart. But---

Her eyes are the spaces between words, the distance of stars as she looks out the window. Tight skirt and torn fishnet, blue bruise purple, hair a mess, leaving lipstick on the end of cigarettes, one after another after another. Ash rains from the next shaking tip as she rubs her face. Catching my gaze she smiles lopsided, like a circus clown, the ones you know are only make up, quick then breaks, stubs and slips shades in place to cut the suns brightness.

She totters a bit as she crosses the parking lot, to a car with Kansas plates. Her ruby heels click, click, click-ing in her wake.

Image by SueAnn

this is a Magpie Tale. I had already started this based on the picture by SueAnn, a blogfriend that is an incredible artist as well..

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Poetics: December 31, 1999 (kiss my apoca-lips remix)

Photo by Arthur40A


It's the end of the world as we know it,
and REM told us, twelve years ago, to feel fine,
the book stores shelves're lined with Left Behind
preacher's benediction is escape plans for end times
& Prince, not yet a symbol, sings, let's party like it's 1999---

I'm nothing special, paying bills with dimes & nickles,
driving dad's suburban to work, (until the belt broke
& can't even fix it, late already on our payday advance)
cause my truck's a horse late for the glue factory,
flat tired & busted slowing rusting, outside our apartment
in low income housing, and i don't even own a working television
to watch the ball drop, computer crash, Y2K bugs crawling
out the cracks, everyone praying Jesus comes back
with a bus big enough, and accepts our ticket,
before so they ain't gotta experience it---

so we stroll main street, among the hundreds
that don't want to be alone if this is it and tomorrow
is a stone age remix, there is nervous tension,
& questions
       & questions
but it's free and fun, let's party like it's 1999
because this moment is the only promise we have
and ten, nine, eight - everyone holds their breathe
     seven, six, five - the natives are restless
         four, three, two - close your eyes and kiss
one &

a new millennium, nothing changes,

& everything changes, life turns, i sell out to corporate,
make six figures, get comfortable, then refind my heart,
quit, scrape by back below the poverty level, multiple
cars come and break, shit happens, you learn to expect it,
                                  but the big difference

is when they say the mayan calendar is ending,
        i figure nothing is new, just undiscovered country,
an adventure begun when the world started spinning,
      a dance in which you got to find the rhythm,
        but only if you're dancing----
       & whatever turns the record takes on the table,
we'll find the steps, so DJ
      play that beat
                   & bear witness---(scratch)

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it 

     and 
         I 
         feel 
              fine


At dVerse Poets today, Shawna of RosemaryMint will be tending the pub for Poetics and sending us on a trip in the Way-Back Machine. So don't be late for the date, it opens up at 3 pm EST. 

lyrics in italics by REM

Thursday, March 8, 2012

stereophonic serentity


bird song sun shine leaves burbling water
at the secret creek that cuts through the city
and i sit watching a busy beaver

bird song sun shine leaves burbling water
gnaw a tree, working it ever thinner
if no one hears it fall that is a pity

bird song sun shine leaves burbling water
at the (might as well be) secret creek that cuts through the city

Over at dVerse Poets, Sam Peralta is running FormForAll and working Triolets. Take out my parenthesis and it should fit close to form. Maybe. Forms not really my thing, but i try. Sometimes. Smiles.

Enjoyed a bit of time on a little trail by the creek yesterday, just off one of the public parks. It runs through the city, under bridges of the maine thorough fares and by housing projects and upscale communities. There is never anyone there, so its a nice place to retreat for a quiet walk.

The Picture is of King Kong, who overlooks the city from the overhang of the art gallery.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

a soft place to land, somewhere off the inner-state


At the end of everything, a chair sits
once pitched out the back of a truck
by a guy too lazy to drive five more miles
to the local dump---

ironic, it served him faithfully for years,
watched more men hold the championship
belt around their pro wrestling waste,
sharing sips of spilt beer---

and tears when his son left, only after
the door slammed, and spun tire rock
spray peppered the double wide,
soak deep in one arm, a stain of memory
on the foam---

but all that's gone now, and alone,
on the cracked earth, working its tan
in a slow fade of any remaining color

at night, the stars put on a show in HD,
wide screen beyond the edges of eyes
and a coyote stops to yip for a bit,
it listens and waits---

just desserts, or deserts, all the popcorn's
picked from its cushions,
some would say there is nothing left,
but they don't understand the end
of everything, and the desperation that sets
in when your feet hurt from walking,
all day to get somewhere, and finding
in the middle of nowhere---

a chair on which to land
   and for some
          for some

its enough, to get them walking
                                 again---

      on one exposed arm, among others,
you'll find my name, etched in ball point pen
      below the inscription

   YOU ARE NOT ALONE

                   at the end or everything.

This picture was provided by my good friend Tracy. Saw it on her site the other day and it begged to have a story told. Been tinkering with it all week, so here you go Tracy. And thank you.

submitted to Poetry Jam where the theme this week is inner and outer limits.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

OpenLinkNight: ...if it lasts longer than four hours, consult a physician...

the shaving of a woman's legs is a sacred act,
an art in confession of sins, liturgy repeated in long
and short strokes, a commitment to memory
each turn with tender care not to nip skin,
yet remain intimate enough to re-create silk & lace
---
different from a man's face, that can take
it rough---i use no soap or cream on my own,
preferring just the blade to scrape flesh fresh
a kiss along the heartbeat beneath
---
tap, tap, tap the head on the edge of the sink
to clear the teeth, rinse, repeat, against the grain
she likes to watch, says i make a face
in the mirror, lips pursed in concentration,
eyes pinched, she thinks is sex, distilled
the bite of mouthwash after brushing
and squeak of tongue, a-cross born

like shaving legs
like loving you,
                even on nights that you don't
or not on nights you do
                when all you need is held
like sacraments placed on the tongue
                past the lips, to the accompaniment
                of 'broken for you'
like the razor & pulse felt

i...i...i---& u & all pleasure under heaven
                 comes in a box, with one instruction,
                 daily acts of devotion

and if it last more than four hours
there's---no need to consult a physician.


OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets , your weekly opportunity to get poetic on the stage among friends, new and old. So be bold, let a poem rip and come join us. Doors open at 3 pm.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Magpie Tales: This is Us

Image by Sarolta Ban (via Magpie Tales)
'am i pretty or ugly?' she asks,
straight faced in her vid, on YouTube

'You need a hug', one commenter offers,
then adds, 'around your neck...with a rope.'

'a lot of people call me ugly.
and i think i am ugly,' she continues

'attention whore' the next comment comes

& where is this leading?
     & what have we done?

This is based on the AP report on a YouTube video posted in December. Hundreds more have been posted since then, all asking the same question. Many getting the same hateful answers.


this is a Magpie Tale.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Poetics: playing bridge with card counters



we burn bridges like cigarettes,
chain smoked, our butts accumulate in small monuments
to remind us if we ever dare try pass
this way again---

i had a reason
        and it was important

once

but you
          would not understand

so after bridges are ashes, we build walls,
watch everyone out the corners of our eyes
ever alert that they may get close
and trade in our hopes
               for automatic weapons

go pacino, 'say hello to my little friend'
    brat-a-tat-tat-a- tat-tat
    (insert maniacal laugh)

cause we don't want to hurt,
     alone is much safer and doesn't
                                             ---right?
     being right is important
                                             ---right?

at barnes & noble, on the bargain table
they sell the illustrated history of torture
for $5.99---this is not the self help aisle
nor the gospel---cigarettes will kill you,
denial is a cliche river & bridges

are thousands of splinters pressed together,
laying in wait to crawl under your skin
if you let them---

life is risk & people get hurt

touch the tips of my fingers, smell the smoke
  in my hair, kiss the cracks in my lips,
                   i know this,

now please
       please,

blow out the match
   
Over at dVerse Poets today, Sheila has brought along some wonderful photo-art by Walter Smith for #Poetics. Doors will open at 3 pm EST.

Friday, March 2, 2012

last night, of the great dance

tell me what you took

some x, some perks, some

red lights are pauses and pushes,
blurring street lights and bushes
& he's half in the seat
    half in my face
          fingers tracing things i can't see

oh yeah, and some

and i half expect him to grab the wheel,
   kill us both
   or get pulled over as tire squeal
around corners

"yes, officer the pills in the bag are what
is left of whatever he thought might make life
       better, simpler, faster, slower
   up, down
             six feet lower"
                & he's
  all
          over
     the
                 place

telling me how much he loves me, doesn't
    want to die, then starts to lose his shit,
        a beligerant spider monkey, all arms
& legs trying to escape, bites & i hit repeat
on the door locks, eyes crossed to keep
        one on the road and one on him

eighteen will an orgy with the grim reaper,
   & he's still got three months til he gets there

'we're here'
    door open as the car stops rolling
at the front of the ER and i catch him
before he can puddle the sidewalk,
slippery in sweat & spit
  
HELPHELPSOMEONEHELP

nurses, guards, cops, through triage
to a bed, crash, talking craziness, the bats
   have flown and the belfry is empty, watch
his skin crawl by the look in his eyes,
   shakes---

don't leave me, don't you f''n leave me

i
am sorry sir, you are not family
you will have to wait outside

& i wait
until he can no longer see
                                 me,
before i cry into furious fists
for mercy from the stupidity
of those that think they're immortal
                   yet still
                            want to die

So, I scrapped the other one and wrote this on adrenaline after getting home last night from the hospital. All too real you know. Written for dVerse, where Ami Mattison is manning the pub for us and talking about spoken word poetry.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

55 - First Verse


"Can you help me write a poem?" my seven year-old asks.
Then works and works, penning his first ever verse:

i send a piece of mail
from the back of a whale

where i stand
to stay out of the sand

& pack my junk
inside his trunk

oh wait
he's not an elephant


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

My son Cole, wrote the verse included above using his spelling words this week. Writing being one of his least favorite things to do, i was rather proud of him.

Today over at dVerse, Ami Mattison is teaching on spoken word poetry---Ami is a great word artist and performer, so do stop in. I am still working on my piece, so be back in a bit to add it.