Sunday, April 29, 2012

Magpie Tales: Variations in b Minor


'I was in Plato's closet the other day,'
says the cash register
lady at the bookstore cafe'...

chalk wall, Charlottesville, VA
Wrath (a predetermined theory)

Who we choose to include/
exclude says much of who

we R & R
we that much [            ]

it's funny to watch people
become that which they detest
because those you detest
will meet you halfway if you let
             them

toads crossing roads
SPLAT bNeath
tires of their own progress
             & we call it marketing

Noah built an Ark for two of each
i wonder how he chose which one to take
& which would blow bubble below

as you rise

if you are looking for deeper meaning
in this verse, toss a coin, in the park
fountain, but remember
whose face adorns it

DJs drop beats, pastors preach
& i, just a broke(n) porch swing
squeak-ing as it sways in the breeze.

trash can sticker, Charlottesville, VA

Blowing Smoke out your ass~umptions

A song fills the vacuum of space
stars think it's sung only for them
not a speck in their own eye.

Image by Manu Pombrol (via Magpie Tales)
(con)Sumption

a glass always
viewed half/empty
will never be
full/man

~~~~~

...to someone i can't see, as she hands me change
& a warm cup, then turns away.

written for Magpie Tales and completing 30 poems in 30 days for National Poetry Month.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Poetics: Getting my Teeth

street art

It was as if I had only just been able to see colors and shapes for the first time...It was confusing, each sound running into the next sound, like the mingling reverbations of bells, until I learned to separate the sounds, and then they overlapped, each soft but distinct--increasing but discrete peals of laughter...peals of bells

It is like this,

the way Louis describes it, a great awakening
of the senses, which is not what gripped me
at sixteen, the first time i read Anne Rice---it was more
the sexuality~power, puberty's perspective

the taking, quenching the demon within yourself

stick your head in a speaker box, turn the sound
up, if you really want to know---this life
among the cacophony, a clatter, a gong, a screech

stare into a strobe light, flash, flash, flash faster
until your retinas dull, this---life, unending
stimulation, a flip book, blink, fast forward
film reel---until you turn

until you learn to separate sounds,
  moments into the little things, unnoticed

lady in the cross walk on 5th avenue, lay
your tongue along the line from the soft spot
behind her ear to the collar bone, just to taste
her h-h-heartbeat, the black bruise that rests
in her chest, last night, her lover---

pull back, don't take too much, let her live,
breathe, no need to sate yourself on just one---

a man runs the fruit stand on the corner,
gives samples to children every morning
as they wait for the bus, his joy heady wine
almost masking the remorse at the loss of his own,
feel the thrum in his hemoglobin pop along
your taste buds, like too much curry

don't hurry, slurp like some beast, have dignity
for them, but also yourself---pace

the bus comes, a tiny round face in a side window, pink
backpack across her shoulders, silk black hair,
emerald eyes and in them---do you dare taste
what pools there---

a cab driver, a suit-tie too tight-angry, soiled
pup, words wet on the brick, trash caught in a breeze
rising, separate each, sample, loveHATEpainRElief
SEcretsSOCietYsaltGRITgriefSIGHbeauty
pull your pen out, and furious-
ly write poetry---

No better than vampires---taking intimacy,
to quench that which lives within us---can you be-
lieve, do you want to know what i see---
when i look at you?

I heard the night as if it were a chorus of women beckoning me to their breasts.

Oh, Louis, you have no idea.

Process Note: Italicized lines are spoken by the vampire Louis in Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. This series of books was a staple of my teen years.

Over at dVerse Poets today, Blue Flute, who I had the chance to meet in New York last month, is guest hosting Poetics with a prompt I did not see coming, but then again, with Barnabus Collins rising from the dead at the movies, perhaps I should have. See you at 3 PM.

Friday, April 27, 2012

BrokeStringStillBeautiful

12th St, Lynchburg

Where the canal runs through the city
under bridges
                    under passes
                                      people walking
its brown water meanders by them

a man, all hair & beard, worse for wear
plays a guitar, with one broken string

his companion twirls a hula hoop
round     n
           round    n
                    round her curves
barefeet on the sidewalk

Lost my mind, anything helps,
torn cardboard in the battered case reads

regardless, his music
                 her dance
                 they are

rain drops making rainbows
                  on an otherwise sunny day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

congressional acts & fiscal responsibility

graffiti'd street sign

i watch her cross the parking lot
only a bit older from when i knew her,
the way she preened for boys,
always looking for her daddy, mama's
beauty queen & promise to be
more than the less than of their present
                      reality---

has it really been five years?
she's probably graduating high school this year,
a senior or junior--i remember

how her mother called it cute as she flounced,
draping boys like a table cloth, just waiting
for a drip to slip the lip & stain---

passing within twenty feet, they don't see me
their eyes measuring each step, hand
upon the roundness of her belly, more watermelon
than the girl i once knew, full with seed

     summer days, as kids, my cousins & i'd see
     who spit them the furthest, pink flesh so cold
     our teeth would hurt---laugh
     as juice ran down our chins---wonder
     if any would take & dream of watermelon
     vines sur-rounding our houses

her mother opens the clinic door, they disappear-
ing inside, boys now as absent as a ring
on her finger, at work, i hope, trading hours
for responsibility / currency

---we spit like seed, without a care,
wondering where all the watermelons came from,
vines blocking sun from both our Houses

Today at dVerse Poets, Victoria has us focusing on allegory for Meeting the Bar. Doors open at 3 pm DST.

The story is true, but I tried to use it to represent something more. She is a girl from a youth group I ran a few years ago. Last time we were in Maryland, I watched her and her mother heading into the clinic. Have tried to write about it a few times but it never really worked. Underneath it all is a political poem, veiled a bit.


It is part of my his-story as well, so slinging it into Poetry Jam, as well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Convict(ion)s & Samaritans

Lynch-byrd by Local Artist (unknown)

At Sears, getting my flat tire fixed,
minding my own patch of scuffed linoleum
in the waiting room, as i dry from putting
on the spare in the mud & rain, a hockey game
drones in the back ground, from a hung
television, and this man, a Gideon
by the lapel pin, keeps telling the same
story---ten, twenty, thirty times
to each new person that walks in
each time time hitting my shoulder
so that i will close my book and join them---
about the man that found him
in a parking lot when his alternator went out

'he didn't just stop, he brought me to Sears
& made sure i was taken care of'

(That is not the whole story, but
consider this grace, from me to you)
& in all the re-tellings i never catch a name
but built a sketch of the suspect
in my mind with each new detail given,
the kind police put on cork boards
at the post office, of fleeing felons,
so i can hunt him down

beCAUSE he kNOwS what he did, but
does he kNOw what he did---i DO
& heard it over and over again
for two solid hours

When I find him, I will ball up my fist
one finger at a time,
            pound his door,
                      until he answers

& remind him that even though the man
never stops talking
                       ---he did a good thing.

Perhaps, he'll invite me in, we'll share laugh
over whatever he heard repeatedly
on the long two mile drive to Sears---or sit
just enjoying the silence
                       ---of our mutual breathing.


written for Imperfect Prose

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

OpenLinkNight: There goes the neighborhood

Street Art Festival, Richmond, VA

Earlier today i read an article on the cannibal
cult in Brazil that made empanadas
of a woman then gave them away
or sold them to neighbors

& if you want to really know yours,
secure an invitation to dinner, and rifle
their medicine cabinet

but don't let the water run
too long, masking the rattle of pills,
as you read the labels, or they will
figure out what you are doing

there is security in knowing they
are medicated, if metal, and in the knowledge
you need to wash your hands more frequently
after perusing that tube of rash creme

(And before you judge, you know
you have done it too---as they have to you---
right now you're wondering
what's in mine, oh---i'm not telling---
come over)

you can never be too careful
our kids play little league together,
have sleep-overs and we tell jokes by the fences
with false laughter---hahahaha.

ha.

this is unreliable though, because who isn't
on something these days---we are not that
much different

instead, i excuse myself from the dinner table,
slip out the back door, find your chairs---
the ones on the veranda or in the middle
of the yard & sit in them

this way i can see what you saw,
what you choose in the placing
to let your eyes fall upon and what not,
is the sun at your shoulder or in your face,
where are the flowers & where are the ashes---wait,
is that---

Worse yet, is to find no chairs,
Imagining the cannibals behind the walls
of their making, carving the last pound
of their own flesh, as thin as they can
to keep from starving

Tonight, let's forgo the games,
get the tooth picks, top drawer next
to the stove, & glue, lots of glue---

We'll build furniture, a table, some chairs
& find the perfect place to sit,
together, enjoying---new views.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - time to write something poetic and come join the flash mob of verse---we have been waiting on you. Smiles. Doors open at 3 pm DST.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mail order brides from the coffee shop

Napkin @ Bux

I still struggle entering a Starbucks,
& asking for a Grande Blonde

It just doesn't seem polite

For a while, I asked for a Tall one,
but size became an issue

I can't help but feel I am ordering
some mail order bride.

Blonde, being a lighter roast,
is much smoother than the dark blends,
easier to stomach.

Some marketing guy, surely,
sits in a back office
of corporate headquarters
laughing in spasmodic glee

at all the societal issues
I have to ponder
just to get a simple cup
of coffee

Maybe wondering why
I call him Shirley.

Just a goofy verse for today. It is Monday after all and I could use the coffee.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

iSpy, with my little eye

Logan (9), as an old man, at Spy School

'We will just make a few changes
to the way you look,' this
master of deception says
as he carves our faces

'You may need to cross the border
on your mission,' they teach us
                   words
that make our tongues hurt

a lady in a black dress backs us
into a wall, in a flash, affixes
new pictures to our passports
& we. are. ready.

i see my son, still
under there, but in ways
never meant a father, deep
lines etched in his-story, eyes
tempered & tired, sagging a bit
so serious

maybe my tongue is tired from linguistics
or near drown water boarded, i am silent
when i could ask if it was worth it,
does he remember me still at this age,
does he have children
& do they visit

all of which are measures of my own failing,
was i a good dad?

but he's gone, leaving only a chalk mark
at the dead drop to let me know
All is well

I cross it with my own, knowing the rain
will wash it away when it come on cat feet,
like a prowling lion, a HYDRA,
its arms insidiously infiltrating

written for Poetry Jam and Magpie Tales

Alex Stoddard (via Magpie Tales)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Poetics: why the dinosaurs died & other extinction stories

dtown Lynchburg (slightly modified)

hello....hell-o

can anyone....(hear this)
is any(one)....list-ning

this is a trans-mission from
the end of time---the only one---
left behind---understand---
all alone---it's all a loan---

what's ur interest rate? it's debt come due
collector's here to knee cap you
what's ur interest rate, as you shoot the moon
wormwood's spinning space, on its way through
                                ----the heaven's
in an epoch-calypso
  (epoch---------------calypso)

turned slow dance, one man, one woman
at the dawn of time/de-lighting in each other
& that became TOO MUCH

i mean, why settle for just one, when
to keep them is so hard & i might have let go
of my own
    ----so i let go &

this is a transmission from the end of time, where
i'm the only one, all thought of others, left behind
understand it's all about me, all alone's not so bad
life, it's all a loan, as long as you're not there
when the interest comes due---

cause & effect, burn the butterfly wings
before it splits the union with non linear, little things
what do you want from me, wHAt---

WASH DISHES---beneath me
CLOTHES, ha, CLEAN HOUSE, mundane
I AM THE MAN & I AM KING
         of EVERYthing (& nothing
                                     nothing
                                         nothing)

hello...hell-o

can anyone...
i am the only one...

it's the end of my time....

At dVerse Poets today, Karin of ManicDDaily is running the show in her first official day as a new pub tender for Poetics and is getting us to write on duty and obligation, and i took the obtuse view of feeling as if we had none and played it out to the extinction event. Pretty grim huh? Smiles. Tune in today at 3 pm, to see how others spin this.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

FormForAll: V


corruption is a learned value,
orientation starting in the young, by those who
abuse their purview, cull the weak, promote
able bodies, of athletic build & skilled, disregarding rules wrote

god forbid they mix & make a bastard team,
applaud---THESE the heroes for which we dream
whose parents pretend to have no clue who
chose it to be this way, coach too,

boisterously decrying any foul play, let the
boys play, it's just a game, he re-
plies, his veteran third graders of twice
size as the first year six & seven year-olds, mice

to the cat, round the bases, they laugh, 'oh look how small
you are,' taunting and all
the league office say is it's chance, nothing but chance
we have no foul intentions, they---tap dance

around truth in hopes of a district
crown for the fleece 'they lie' out, hand picked
places in the American pastime, it's the American
way, my son, so whatever hand

you're dealt, nor how well stacked, be
sure to swing away Saturday & give a little hell to the bourgeoisie


Over at dVerse Poets, Gay is having us write framed couplets, where the first syllable of each line must rhyme, just like the last--oh boy, that was fun. Smiles. Of course there is supposed to be meter as well but I have to rebel just a bit.


This is dedicated to our wonderful little league, who unintentionally (cough, cough) put all the older and experienced players with the two experienced coaches on one team and all the first graders and kindergartners on the other. We scrimmaged the uber-team last Saturday and they were less than pleasant in many ways. Opening day is this Saturday and we play them again. Joy. Smiles.

Thanks to BRYA Sports for inspiring this poem.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shakespeare will be the death of me


It starts on the bus, another mom
mentioning, the last trip she chaperoned
with the high school to London

& and how they lost a kid on the tube
     (imagine the look through the glass---
     the face of the one left---to the eyes
     of a parent, in a foreign place)
then returning to the station & not
finding them waiting---

we are taking the third graders
to a Midsummer Nights Dream---and my son
assures me they will say the 'A' word,
and i to him, that it will be several times

the minstrels warm the audience at the Black Friar,
an exact replica of old Willie's playhouse,
with a bit of modernity, Cee lo Green's Forget U
on old world instruments, all decked out
in Shakespearean trappings---then Very Superstitious
an un-auspicious choice---i have just yet
to see the signs

(rewind) they found the lost kid
back at the hotel, the rest of the trip went fine,
but presently a fairy queen is in love with an ass
having been blinded by love&flower juice,
& everyone laughing

when one little pink shirted girls hops up
on the opposing balcony's banister

        teetering, to & fro

& no one else sees it, all rapt in whatever
is going on, on stage, at this moment

'oh that your frowns might teach my smiles',
because my feet are not fast enough, her head
an over ripe melon traveling twenty feet---
a foot race with fate i can't hope to win,

bang the door (hiss) both going & entering the opposite
side, push through to slip---
              one meager finger
through a belt loop and---

perhaps i should write a prologue,
to let you know i am no lion---roar sensible
meows--for i am just a man

who missed

the whole second half (of the play) playing police
officer to--'feet flat on the ground'
and sleep most of the way home, nestled in the noise
of thirty voices that won't quit---but are beautiful
if for no other reason than they are still alive---

an i even got the t-shirt to show for it.

I dont think I will ever volunteer to chaperone a field trip again...at least until my heart stops beating fast. So this is where I was all day...and promise to catch up with you tomorrow. It really was an amazing show---at least what i saw of it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

OpenLinkNight: as we walk

Street Art Festival (Richmond)


At Shockhoe Bottom, downtown Richmond,
in the parking lot across from Main Street Station

I'm taking pictures on my phone of street art
adorning the sides of brick buildings & hear

the skritch of step, out of step with mine,
a man following behind me, around the corner
drawing closer

(heart beat/heart beat/turn to look)

"There's a Street Art Festival
down by the canal," he shares

we talk brief & he moves on after
rave carding me---

you've got some sun, i can tell by the freckles
when you arrive & we walk down the side
of the canal, where slaves once came into the city,
you tell me, as we walk & you are no tour guide
by your own account, but i am rapt in-a-tension

the old stone bridge ruin beneath the new,
& we walk, the arches all lined up, it's your
favorite view, i can see why, it's got geometry
to please the eye & we find

the festival, all these artist on automatic lifts
& scaffolds, with cans & cans of spray paint
pssshhtt then step back then psssshhhtt, spit
shade & texture to bring life to a wall, into fish,
to bodies thrown like darts at a bull's eye,
to an elegant victorian lady

in the moment, i watch art's head crown,
its eye roll round to peak out the birth canal---
to WhAT?--maybe measure the temperature
(it's mid 70's) to see if it's time & i say, "come on
out, you can do it," my hands in the catcher position
trembling in anticipation as creation dawns,
an MC Escher pipe dream/scape

& we walk back the way slaves came, i ask
if as you walk this way you ever feel like one, 'maybe'
you say & we laugh, with-held tears, nor ankles
shackle marked  as we walk

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - time to get your poem on, go---now---write something poetic, because at 3 pm DST, Claudia will be opening the doors and the verse will start flying.

This poem about an afternoon I spent with Joanna of The 10th Muse, prior to the poetry extravaganza that was last Friday. The pictures the last couple posts have been of the Street Art festival and the walk along the canal is really cool if you are ever in Richmond.

Monday, April 16, 2012

On waking to Yesterday's tomorrow

Street Art Festival, Richmond, VA

This morning's bird song carries beauty
like well water sloshing from buckets
to splatter on cobblestones in abstract

                    {ART}

surely a spiritual experience, though i feel
the weight of relieving myself

i lie there, knowing once i leave this space
they will be lost to the day

    shrill&
           worble

    call&
           response

with all the layers of a symphony
through the open window, so tender
on the ear and joy-

ful. i Spring from the bed in great bounds
then sigh a double rainbow at the release
of yesterday's remnants

wipe the seat, and bid it adieu, so i can
mean it when i say, "good morning"
around your lips

coffee cup now warm in my hands.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

One for the money, two for the show...






The way people see you (a mystery no more)

if you really want to know
how people see you
have your child draw a picture

preferably in pencil
& certainly nothing colorful
like crayon, and maybe he'll---

write dad across your forehead,
like the cross on Charles Manson's
or give you a Hitler moustache
with John Lennon sunglasses

to go with the ZZ top beard
& if you are really lucky he'll
half erase stripes in your hair
to 'represent the grey', he'll say

hopefully you listened
& it's only in pencil---
because that just might mean
you have time still---

to change the way people
see you.

written for Poetry Jam.






the privilege(s/d) of membership

if i got to have a membership card
& be voted in your circle of friends

i'd much rather stay outside
with the peons, where poems live

poems of the living, and not yet
arrived.

written for Magpie Tales.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Poetics: Subway Love Song(s)

wall art in Shockhoe

i wanna be a busker on the overnight
back n' forth from Queens

masturbate the neck
of my guitar & thrum strings across her
mouth in crazy love songs

to those at the end of their day, fresh
off a bar hop, on their way to work,
junkies or tourist, the girl with heavy eye
liner listening to her player, or the man looking
down shirt over her shoulder, all bare-
ly able to keep their eyes open or dozing,
another train whizzing by through greasy side windows
& i---

sing about the painting of the man
on the ceiling of the Rock-a-fella,
like Mona Lisa's smile, he leans
into you no matter where you stand,
a metaphor for the tides that bind things
along in-different astral planes, Unchained
Melody, Kiss' Beth, some Swell Season
like in Once, when he calls his wife & is
coming home---

grab the beat of the tracks, squeal of steel
and bend it round these chords to move
those that sit hard plastic seats or cling tight
pipes, riding rails at night, to the left or right,
off the fence they sit, the one they built,
around craters that once held hearts
stitched together by duct tape---

& i won't make much but when they dip
their pockets for change, i'll say keep it for your self
there's no need, take this seed and plant it deep,
make babies as crazy to believe the only thing
worth re-producing IS---

(strumming so hard my fingers bleed)

the spark that arcs at a touch, a glance, don't
waste your first in the hope of a second chance
Lazarus you stinketh of death, now
get off your ass & dance---

YeAh, see-ee-ee

 i wanna be a busker singing love songs
on the overnight back n forth from Queens

At dVerse today Claudia is running Poetics and still under the spell of NYC or maybe just under its skin a bit, in its veins. No one WAY streets on this SUBject, but tune in at 3 pm and bring your pen. Smiles.

I love street musicians and buskers. Seeing so many on my trip, I def romanticize their lot in life...and the movie Once is one of my all time favs as well....so I let myself get a little crazy with this fantasy ballad of being one of them.

Friday, April 13, 2012

55 - Burning calories Eating breakfast

Image by StarsApart

Cows are happy,
chickens ecstatic
& the pigs,

     content to muck in the same shit
     they always do

whole farms erupt
& farmers---don't know
what to do with themselves

because we chose
breakfast in bed

     (seconds...
        & thirds...)

we might need to wait
for a late lunch

or the government
might just tax this.

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


After lunch today, I will be traveling to Richmond to perform tonight at Art 6 (downtown). If you live in Richmond, I would love to meet you. If not, I will catch up with you when I return tomorrow night.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Meeting the Bar: Go ahead punk, make my day (the science of Clint Eastwood)

from a piece of furniture @ Macy's

It is simple biology. Books
are filled with stories. Stories
of chapters & chapters, sentences,
ending in periods---It's the punctuation
that gets me every time, which is why
I use it sparingly

a lady, driving a Tahoe on the New Jersey
turnpike twists a fat round brush
through her hair, can of hairspray
unleashing great fog banks that roll
along her head & she's talking---
though the vehicle is empty

& this might be the end
because we are doing seventy
& she's right next to me, so close
i can check my teeth in the gloss
of her door, if i want---
at least she will look good for the coroner

i could care-less what they think
when i get there, it's the punK-
tuation that bothers me, creeping on cat feet
to claw the Achilles

hours later, and three states, a roadside billboard
announces, the best barbecue in Virginia
is served at the truck stop, but i don't---

They will say anything to get your attention
& it takes discernment to know what moments
go in the book, the end always coming
with each page turn, paragraph, comma,
colon (see there is biology) but i will not
put a period at the end of this

i will not bow to the tyranny
of endings

and the only one i am fooling,
is myself(period)

Today at dVerse Poets, Charles Miller will be focusing us on exploring the sciences or writing in methods most scientific about processes or...well just tune in at 3 pm EST today and he will certainly explain it better than I. Smiles.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No rain for fallen stars

floor of the soup kitchen

There are less today than yesterday. Could mean anything, stars fade. Whole constellations disappear without our knowing.

"I sAID chocolate milk, can't you even get THAt right," the knots in his face wound tight & frayed across the top in a nap of hair.

"All i have is plain."

"Well get me tea then."

All i have is all i have, my loaves and fishes--fried chicken, salad, corn, peas. Something warm to feel full for a bit.

He is one of the strong ones, still fit enough to work. Still clinging to entitlement, seeking respect, looking for what life took.

Complaint. Complaint. But he'll take another plate.

i walk the space between heavenly bodies. It's not a void as they say. It's not avoid---they say.

An older lady, eyes adrift, chewing on a crooked jaw, raises a hand for seconds, then puts a sticker on my chest. Found in a pack of skittles left over from Valentines, expired & handed out.

You cheer me up, it says.

She says nothing, just smiles a carved pumpkin, then turns back to eat. The knotted man rants. I walk the space between stars---at a soup kitchen on Court Street.

written for Imperfect Prose, which my good friend Emily is re-launching today.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Riddles to Answers & Riddles (#NYC)




It is ugli fruit,
but only in comparison

A man with a machete
size knife, carves the rind
in quarters,
juice pooling beneath
and across his sticky fingers
that ply the pulp heart from within,
sharing a word and taste
with those on the sidewalk
from his cardboard box pulpit

taste & see, he smiles as he works
and that is enough, in the moment
we pass

Following the cryptic napkin
map, drawn by the Chinese man
who, even now, stands on the corner,
waving his arm & calling a-cross the crowd,
having left all his other customers
to ensure we make it
to the subway

The only strangers here
are those silent
in their own world

taste and see, i say
folding these last memories
of the city into my pocket
along with the map

To one day follow back.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - time once more to get all poetic. Joe Hesch is tending the bar tonight, so come ready to sling some verse. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

The closing moments of my visit to New York a little over a week ago. In her OpenLinkNight poem today, Claudia is writing about the same moments, so check hers out as well.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dragons & other things we forget

my son, in night vision goggles

They are all extinct.

The animals I grew up with, gone, except in memory, mostly. Every once in a while you may catch a glimpse out the corner of your eye. Most times dismissed as something else.

I once slept in the belly of a dragon for a week. It's darkness comforting me as I nested in the blankets and pillows that usually adorned my bed. I brought along my mother's button jar. The one that sat upon the piano where my sister learned to play, another in the succession of generations of players to play it.

Separating the buttons into piles, I created solar systems. Planets of all sizes and colors. Some solid in color, some swirled, most round and all had one thing in common. Holes. Holes for things to slip through, like the thread that once held them in place.

The dragon left on trash day, loaded into the maw of the garbage truck. I heard it squeal as the great compacting arm pressed it into an abundance of dirty plastic bags bulging with others refuse, then a loud bang as if it were trying to escape.

I dream it did.

On it's side was tattooed an address to somewhere in Ohio. A warehouse for appliances. One day I will travel there, where I imagine him sitting at a table in the back room. Perhaps gathered with others, waiting for me to arrive.

written for no one in particular other than myself. smiles. Hope you had a lovely weekend and happy Monday.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hip-Hop of the Rolling Rock (Easter)

Image:  djajakarta (via Magpie Tale)
The stone was not rolled away, to be thrown
the next day. Read the letters in the sand
(Oh wait you can't, that's not scripture)
Red letters, in the sand. Bleeding.

No. Sisyphus doctrine, spoon fed to blind men.
Again. And Again. Move mountains, don't
create them. He is Risen. He is Risen. Let Him---
stay that way, don't put Him back in.

Love wins. But if only & only if. It is a virus.
Spread like bird flu. Secretions & Excretions.
No man is an island or the egg alone he came in. 
Take wing.  The Sun shines indiscriminately. 
Stop the beat-ings.

Sing.

written for Magpie Tales.

Happy Easter and if you don't celebrate, may your day be filled with sun...and hopefully not too many tummy aches from too much chocolate.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Poetics: Playing dodge ball in a super-collider

Tracey Grumbach ~ Nine Acre Designs

Poe has a raven, Coleridge an albatross
     and i
this parchment sky

where birds turn slow circles searching
     for carrion to fill its stomach
& cut
      cut
        cut
hunger pangs of this Ozymandias quest,
    un-grandiose but capturing the mundane
giving name to the unnoticed, a bed
in the pantheon, with
each scratch
           scratch
              scratch
of my pen

an old man, at the flea market,
runs a crinkled finger along memory,
sweet caresses passed for quarters
(to buy what?
    to BuY wHaT?!?)
then shuffles, gravel popping kicked loose
by his feet slow down the next aisle,
his green flannel shirt open
collecting wind & sun
      the wind & sun

meaningless to some, these people/
name/moments that slip my mind to pen
to parchment sky, where birds turn
         turn
             turn circles
as does the world,
     spinning a mad top,
     less dance through the ether
     than careening
                     ---touch.

scratch----scratch----scratch-----

Over at dVerse Poets today, I am hosting #Poetics, where I have invited Tracey Grumbach of Nine Acres Designs to inspire us with her photographic art. I will open the doors at 3 pm EST, so get your pens ready. Smiles.

Friday, April 6, 2012

FormForAll: It's just art (on 10th Ave in NYC)

Unrelated street sign

among fearsome masks of all kinds of animal,
one straight jacket face of a child, in the middle,
hangs in the 10th Ave. studio window
through the straps, one wide & pleading eye visible

& i understand his silent scream
i had a mom too, that would always seem
to repeat the phrase, repeat the phrase---if you got nothing
good to say...so i don't, and walk away, thus deem

his plight what? an artist's bad dream
feigning blindness to the scheme
of those whose teeth gleam & pick the seam
like the bones of this child clean

as if it's none of my business, in idleness
blame those that started this mess
dust my shoulders off---it's just art, not REALity
no need to distress, send an SOS, SOS, SOS

cause it's not like they possess your address---right?



Over at dVerse Poets, Sam Peralta is teaching us Rubaiyat, and for the most part i followed the form, which is AABA , but blended in a AAAA midstream and added a single line at the end. Not like i like coloring outside the lines or anything you know...smiles.

Wrote this after an evening at gallery openings in NYC which was interesting on many levels. Ha. My phone was dead, so no pic of the art.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The best part of Shelley's Ghost was the cards we got as we left, the rest is history

In Central Park, Burns
sits on a tree stump,
poems round his ankles, like pants,
gazing blissfully up

"Might be opium-daze,
they used to write verse after,"
Randy comments

& i

never want to be made a statue

especially not one that looks
like i just took a crap,

that is too close a metaphor.

Tell a story in 55 words. Give it a try or just read more, go tell g-man...at 8 pm EST today.

Still have NYC on the brain. The Shelley's Ghost exhibit at the NY public library was a bit disappointing. More the historical aspect of Percy Bysshe Shelley. We did get free calling cards with snippets of his verse on them, which are kinda cool.

I found the Robert Burns statue to be rather funny on Literary Way...it was the look on his face. According to the sculptor, he was pondering his love Mary. I guess if he says so. Smiles.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I AM more than a tourist, here (#NYC)

Photo: Mat McDermitt

ghosts of yesterday's trains, all bodies moving at once from stop to stop, are the wind in our hair, easy curl & hawk, as we walk the High Line which runs along the west above the rush of city streets. toeing rust brown tracks that divide concrete walkways, tracks reclaimed when faced with destruction to create green space---plants, trees, flowers that cut between brick steel & glass, where old meets new & chrome meets color.

below us, burrowed in studios, artists are busy in their own creating, re-imagining tin, bent steel bumpers, canvas, clay---with hammers, with paintbrushes & acetylyne torches---tools in the trade of recycling spin cycle junk no one wants but will pay high dollar for after & there are twenty or so people sitting in a little amphitheatre off the side of the above ground foot path---eating lunch, writing poems, sketching or napping in front of a thirty foot window overlooking---traffic.

a brown upholster suit man in a hat from the fifties lounges on a chaise, shoes off, wiggling his socked toes in the sun before the Hudson where water breaks on old wood pilings in white foam spray. benches rise ergonomically from the path & people sit, talk, play games on their phones or iPods, push strollers. i climb one just to jump off.

there is serenity in the loud silence of hundreds of voices singing to the tune of brake screech back beats, impatient cabbie's play horns, foot steps, foot steps, con-ver-sations. we walk---walk---walk through and around, points of light pausing before a particular tree, green leaves & buds thick before birth.

stroking fine hairs along the skin of these unborn children of spring, we breathe. in a week or three days, another will stop in this same place, press nose to petal, inhale & sigh---but we are full even in the anticipation and empty for the filling.

Continuing my NYC journey from last week. This is from our walk along the High Line, a part of NYC i had never seen, but would put it among my favorites now. Linking in with Poetry Jam.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

OpenLinkNight: In a New York Minute


riding the red line north from Staten Island,
where we took the ferry, standing, wind
in our faces on the front deck, both ways
under lady liberty, now on our way
to walk the Brooklyn Bridge
back into the city,

we miss our station

i could blame it on the rock of the train,
how it feels on my blistered feet
from all the miles walked or the conversation,
though we didn't talk as much as
take in moments

and i feel this one slipping quickly to
the tick tick tick til my time to leave--
a man playing the guitar, belts out
'Here comes the sun', or something else perfectly
appropriate for the situation, then
passes his hat---as if he does not realize

we just missed our station

and no one saw the mugging, sees the hand
continue to grope our pockets for precious seconds
even as we disembark, exit & cross the street
to catch the southbound

that just left & my inept-
itude with the subway card continues, please
try again, please try again--- people
wAiTiNG, nOt caRiNg

itS NoT FaIr & tHis is wHy houSes & wHOLE
ciTies BurN to thE gRouNd, iN rUinS
bEcaUse thIs is nOt hoW iTs supposed to happen
wHen

on the deck, an old chinese man, thin as a rail,
in black suit, black tie, hidden eyes behind dark
sun glasses n' blues brothers hat, perches atop
a wood stool, pluck-ing strings
along the neck & drawing a bow
made of rubber band below in
such deeply textured music
my soul quivers

full on J-E-L-L-O

& the quarters i drop in his battered case
are meager, but may be the best
i ever spent,

because we missed our station

and i would do it all again,
in a New York minute.

It's OpenLink Night @ dVerse Poets - and we are about to get our poetry on here in the first week of Poetry month---so write, write like your life depends on it---and come join us. Hedgewitch has the mic and we open the doors at 3 pm EST a'ight!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

hide & Seek

image by Parke Harrison via Magpie Tales

Keep your eye on the sparrow
but it's a robin, nesting in the crook
of the tree by the driveway

head twisting over a shoulder & eyes
wide, upon me, she does not move
but shifts a wing to flash
a bit of blue underneath

& for a moment, Spring is a secret
whispered on my ear, alone

i take off my shoes, soul to the earth
in bare feet, a child, once
more before his Mother.

written for Magpie Tales & Poetry Jam