Tuesday, July 31, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Halfway through the eye (of the needle)

sunrise from the road, Kentucky

 Two kids practice Shove-its in the parking lot
     of the local grocery store, gazelles bounding
     on the asphalt plains---
     ollie 360 powerslide---the wheels
     of their boards gRRRinding as they kick

When the security guard pops the lights
     of his blue Cavalier & they take off

I imagine him laughing bOIsterously
     at the two shadows receding
     through golden pools cast by streetlights

Powdered sugar from his 6-pack of doNUTs
     spraying from his lips, polka dotting
     the expanse of his girth---

Him scribbling volumInous reports in furious
     Bic pen, as epic as Homer's Odyssey
     casting himself as Ulysses

Tonight, getting home, excitedly explaining
     to his wife, with puffed chest & she
     having not seen such vigor from him in years,
     taking him to bed to put it to good use

"oh baby, you are so---"
     him guffawing, "Who's your daddy now?"

& she not caring---

     that he is thinking of long haired skate boarders,

     about the plates in the china cabinet clacking
      against each other in danger of chipping,

     Justin Bieber,

     that a particular spider in Singapore, castrates itself
     after mating to improve its survival chances

     or the need to wash his shirt before tomorrow

Tonight, she has her god, and he knows it---

But tomorrow, when he wakes
     the kids will still be skating & he
     just another that has forgotten
     what it is like.

Over at dVerse today, it is OpenLinkNight, hosted by the newly mended Hedgewitch---write something poetic, come join the party---the doors will be open at 3 pm.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

MagpieTales: Black Dog

Zelko Nedic (via Magpie Tales)

There is always one hair that hides in the moustache of my beard, waiting until the trimming is done before poking its head out to see what is happening. I play with it between tongue and lip as I sit on the porch, feet on the rail as pistons, pushing the chair in a gentle rhythmic glide.

Stars still hold the stage, having yet slipped to back up behind our sun. Night creatures prickle at the edges, on leaves, over mulch, along sharp blades of grass. No cars on the streets yet, no one has anywhere to be but in bed---dreaming.

I disagree with Aristotle, it's not just dreams that blur the lines between good & bad people.

A disembodied pinprick of orange winds the road, its soft glow capturing the man's lips and chin before lowering by his leg. His dog's eyes glimmer in the moonlight, the rest of him in shadow. The click of his claws on the asphalt send Morse code messages to stray cats or squirrels---clear the road.

Every morning they walk this way. He smokes. The dog periodically stops to mark a bush. It is cooler than what the day will bring when they retreat in the house. Unseen again until morning. Click. click. click.

All the secrets of the universe may reside inside him, his mind turning them round as he surveys all in the night---I don't know, he never speaks. They never alter their course, down and back in the quiet. Maybe he's our guardian, or---

He cleans this throat of the previous day and spits, the dog pays no notice. Click. click. click.

There is a soft rattle of keys as he steps into the pool of light by the door to his house, back to me, dog obedient by his feet. Their door opens into darkness and they disappear within. The door closes, light goes out.

In a pregnant moment of silence, stars fade, as our sun sends its first rays across the mountains.

I cross the porch, deck boards creaking and enter my own home, to find scissors, the hair having lost my interest.

written for Magpie Tales.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Poetics: Dans le halo de la lune

earring on asphalt


2.6 million people do not have toilet access, so perhaps
it's odd i consider foreign language as i sit here

in the mirror, over my shoulder,
a woman extends slender fingers of her left hand
to cats with rough tongues

 dress, form fitting her light figure
flows below the chalice, a tinge of pink---dogs
gather at her ankles-long haired & playful,
their tongues restrained, yet tails erect,
her right hand bids them calm

what is it she has, all the animals seek
on Rue des Moulins?

 i can not read the rest the framed poster offers,
something sanatorium, but sanity is---

her hair is pulled back, faux short, creased
by a band adorned with a flower over the ear

one cat stretches a forepaw, down
her shoulder toward a breast, each digit flexed

my books sit dangerous on the precipice
of the jacuzzi tub, where we made love
moonlight streaming through the window
setting the water aglow- all the jets & bubbles,
memories live in my thighs
tight still from water resistance

in this, i understand the dogs fevered wagging
the angled eyed cats---all wanting
& run a finger along the long smooth handle
that withholds eau, anxious to slosh, once more
to froth & roil

but bite back desire, take my things & meet
 you at the car----for fifteen hours, the hum of tires
 on asphalt, like cats & dogs gather
 in thoughts of you, haloed par la lune

Over at dVerse Poets today, Anna is taking us on another journey into weird words or other languages....should be fun. We decided to stop halfway home last night so this morning I am still traveling but will def be home by 3 pm when she opens the pub. 

The framed poster in the bathroom of the vacation home we stayed in was Clinque Che'ron by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen...the title of my poem hopefully translates to 'in the halo of the moon',
par la lune in the end 'by the moon', eau 'water'

Thursday, July 26, 2012

MeetingTheBar: Tickets please, tickets please, step right up and see....

Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO

In the backseat of the roller coaster
i am pulled over hills, i can't see

'dad, we can do it ourselves,'
they leave me to find my own place

waiting---for when they need me---
wanting---to chase them around returning
to the line screaming 

'let's do it again! let's do it again!'

they don't understand, two days ago
i got notice my job is ending, company
bankrupt & now, all my statements hang
from the hooks of question marks, each
dollar we spend a meal we might miss

'can we do the pirate ship?'

one on each side, this time, we sit
in the outer most row as it swings back & forth
rising higher & higher, until gravity threatens
the forces that hold us together

release my grip, raise my arms & scream

scream to the thousand light bulbs
      on the arms of rides that force back the night
            & the ones burn black, needing replacing

scream to all the faces laughing in glee, unknowing

            to ticket sellers, hawkers, food vendors,
      Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson
           & every dead president i have ever seen

            to the kids i counsel, i must tell
      they can never see me again,
      all the nights i spent as they raged
      parents that don't get it
            & the ones that do eventually

until stars turn their heads, the ships slows,
ride coming to an end, my boys look at me,
expectation in their eyes, i take their hands
& scream

'Yes! Yes! Yes!'

'Let's do it again!'

& dare them
            to keep up with me---

Over at dVerse Poets today, Victoria has us focusing on balance --- in how we write, different techniques as well as a general topic. Ironic it comes at one of the more out of balance moments for me. One day left of vacation, which I plan to enjoy before entering the fray of seeking employment, come Monday. Anyway, doors open at 3 pm EST over at dVerse---see you then.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Poetry Jam: Ozark Morning

Branson Landing fountain, Branson, MO

After the shower & still damp
i stand naked on the back deck

no one to watch but the mountains,
we examine each other's fallacy
of immovable objects

the sun runs the warm towel of its tongue
along my body
                my legs
massaging my shoulders, fingers my hair
until each strand stands erect & thick
the forest of my chest

awakening gently together & alone
as is nature - a bird sings,
a rustle in the trees, some small animal
perhaps a squirrel or armadillo
finds himself as enamored,

feels the magic once more
course through their veins, until

'mom, dad is changing clothes outside again'

it does not slip the railing
to steal off like a secret lover, as i step
into my shorts, nor consider an intrusion
but follows me back in
through the door.

written for Poetry Jam.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Notes on a postcard, sent back to the asylum

bug pic, Asheville, NC

There is no equation, just a rhythm
un-found, more experienced

In our breathing, the beating of hearts,
seasons - as we carve the cosmos in revolution
round the sun & moon movement
of the ocean, waves in recognition
heard from the depths of shells, birth
& death, applied to the dash
to get from one year to the next
in our epitaphs, draw the life line on your palm
with your finger

one, one thousand, two...

too fast to linger, the incessant hunger's
malicious whispers

     grab a fistful of dollars,
            put the pistol to your temple,
                                  puLL

kill ourselves & others, in the quest
to get ahead or catch up, trade five days for two
and an annual release if we're lucky, retirement
is a pipe-dream of previous generations, most
will never meet this side of the grave, and we believe
because its the way it has always been done,

an Xtinction Event
ever adding names to the guest list, unless
you listen, like thunder in the desert, i bear witness,
even he ended headless, now heed this

breathe-----long & slow
        now breathe---long & slow
                don't wait

no pause or vacation, but life styled
to the opening of flowers, dawn's kiss drenches
their lips, slow sips---i reject the Big Bang as a life
sentence, the ever expanding universe as we diminish,
we've been sold an As Seen on TV, get rich eventually
scheme that blinds us to reality & people
that matter---ponder the ant, moving one grain of dirt,
watch the birds, they don't worry

and when Monday comes, ask yourself
how different could it be--and what are you willing
to risk in achieving it - is there another way?

forgive these ramblings, the sun has crept
across the deck boards and found me this morning,
four days from my return to the machine,
361 days from the next escape---

i have no answers, only questions.

the butterflies,
                    are blinding.

question everything.

Today @ dVerse Poets, it is OpenLinkNight - our weekly poetic party, so go pack a poem and come join us....gates open at 3 pm EST.


Vacation is going great-despite a bout with swimmers ear, which just means I can't hear on my left side---which occasionally comes in handy...haha...i don't wanna go home....smiles...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Magpie Tales: The Number 8

Figure Eight, Franz Kline (via Magpie Tales)

'Tell me what you see,' she says as we lay in bed, naked in the heat.

'Black. Black on black on black.'

It's how i put myself under. Layer on layer, drawn over each other in deep wet paint, keeping out all the thoughts that creep into the night.

'How about you?'

'Bright Jamaican colors,' she answers.

Fingering the soft sheets beneath us, I smile, a smile she cannot see in the shadows. A smile at the chaos of the infinite, a figure eight laid on its side, opposite ends meeting in the middle, intimate. The symbol of double joy. With no need to be the same to experience it.

A kid from earlier in the day, at the Pump N'Serve, bursts in the door. Bullet shells piercing his ears gather moonlight in a glint beneath his wild long hair. Wife beater and jeans, his eyes move down the line waiting at the cash register.

Finding her pulse with my lips, I close my eyes once more.

He asks, 'Where are the diapers?'

And I begin to paint him black,
                                         on black
                                               on black.

written for Magpie Tales

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Poetics: Make love & mean it

@ the family cemetary

There is a method or process to making love
& meaning it

doesn't just happen, least not without intention
& all too often we settle for the small spark
boys learn in the back seat at first grace of the finger tip 
& we know enough, peaking on the wake of puberty
descending in ever deflating atrophy - once we've
won them

it's no wonder partners lose interest, well over
the going rate of fifty percent - or just
find fantasy for a sense of fulfillment

letting her sleep in,
a warm womb of blankets
i slip out, slow

cook the bacon, sizzle-
pop, hot grease bites
along the inner arm

salt, enough to accentuate & pep-
per, to spice---don't pat
the pancakes, so they keep their fluffiness

& when the kids awake, feed them,
play a game, watch
Wile E Coyote miss RoadRunner
for the thousandth time

(and don't take it personally)

have them dressed, dishes washed
& laundry nearly folded when finally
her eyes crack the veil

then, climb back in beside,
not in front or behind her & whisper---
'good morning beautiful,

you just missed gramma--she's got the kids,
i thought we'd go shopping'
 
& on the table eggs congeal, breakfast spoils,
but i know it was noticed, even if uneaten

TRY THIS, you will fail, especially
if all you do is duplicate mine because it's based
on her dreams & to meet them, step one...

is to know them.

Happy Saturday everyone! I am in Missouri on vacation this week, but could not miss out on the finale of anniversary week @ dVerse Poets. Today for Poetics, Claudia will unveil our group reading of The Song of the Bell...as well as prompt us to write based on a process...well she'll explain it better when it opens at 3 pm.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

55- Midnite Symphony & The Best of...

artwork @ the DAV
the house
              plays back-up
in creeks & cracks, clock ticks
steady humming
              A/C unit, sighs
out vents
       a faucet
          hiccup drips
window muffled cricket chirrups

all add depth, to the song
of your breathing
        peacefully sleeping

each chest rise stirs
       the air, sending molecules colliding
in thunderous claps

      encore
         encore

as my eyes close,
         enrapt

For my good friend G-man, a little 55 word action-tell a story in 55 words and come join the fun.


Over @ dVerse Poets today, we are winding down our anniversary week. We are looking back and each choosing our favorite poem written for one of the prompts from over the last year. Mine is from back in October. It was a fun piece to write and for me it is really about the desire to communicate and understand expectations.

I actually got a sit down by the pastor for this one because it was picked up by an adult mag and then my name tweeted out---evidently someone saw it...anyway, I thought the whole things kind of ironic. So for its encore performance:

I wish I was a sex phone operator

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Poetry Jam: The beautiful, the beautiful ri-ver

street altar, Richmond, VA

Computer 6, corner kiosk
at the library, she rounds the end cap desk
head bobbing just above the barrier

portly, pushing a walker,
having knee surgery months prior
floral dress, copious lips
& crimson cheeks, hair a nest

'hey, you,' and starts in,
on where she knows me from, Mark,
how he's with his mom, living
in a tent, hiding to remain uncaught,
out of the system---

'he won't ever get better, til she
gets help,' and 'he won't never like
that for me'---a wild one that,

turning six, next month
mom's excuse---she can't lose benefits
can't be alone again, a tent
in the woods, my mind tumbles
that rock looking for polish
only finding dust in my w(h)orl'd
finger tips

'i tried,' she says
'you tried.' i force a smile, wonder
but she won't give up where their
camp is, protecting her own interest---
keeping him on weekends---mom might
never let her see him if she confronts them,

i
force another smile, nod, wait
& she walks away, shuffle-step.
shuffle-step

& somewhere there is a blond haired boy,
a skipping stone across the surface
of the river which at some point will sink
everyone afraid to stop the spinning
spinning
         sp
            in
         n
           i
       n
          g
before it, before HE, slips beneath, river
turning the bend out of sight, out of mind---i

watch several children dance around
a cart of books, picking one out for completing
their reading chart, so happy to call it their own,
re-turn back into my kiosk, put my head down

& type this small altar, so you remember
next time you gather at the banks
                                              of this river.

written for Poetry Jam

Over at dVerse Poets today, we are continuing our anniversary celebration and a little later today I will be announcing a contest where several poets will be published --- do stop in after 3 pm EST.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Whatever is convenient---

tire tread, International tractor

Reality is----
You would have quit anyway,
this just makes it convenient & my wife

                                      thinks i am crazy.

A retired Colonel, fought in umpteen wars,
flies missions at night chasing drug dealers
in an unmarked plane & every time

i slip down to the coffee shop to write
at the wrought iron table in the moonlight,
he appears, lecturing me on this or that,

and this night it's the history of Russia
and the development of language, how each
conquered province got to keep their own
and they blended, a backward N is the same
as a two dot eye, the October revolution
& somehow Michael Jordan, Albert Einstein,
the invention of the lightbulb

common denominators to him, told early
he's retarded, by the powers that be & would
never, he was dyslexic before it was a label

now speaks four languages & in one hour
the old man will make your head spin ---

looks in my eyes, with a cocked grin
and drills me on European geography --- which
country held the Russians to a standstill
on skis?

Finland - really?

i relay his stories at night, and she laughs,
believes him imaginary, a figment of my over active
imagination - but tonight, walking away, he said

'no one can ever take away anything
you don't let them', a cliche' of truth, i now pass
to you, with this - i feel no guilt if you quit, but if

it makes it easier to look yourself in the mirror
after you walk away and say - i did it because of him
or whoever you want to blame
go for it, because one day you'll realize reality is

you would have quit anyway,
this just makes it convenient,
                            cause i never said your couldn't
you can, if you want it

but then again, i spend time with imaginary old men,
                                                     maybe i am crazy.

Over at dVerse Poets, it is our one year anniversary and we are kicking it with style for OpenLinkNight - time to write something poetic and come join the fun. I will be your host this historic evening. See you at 3 pm EST.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Magpie Tales: Yesterday's gone

Vettriano (via Magpie Tales)





facing the lion that walks your spine
at night, in daylight
is the greatest thing
     you will ever do ~ never do

it's dangerous ~ it's
     (insert whatever excuse you want)
it all comes down to self safety
                 though, life passes

slow out the window, slim protection
         & soon
                 enough, the lion

will catch you---
           even now,
              his fetid
                 breath
         raises hairs
      on your neck

& all you can think is the glass
                 needs cleaning
as you wait for sleep

wake up, WAKE UP, wAkE Up

                                    please.
    

written for Magpie Tales

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Poetics: French ticklers & sharks

sign @ Target (bathroom)

     Le plus beau langage du monde
     est celui que vos yeux utilisent.

It’s Tuesday night & we’re out for family dinner,
mac n’ cheese & chicken fingers

     I am sorry, can I get a side of ranch
     My boys like to mix it with ketchup  

Uh-huh, the waitress grunts then disappears
among the noise; clatter of forks on plates,
moving lips in conversation utterance
 & secret meetings

At the bar, they smile & sparkle at canned French
phrases delivered with just the right intonation
to hide hillbilly accents
      (Ok, not really)
& some memorized Neruda,
       (I've never heard Spanish quite like that either)
screams,
      Hey ya’ll look I'm cultured! 

& when one excuses himself to the restroom,
the girls giggle, tickled at his audacity
but she’ll probably have sex with him, anyway

The future waits for no one, you know---
& did you see those biceps?

These are fleeting, though, it’s the one in the corner
booth that’s dangerous---leaning in, intently listening,
only occasionally asking questions to keep
conversation going---     
      not of family or kids, work or the weather
      they are talking about but her---
dreams, the things she always wants to say but
has only found the courage in his willingness

She’s smiling, his bare fingers grace hers, just enough
 to remind her but no further, warm neon glow
reflecting on her ring

      Here is your ranch      

     Ok, thanks.

We eat, don’t see her again until after,
through the window, alone in a minivan
already life drains from her face
as headlights point the way home

       Check please

Over @ dVerse Poets today, K of ManicDDaily will be taking us on a little french twist tour in our poetry prompt. Are french fries really from France? I wonder sometimes. It's all french all day...smiles. She will open the doors at 3 pm.

I performed this last night in Richmond, VA...not near France. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sex (is Poetry)

sign @ Miller Park pool

Sex (is Poetry)

i love the feel of you(r
words) in my mouth,
rolling my tongue around
(vowels)

the sound of you(r
thoughts) run rampant
in my mind

& i sigh as i come
(to the last line)
content  

Over at dVerse Poets, Gay has us writing poetry on poetry, or ars poetica. To deny the relationship between the writer and the reader and our ability to move those that read, is unwise to say the least. Doors open @ dVerse open at 3 pm. 

My good friend G-man is back and re-starting 55s on Friday tonight at 8 pm as well, so here is another (slightly snarky) view on poetry and the endless quest for publication at any cost, which for many will cost them the voice they have that makes them special, in just 55 words.

55 - You mean that's it?

writing poetry that sells is easy,
like faking an orgasm---

emotion commotion
confused with reality
(don't worry,
we all do it, wink~wink)

performance to please
academia or---

 do it enough, you'll numb

to the magic that got you
writing, at first

if after, i fall asleep,
immediately

keep writing & congrats
on your recent success.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kids & Pros

Cole @ NFL camp

My son works the bag with Jake Grove

All-American, played a few years
with the Raiders, then Miami

A local boy, once

His wily red beard curls maniacally around his lips
where he presses his face against the bag
in resistance

"Push! Push!
Push like you mean it!"

The whistle blows & they break off.

One retired player passes the ball
to another kid, from his wheel chair.

POW!

car crash loud & bodies flying
a seven year old creams
a stand up dummy, they
sprawl on the field

by the fence, an old coach,
more black than brown, laughs, laughs,
laughs wet & through his teeth

"That one---he's gonna be a bad person"

he laughs some more, til he spits up
a bit of lung

played for the Rams, i think

& clearing his mouth,
limps away in an odd gait, clapping

just to hear the clapping again

while we cut our souls walking the razor
between day dreamers & serial killers.

written for Poetry Jam and Theme Thursday 

Cole is at football camp with some former and still active NFL players this week. Overall, I have been impressed with the break out moments where they focus on character building. There are those moments such as this that I wonder at what we celebrate and at what cost.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Sundays in the wild

street art

The night shift lady at the gas station
retires in 10 days
& tonight, on the linoleum, I ask
what she looks forward to---

 “Coffee.

Sitting with my coffee.
I might sit all day
with my coffee.”

Sounds like a good life.

The cash drawer juts
out the base of the register.
She fishes my change.

“See you around Frank”

“See you later Delores,”
it’s what her name tag has said
the five years I have been
coming here.

Hell,
I don’t care
she doesn’t know my name---
not here to make a name
for myself, I am

 Just picking up a bottle
of wine for my wife
& a Sunday paper

Pumping quarters down the throat
of life’s juke box, just to hear
what song plays next.

The bells on the door jangle
as I exit.

 I hope she enjoys that coffee.

I take mine strong & black,
just like her.
Just like my wife.

Over at dVerse Poets, it is OpenLinkNight ~ Week 52....hard to believe we been doing this a year...so go write and come join us...and Monday, we kick off our anniversary week. Gonna be fun. But right now, we got some poetry to get on and our lovely host Natasha Head will be opening the doors at 3 pm EST.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Magpie Tales: Sevens, Elevens & Snake-eyes

Chilmark Hay by Thomas Benton (via Magpie Tales)

It's a crap shoot, yard sale-ing on Saturday mornings with my boys. Sometimes snake-eyes, others sevens and elevens. Passing quarters for treasures until the coffee chills or we run out of change.

The barn sits down a short dirt, gravel and grass driveway off a t-bone of two back roads where counties meet. A white house sits to the front of it, tin roof, spindle rail porch. A dog asleep at the end of a ragged rope. Chimney smoke. Fields as far as the eye can see, which ends at the wall of mountains in the distance.

We park in the grass near a ramp that leads up to the door of the barn. There are no other cars. Three people congregate at a table, jawing with one another, not bothering to break as we slip beyond them. The interior of the barn is lined with tables, tables piled high with anything you can conceive.

Glass vases, tool of wood and metal-hammers, sickle, hand drills, unidentifiable instruments. Trinkets-one of those drinking birds, As seen on TV specials. Books, cloth dolls with worn staring eyes & stretched seams. Relics of lost civilizations, animal pelts. Hooks. Clothes hang on a pipe. Dust.

We maze through seeking ball cards and Star Wars. We limit our scope to that or my boys would bring home most anything unusual. No luck today, other than a VCR game, but our broke last year, so we pass. Animals lived here once, you can smell them in the damp air. The people are gone when we get to the door, the sun bright, barb wire rusty.

A man sits on a crate by the fence post, unnoticed before, gesturing for us to come over. At his feet is a cardboard box, seed stamped on the side, sounds of movement-scratching on the side. His face is pitted, big jowled, small eyes behind tight rimmed glasses. His hair is oil slicked over. He hasn't shaved since Tuesday.

"K'er. Lookit wat i gots, boys. Ere rabbit,"

The third finger on his right hand ends at the first knuckle in a fingernail that wraps over the stump, which he drags along the face of the box. Khrihpt, Khrihpt, Khrihpt. A white tongue damps his lips then from a pocket in his overalls he produces a red handkerchief and wipes them.

In the bottom of the box is a rabbit, small, one hand. Its back leg kicks out to the side, broken and flopping as it throws itself into the side of the box, skittering into a corner. A strong heartbeat pushes through its fur.

"'it em wit da lawnmooer. 'urt, em needs help. Yulnt em?"

My boys stand staring at the animal, mouths hanging open, silent. The grass still alive under their feet and growing. The rabbit flails from one corner to the next, wild eyes searching.

"No, my cat would just eat him. I think we will pass."

"If dey ketch me wit him, i go to jail. Gots ta git rid o'em."

The leg flops. The rabbit skitters. The fingernail drags the box. Khrihpt. He licks his lips. Pats his head with the handkerchief. Grass rustles. Heartbeat. Twitch. Khrihpt.

"Come on boys," I herd my sons to the car and we back out the drive to the road.

The man waves and I gun the engine, until it whines.

"Dad, would they really jail him for having a rabbit?"

I think of reasons they might, and come up with nothing good.

The road turns a hill. The fields are polka dotted with round bails of hay. Twos and twelves. Snake-eyes. Barb wire stretches fence posts. A speed limit sign with too low a number. Vultures dance an updraft.

"I dunno."

written for Magpie Tales.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Poetics: Four way, Derecho

We grow our skeeters big around here

Across the sun-hazy street,
they drag bulky chairs
into the beauty shop
parking lot, sweating enough
for a wet t-shirt contest,

Seat the maids & proceed
to make-up slick skin, paint
fingers royal purple & roll
damp hair

In every effort to make
this bride's day special---

us powerless, and all.

~~~

130 trees fell, at the golf course
alone, who will mourn
           who will mourn

Their bodies line the ditches
stacked, waiting for pick up

~~~

A testament to poor product placement
the first book on the bargain rack at Barnes & Noble
is the Ultimate Guide to Survival

This is not that, though, but a slow boil
of bones in a bag of flesh, eating soup
on a hot day ---
        no handshakes,
              no hugs
we taste each other with our noses

The earth moves beneath our feet, no one
still enough to notice, until this---now
each turn spins, spins, spins
in slow progress.

~~~

Someone asked about my mental faculties
in this heat wave, what a relief!
they're out on summer break

No worries though, they have tenure
and will be back next year.

Stu threw me a soft ball over at dVerse Poets today - asking about the weather. Well, I have been writing about it all week. I did have quite a few short impressions though that i figured I would never post, but here is my chance. I promise, no more weather poems for a bit. Smiles. Maybe your weather is better, come join us @ dVerse and write something poetic about the it or....well, see you at 3 pm EST.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

F(orgive) THIS

street art, Candler Mt skate park

Hieroglyphs adorning the skate park wall
tell our cultural story, a laughing jackass & god-figure
watch a boy strapped to a rocket, (cock it [aim] fire)
at our worst enemy, aiming of course is optional
and if they are unavailable, say, due to other obligations,
anyone we deem more wrong than us

Forgive & forget, gets pandered from pulpits,
what bullshit-at least the way it was taught growing up
as if we are giving permission for them to do it again,
'oh that's ok---i forgive you,' said in my best Ned Flanders,
as i pass you the key to my child's bedroom
so you don't have to break in the next time

The whole time underneath the surface, puss
infection eats deeper & deeper resent-ments, til you give
the finger to old ladies crossing the road for wasting
your time & beat your children for asinine questions
like, 'why grass is green?' which is surely evil
because life IS NOT FAIR-
         & if only you knew what he/she/it did to me
which is why i carry a .45 in my hip pocket loaded
full of gossip ready to swiss cheese their character

(and a cheese grater for extra measure---mother filabuster)

    Forgiveness is not the same as tolerance. It is not the same
    as inclusivity. It is not the same as indifference, whether
    personal or moral. Forgiveness does not mean we don't
    take evil seriously after all; it means that we do

Now there is a revolutionary concept---actually doing
something about it, confront it & name it---so the evil
doesn't Hyde in my Jekyll & you, YOU must actually own
your cRAP---

well, of course then, i too must own mine and perhaps,
that is why it scares us, so

forgive & forget it is, let's all sing Kumbaya, cross
our fingers & fester as we roast the heads off
a few marshmallows.

Over at dVerse Poets today, Charles Miller has an intriguing prompt for us, to incorporate text from an article or periodical...or write a poem addressing modernity on some level. Say, just jump over, he will explain it better.


Also submitted to Poetry Jam.


The section italicizes in the poem is from Evil and the Justice of God by NT Wright, who I had the opportunity to hear a few years ago. A rather radical thinking theologian. Similar thoughts are carried by Desmond Tutu in There is no Freedom without Forgiveness, another book on my shelf.

Last night, of the tyger

random street art

weathermen make poor liars, cooler weather?
it was 104 by 2:30 PM & 92 in the house after dark
too hot for sex,

we lay on the bed, sans clothes
beside each other as sheets lose their cool
on our backsides, allowing only the tips
of our fingers to touch

puruṣa-vyāghra, my thoughts, my hands
the soft dip of flesh by the bone of your hip, bush
of my beard tickling kiss

'did you cry today?' she asks, but i didn't,
not wanting to waste precious water
and she shares hers, this morning in the car
on the way to the cooling station

i crank the handle on the radio again, hear
promises of a break in the heat ~ an update
on power outages - 20,000 residences still in the city,
10(K) more in the county & resigned

lay back down, behind closed eyes
dream the night sky tears, crackling, pfizzling
in red, white & blue brilliance, grass
green between toes & undesiccated, of tulips,
of cool springs called forth from the mountains

nothing touching but our finger tips
in the best love we never made

until pre-dawn, light shatters the dark,
my eyes open on yours and in wondrous wet tears
the tyger roars once more,
'Good Morning!'

Day 7 - We have power! It is a beautiful thing. There are still many without, the numbers above reflect the stats for our area. My parents have been told Monday for theirs to return. puruṣa-vyāghra is sanskrit...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Beautiful Disaster

discarded baby doll

it's a beautiful thing, this disaster
all the faces gather-ing at the shelter

well manicured ladies with pursed lips
that don't perspire but glisten, daubing
foreheads with silk hankies

Hank the toothless Sasquatch next to them
can't stop talking, fingernails framed
in side street grit---'the snitch moonbeam
is how they found me, i was a prince once
--pass the salt please,' grimace,

small children, having escaped their parents
under the folding table, crawl between knees
and feet, tickling toes, bang shin bones in their search
for purchase cause a few to shift, sQUEal, curse, unkempt

'No Unleaded gas left,' babies crying, babies crYing,
hands mash potato-ed and catapulting, polo shirt lip curls
clean shaven & scented expensive, dirty diaper

lip smacking, floral muumuu arms thick enough
not to crack in the storm, she's got gravity
all her own---the smell, the smell of living

beings, 'Seven to ten more days, i tell you what
i can't take this shit no mo'. They run out o' ice
an i done thawed the peas sitting on 'em,'
high pitch laughing, unshaven legs

little girl unconscious on her thick thigh,
polite moustache faced Indian & humble wife,
burqa, Mr. Obnoxious who can't see why it takes
so long, each anguishing

to stay cool in the heat, power
still out & eat---the rending mastication
of mass produced chicken, broken bread music,
vaguely resembling 'welcome to my world,
please, make yourself comfortable---'

& after eating, i dry shave quick in the communal sink,
press warm water to the cracks of my face, loosing
what is left, straighten my hawk---pause at a baby doll
in the grass on my way on & out, one more day,
one more day---

it's a beautiful thing

Over at dVerse Poets, it is OpenLinkNight hosting this evening by the lovely Claudia - so go write---write whatever you want, just make it poetic...which is not the same as rhyming, just poetic and come join us. The doors open at 3 pm EST. See you there.

Day 4 - Never trust a weatherman. It hit 104 around 2:30 pm yesterday making it four days over 100. A neighbor got a note on the door from the power company that we should expect it back on by Saturday. I hope it was not written by an amateur weatherman. Smiles.

If you are local, LU opened the dining halls and are serving all 3 meals for $3 a person and kids eat free. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

beyond reason(able doubt)

obviously, not the hearse

A pale blue hearse
with confederate flag upholstery
passes me on the main drag, driven
by a shirtless old man,
with a wide nest beard & bird chest
(Listen close, you might hear a raven)

Surely, death has come to toWn
(or the South risen again) and i can't imagine
what might happen when he realizes
there is no more Unleaded gas left
in this city

figuring it better to make friends
i throw up a hand (too hot
to do much else)
but he pays me no mind

Obviously,
it is not my time

on he goes, down the road,
on we go,
                  down the road

Day 3 - supposedly it will not be over 100 today..still no power...earliest estimates are Saturday...it was 92 in the house last night when we went to bed...there are several stores that have power and we move from one to the next keeping cool...a few have opened up areas where you can charge cell phones & laptops or use their internet. As of this morning the gas station had Unleaded and the lines at the pump not too bad.

written for Poetry Jam

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Magpie Tales: Power-less

Ophelia by Odilion Redon

At a shop, on the edge
of the city, we gather like refugees

at 103, the day
was a hard master,
the sick sweet smell of sweaty bodies
permeates even the aroma
of brewing coffee, Ophelia
flowers in our hair

20 - 30 of us vie for four
power outlets, re-charging
laptops, cell phones, (any communi-
-cation with the outside world
to validate) our-
selves, now

that night has descended. At ten
they apologize, but kick us out

& as their light winks
our darkness is complete, each

in-different directions toward home, our cars
cut swaths through still streets,
all windows black
& no faces

written for Magpie Tales



Process Note: The use of flowers in the hair, as well as the white shift and disheveled appearance, in early theatre would have represented madness.

No telling when we might have power back at this point, the target seems to change with the hour. A week or two maybe. The heat is the worse and trying to keep cool. Everything in the fridge is waste, so today well get non perishable staples.

There are a few places that are cooling shelters that also have wifi, so I am around when i am there as a brief escape. See you soon. Smiles.