Thursday, November 29, 2012

drawing leaves of the black tulip

The Black Tulip (last page) by Alexandre Dumas

the keeper of beauty & wisdom,
an old man, scratched
on the frame of his door  

     L-O-V-E F-U-R-I-O-U-S 

     watch the tulips,
     the moths & butterflies 
     slugs & hungry bees 


     culture destroyed the sycamore
     in the garden - a prison of his 
     own will

     i suffered 

and bourne to die,
 he found flight  

Over at dVerse Poets, Anna has challenged us to try erasure poetry. Take a page from an existing work, in this case, I took the last page of The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas and erased words til i found a poem. Its not as easy as it may seem, but was a fun exercise. Even my new title is taken from words on the page. Give it a try or just check out more today at 3 pm.

And told in 55 words for my good friend g-man.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

tickTock man

outside the holocaust museum, Washington, DC

Second drawer down on the right, in the wood top desk, which sat beneath the window of my childhood room, held the universe of lost & found things.

The post cards, of course, with pictures of places I’d never been well outside the boundaries of our neighborhood, addressed to someone else & held by an ever hardening red rubber band. Evidence of life in the great beyond.

Marbles. Unmatched queens and a five of clubs. Empty matchbooks with archaic numbers scribbled on their covers. Round bits of metal & springs, screws. Pieces of contoured glass. A uniform patch, that read Layman Brothers. String. A Mother board. Mess of wires.

Relics of a previous future, unmet, yet.

After a day exploring the woods as we played war or built outposts along the border, my brother, cousins and I emptied our pockets in the center of the floor. Loose dirt and rust spraying off our findings into the carpet. We'd run fingers along grooves, pitted surfaces and hard places---a puzzle in how they all fit.

‘Do we know what it is yet?’ my cousin would ask, always the first & last question.

‘No, there is more,’ was ever the answer.

We’d sit, rolling them in our palms and tell the story, each day adding details. A washer from an elbow or shoulder joint. A receipt carried the activation code for something called Marlb. An action, or maybe the name of what we were re-constructing.

When called to supper we would slip them in the drawer, with a clink, clank, ring-a-ling. The drawer became heavy in its track, hard to slide out and release its contents.

At night, after everyone left I would take everything out and assemble it in the obvious patterns. Arms. Legs. An eye. The inner workings of the body. Then I lay within, cuddled in a ball, my ear pressed to the heart---an old railman’s pocketwatch, which belonged to my grandfather--- and wait for it to whisper, once more.


written for Poetry Jam & Theme Thursday

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

OpenLinkNight: of simple mined

i search for secrets in
spots on painted horses,
the rough ridges of tree bark,
a child's freckled cheeks,
his elders creases,
scratches in park benches,
the sQueeChatter of the wind
mill on the corner of my parent's
property, the rhythm of rain
on aluminum gutters & names

my son points out RANDY
in the parking lot, concrete curb,
one back street off Main,
asks, "Who's that?"

"Someone," i answer,
definitely someone

the rainbow, though
holds special significance,
its hope---the one hoop
i don't have to get too high
to jump through.

Over at dVerse Poets, it is OpenLinkNight, a time to get your poetry on among friends---write it, and come join the fun...Claudia is hosting this evening...opens at 3 PM...see you there.

Monday, November 26, 2012

second to the right

it's like a game of Twister, always changing positions
(a book at the store says there's a different
one for each day) then mix in the location,
there are endless variations

we're always discovering
new ones

& as you curl sleeping, outside, in the crispness, i stand
in smallness before all i know

that nineteen years ago, they lined up
just right

because you said yes,
and tonight, they have never shined brighter.

Just a little something I wrote for T. Nineteen years ago yesterday, I got on my knee.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

All the way (chili, onions & mustard) Impressions

Johnny @ Roanoke Weiner Stand

it is not that hot dogs usually bring me to tears,
but today---

it's called progress,a positive turn on the pinch
of the little man, making way for all things
new & shiny

to replace 96 years of history & it's not
that they were ready just deemed old---
needing renovations, it's been 4 months,

the market stalls hold autumn, pumpkins, few fruits
& late vegetables, Christmas crafts & wreaths,
tobogganed heads with pinked cheeks
& winter coats

a crushed cup skitters along the asphalt in the company
of leaves, customers barter vendors, banter, a busker
strums away on six string, battered case at his feet

the window is new, but Johnny, who started, fresh
off the boat as a teen, ain't & rides the grill
looks up when we knock the glass

the line never stops moving, door always opening,
a couple good ole' boys give up a booth for a family
of five, 'here's one for you,' Johnny slips an extra
dog - all the way - on our tray

i ate my first at a young age & today, my sons.
'it's just not the same,' (all clean), one guys says,
'but still tastes great,' he smiles, 'nothing like it'
chili, mustard & onions ~ simple magic

i doubt any of them will visit the new&shiny
that took the wiener stand's original spot
on main street, our 'little' two dollar
gut bomb revolution

the old sign still burns on the wall, no names
needed, everyone talks to each other, Johnny
knows 'em all anyway.

Was great to visit an old staple of the town I grew up in, today. The city put them out of business four months ago to renovate the building they were in. There was question if they would even bring it back, but Friday they reopened just down the street from where they were. My dad used to bring home sacks of hot dogs when I was younger, as a treat. Didn't do any polish on this really, it's just the impressions of my visit.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Poetics: Preparation H (for the daughter I never had)


They say Preparation H will heal
scars & help your face,

sounds like a joke, but you'd be surprised
what people will try to fix what's been given,
my nose for instance, a broke down cadillac
in my internal peripheral, mental superhighway

what can i say. it's the first thing in
when the fists start flying--though that's been
a while, i'm thick---imagine all the hemorrhoid
cream they'd sell if that got out

(i should say, doctors don't recommend it
a disclaimer for those willing or praying
for something to help the mirror present
a better picture)

'Beauty is unbearable and drives us to despair,'
Camus, you don't know how right you were
scribbling that in your notebook,

we set the bar high & dream, all the while be-little-
ing our self, worth like hamburger on the back
of the meat grinder-my nose, your mole, lips,
wide hips, no tits, cheeks, gut, flat butt, or bubble,
ears like Mickey Mouse, SCream

'Who would want this?'

run hands down our body and resort to putting ass cream
on our face despite the risks---and if, and if
i could find the ones that taught babies they're ugly
i'd throttle 'em & lead with my nose cause i don't
give a damn & won't get cheesy saying
'we're all beautiful', maybe we're just all equal-
ly ugly in buying the lie

how we look, makes us worth-less,
love-less, and
             STOP this
clearance sale of selling ourselves cheap
if for no other reason, then the sake of our children
cause what you reap you will sow and another
generation---then reap

Over at dVerse Poets today, Mary has us all in 'preparation' mode for Poetics and I jokingly told her early in the week I was going to do something completely different with the word 'preparation'...hehe...but don't worry, this prompt won't be a pain in the butt to write about. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Canned pumpkin pie filling (Happy Thanksgiving)

'turkey w/ a flatulence problem' by cole

That $1.67 & a tin coated can
hinder me from he-
ading home,
no end in sight, spea-
ks to tradition, driving in circle-
s, back road short cuts, avoidin-
g holiday traffic.
i listen to Cohen, gi-
ve right of way, as needed,
it's, not cold e-
nough to keep the window up, gramma waitin-
g with an empty pie crust.

Hope you are having a wonderful thanksgiving. Spent yesterday shopping for gramma and had the hardest time trying to find the pumpkin pie filling...and she just listed out other stores to try. Smiles.

Over at dVerse poets, we are writing Thanksgiving acrostics to celebrate the holiday. Sam will open the doors at 3 PM, after you are well into a tryptophan coma, or maybe just waking up.

Ironically G, its in 55 words as well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Days of Blood and Starlight (or Llama, Llama Time to Share)

3rd grade, mars rover

'It's tacky," she says
as we pass the house

a six foot Campbell's soup can, out front,
a seven foot-tall flip flop toed in the grass,
four foot lighter, flicked, in flame
and a light pole turned fifteen foot cigarette

each month another piece of art goes up
in their yard, the next is lime green & yellow
but can't tell what it is yet

'i dunno, its kinda cool,' i've never seen
the artists, only the petition to remove them
an eyesore, endangering property values

Yes, yES - let's
admire the drab, keep it blACK
& wHITe with standard shutters, snuff
starlight, crab on crab-no one gets out

and what of the man, driving around town
in the van, with bloody abortion pics
on the side panels. where is the horizon

when a stone in your hand,
means more than fingered words
in the dirt & who gets the invite
for Thanksgiving dinner? (hey mom,
this is...errr.)

'how about a large blender
in the front yard?'


'a giant grilled cheese?'


'okay, fine.'

The title(s) of this piece are from the bestseller list. I have read neither so can not endorse their content, they just had cool titles. Llama, Llama is by Anna Dewdney and Days of Blood and Starlight is by Laini Taylor.

Written for Poetry Jam

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

me & mary poppins on cell block six

sticker on the side of my car

CNN is roasting Petraeus,
now Allen ---even
       the FBI agent
for their various 'affairs'

when someone drops, '1 in 99
Americans are in jail', the highest
percentage of any nation (we
should have a celebration) & i've been

it's not fun, depending on who
rides the bunk above you, but
three squares & there's television

one inmate taught me Tonk, might
have let me win on occasion, just to keep
it interesting & what's our interest
in other's private parts, especially
our leaders (national security, maybe?)
but what security is there in 1 in 99?

Our trustee used to whistle---walking a-
round in his dungarees, pushing the mop
bucket as i watched

on an old black n' white monitor, a precursor
to realityTV, the angst of how many
drops would slosh in the hallway
and who next would take up residence---

he favored old show tunes
& every once in a while

Mary Poppins.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - write a poem, come join the party - we open the doors at 3 PM EST. I will be your host this evening, so I hope to see you. 

Before rumors get too crazy, it was part of my rotation at the Sheriff's department to work jail duty. Smiles.

Monday, November 19, 2012

bedtime stories

sticker on a light pole

i did not tuck in boys
or read bedtime stories

i did not read the last few chapters
of Harry Potter, or care
for the moment how it ended,

nor determine the answer
to the riddle of the ghost
haunting the cave by the ranch,
the cowboys will have to
wait in fright & stay warm
on their own, by the campfire

i did not read bed time stories
tonight, i wrote them---

horses ran wild
through the fields

great blackfish breached
the surface of the ocean
under the stars
gasping for breath

dragons devoured whole towns,
the princess slept beauty,
the taste of apple
still on her lips

and the last line
was not
'The End'

because the boys
are at gramma's
another two days

and my pencil
is barely dulled,
my notebook full
of blank pages.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The color of 2:34 PM

batman, climbing our tree

We put our tree up today. Orange, Green, White, Blue, Purple, Pink, Red, Brown; the labels on the stems, slid in slots, bottom to top, making it easier. I never remember the order, so it's a process of measuring them and hoping you get the longest branch poking out. Last year, we wizened up and wrote hieroglyphs on the box---OGWBPPkRB. I still had to measure the black stems and scribbled in pencil a Bk in place. I miss real trees.

Stringing the lights is my least favorite part, but always on me to lay them in coverage across the green, adding as needed to fill in dark places. Christmas music is playing from the CD player upstairs---Taylor Swift, Chipmunks, Alabama, Bing. Harry Connick. The lights blink this year---something new to delight the boys. Earlier they played among the empty plastic storage boxes, building fort walls and draping blankets, creating concealment.

I am balled tight in the now vacant eaves, pulling the darkness around me. Just a faint hint of muted sunlight,  from the corner, breaks the black. The smell of wood is intoxicating this far back, I am between studs, my shoulders against the dry wall and knees in my chest, stilling my breathing to a whisper of broken air.

Hear only inches away their glee. My children's shrill voices, the stomp of their feet. My heart is a thoroughbred on the far side of the finish line. I trace the wood grain of the  floor with a finger, rough and unfinished. Press an ear to the wall when quiet comes. Where are they?

I scratch a bit, my fingernails on the wall, the boards. Can they hear it over the Christmas music? Do they even know I am here. Stifling the desire to yell, I focus again on breathing. The darkness is complete, my hand over the little light to see if I can feel air. It blinks. Blinks. Blinks.

'Dad?" they scream and I pull tighter into a ball.

A hard thunk blasts down the crawl space, a square of light laid on its side. A head.

'Dad are you in here?' he cant see more than a foot in front of him, into the depths.

I want to giggle. I want to be found. I want to stay hidden.

I bark and begin crawling out of the corner towards him and he jerks his head out of view, then pokes it back in. Laughing at the fear that gripped him seconds before.

'I found you,' he taunts, 'That means it is your turn to be it.'

'Fine, count to a hundred?'


'One. Two. Skip a few. Ninety Nine. One Hundred.'


'Oh, okay. One. Two. Three...'

My boys and wife run to hide, in faith I will seek them. I will always seek them.

Tree lights reflect on the window. On the black smile of the TV. Blink---red, green, blue, yellow. Counting time in color, just like me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Poetics: Watching the EXIT

by Terry

Given the chance, i'd sit down with death
at the coffee shop---my bitter dark
against his skinny half-caf cinnamon dulce
latte' over ice & after brief small talk,
family stuff & such--ask how he deals
with taking a child

if he goes home & eats a quart, a gallon
of ice cream, til he can't get off the couch,
cries himself to sleep, having left
his teddy bear in the other room

or what he watches (make that, stares blank at)
on the TV; 80's sitcom syndicated re-runs,
Laverne & Shirley, CHiPs, Andy Griffith
& does he whistle along

maybe, change his oil to keep busy
make hard love to his wife while he weeps,
do his knuckle bones hurt, trying to punch
his way out the paper bag or sit cross-legged
thumbing a tune on his ribs to find a happy place,

wait for the sun to warm marrow, tomorrow,
pray between preying, let the cat crawl up
in his pelvis, subconsciously petting his cares away

he'd give me that hollow look as if he knew
mysteries I could not fathom or had reason,
but thought better than trying to explain,
take a sip from his cup, rasp gravenly
'What would you do?'

'I...,' can't find an answer that doesn't begin with
'I...,' sound selfish, or assumes he has any choice,
easier than the next & his hand finds mine
for the briefest touch

we lapse into that comfortable silence,
reserved for intimate relationships,
and watch the door, above which a sign
reads EXIT.

Over @ dVerse Poets, Claudia is inspiring us with the photography of Terry , who is a rather amazing photographer. There will be plenty to choose from, so do stop in after 3 PM EST to get your poeming on.

I am ready to write happier stuff again, but wrote this the last couple days as I wrestled in the after of what happened. Shalom

Friday, November 16, 2012

55 - transient cat resilient

Domino (not the transient cat) under his blanket

the sky pinked, then blacked,
night, last

a hunch-backed kitten
scavenging along the curb

called an unknown name
bounded off across the lot

headlights swinging in/out
spots & discarded lotto tix

36° read the dashboard thermo
as i pulled toward home.

this Orange morning,
a tuft of fur/bone picks its
concrete plate


a story told in 55 words, for my friend g-man

a stray kitten i have watched the last couple mornings and if he'd let me i'd take him home. i might be getting as bad as betsy. smiles. yesterday was better than the day before. most of our classes seem more memorials than anything else. today is the last day before thanksgiving break. the kids need it, but like the cat i have been watching, they are resilient. we will make it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

MeetingTheBar: 82

turn off the lights

Unlike yesterday.
Unlike last week.
Unlike any day
the last twelve weeks,
i'll eat all my lunch

& Monday, over the shoulder
of his aide, reading Macbeth,
he makes faces at me & i,
him, until she catches on & he's
in trouble, as i slip away

neither of us

the horses already left the gate
rounding turns to the post

or the suffering, rat burrowing
through intestines
to gnaw my spine

in 4th block, Government class,
at the desk,
where we shared
the last bit of my lunch,
each day, bribing him

at finding the seat
next to me
of emptiness.

i'll eat all my lunch

but today,
i couldn't eat
a damn thing.

Over at dVerse Poets today, Victoria has us writing literary allusion, a little homage to those that made an impact in how we right. Love him or hate him, Buk has def influenced my style in many ways. The inclusion of the horse racing is a slight nod to him as well. Meeting the Bar opens at 3 pm EST.

Yesterday, four students were in a car wreck on the way to our school. Two of them killed. One of them mine. One of my SPED kids that I knew really well. 82 was his football jersey number. He was to attend a college in western North Carolina to continue playing. I am quite busted up over it and held off the real emotional pieces I wrote this evening because it's still really raw. Best I got today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The greatest show on earth

by the supermarket, Lynchburg, VA

'Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!
Come be AmazED
we have not 3,
              not 4,
              but 6 rings
that go round n' round
           round n' round'
(the wheels on the bus go...)

'Music, please!' there's always a busker
or the universe would not be complete,
or at least
        a teen with their ear buds too loud
providing the beat - HISS/SQUEEK, stop

Take your seat, take your seat---
near the front---on OXYgen, she sits
eyes large behind bottle bottoms, but boys,
she's got stories & ain't afraid to use them, you'd think
she knew Harriet Tubman personally,
leading all them people to freedom

Sam, (says so on his shirt) a few seats back,
with a twitch, might be too much coffee or such,
reads the whole ride and feels each sentence,
just watch his face, the faces he makes, across the way,
underneath all those grocery bags is a person peeking out,
her kids--- the clowns---every circus has them & these
are acrobats, over/under benches, grabbing ankles
& squealing (perhaps i should not wiggle fingers
at them, encouraging) wicked grins, a haggard
chap in a stocking cap coughs wet & reeks
of his last five packs, in and out they spin,
one man that won't stop talking, but only to himself
or God, or maybe he is God, some fast, some slow,
but on and on the show must go---sideshow acts,
quirks and quacks

spit politics as if the elections not over,
spouting secession, where's the lion tamer
when you need them---& the two young lovers
in the back acting like we're not here
WE ARE!!! until our stop, that is & don't try
looking out the window, put your paper away
no 3G, 4G anGry birds---nONoNo
you'll miss---you'll mISS

        ON EARTH!

written for Poetry Jam

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

OpenLinkNight: 38 days (to the brain buffet)

man flashing a cow, poster in men's room @ restaurant

There’s no conspiracy here, just late librarians,
locked library doors & students
      begin to gather in tight circles,
conserving heat, conversations of

‘what plans do you have for the weekend?’
end up, ‘There are only 38 days left
       to the zombie apocalypse’ & we each

check our bags, inventory what we have
 that will help if---(maybe there is a syndrome
for this experience)---‘we could break my computer,
find metal to gather sun in reflection
for fire starting.’

 ‘We can use my text books,’ elicits laughter,
but he’s serious , ‘At least then they’d
get use’---more laughing & an arm punch

‘I have 6 power bars.’ ‘Peanut butter crackers.’
‘Half a pack---of gum.’ ‘Bottle of water.’

‘We could bust a window to get inside
a building.’ ‘yes, but it has to be one we could
board up after.’ ‘I think the science lab might
be best.’ ‘My lunch is in my locker.’ ‘We should
stay near the back-up generator.’ ‘I found needles
& thread.’ ‘Could we use my inhaler?’

 ‘Sorry, I am late,’ the door rattles open
& the crowd enters, dispersing between rows
of shelves---no one mentions the plans again,
for now

There are 38 days remaining, plenty of time,
plenty of time---

to be ready.

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - Woohoo, time to party poetically...go write something cause it is BYOP...ok so you can stop in and just imbibe if you would like as well...doors will open at 3 PM EST.

The above was based on an actual group conversation last week with students while we were waiting on the library to open. What can I say, at least they are thinking, right? smiles.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pretzels & Bullfights

Will return to regular scheduled programming in the morning, but for those interested, I am featured here, where I talk a bit about life outside of writing and the blog.

comments off.

Sunday, November 11, 2012



‘Dad, can I have five dollars for book fair?’

‘No. Not right now buddy.’

‘Come on, what’s five dollars?’

I can answer that, but won’t. Not tonight, letting the twist spread along my intestines. My shoulders knot. The spoon delivers another load of potatoes to my mouth, salt & butter lost to my tongue. Peas. Potatoes. Peas. Until the plate is clean.

‘Thank you,’ I excuse myself, cross the kitchen, placing dishes in the sink & continue to the porch, closing the door behind me.

Cold assaults my face, pinching any exposed skin in its grip. Night is as silent as all the little things allow. Leaves rustle. Something moves in the shadow of the tree . Stars, in all their vastness, look back from the black. Boards creak beneath my weight. I wait.

I wait.


Eddie Vedder, unplugged, plays Pearl Jam songs at a concert on the radio. Another day. The same road winds through farms. Cows. Horses. Deer cross the road around several bends, frequent enough to keep me conscious of speed and distance. The color palette in the trees is brilliant.

Gravel. The car door makes a solid thunk as I close it behind me. My cat runs full tilt toward me from the bottom of the back yard, slowing with approach to saunter the last couple feet. We talk, climbing six stairs, to the door. Teeth grind as the key enters the lock, twists.

‘Hey dad, guess what?’

‘What’s up?’

‘My friend Maurice bought me a book at the book fair. He used his money.’

The cinch in my stomach returns. Palms to the face, I work finger bones around eye sockets, push back along the temples. His friend did what I could not, and this makes me---

‘Did you thank him?’


‘Good,’ I won’t argue with what’s given, in this ever humbling existence.

Kiss my wife. A pot steams on the stove. A few minutes before dinner is ready, they run play in the other room & I sit to study – Autism Strategies. Peel back the first page. Begin to read, running my finger along the sharp edge of the paper.

Put it down, deciding, instead, to go play.

writing just to write...happy sunday & do take time today to remember those that served.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Poetics: armistice of us

student's shirt

sterile & silent,
the walls follow our inhalation patterns
in/out, in/out, in

white, tile at least
broken with flecks of brown, the desk
screams 'Institution!', but it's not
bolted down & the chair
he sits is gunmetal/black
and oddly frail. he

permits my pause, his eyes
unmoving, hair, that once covered them,
gone, pale skin, rabbit eyes
want to run

no where to hide,
                  now here to hide
(there's)  NOwhere to hIde
on the inside, D'prived
the sun, a strip of halogen, that
                 can't count the day on fingers
click, click, click boom

not crazy, he's not crazy, not crazy
it was a joke, never meant to reeeal-ly
hurt anyone, we just---no he doesn't
offer excuses, just sits, rabbit eyes
waiting for me to make a move


how do you respond
to the one that planned an intimate
moment between you a coupleHundred metal pellets?
he just sits, silent & i want him

to be inSane, want (a) reason, a sense
of the senseless, not innocence---we might as well be
in class, even there he
was not this compliant

sit a cross, sit across,
so close we smell our sweat mingle, rabbit twitch,
my hands on the hands on the desk...i
open them, ask 'how are you?'

& he never asks
         he never asks, but i give him

as much for him, as for me

in our few moments together, then leave
knowing this is just the first
             of us.

Over at dVerse Poets, Karin is leading us down the path of peace, where we lay our weapons down, call a truce....not just to honor those that chose to put their lives in harms way for it...for us...but so we can maybe one day see it...if only for a day. Gonna be an incredible time at dVerse for Poetics today. I hope you join us at 3 PM EST.

This is a follow up on my piece a few weeks ago about a student threatening to shoot up the classroom found here, in case you missed it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

55/FFA - a home at the oddball table/steaming mirrors

picture by SueAnn

i always check the oddball table
at the bookstore, ones
without a place.

i relate ---
never knowing what
i'll find.

tonight it's 'Hot guys
with baby animals'

a picture book;
cuddly fur
on bare chests.

'my cat would kill me,'
i say, an older lady
peeking around shelves

& we both
walk away,

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

Over at dVerse Poets today we are writing Than Bauk, which is a lot harder than it looks, but here is what I got:

Steaming mirrors

warm bath water
grows ever cold
finger wrinkles

ripples ~ texture
together, rise               (drips)

pools under our
feet, observant
it's her, i dry

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

the ever endless seasons

on the gym wall, Bedford, VA

election night, the coffee shop
is hopping, a bus worth of high school kids
and older humans, fresh hash marks, off
exit polls

two kids in the corner, sisters,
try out for professional wrestling
on the comfy seats--kick to the face,
giggles, the youngest chants nursery
rhymes as she flails & i am

stuck in conversation with an end times
prophesier (professor) i had the dumb
luck to sit next to - 'if the current regime...

(insert a litany of ignorant propaganda
---yes, i tried to wipe my feet
before tracking it in the house---later)'s the end of times,' and not just the Mayan
calendar, but Chinese-Alien take over, lost
value of the dollar & thank God for Political
saviors---he's got a book too, not the Bible, a prop,
he chops in his palm as he heats up (hey wait,

why is everyone leaving- all bunched up
at the other end of the shop) 'but what about---'
& he's not used to someone asking questions
as he blasts, 'Obviously, [no name drop here]
is senile & the media twisted his remarks.'

I don't win, never intend to in endless seasons
of ever greater division, but listen, then move
over beside an Asian couple, '6 moanth ole'
she says in broken English as i make faces/twiddle
fingers at their child

'i have two myself, boys'

they smile,
in ways, not so menacing, at all.

written for Poetry Jam and well in advance of any announcement as to who took the race to 270---my hope though is that whoever it may be, that we can start to look beyond that which separates us and begin to bring healing to a much divided nation, while we still can.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Yesterday left the building & tomorrow hasn't shown up to the party

railroad by the James River, Lynchburg, VA

Last football game of the season
& another riddle falls victim

is it the chicken

Senior players gathered for breakfast,
this morning, eggs & bacon, leaving four years
of memories with their napkins,
                  knowing there is no more,
facing fears of what's next, go to class
under that weight

& tonight, all together again, hundreds
of birds slaughtered, fried  & fed on aluminum
pan altars
        with green beans
                  scalloped potatoes
                          bread & Gatorade
they don't talk,

focused, no playoffs on the line
in a losing season, all the losses add UP
& this is it---before the body shop, supermarket or
university & some might drive by
          a college on their way
                                          to work

it's the egg,

no chickens here, only bones of what has been
& the unbroken yoke of tomorrow
awaiting the fork & it might be

a runny mess, but right now
only one game's left

'you taping tonight,' he asks
around a roll, meaning
'can i get a copy?', meaning
'how many times
will i replay this moment
                          again & again?'

'sure,' i shake his hand,
hard, cracked & calloused from the farm
he'll return to after this one last time
in the heat of the spotlight

'play well man.'

'i am,' he says,

'i am.'

Over @ dVerse Poets, it is OpenLinkNight - time to get poetic, no prompt, just written word to astound or perturb (grins) so write something and show up at 3 PM EST. And if you are in the states, go VOTE early, so you can come and play.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

love note in the margin of my book

Charlotte, NC

your kiss is the grave
i enter, willingly - to
rise - resurrected

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Poetics: the black eyes of ignorance

by SueAnn

'what do you tell a woman
with two black eyes?'

he says, the whites of his teeth,
dark lips, own eyes wide
anticipating the payoff

'nothing, you already told her---

& it takes a moment, half the male pop-
ulation already tittering, ladies smolder-
ing---perhaps shock at his callousness
silences me for seconds---

it's not that he's a bad kid, or even labeled
misunderstood, nor a member of the locker
room club, just a boy in first period
who thinks its funny

to beat on women & he's not alone
obviously---i mean what isn't fun about the wet crunch
of bone as knuckles crack cartilage & sockets, broken
vessels filling in flesh like crayons melting
in the summer sun on the dashboard of dad's
pickup truck---'fuckin' & cookin'---that's what
they good fer, aher, aher'

& the way they beg for more, 'dont....stop....'
's what i heard, or 'that's what she said'
& their laughing, they're laughing,

a pack of jackals, spittle
spinning off their chins cornering a cub
circling in for the kill...HahAhaHAha




      & no pin drops

      & wind whistle through the ruins
      of homes, passed every day, of people
      respected in community, church on sunday,
      all-american & charming
      but behind closed doors

      & the stain creeps along the wall, if noticed
      dismissed by accessories of complacency

'what? it's just a joke."

       a silence
       i won't

'Everyone have a seat!
       let's talk about black eyes

Today @ dVerse Poets, I am hosting Poetics & bringing along a long time blog friend SueAnn, who has graciously provided her photographic art for inspiration. The above is just one of several pictures we will be using to write today. I will open the doors at 3 PM EST. See you then.

I had planned another write, but this was a bit of my day in my classroom yesterday that just kinda forced its way onto my page.

Friday, November 2, 2012

55 - bAngRumblEsqWEeee

caged window, Bedford, VA

a sofa sits the curb
missing one leg
& even with weight,
rocks in the wind
             dew wet,
& arm odd-angled

NOT FOR SALE, all change
gone from its creases---grass
greener on the other side, leaves
gather in mass
then move on


in the distance,
the trash truck

its coming

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

MeetingTheBar: working the chainGang (w/ 12 Romans)

Each night, out of discipline, i run
a comb through membranes, seeking truth
& felonious cogitations flea-ing the chain-


don't pull too hard when teeth get caught,
can't tell the store by the lies you bought
'cept in actions wrought, that's why mine's
shaved in a mohawk, all my thoughts point

up---eyes to the floor, too many trap doors
in the mind's mine to bear in mind & corners
where the sun don't shine, even in reflection
on the moon, man left footprints on once
& never went back, been there done that

thought-less, but we---we're always re-turning
the same plots, expecting seed to root in spite
our tilling, retelling the same stories as if
the ending might be different, apples always gListen,
so says the snake hissing for kisses

one hundred hundred three...

the forecast no longer partly cloudy, leaves
the sky free & blue, as my jeans, holey things,
i wear like champagne to visit Mona Lisa,
she works a street corner, making a guitar moan
& goes by Frank---plays for tips, to supplement
his guv'mnt check, gave me one once--sang

there's a parable in the wind,
keep searching, man
keep searching, so

Each night, out of discipline, i run
a comb, 's got a some broken teeth---i might miss
a few felons, but 'ats alright by me

Over @dVerse Poets, Anna has us writing postmodern poetry, mixing high/low culture, surrealism and a couple other things & well, i gave it a shot...she can explain it all the more when she opens the door at 3 pm EST.