Sunday, December 30, 2012

staring down 40-luv


McEnroe & Agassi on TV,
pock, unnngh, pock, unnghh, pock
they grunt & sweat beating furry balls
around the court---there was a day
they were top of their game, now

old men, still doing what they love
& are good at---maybe

a little slower, more direct,
a little more finesse than power----

'these are not bad things
that come with age,'
you say

a glint in your eye,
i thumb the power button
on the remote
and serve,
awaiting your return

Friday, December 28, 2012

Poetics: spare change in the console cup holder

train axles on a flat bed in the ice

'why do refrigerators have lights?'
he asks, from the back seat

freezing rain & snow
on the window & the road

leading to Pappaw's house
before us with hour hands
yet to turn

'couldn't you just use a flashlight?'

'yes, but----
     today we focus on comfort
     & convenience. making life
     easier, to free time to do---

     well, what do you do?'

kids, unafraid to question anything,
everything, while we settle for
answers we fill in ourselves
    without thought
           without thought

lines on the asphalt no longer visible,
slush rumbles on the undercarriage,
& we follow the ruts left by the car
in front of us, the ditch full of those
that don't---
      no refrigerator in sight.

At dVerse Poets today, Claudia has us ruminating on change in its various forms, luckily I did not have to change a tire in the weather...ha. Doors will open at 3 pm EST, so get writing.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meeting the Bar: on the death of my cat

miko

i.

my cat died today
no crickets sang, just
spaded earth

ii.

my finger traces lines on her leg
left by alligator teeth,
in old age she remembered
how to snuggle.

iii.

her first night out of the woodpile
she slept on my chest, my wife
out of town. She became
a mom to my boys,
checking on them each night.

iv.

her life left
by her mouth~
we mopped up
after

v.

goodbye my friend
see you again ~ hope
they have good food
in the after

vi.

meow.

vii.

nine lives in four states
well traveled cat
now on her way home.

viii.

she didn't write,
she lived---poetry,
then cleaned herself
with her tongue.

ix.

stalking silent at night,
we only heard
when she jumped.

x.

running across pillows
at 4 AM
she wanted out

xi.

lizards on the lanai
screen warmed by Florida sun
her favorite between meal
snack.

xii.

a shoebox holds
an unfilled hole
in my family.

Over at dVerse today, Anna has us writing postmodern poetry again, choosing from a list of writing exercises. One was to view an object or event from several different facets. I chose the death of my cat, two days before Christmas. She was almost 13, so I wrote 12 for her age. Anna will open the doors at 3 pm EST.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

after



'you are laying in the wet spot,'
she says & i don't
                         care

her ear to my chest, the rest
of her weight from there
                                 down

i feel it on my back, at the base
of my spine, bare skinned

staring up at a palm tree
foam sticker, stuck under
the bar in our kitchen
by one of our boys

probably the same
that spilled his water
in the carpet
where i am laying

it's pale blue, like a robin's egg
but clearly a palm
warm in the sun, salted
by the breeze, perhaps
in Florida

her ear to my chest,
does she hear the same ocean
i, being her conch,
curling round itself, spiraling
in infinitely smaller
patterns

wroucshaaaaaaa
wroouschaaaaaaa
wrouschaaaaaaaaa

wave after wave
tides meet & i
lay in the wet spot
content

christmas lights
twinkling,
after

Written for poetry jam

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

OpenLinkNight: ...is coming to town, he sees you when...

ornament on our tree

Santa wears a tropical shirt
red & adorned with reindeer,
a sleigh & eyes a'sparkle
behind wire rim spectacles,
beard untrimmed & wild

'it's him, it's him,'
don't let the jeans & biker boots
fool you nor the tattoo, 'mama tried'
& so did the law, but unchain
love & you never know
what might happen

how many have we missed
because they look different
than we expect?

doesn't draw attention to himself,
but those that need find him, among,
at the back table covered in paper & sweat
circles from plastic cups of iced tea,
a steel serving bowl of rolls

doling out Ho, Ho, Ho's in
how are you's and whasssups,
a hand shake, rough with callouses
scarred knuckles & tenderness---
he speaks few words but listens
and each spoken carries meaning

dirty children wide eye him
as he eats greasy chicken, some
one donated---and smiles at them,
slipping from his pocket a piece of candy
he got out a bowl at the library
'My friends call me Cowboy,'
he says, thus the hat he doffs---

'Merry Christmas ya'll'
click, click, click his boots ring
as he walks off the warm meal
to find a place to sleep---how vicious
it is, when we admit, he doesn't
exist---wiping off a stray green bean
i still believe.

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are enjoying time with your family & the day is filled with joy. dVerse is open for OpenLinkNight for those needing a place to see some familiar faces, so if you are around, drop in. Otherwise, I will catch up to you , when I see you. Smiles.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Poetics: It's no wonder I like ribs (Merry Christmas)

really bad picture of my sons choir

God traipses between the mountains, majestic,
     garment hem turning seasons among the trees
     his breath a warm breeze, animals round ankles play,
     unnamed & wild, still

Oceans wave & lavish his feet as he sits the beach
     soaking, six days into seven, surveying all creation

& with a great sigh, sees enough beauty has yet to be
     and makes you, then gifts me

                imagine that

& tonight, as the lights dim, our son & all the choir kids
     file out the stage side, in skirts & sweater vests
     backlit by giant paper snowflakes, one for each
     child lost & postcards to those we'll miss

they sing
                    ---Celtic Christmas carols
     the girls with deeper voice than the boys
             who squeak, ringing in the season       

down the aisle, beyond my own parents, the bare edge
     glow of the spotlight creeps into the crowd to find

every present i will ever need
     and joining in i sing, i sing, 'O, Come, O Come
     Emmanuel---'

Over @ dVerse Poets, we are exchanging 'presents' in verse, your 'presence' is requested...haha..Karin is running the show and this will be my last post until Christmas. Time to enjoy some family. I hope this weekend is one filled with love and warmth especially in light of recent events not only here in the states, but around the world. May love and light overcome tragedy and change our world. Doors open at 3 pm.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

FormForAll: mmm Ahh Unplugged & Live

T @ coffeeshop


like a Commodore 64
you'd buy code books for, spend long hours
clack clack clacking code to play PONG
my heart's a computer, lifelong

in need of reprogramming, or
unplugging, reboot a few hours
malware dam, spam gummed terrabyte
mouthful of apple in Eve's bite

[CTRL] [ALT] [DEL] task manager
run a finger down, free our hours
acoustic us, harmoniUS
new/old music species/genus

sing, singer, sing my song, as i
play over you, humMm notes forgot

Over at dVerse Poets today, Gay has us writing Kyrielle and Kyrielle Sonnets. The first I wrote sounded way stilted, so i had a little fun with this one. 8 syllable lines in rhyming quatrains with a refrained phrase (my cheat would be i just refrained hours) and an unrhymed couplet to end it---in millermetre. ha. Gay will explain it much easier. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

shoes in the grit

Lizard in my shower

1438 walnut hollow
dad died last year, silencing
the second Harley, caring for mom,
his son still rides

1390 walnut hollow
be quiet as you pass & don't
park on a blade of grass, they
are not people persons, tend
the plants

1252 walnut hollow
had a tree through the house
during the derecho, we took
them coffee, son still home at least
at odd hours, tubthumping
the radio at 2 AM

874 walnut hollow
dealing with depression, the ex-
football coach, his wife a doctor,
two sons, teens, always tossing
the ball out front

214 saddlebrook
all lit up, i dunno
yet

732 saddlebrook
has two grandkids, that don't visit
as much as they'd like & let our kids
play on the jungle gym,
as they watch, warming

840 saddlebrook
a cop, in the roundabout end
as we head back, on the odd
side---pups out playing in a shaggy
coat, squirrels in the trees

on each mailbox, a name we
read & set to wing like butterflies
the sky receives,
619, 357, 1133, 1320
to the skritch, skritch, skritch
of our shoes in the grit

home

Over at Poetry Jam, I am hosting today for my friend Mary, asking people to take a walk and see what comes of it. I took it rather literally. Have always been envious of Kerouac making poetry out of addresses as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

OpenLinkNight: statistics (in US History)

d'town Lynchburg, VA

'because all the crap in the street,'
he answers, to why
they built subways beneath & we

just left the slums,
immigrants with inadequate plumbing,
coming to America, falling
in with the factories, for a place
to live & food

bucketing bathroom waste
to the nearest open window
(Look out below!) it's
hard to keep a straight face,
it makes sense, but no---

though it does wake up the nappers
all our laughter, red mark on their heads
impressed by arms used as pillows
looking round like 'what'd i miss?'
the next Picasso, two seats over
drawing stick figure pick up trucks

on the PO'or end of the county,
our smart boards use chalk---a quarter
absent, out hunting to feed families,
another ambivalent, already
knowing their destiny's local, one
skating thru & the last,

laughing with me, because honestly
it makes sense

but will never make government statistics
nor answer the standards of learning test

It's OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - bring out your poems, or just read a few - drop in after the doors open at 3 PM EST.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

smiles of the noticed

decaying cucumber pod by Hilary

The boys've been sick all day, like dueling banjos.
One fever under control, the other raged, 103/104
ending us at the doctor

'It's the flu,' he said, "Five days. Just manage
the symptoms, nothing else you can do'

They're asleep now and we are well on our way, but
still on our feet, enjoying moments of peace. My wife
with her back to me, hands in the sink, drains wash water
from dinner dishes & I lean on the bar, it's lip etching
grooves at the base of my spine, where the needle
rides the record, but grants no music

except what we make, back lit in several hundred
Christmas lights on the tree, it enters the corner of my eye
in small movements, like tiny ballerinas

taking stage the first time,
tentative movements, a swirl
of multicolored sheer fabric

'honey, look,'

she turns as it goes low, nearly to
the ground then swells to our shoulders,
dips once and rises around the hanging light, stops
before our eyes in a wobble, 'hello' up, up, through
the nutcrackers, along the wall---no larger than half
a pea, a soap bubble

one of our boys coughs
a rattling wet cough & we lose sight
as it slips into the shadows at the edge
of the infinite.

Over at dVerse, I am still hosting our look at a detail in our writing and after yesterdays post, I said I would try something a little less heavy, but I am at the whims of what comes out of my pen and heart. Captivated as well by Hilary's pictures still as well. I appreciate my visit by the soap bubble last night, it was a highlight among the sickness.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Poetics: what a teacher does

Oil in a pan by Hilary

...twenty seven dead
& i've been
pulled from the classroom

'we know your background
& have one we need you to work with, he
may be a threat.'

the marbled emerald faux leather seat
sinks a bit deeper beneath my weight
in an awkward half hug from behind,
the sweat scent of the last kid that sat here
awaiting disposition

the wood desk littered with paperwork;
permission slips, detention referrals,
behavioral plans, ungraded papers & education
fits somewhere, the diploma on the wall acknow-
ledges it, a row of books full of the newest
ideas on how to make it work (or at least
get them to pass the state test) & a plastic plant
in the corner droops oblivious
no shell casings, yet

'we'll get you a walkie talkie just in case,
and when he goes off, and he will...
                        
                               call.'

a three inch folder in the third drawer
of the metal file cabinet carries a secret
history of where we've been & where
we go from here is

twenty eight dead as i walk the line
between educator & bodyguard, with
only 1200 kids to cover all at once,
not knowing which one might be pulling
the trigger next

a bird lands on the window sill
brown with orange breast, eyes us,
curious perhaps---the clock hand
falls hard into the new minute---
it flits off---gone---the bell rings
for class change

'alright,
let's do this.'

'Class, today we're learning...'

Over at dVerse Poets, I am tending pub tomorrow & we are talking about the use of detail to set a scene or create a character. I also have some incredible macro-photos from my friend Hilary that you can use as well that give some great detail (i will write another just for you Hilary to one of the pics). I included one just to get your brains turning. I will open the doors at 3 pm EST.

Well I am posting way early, still reeling from the events today...feeling for the families of the kids...listening to the kids talk about their experiences...I dunno what to say really other than to just pray for the families and wonder at how we got here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

how i broke my coffee cup, once

school gym

HGRhhh, you grunt, throw an arm up,
fingers raygunned in different directions - oblivious
to the flow of whole bodies around the rock
you've become

wearing lime green, above one breast reads 'King'
& black pants---makes it Wednesday,
always Wednesday when you wear it

chopped hair mussed & off the bus you comet,
hurtling, more thrown than a walk, legs trying
to keep up with the momentum of your mass,
crooked smile buck teeth Cadillac grill, 
one eye wide, the other pinched, back pack
pendulum-ing one arm, lope, lope lunge
(any moment I swear you'll crash)

HGRhhh, means something, more than the warning
it's become each morning, the squeak, squeak
squeak, your shoes make dragging lino-tile as well,
tHuMPwHack

and off you go, lope, lope, lunge, lime green comet
king, leaving me to wait by the door for other students,
recover from the hug I took & look for before
home room daily---
.

Over at dVerse Poets, Victoria has us writing in second person for Meeting the Bar. Took me a bit to wrap my head around it as I usually write first or third person but...a little snapshot of one of my kids at school...doors open at 3 PM EST.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

collected by squirrels for meals in winter

sticker on street sign, Lynchburg, VA

when am i not a poet,
         everyone has an opinion

'are you still writing that stuff?'

                         'yes.'

and at least its not, why are you,
as there are days i forget, let it go for easier
convers -ations through a mouth-full of cheese
ball'n crackers, try invading the kitchen with a fork,
only to be repelled
                     SMACK

wood spoon to hand back, 'whAT do you think
you are doing, it's not ready, yet. I am
the cook & you, the poet, so go wRite!'

i exit, post haste, find the kid's table & scribble
crayola seeking a poem, play with the children
& throw them in the air, to iambic pentameter,
til one doesn't come down (see i always mess up form)

out the window deer gather in syllables, one for each
unless you include the antlers (that's two more)
& the empty chair stares hard enough
                                    to make me uncomfortable

every year, growing up, at my uncle's house, liquor
was readily available - we'd sneak in while parents
talked and dare each other to run a finger
along the lip then touch our tongue,
back when it was fun to be numb

'write about the angel tree topper.'

'or the turkey truck that turned over'

they try to help, i have to believe---
'you sure you don't need another set of hands'
only gets the look, so i break all my pencils
& arrange them in patterns of morse code

'is that haiku?'

'yes, yes iT is. The creek still runs below the trees,
flush & wash your hands when done.'

'that's not very pretty.'

'no, it's not. it's social justice.'

'ah.'

see, say something the other side of sanity
& suddenly the parade is a whole lot more interesting,
kids return, hopped up on sugar plum dreams
of what santa might bring, rose cheeked & glitter eyed,

'Dinner, is served.'

& poetry is.

written for Poetry Jam

just having a bit of fun today.  have an article on marriage that will go live shortly, entitled 'Waking up to find your underwear on the christmas tree' for those interested. Should be up after 9 AM EST.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

OpenLinkNight: chapped//

City Market, Lynchburg, VA

downtown, among the bricks
& mortar, cracks & faces---
red hair, blue hair, brown, black
stocking caps & santa hats

in line for the horse drawn
carriage street ride---

'smells like poop'

'go figure'

& cinnamon, apple cider, sweat
pressed bodies, fresh vegetables,
canned butter &

kids limb on the stone fish
in the fountain center, defiant
the sign that says different,
but no one cares---

a little blond in elf attire, bright
red sweater with lime trim, chaps
her bottom lip licking it---

it keeps them busy, while parents
chat, Facebook, angry bird or bitch
about how long this line is

every ten minutes, we move five feet
and at this pace we'll be here an hour
or two or 'hey, you,
line begins back there!'

a few rides and we'll be under
the mistletoe someone tied to the tree
it spins, spins, spins on the wind,
as a june bug past its season
as any relationship, drying
from lack of notice

'is it really worth the wait?'

'gimme a few minutes, just a few feet
more, i'll let you know

and see if we can
chap my lips too.'

It's OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - a poetic splatterpainting of poetry from around the globe & tonight my good friend Grace is guesting behind the bar, so drop in and bring her something to read...smiles. We open the doors at 3 pm EST.

Monday, December 10, 2012

55- flitting around flowers

NYC

this summer on the deck
we'd watch the hummingbirds,

little wings
beating so fast
they'd sing,

flitting here/there
kissing flowers

they're the only bird
that can fly backward

though we try,
always some moment
we want
to get back to.

mine would be this morning
warm under the covers
when you sang too.

written in 55 words, for my friend g-man

Sunday, December 9, 2012

the song of the stars

The Grinch, Lynchburg, VA

a white paint bucket, one of the big ones, a few gallons at least sits on the sidewalk, concrete chipped from all the foot traffic in & out the doors.

inside all the shops are hopping, a hundred, a thousand bodies Christmas shopping---a teddy bear, new game, clothing, whatever the next big thing is this year.

'can we just go already' or resignation is a delicate balance. an old man on a bench, eyes closed & snoring bass, a couple kids ready to tickle his nose or another mischief, it's in their eyes. Bags & bags & bags, with shop names in bold.

back outside, it's in the high forties. the bread bakery is cooking by the taste of the air & by the white paint bucket a girl, maybe ten, in jeans and a holiday sweatshirt plays her cello. in black magic marker block letters, HELP THE HOMELESS.

maybe the old man is her father, she's been at it over an hour at least since we arrived & as we go. her sweet, sweet music works like an IV tapped in vein, it mourns and moves, increases heart beats & change clatters on the bard plastic bottom, muffled by dollar bills.

she nods & plays on, her fingers must hurt but she plays. what is it she's seen that makes her, play on & sets her apart?

across the asphalt, white line by white line and even after the car door closes, out the lot and even now on the couch typing this in the tree lights, my boys tucked warm in their beds and my wife snuggled beside me reading, her music kneads my heart like a cat flexing its paws, claws catching in the material.

a Christmas card to any who will listen.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Poetics: Saturday morning CarTunes

Cole, Bristol, VA

'I am growing up,'
my ten year old son says,
an inarguable point---from the back seat,
my thumb pinched tight under
the steering wheel, fingers drum
drum-drumming to Christmas songs

A white four door, maroon
van, car after car after---a couple million people
alternating between gas & brakes, hurtling
tons of steel toward somewhere to be

the bypass off ramp bends right
& i follow, click-click, click-click, click-click
turn signal morse code for keep
turning

'This time next year, I may have a beard,'
he adds, grinning ear to ear & chest
puffed in the rear view mirror

'ha, i think you're safe,'
i answer

a man, more bush than face, the top
shoved in a stocking cap, cardboard
epitaph in hand says 'I AM here'
subtitled 'need food'---stands in the grass
where the road straightens by the mall,
a cop, as well, pointing him on---
tail lights fLasH

'yeah, and then you'll get pit hair,'
my youngest digs

'eww, no i won't
& won't wear deo
either,'

'oh yes, you will
whether you want to or not,'


we laugh, traffic breaks,
i suck Garlic biscuit & black coffee
off my teeth from breakfast---not
the taste you want

to start the day with,
but we don't always get a choice
when it comes to our
daily bread

'you'd stink too,' again
his brother, but he's moved
on

'how much longer til we get home?'
anxious for the next thing

'sometimes it's better
you don't ask, just enjoy the ride,'
a V of birds crosses the cotton ball sky,
rain polka-dots the wind-
shield glass.


Over at dVerse, Fred has us writing first person narrative poems...not too hard for me as i do that quite often...he'll be opening the pub around 3 pm...so go, get writing. Smiles.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

little girl in paisley, propane tank by the corner

Charlottesville, VA

Yard on fire, out front a trailer
single wide flame high as the roof
an old man with a camcorder
on a ladder, two kids aloof

gaily dance in circles, singing,
'Yards on fire,' out front the trailer
where they raked the dead leaves, glowing
faces alight, ever closer,

closer, antelope and tiger
already my heartbeat quickens
'Yards on fire!' out front the trailer
they don't turn and no one listens

as i pass in my car, heading
home, the man with a camcorder
filming (wind blows) children prancing,
yard on fire and soon the trailer

(i am sure it's a video
they'll watch often), a song on
the radio speed metal screamo
nobody listens, so i turn

it up louder---      

Over at dVerse Poets, Gay has us writing quaterns. The first 4 stanzas of this are written to the form---last stanza is my own addition to it. Saw this on the way home yesterday...the fire was so large and right up on the trailer, all it would take was a bit of wind and  whoosh...and the only adult was videoing from atop a ladder. I dunno. So try you hand at form, this one is actually relatively easy. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

And for my good friend, g-man. A little 55 word story from our breakfast table this morning. 

Loving like California

i like you.
             i like you too.

and just what's that mean
you're gonna do?
             today, i think
             i'll write a love note to you

'mom/dad, why are you
speaking californian?' my son
asks around a cinnamon bun
             'cause there's gold in them
              there hills, there's gold,' i say

look away, Cole
look away

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mom & the tight wearing nut munchers

behind DSS, Lynchburg, VA

If ornaments on the Christmas tree
tell a story, you'd think we were
tight wearing nut munchers

what with all the superheroes,
nutcrackers & ballerinas
but that's us---

& in the center hangs a cross,
clay, black & outlined in earth toned dots,
from one of the kids in my hiStory
nearly twenty years younger & living

my earlier dreams, touring
the country, stage by stage, road miles
rising as he sleeps between an amp
& speaker stack, summers in a village
he's adopted in Africa or Haiti

digging wells, building homes, helping,
all the children there know his name
& the stories

he tells---van breaking down & finding
homeless teens, so it's meant to be

or playing soccer under a similar sun elsewhere,
dark skin kids crowding, not speaking
the same language but---he & i

celebrate Mother's day each year
together, a call or card---no matter where
we are---i am still here, a long way from

pick up games on the asphalt
behind a warehouse outside Baltimore
where we met, not quite saints but

i finger over
the cross hanging
in the center of my tree
& on the back read
M-O-M

& laugh to myself, another
form of prayer.

written for Poetry Jam.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Where the wild trees grow

Tree by Logan

my fingers glow in the dashboard lights,
the floorboard mat striped light & dark
distinct, sun still asleep, the truck hums
lullabies & i
                   sl(yawn)ip
                              back asleep

eeeRrTHUNK

awake, the cab already cooling without heat
i blink, blink---rub my eyes, first light & fog,
my dad & men in a huddle, muffled voices,
dark trees, shades

gloves & stocking cap, i step out, squish
mud around my shoes in the road, a mere
culvert carved in the earth

'let's go' & all morning we walk in the silent
song of wood backs straightening, branches
lifting high in pride at the possibility

of earning a pink ribbon, my hands full of clay
pigeons, yellow and black, some chipped
from a hunter's practice shots---we single out 200
full bodied, nice shaped, to be culled

'which one is ours?'

'we'll see when they come. i have one in mind
but---'

they stand around in front of the trucks
& tell stories over coffee, white smoke breathe
on each other & i walk the small grass

between giants, ready to lay down their lives
to give Christmas to families, telling them stories
not just of the children that will bejewel
their arms with tinsel & light

but ones in the hospital where the money
made on their sale will mean presents &
joy in faces, arms out wide gracing
their needles with finger tips---

'brighter even than the star that will crown
your head,
because of you.'

Over at dVerse Poets, it is OpenLinkNight and poetry is flowing freely, so stop in and drop your own or just read some of the submissions...the doors open at 3 pm.

This poem was inspired by one of our poets, Patricia Wolf, whose poem this weekend got me thinking of visits to the tree farm with my dad growing up.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Same to you, buddy

side of the city bus, out my window

Frost glistens, nature's jewelry, on the side of the deer in the ditch by the entrance to the subdivision. Stomach bloated, its stiff legs jut into the air as if waving as i pass. Head turned, i don't have to look it in the eye. Brown and yellow grass is broken by patches of green fighting for life against the season.

Even at 35 mph, driving through the subdivision saves fifteen minutes it would take to go into town and then back out. Children are just coming out their houses, wrapped in thick winter coats, fat back packs settled between their shoulders. Breath rises like smoke signals from their lips. dark recedes into the shadows of trees, houses & cars, as the sun rises beyond the mountains in the distance.

Midway through the subdivision, i take a left on a secondary road that will spill me out by the library onto the southbound byway. large black, wheeled trashcans stand sentry at the end of driveways. Stone Gossard and Ed Norton are interviewing each other on the radio, 'The first couple years you are happy just to get work and then you get to the point where you can choose what you want to say through your art.'

Rounding a bend, I see them---within feet of the same place I saw them yesterday. And the day before. Walking together. He, in casual slacks, a plaid button up shirt, the kind padded for warmth. White hair tufts at the edge of his mustard yellow hat. His golden retriever meandering beside him.

It is hard to tell most days who leads who, as they walk side by side, no hurry in their steps. His hand goes up. My right leaves the wheel to return the wave. In the rear view, their backsides continue along the edge of the road.

One day, I will bring a biscuit for the golden. Rub the pups behind his ears. Ask the man his name & let him know I look for them every morning. An unknown constant in the ever changing world.

Halting briefly at the stop sign, I swing into southbound traffic. 'You have all these ideas, but then you have four other guys will their ideas and you have to come in willing to listen,' Stone says to Norton. A kid on the school bus in front of me holds up a sign, a smile cracks my face as I read it.

The turn signal counts time, between us. Trees are empty, without leaves.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Poetics: Missing You (like a Christmas card from my Proctologist)

Roanoke, VA

over under around & through, pinch as you pull
makes a W dimple, in the tie---this
is the J Riggings way---to make money
at the holidays

& the sharper your look the more likely you'll make
the sales quota (commission)--- pressed slacks, a coat,
comb over---SMILE, like you mean it. 'i got this

yesterday & once i was home found this stain'
'smells like cigarettes,' 'well i took it
right home.'

'ah,'

'your circular said...’’what do you mean
you don’t have my size.’’I have a coupon.’ ‘We don’t
do coupons.’ ‘I know I have one.’’You realize
your darling is swinging on a $300 jacket.’
‘What did I tell you. You better sit down
or I’ll…,’ always the look back to check
whose watching ‘But mom. You said
we’d go see Santa. I want---‘

Fold, fold, refold, fix the display, fold---kid
refold, fold, fix

‘Sorry, no. I won’t watch your kids as you go
into the dressing room with your husband,’
a crush of furious bodies the minute i stretch
tape down a man's inseam, pencil
mark & pin in place the cuff

'you aren't busy are you?'
'you don't expect me to pay for that
do you?'’Your card was declined.’ ‘Can you
run it again.’

no, No, nO

'now where's your Christmas cheer,
it's Ho, Ho, HO!' with a twist of cheeks
to make them rosey---and ‘Shut up so I can
give this to the man. Here, this is for you’

a JESUS tract, cause I really want what you got,
I smile. I cry. I pound
cash register keys in rhythm
to canned Christmas sound.

♪ Joy to the world, ♪
♪ I miss you. ♪

Over at dVerse Poets today, Stu has us writing about 'Missing you'. Years agoI thought working retail one holiday might be a great way to make a little extra money. Well....smiles. Easy to step tight back there for a moment especially in the insanity that has become this season. So, what do you miss? See you at 3 pm.