Thursday, November 12, 2015


I see you dormant at
    the desk, keeping your
sweet ideas captive like those
   three girls in Cleveland

You should set them free –
    give them up –
make the muse proud and
    trouble Plato’s soul

There’s a budding in your mind:
    peel the soft nude flesh
of your green walls and run;
    magnificent inception

Friday, October 30, 2015

Air and Smoke

I watched him take a long,
confident drag from his cigarette -
the ashes hanging like a paralyzed limb -
and I became strangely jealous of
his ability to waver between
protagonist and antagonist of his life as he
lived and killed

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Listener

            He looked at me with gentle eyes as the sun invaded the translucent prosciutto news flap from the Forest Park bench. As his face turned and looked downward at the letters, I noticed a feather tattoo on his neck. Some people pull me toward them and I sat down after a moment of hesitation. It must have been my shyness. Other people were walking around the gravel track that circled the fountain wearing scarves and jackets, overcompensating for the changes. I rubbed my hands together and told him, “Man, it sure is getting cold out here.”
            “It is,” the man said.
            “It’s not like Nevada.” 
            "Are you from there?"
            "Yes. I moved here a couple years ago," I said
            This short exchange was all that the man needed to talk about how his mother was from the west and that he craved her pumpkin pie and how his great-uncle on his father’s side was one of the lawyers brought in to speak on behalf of the United States at the Nuremberg trials, and that he canceled his dentist appointment that day because he wanted to experience the first temperature changes of autumn. When he finished, he lifted his coffee tumbler, blew, and sipped. A lady passed and her poodle sniffed my shoes before continuing. I enjoyed listening to his stories.
            As the sun rose toward the zenith, shadows crawled back to their objects. A group of construction workers sat down and took off their boots. I wanted to ask the man the story behind his tattoo, but I thought he might view the question as an intrusion. I did not want to ask him something unexpected. In order to offer my participation, I asked, “Did your mother use any special ingredients?”
            “She used to smoke pot,” he said, “to get her through the rough times.”  
            I nodded.
            “After dad died, she had a hard time going to sleep. Sometimes, I did too – still do.” His eyes lowered and his poignant smile remained.
            “My father loved watching birds; we used to watch them together,” he said. “I took an orthography class in college a couple years after. In the final paper, the professor wanted us to write about the physiology of twenty different species.” He placed his tumbler on the ground and rubbed both of his hands through his hair like a rake. “All I could write about was how he spoke to me through the feathers.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cave Dweller

Blackness reflects in droplets that
fall from stalactites like uvula saliva in
                              a late-night argument

There is no plaster in this cavern -
just cold, wet rock trickling with
                               igneous sweat

Our objections built and built and
with our tongues we slapped each other
                               with the air

My hands are red with bruises and
scratches from clawing at the rocks
                               with blind possibilities

One might say this is the great temptation,
the wilderness - the reason for Cheever's thirst,
the grief of Gilgamesh, and Marilyn's overdose

I cannot see the chalkish scratches on
the rocks, but I think that someone might
come across these marks some day

Someone might come across this some day
                                    someone might decipher my language

Sunday, August 30, 2015


If you could see me there,
peripherally –
sitting at my desk daydreaming
of something outside,
either alone or with another,
dusting off ideas and words
with an archeologist’s brush,
I think you might think I’m
attentive or vigilant to what
takes place here and now:
movements, discourse

My mind is an eruption
that either spews crude content
that eventually solidifies into
utility or buries itself from eyes

I drove past the clinks and clanks
of a jackhammer the other day
while the whitish dust tickled the air
and I saw that it was concrete:
so foreign and so requisite

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Hard times followed her like
a cape. It was nothing
in her look. It was nothing
in her words. It was something
in her walk

She had this stagger –
tripping over air as if
a stick swung from the chest
carves the breeze;
stabbing heart and
legs of scissors

I saw her walking into the store
from the parking lot, crossing
the white diagonals with her green
high heels, cutting botched emeralds
in the lines beneath

Her legs seemed to disagree
As she wobbled across,
and the greeter – having a smoke
down at the corner – had
a nonplus smile and turned back,
urgently, to the shadows