Category Archives: poetry

The Devil You Know, Or The Devil You Don’t Know

Our blooming dead
scratch free from winter
ground, through a topsoil of candy wrappers
faded from the elements, soda cans,
rotting apples, leaves
like soggy cereal, and pebbles placed
just so – as if a convenience just for
cigaratte disposal.
Brittle, dirty nails brush aside
the flaky crust
of frost, countless years
of bickering spouses, sorrow
diluted with the tears of strangling grief,
and the struggle
to begin again
and again.

Our New Grief,
made fool by Prozac,
and Wellbutrin.

Our New Grief, wrapped
in the pink tissue paper
of Xanax.

Graciously, we’ve softened
the camera lens
on grief.

Death, you are nothing
if not fair.
Great Equalizer, you take them all.
Equal Opportunist, Politically
Correct, you collect
regardless of race, class,
gender, sexual orientation,
religion. You will not be bribed or bought,
refuse advances, blow jobs offered
in backs of cars, you cannot
sell your soul to the devil. You won’t
resign, call in well, take a holiday,
a sick day off. Who would you spend it with?
It’s a lonely time, your only friends,
the abandoned, starved, defeated,
resigned.

Our dead are in bloom, I’ve seen
them, squishing upward through summer
soil, keeping company with worms
and fruit flies. You can hear them
fucking, they are fertile, multiplying
voraciously, climbing up
on time, sister on brother, father
on mother, hip bone on jaw bone
on femur. We know the song
by heart. Born to die and they
love us so much, our pulses lulling, promising,
throbbing rhythmically. The living
are so sexy, familiar
current ceasing compression
relenting ricochet –
finally!
we throw off all that weight!
escaped
through some tiny godsend – a timely crack
in the coconut shell
of the human body.


I Can’t Not Watch

She could have been
me, plain, a white sheet
beating its wings against
the sun and breeze
hollowed egg shell smiling
fiercely at the day.
But then

love is content
in the calm of night,
the wispy quiet of stars and air
grown less swollen
by the absence the sun.
And to

watch him
across
the thickly varnished
table in the bar’s dim
light, the rain waiting
like a heater left on seventy
when someone forgot to close
the door. Here shadows dull
his kindness
and soften his face,
the patient persistance
stands behind
a cold feigned
or perhaps

not feigned.
I reel myself back, pin
my brain to my sleeve,
force my mind from
back bent
and weeping, or thighs
spread just so,
straining threads
of denim, hand
on gearshift,
cologne, expensive
shoes,expensive
jeans.
I take

action snapshots,
catalogue them
quickly into files, flip
the pages cartoonishly –
photograph.
face.
message.
reality.
humanity.
You can feel them.
They are

real. Love them
later, I
think. It is possible
through presence, a hand
as an afterthought,
stories before
you, those are memories, finger
creases, gapped, square,
or sharp
teeth. the rash
from peppered beard left
on a cheek, a two handed
animated
gesture, an opened
door, free-form worry,
encouragement,
reluctant
fumbled confessional
of compliment.
For you

I would shake her
hard, make sure
she knew.

You can

fall in love
if you can
keep yourself
here.
She can
love you for real
If she
can be present

and not
give in
to repulsion
when
the inevitable
repulsion
comes.


bad luck

when I walk down
the stairs
to the basement

– pitch
black panic –

and yours

are the hands
I fear
most.

I am
a test animal
in a wire cage
until my fingers
grasp the chain

and I pull –

– illuminating
a reminder
that you are far
away and no
matter how
much wrong
I do

I am safe
from your
disapproving gaze.


LiteraryMary Journal Too

Please go here:

http://literarymary.com/forum/announcements/journal-too/new/#new

I love you.


This is How We Choose to Spend Our Days

strolling city sidewalks, shoulders trailing
behind us, low and smooth as milk
down marble stairs. This day
the leaves in the trees are scratching
the flaking backs of each – responding
to prompts put forth in parched voice, given
over for intepretation by the breeze. This after
noon, the cars idle by – boy fingers curled
pink and white around the last
inch of open window, studious faces lick lips
in concentration

– a drip of sweat skimming her
sunburned nose like honey.


How Stupidly We Squander

The terror grows larger,
swallows hope
and stars,
as her eyes begin
to bulge, rounded fingers
clutch air unable
to sink claws
into the nothing
her son
has become.
This woman is chasing
self-loathing
with grief, mind
moving far too quickly
toward loss
and resignation.

Having happened
upon her small son,
her two year old,
on the third floor
when the elevator
doors opened
to his what me grin, I got
to be the hero.
I placed her
heart in her hands
still beating
and smelling faintly
of shitty diapers
and fishy
Desitin.

It took
all the will
I had not to sob
with relief
drawn by a wooden
bucket from some
deep well
I still
don’t understand.

For love, you
would pray to a god
in which
you don’t believe
to give you death,
disease, insanity.
For love, you
would travel
to hell for the whatever
wherever, why because,
because, shhh because
it’s okay.
For love,
You would write
their name
one hundred times
on your graphing
calculator.
For love, you
would watch
them leave
and abandon you
as their heart
stopped beating.


Ciao, Bella

This is the island
from where I send out
bottles of an endless
supply found in the ship
of drunks from which I
came to this island
from where I send out
bottles sparkling
crystal green each day
passengers of languid waves
going toward your place.
This is the island
from where I send out
bottles to anyone
who will always be you in which
the messages are varying declarations
of I love you, I still
love you, I will
always love you
or sometimes
merely

S

O

S

This is the island
where you are not now
and will never be
any more than the vampire
I was so sure
would arrive to take me away
on the day of
my thirtieth birthday.