olfactory event (20191108)

the late night fog
carries the smell of candy

the dog doesn’t notice
or is uninterested
or i imagine it

each of these potential realities
is equally valid

in other universes my little hunter
has a cold
has scented a coyote
i am having an intracranial incident

i cannot avoid what
the night fog offers me

no bitter oil slick of chocolate
no icy bite of mint
no slow burn of cinnamon

just the sick-sweet punch
of fluorescent waxes filled with
sugar syrup and unspecified fruit flavors
a preschool classroom
after snack time
each mouth red-ringed
exhaling diabetic clouds
during nap time

***

the morning fog replaces this
with the odors of wet
pine
juniper
cypress
eucalyptus
and standing beneath one
broad-leafed tree
the sound of rain
local to this spot
instantiated in this moment
dew condenses
dripping leaf to leaf

fruit (20191017)

my mother used a paring knife
slipped it in under the stem
like an assassin
and spun the blood red strawberry
in one motion
twisting out unwanted green leaves
then used the same knife to slice
small rings that radiated white to pink
to red
dropping them in a bowl
no two slices the same size

i use a tool like a tiny melon-baller with teeth
designed to gouge out the stem
little waste but more than my
mother would approve of (or leave)
with her small knife

it is a convenience

as is the strawberry slicer
humorlessly designed to resemble
a strawberry (insert a
stop cutting yourself joke here)
maybe so i won’t try to use it
to slice olives or golf balls
every piece is the same width
except for the end pieces
which sometimes get stuck
between the blades
or the bottom of the tray

our recipes differ in the application
of sweetener
i think she used a quarter cup of sugar
for every basket of strawberries she sliced
i am less generous and use maple sugar
trying to keep things less processed
(though sugar is sugar)
i don’t use two pints of half and half
though sometimes i sneak in some
almond milk (unsweetened)

we agree on using pie crust as a superior
supporter for its texture to sponge cake
and really, sponge cake?

i think about those pictures of
brains, images as slices, PET or CAT scans
(not all pets are cats,
but are all CATs PETs?
is this where the
syllogism breaks?)

what did her images look like?

i clean red stains from my fingers

once her memories were gone
were the lobes smooth
the crenellations filled in
like a smooth coating of chocolate
hiding the pits
and seeds in the skin of the strawberry
each a potential synapse where
a memory haunted like a little ghost

i measure my head
against the bed of the slicer
i might be able to fit an eyeball in there
just in time for halloween

exoskeletal echo (20190921)

beneath the dry soil
water-smoothed rocks
the ground exhales
a fine cloud of dust
as you excavate

i found once
the desiccated remains
of a hungry ghost
translucent and as white
as the moon
in the morning sky

it had eaten its fill
and moved on to bigger
hopefully better things
though
what does a ghost eat
besides the memories
and the breaths of the living

in close up, the peach pit looks like a crater pocked moon (20190827)

let us go then
you and i while
this little light
fails in caution tape stipes
of yellow against green
yellowing grass

everything rolls up
in the egg roll
layer by layer
by layer
like a handroll
with krab, avocado
and mermaid meat
easy on the shoyu

the dog pants
the dogs pant
the dog’s pants

the table etherized patient
has 100,000 miles
of arteries and veins
stretched tightly
when plucked
the vibration is invisible to
the human eye
the sound so high
it cannot be heard
except by resonance
in the blood

cheering you up, part two (20190726)

run a needle through
grains of sand like beads
sand from my eyes
no sunny beach
the needle exits every
where there is an eyelash

this is sleep

when you die
depending on the mortuary
or the mortician i suppose
they will plug your throat
and sew your mouth closed
to keep the last notes of your
last song
from scaring the folks staring
at your mummified remains

your eyes will be velcroed shut
not exactly velcro
instead they’ll use an eye cap
a contact lens covered in spikes
to keep your eyelids in place

run me through a meat grinder
and feed me to the shelter dogs
someone at least
will not go hungry for one single meal

there is no part one

the dream of the moon (20190722)

i dreamt i was the moon, but the dream seemed real upon waking, so much so that i checked the mirror for craters and dark sides. i found nothing of interest–no man living there, no celestial maiden, no mochi pounding rabbits. the memory of that cold embrace of the dark sky, being held by nothing, floating and shining with an impossible weightlessness of being both far away and as near as a reflection in glass haunted me throughout the day and well into a moonless night.


for dVerse Poet’s Pub
Prosery #2 — “I dreamt I was the moon”

a feather the weight of the sun–20190718

i push into you
pass through you like
that episode of star trek

–which one?–

where a transporter accident
causes the crew to phase into
a parallel dimension
but still they manage to
keep their feet on the
floor of the ship

–which one?–

how do ghosts do it?
pass through walls
yet move on a slightly curved path
that ties them to the earth
like regret or obsession
is just another word for gravity

like destiny is another word for density

the stuffed birds in the taxidermist’s window
forever open their beaks
forever expand their throats in song
for never fly again

hare restoration—20190623

rabbits dot the grass
like dandelions
eating dandelions
scattering like dandelion fluff
after a good dream squashing kick
or a robust wish granting puff of air
when the dogs approach

though
one of the rabbits
reminds me of bigwig
or maybe woundwort
the way he stares at us
and doesn’t move

a wish that will
not be denied
nor whispered to the breeze

without mediation, wolf takes matters into his own hands–20191201

only his head
is big enough
to fit inside

–you have a problem, wolf says

he takes a long drag
the cigarette coal glows and dies
like a highway patrol car’s lights

–you think time only moves
in one direction

–you’re hung up on a metaphor
time is a river, you think
once you pass over a spot
it’s gone forever

i push my back against
the dry cave wall

wolf followed me here through the rain
worst storm in fifty years
now his coat is ragged and sopping
while i have a small fire
a bundle of sticks

i beat him to the cave
by all rights
i get dibs on shelter

he gets the storm

–it’s all good

he spits the butt into my tiny flames

–i’ll be back ten minutes ago