shutting up (20170627)

sew my mouth closed
pack my tongue in
pickling salt and alum

i have no benediction
left

blessed are the hungry
they will be told to get a job

wire my jaw shut
pour fast-drying wet cement
up my nose
and leave my head in the sun
to dry

blessed are the infirm
they will die in misery

replace my head
with one of stone
use my vocal cords
for penny guitars

blessed are the other
they will be forced into corners
into alleys
into slavery of all forms
cut out of their skins
and trapped within them

——

for
dVerse ~ Poets Pub
Blessings

visitor in the yard (20170625)

lizard rests on the sidewalk
looks me right in the face

–hey, he says

i stare down into his black eyes
his ribs don’t move in and out
the way i think they should
but he’s definitely alive
definitely talking to me

–hey, i say back

he shakes his, and odd human gesture
on his little reptilian body

–seriously?
i’m a talking lizard for fuck’s sake
that’s the best you can dredge up?

he scuttles toward the fence
almost makes it underneath

–check out the peach tree, i say
there’s lots of flies
sure to find a meal
and a pile of bricks
to hide behind

he nods

–thanks
sorry for swearing

i shrug
and he is gone

peach (20170624)

the peaches ripen now
the beginning of summer

we work fast

to protect what we can of this small
crop from a single tree
trimming back

the branches
where they encroach
on the neighbor’s roof
covering it with a net
in an attempt

to keep birds and
rats and squirrels
[all the same genus as far
as i am concerned when
it comes to this tree]
from making short work of
the fruit

picking a handful
that are ripe
or almost there

eating a single
peach while on the ladder
holding it in my work gloves
and biting into the soft flesh
not caring how the juice runs down
my chin or glistens on my leather fingers
tossing the pit into the open can
and thinking that i’ve never
tasted a peach that good
and knowing it may be

the sun [browning my neck]
doing the talking

go-round (20170623)

riding the merry-go-round
not the kind with horses
but the one on the playground
in your neighborhood
before the safety police
decided everybody was made of glass
and pulled them out
putting down recycled tire rubber mats
before that though
riding and riding
around around around around
hanging onto the outside bars
being thrown off by the repulsive
magnetic force of a centrifuge
peeling off like an old skin

everything whirls past
a top
you’re the top
but the whole world revolves
around you fast
because motion is relative
until some bigger kid
grabs the wheel
mid-spin
stops it suddenly, completely with
bigger kid brute strength
and you fly off into the sand
because this is before we were made of glass
and our bones didn’t break inside
but our skin peeled off
and blossomed

untitled villanelle (20170622)

move along, there’s nothing here to see
broken bits like discarded crystal spheres
you should know i don’t care if you agree

my workings loosen, all at once set free
while you tell me, beg me, to persevere
move along, there’s nothing here to see

i’m no clock to wind with a secret key
much more like a badly hung chandelier
you should know i don’t care if you agree

the chain creaks and strains–then just debris
against the curling, faded veneer
move along, there’s nothing here to see

time reduces to rust these moons in apogee
an irritating hum of the inner ear
you should know i don’t care if you agree

i’ve had much practice as an absentee
all too soon this sorry shade’ll disappear
move along, there’s nothing here to see
you should know i don’t care if you agree

——

for
dVerse ~ Poets Pub
MTB–How to Write a Villanelle

process (20170619)

keep your eyes open
forget to breathe
focus on the tingling
in your fingertips
that fluttering
in your chest
imagine the worst possible
outcome
start biting your nails again
take up smoking
take up drinking
ruminate over your regrets
stare at the oncoming traffic
count your pills
learn to hate
learn to judge
stop moving
stop

found under a rock in the garden (20170618)

i can’t scrub this feeling
from my skin
sticks to me
like saran wrap in those
auto-erotic asphyxiation
pics from the coroner’s office

i stretch and stretch
pushing the fatigue out
until my joints separate
one by one
the pockets between bones
pop with gas or separation
anxiety
as if there were a difference

the sky has hit that summer blue
shade too soon for me
and tomorrow the sun will hang
white in the sky
a judgment on all of us