chorus (20180321)

i think i hear you
but i have to strain
to be sure
turn off the flashlight
because the white disc of light
seems to hum and it is easier
to listen for you in the dark
disengaging every other sense

a thousand thousand croaking voices
sing at once if not as one

a little rain seems to have
resuscitated you
and your desiccated brethren
hidden by the low tree line
hidden by the cover of night
your song amplified by low clouds

each little voice
a pair of little wings
each pair of wings
lifts my soul a fraction of a fraction of an inch
such a small amount for any
given voice
but such a chorus
raises me skyward
the thousand thousand voices

in gratitude from my great height
i want to yell through the leaves
across the lanes of traffic
thank you frogs
goodnight frogs
but all i manage is a smile
and a bit of a croak

a short walk (20180308)

everything is new
to the new dog
each smell a redolent benediction
from nature’s upraised hand
the rotting carcass
of a crow an equal
of a smoking thurible
each ecstatic stream of urine
a harmonic note
added a chorus of previous hymns

so much outside
franti sniffing
making up for this lack of knowledge
so much i wasn’t aware of
so much to be thankful for
the grass
the wind
the sun in my eyes
even the decayed leaves
even the mud
even the shit
thank you for outside
thank you for newness

rainy weather (20180222)

judas iscariot popped up
in my dream
offered me seven bucks
to watch her son in the morning
because he had the chicken pox
and she had to work

i felt bad because
i knew she couldn’t afford
to pay me
not even seven dollars

she cried when i gave her
the damp, worn bills back
and i got the feeling
that she hated me
for it as she walked away
sobbing in torn fishnets
late for her shift in the warehouse

untitled (20180217)

we couldn’t pull the trigger fast enough
there wasn’t enough gunpowder
to push the bullet down the barrel

simply not enough lead in the planet’s core
to melt and pour into shiny slugs

this is not a protest poem

you can’t protest an entire species’
unrelenting stampede toward the edge of a cliff

if the meek do inherit the earth it will be because
they’re wearing bullet-proof vests and gas masks
living like moles in the earth where the lead used to be

the dream of the office chair (20180213)

my chair dreams me
a reflexive twitch of a wooden
post-arboreal consciousness

thought creates gravity creates time

to fall down the well

but the chair sustains me
projects me
a watery hologram
in the nearest fog bank

this chair is a hand
shoved up my back

limbs animating
you know who
to blame

let’s all open up (20180212)

i had to work the wound
to get it to bleed again
no amount of murmuring
would entice it to cease
once it freely flowed

these closed doors
flickering living room lights
the smell of half-eaten dinners
don’t fool me

you’re all bleeding

——

for
dVerse Poets
Quadrille #50: murmur

inflation (20180131)

a yellow balloon occupies
each seat
a smile drawn in permanent
black ink across otherwise
smooth undisturbed skin

a prayer meeting of vipers
voices shrill from helium
each conversation
call and response of hisses

emptying heads sink
expelling opinions through holes
too small to let anything in

talk shrink wrinkle
deflate in the chair
like the double tragedy
of an unrolled unused condom

the good thing about
drawing on your smile–
you won’t lose any teeth
when you get punched in the mouth

you will always get punched
in the mouth

two voice choir (20180123)

the night sky makes a sound
a two voice choir singing
a growl of cars on the freeway
the belching of a jet
invisible overhead somewhere
between black
star-isolating expanses

it is the same sound i hear
in my head
one ear roaring
the other ringing
the darkness similar
only not so big
but bigger

everyone else’s dreams are boring (20180110)

so

in the dream you have
eyes made of full moons
and glossy lips

in daylight
and under fluorescents
your skin wrinkles where
youth has flattened out
on a face already carved
into planes and
where the skin has stretched
from too much
self-imposed forced smiling

half-lidded
you lean forward
–the kiss clumsy–
though your mouth looks wet
i feel every line
every dry crack
in your lips
they compress against my own
the softness gone
like air from a deflated balloon

the dream doesn’t let
me taste you
dream-me thinks
ah, you are getting older

——

hat tip to C of Optional Poetry, and this poem in particular