signs, portents, bells (20171109)

seems innocent enough
a holiday display
a single word
with a dozen tiny lights
the word
as seen
from outside
shining in a window

but looking at it
from inside
with the lights turned off
it looks so much like
but broken
or stunted at least
if not shattered

this isn’t
a fundamental or cosmic truth
and i’m not reading
anything into the odd bit of
seasonal dyslexia
or the inside/outside holiday dichotomy

it just struck me
is all

the weather (20171108)

and now
the weather report

tonight will be cold
mostly cloudless

the earth will exhale
homeless who do not have
a sleeping bag
or a tent to crawl into
or a car empty of gas but with windows

they will slide
into chambers like bullets
that can’t can’t can’t can’t
penetrate flesh
or tolerance

lucky for them
this is the coast
where the ice age
doesn’t descend
in sheets of actual ice

lucky for them
the weather is mild
lucky for them
they are lucky

they are knives
seen through windows
turn turn turn up the radio
they cannot cut
if they are sheathed

their cardboard magic spells
their incantations
they will not not not alter this

they will go hungry
they will become hungry ghosts
they will be silent as a vacuum is silent

untitled (20171105)

how many hearts
how many prayers
balance the scale

the moon is the color of blood
the color of rust
the color of flattened lead

twenty-six stars wink out

who would ever think
such a thing would

those who ask this question
would find a special
place in hell
if we ever needed
such a place

straight to the heart (20171103)

i offered an open door
and like the vampire you are
you came in and starting
drinking everything in sight

i’ve learned from all
those hammer horror movies
that there’s no easy way
to rescind an invitation

my best bet is to stock
the fridge with curated holy water
and spread garlic aioli on everything
like a pretentious asshole

while you’re busy avoiding
i’ll be sharpening my stakes
and looking for a mallet

naiku (20171029)

a gentle breeze
sucker punches the sycamore
not enough to bend it double
but enough to knock loose
a few leaves like teeth
spiralling and spinning
on their way down

a squirrel eyes me
like i’m the one
who egged the wind on
so i give him the finger
since my dog is too old
to give a shit
about a squirrel
halfway up a sycamore

how calming the wind is
how beautiful this fall dance
of leaves/teeth
how angry the squirrel
clinging like spiderman
to the bark

it’s a good
autumn day

the skin you’re in (20171028)

stop picking at it
is good advice

the nail slips under
the edge of the brown, cracked scab
lifting slowly
watch the old coagulation
crease and sweat serum
as it rolls up

you’ll leave a mark
you’ll make a scar
why do that to your skin
once so soft so

[the insides of eggs are soft
but so are omelettes]

into flesh
not frantically
you’re not a beast
this is science
after all
a white coat
a bunsen burner
a double-blind

how many times
can you heal
over in the same spot
before the blood gives up
before the skin gives up
before the heart gives up