less eclipse than occlusion (20171008)

the sun rolls in a rut
in heaven each day
spiraling lower
and lower still
like a skee-ball
thrown so hard it pops into the outermost ring

zero tickets for the effort

i want to wrap you up
like a snake

i want to swallow you whole
and feel you inside me
clawing your way out
the way words and dreams
used to claw their way out
before i got fuzzy and dumb and tired

i want to remember
the names i called you by

i want one of them to be a magic word
that will make you happy
without anyone losing an eye

low on the horizon
i pinch the sun
between my fingers
smaller than a dime
that orange bastard
has been trying to
give me cancer for years
let it roll beneath the horizon
for all i care
i’ll put my head in the sink
fill it with water
and wait for the mermaids
to start singing

Linocut Zebra

So the second week of my printing class introduced me to making a print with a linoleum block. You can see the results here.

The process involved finding an image (remember, I’m not that great with a pencil) and transferring it to a linoleum block, in this case a 5×7 unmounted block of battleship gray linoleum produced by Speedball. Then came the carving. My first time carving something that wasn’t a pumpkin and I can proudly say, I didn’t put out an eye (mine or anyone else’s) or lose a finger. Go me.

In class we picked inks, slightly thicker than what we used for the previous drypoint print, and used a brayer to spread it on the surface of the block. And then it was run through the press with the added pressure of some chipboard.

All in all, I’m enjoying this class quite a bit. There will be more linocuts in my future, and maybe some wood carving if I get really nuts.


Zebra in Orange


Zebra in Black


Zebra in Brown

departures (20171004)

you say
–see you tomorrow

i can’t help but be astonished
at the clarity
the unassuming confidence
in those three words
any one of which might
be overtyped with hyphens or Xs

of course you expect a tomorrow
you had one yesterday
but past performance is
no guarantee of future results
and we’re all asking ourselves
that question these days

what about that presumption
of my being here
i’m old
getter older at an alarming rate
and i’m not exactly in great shape
not that i’m in particularly bad shape
either but even if we rule out disease
we can’t rule out accident
it’s those other drivers
(not you and certainly not me)
i’m worried about
barring disaster
what if i oversleep and decide
to hell with it
the world’s not going end
if i don’t get out of bed

then we come to your eyes
those fabulous eyes
liquid soft like autumn rain
who’s to say you won’t eat a bad
cookie and the bacteria
will specifically target your optic nerve
or that you be driven to some
wholly inappropriate oedipal frenzy

–see you later
is how i reply
keeping it vague
keeping it hopeful
keeping it light

tiny slivers of glass on a dusty floor (20171003)

the when of you

an exhibition of
my ten thousand pieces

–miss alignment?

–no, mrs

clocks offer offspring
wound/ed/ in the knees
and the stars
winkin blinkin and nod

my ten thousand pieces
brokered bartered battered
before the sun went down
when you were


dVerse ~ Poets Pub
Poetics: Grandma/grammar?

fallible memory (20171002)

every word from your mouth
is a hammer driving nails into my skull
drive like a truck driver, oil-stained cap
naked chrome women on the mudflaps, 10-4, good buddy
every breath out
the fall of the hammer against a nail
embedding itself in wood
it’s own act of will of volition speaking
squeaking as it crawls into the grain

remember when we were kids
and tried to drive in a nail with a single blow
into wood that was probably meant for
something other than keeping us amused
how many galvanized skewers did we ruin
bending them into right angles

or that time
you chased me across the street with a golf club
blood ran down my face
and mixed with the taste of candy cigarettes
you came for me again with a bat
days after the first stitches came out
the sound in my head was like a hammer
hitting an anvil and those words squeaked
as they crawled into my brain
and they said

parenthood (20171001)

kronos signed his name
to the application
turned it in
still attached to the clipboard
though it fit awkwardly
in the inbox

the social worker
looked over the form
he thought how much
this looked like the dmv

–all government offices are the same

she looked up at his mutter
and he coughed, covering his mouth

–this says here
that you’ve been a father
before. can you explain
why you want to adopt?

he looked into the
shadowed corner behind her
in the small office


the quick and the perfect (20170930)

only the dead are perfect
perfect in silence

you say
oh, so-and-so is at peace
and you are not wrong

but the dead
keep moving
like a handful of
shining white teeth
into a still pond
ghostly white
descend out of sight
while above
ripples ring
and crest

you measure the
depth of each trough
as it slices through you

the silence of the dead
is the roar of the furnace
only the perfect dead
move without moving