you get what you need (20200617)

you get what you want

if what you want
is a backhand
from the ticking
winding down
clock

the second hand
gives you the finger
–good job, asshole!
only time has mastered
sarcasm

grab a shovel
don’t forget to measure
yourself first
we will all get buried standing up
can’t let change
fall out of our pockets
or our hips dislocate
during rapture
alien abduction
other failures of gravity

give us the greening grass
below our feet
or else
above all your heads

potential (20200409)

hold the flashlight up
under my chin
like a suicidal jedi knight
breathe out
empty those lungs yogi-style

in the light a vapor forms
the amorphous shape
undulates away
disappears as water droplets
spread and the temperature
between them and the adjacent air
becomes insignificant

exhale again
step into
the little cloud of myself
feel nothing

neither the sudden cooling
of nighttime sea spray
nor the volcanic steam
of the just finished running dishwasher

just nothing

and is this
–i wonder aloud to the dog–
what ghosts don’t feel
when they pass through
one another?

the fit of melancholy (20200407)

the poor are still poor
the dying still die

those obsessed with power
wrap themselves in disaster
like moths in cocoons
only to emerge stinking of
blood
self-righteousness
their own vile shit

weaponize everything
the weapons
the disease
the cure

cockroaches
are time travelers
come back to honor
their ancestors

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