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

squeeze play (20170525)

remember play-doh
the salty pasty smell
the unnatural colors
how it squished
between your fingers like mud or bread dough
the little die press that came with it
how you got in trouble
for playing with it in the house
because eventually
you’d drop a piece in the carpet
no amount of kneading
could disentangle it from the fibers
the disappointment of leaving the lid
off a can and finding
a little salty blob of stone

but the worst
–both an enlightenment
and eclipsing of some inner sun–
was mixing the colors
to make rainbow stars and cylinders
discovering too late
for your childhood ocd
that you couldn’t unmix them
that once entangled
they remained forever so

as an adult you realized
why they never bothered
to include brown in the set
since it was the inevitable

circus (20160531)

three rings in a circus
with no one cracking the whip
three rings on three fingers
but who is steering this ship

the lion-tamer’s lost his head
he misjudged the lion’s maw
the clown should have stayed in his tiny car
he’sĀ trapped beneath a weighty paw

i leave my seat and shuffle away
dragging my shoes through sawdust
these performances ended years ago
leaving nothing butĀ haunted rust


The Daily Post
Daily Prompt: Circus