at the wheel (20180102)

the heart is
a driver in a hurry
who takes shortcuts
who has mistaken the gps map
for the territory
who fails to signal
when changing lanes
brakes [breaks]
ignores stop signs
posted speed limits
maximum speed limits
road hazards
never knows who goes first
at a four-way stop
guns it through the intersection
on a stale yellow
merges poorly
cuts off
flips off
offramp shoulder surfs
is night blind
is always under the influence
is always running late
is always driving facing the rising sun
is always driving facing the setting sun
always falls asleep at the wheel

breaking point (20170909)

i am a stained glass saint
and you are a high-pitched
tuning fork pressed against
my flattened multiple colors

you ring
i respond
with crack and shatter
fake gems from a pirate
souvenir shop scattered on
the floor

the red ones are my hearts
the blue ones whatever resolve
i kept in check

more hot lead
and patience
will be required

unread letters (20170709)

i found your blood
in a red-stained envelope
waiting in my mailbox
throbbing like an organ

the thickened state of it
surprised me though

i thought it would be more akin
to ice water than a
hot, swirling pudding of
reds and browns

easy enough to take a pen
and write
–but carefully
so as not to puncture–
[return to sender]
and lift the heart-red flag
to alert the postman

i didn’t have a letter opener, you see
and i was out of stationery and
razor blades
for a proper reply

consideration of impatience (20170422)

go ahead and make me wait
i’ve got the patience of job
tied up in a bindle stick
over my shoulder

i can bust it out whenever
but i know you like me
impatient, eager
like ice melting off
a fingertip

my jaw clenches shut
and i breathe through
my nose because
if i open my mouth
there’s no telling
what part of your body
i will target first


It’s National Poetry Writing Month!
Day 22

Check out these sites:

words that can’t be spoken or spelled (20170225)

i am less an open book to you
than a blank page

you write on me with your fingers
your words sink into my skin

like your teeth
and i am tattooed by your multicolor voice

you do not erase
only write over the soft, pink scars

replacing old
with new

the touch of your fingertips
like a singing water glass

not enough heat, not enough pressure (20170204)

blacken your heart, dear
take those cold ashes
from the hearth, flames dead
like a field mouse in winter

blacken your heart, dear
mix the soot with tears
remember every slight
every gaze that passed over you

blacken your heart, dear
swallow that thick paste
wash it down with past shame
and feel it settle in your stomach

blacken your heart, dear
let that darkness spread
but remember this–not every
piece of coal becomes a diamond

all the poems (20161209)

every poem should be a love poem
not because there’s so much to love
but because it may be the last poem

i’m not being fatalistic
this isn’t about the grim reaper
hovering behind us all
although, of course, he is

no, what if this is the last poem
what if the words dry up with
the next sunrise
what if it’s last tango for
the fingers and keyboard
it’s not as if i have anything
important to say, nothing that
anyone needs to hear or wants to hear

what if what if what if
the next words the next ink
the next electrons cluttering the
snow white screen make as much sense
as egyptian hieroglyphics to
an albino pet store parakeet

someone excavate the feeling out of this
obscure and amateurish babbling
it all comes down to my love
whatever it’s worth

that’s what these words are
that’s what these words roar
that’s what these poems are