in medias res (20171019)

close your eyes
and grit your teeth

this is going to hurt
this is going to feel good
this is going to make you forget but
this is going to be memory

let the feeling separate you
from your skin like a sunday chicken
on a weight watcher’s plate

let yourself be blind
feel the ten thousand needles
each and every single one of them


firmly in hand
eyes closed
eyes closing
because when they open
and your breath is your own again

the moment is over
is past
is memory

thin lines (20171015)

we went to a fingerprint party
all the finest detectives were there
dressed in their best suits
that smelled of cigarettes
and stale coffee

they showed us to our very own table
we sat next to a lovely couple
a serial killer and a lawyer
they met during the trial
and i didn’t bother to ask
who was who

i waited until the food
and watched them eat
but i still couldn’t tell
and finally
you got tired
of my paying attention to everything
except you
and you left
right before dessert

served in a tin tray

mealtime (20171011)

if food only went one way
–forget about the conservation
of matter here–

if food only went one way
how long would it take
to get sick of chewing
and swallowing

how many words would we have
for full then
more than inuit words for snow

let’s say that you can
only eat so many
meals before
it stops going down
starts backing up

you can’t eat anymore
because your last meal
a pastrami sandwich that looked
great on the menu
now hangs greasy and wet
from your mouth
you chin shines and
the thought of putting one
more thing in your mouth
is enough to make you
want to pull out your teeth
with pliers
and sew your lips closed

how long do we have to sit
at a table set with ignorance
who the hell keeps passing the rolls

picture in picture (20171010)

i look at a photograph
a woman with short, curly hair
stands in front of a window
holding her phone up
as if she is taking a picture

i half close my eyes
aqueous images
parade across my vision
all specimens for inspection
under a microscope

one transforms into a jet
slides from right to left
top to bottom

it looks like she is taking a photo
while a plane descends erratically
behind her back
the crash inevitable

i take a mental picture of her
her hair is short and curly
the window in front of her
is closed
she is trapped between
a plane
and a plane
pressed between dimensions

her picture
is a picture of a window
that is closed

her hair is curly
it descends erratically
inevitably crashing
against the nape of her neck

she is a specimen for inspection
under a microscope

expectations adjusted, unmet (20171009)

autumnal orange light floods the parking lot
while soft snowflakes fall

even though these aren’t snowflakes
even though the greasy stink of smoke gives it away

hills burn
and wind pushes ash toward the sea
i hope the sunset–at least–
will be beautiful


dVerse ~ Poets Pub
Quadrille: hope

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

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