Saturday, August 31, 2019


image by Svetlana Belyaeva
Stop showboating.
You, who lived in the walls,
now live in the air.
You, who lived in my heart
now live in the margins of grander stuff.

There are windows.
(You don't care about windows.)
There are borderless nights, and sounds I did not know I could make.
(You don't care about that, either.)

Everything's a brag with you,
while down here it's all cement and stones, glass and goulash.
Shut up for once, I said on that first night, smiling,
when you were sweaty and happy and talking rot.

Now when I say it, I do not smile.
I whisper
and curse you,
every ethereal blameless bit.

for Sunday Muse #71.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

A Summer Blues

Here's a blues made from candle wax,
the hiss of tires on wet streets,
and lips that promise and vanish but linger all the same.

Here's a blues made from old calendar pages,
new blooms from a shaded garden,
and an ache warm and melancholy as night-lit water.

Come, I will play this blues
for heedless ferals and true believers;
for my own sore need, and for you, red-haired and

fleetingly perfect as dusk on the last night in July. 

for this.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Expect A Magistrate

Expect a magistrate,
my deus ex machina replacement 
when I zone out as we're talking, my beautiful one.

Perhaps a tailor,
festooned with measuring tape 
to act as your envoy when I have checked out, mon petit cher.

At last, a math genius
fresh from Mumbai
to complete the needed Trinity you desire, sweet enchanter.

I will leave you with my legal codes,
my paper pattern,
my formulae,

So that you might animate my double,
quantified, tame to the bone,
a wedding cake figure to replace me when I've gone. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019


Here comes the araber across the cobblestones,
slow as a rolled coin.
Here comes his horse, his cart, his bellowing cry:
Sweet persimmons!
His wagon is laden with fruits round and ripe.
His call is laden with sung notes stretched:
Bluuuue BERries!
Strawwww BERries! 
Plumsandblack BERRIES! 
The sky is pale blue, the few clouds puffy white.
Delicious ORRRanges!
The day is hot. His horse is stoic. 
I wonder if I have a nickel
or a dime?

There is no araber, nor cobblestones either.
His horse and his wagon 
gone to dust and kindling.
I hold a plastic tub wrapped with cellophane in my palm.
Ed Sheeran leaks from a speaker somewhere in the ceiling,
bleating about being in love with some girl's body.

"Hey...what's wrong?"
My shopping companion gives me a friendly little bump.
I tell her:
plums and black...berries."
She is used to me, and kind.
When we leave, the sky is pale blue, 
the few clouds puffy white,
the back wheel of our basket spinning and clattering 
all the way to the car.

for this.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Single Lady With A Cat

Oscar says
I should sniff at your kindness as if it were a little tainted.
When you want me,
I should proceed in silent circles;
a tide ruled by an odd moon whose attention wanders.

Oscar knows
that disappointment is the only reward for his counsel.
I accept your kisses and crumbs 
as if they were riches and rings
despite Oscar's disapproval and destruction of my things.

I have had Oscar from a kitten,
ever advising me to hide my heart and hold out for better.
Oscar is vocal--he tries and tries.
But what does Oscar know?
He has always been loved.

for this.


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Shit-Hole Country

Mud can be made into bricks;
bricks can be stacked, piled, lived in.
Go ahead, buy a chair, a table,
pipe in Fox News,
get on line and own the libs.
Wear your red hat.
Live off the land.
Go all-natural.
get off the grid.
Mud can be made into bricks
but so can shit.
It can be stacked, piled, lived in.
Just insist that dung is diamonds and wave that flag.

for this.

Dog Track Rabbit

keep going.
you're almost there!
don't stop now.
how about a bigger house?
or a better ride?
move up in your company!
move in on a better man/ better woman!
get slimmer
get hired
get a degree
get published!
tired of the same old grind?
same old clothes?
same old spouse?
if you lived here you'd be home now.
Match dot com!
Toyota, Pelaton, Nike, 
prestige, appearances, pissing contests!
Desire fuels everything,
feeds nothing.
Stay hungry, my friends. 

for this.