Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Chamber Duet II

 See how I love you darling
skittering down the rotten leaf path with a lamp
wearing my delicate gloves and old cardigan
against the chill and damp?

Don't hand me shit about loving sailors now
with their faces like pale wrinkled moons
floating up to sing you shanteys
while you percolate in shallows like a wax Quadroon.

My frail sweetheart, what's become of you?
You used to gild heaven just by looking up.
Now, if we touch, it's with a cypress branch
to roll love's body in the muck.

We really cared once, you know it's true
with every movement meant to please.
Now your sailors adore you with gassy grins
and stultifying ease.

I'll use tiny clippers on a driftwood cello
a balsa fake to echo and bore
a waterside horror to mock two biddies
our love song evermore.
______

for Dverse Poetics "After Saint Valentine left the building." 






Monday, January 24, 2022

Advice

 When Chaos shivers you with a thunderous right,
think on beauty, 
think on loveliness.
When your knees forget themselves,
when your bowels disintegrate,
fall as if flying.
When your chin hits the pavement,
when the mighty boot comes down,
think on joy.
Forgive freely.
_________

for dverse quadrille--"shiver"

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Transubstantiation

 "Every time I planted a seed, he said kill it before it grows" --Bob Marley

Here is your cradle, narrower than a matron's squint.

Worlds have been birthed from less.

Tilt your tarmac cap, child. 

Suckle from stars a foreign milk

distant evanescence 

from saudade milled.

Here is your birth-door, jagged as a shiv,

and your unseen bloom, opening in spite of itself,

a spirit shaken loose, dumb with innocence,

just holy enough to make someone want to kill it.

_______

for Sunday Muse #157.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Musee des Larmes

Your Museum of Tears exhausts the visitor
with unrelieved monochrome. 
Repeat patrons squat and rock, 
pulling their hair,
begging for blindfold and bullet.

There is a booth to check your solutions
which will not be examined.
In lieu of a claim ticket,
special jugs of further tears are dispensed.
Bearers long for the grave or asylum.

Security stops visitors for interrogation.
Why did you make a face at exhibit 45?
Why did you skip the explanatory plaques?
Don't you see how unfair it all is,
and how innocent the artist?

In your Museum of Tears,
the railings are salt-rimmed,
the light fixtures red and swollen.
Several displays repeat in a loop.
Many have hung themselves from the balcony balustrades.

I cannot be a member.
I cannot be a patron.
I cannot be a docent,
Though I hear there is a brand new wing
where whole aquariums bear my name.
_________

for Sunday Muse #98.


Monday, December 23, 2019

Lamby

Everyone agreed that Lamby was certainly possessed, and that it was high time something was done.

A broken vase had been discovered, and the child accused.
"Lamby did it," said the child, and all heads turned.

The father felt certain that Lamby harbored powerful desires, barely concealed beneath its innocuous expression; desires that would certainly bring ruin and shame upon the family.

The mother was convinced that Lamby seethed with anger and longed to destroy them all in revenge for various wrongs. Did the thing ever close its eyes, even in the dead of night? No, it did not, so busy was the thing in planning its various diabolical machinations.

Lamby was removed from its only advocate, the now distressed and tearful child. "I lied," said the child. "Lamby didn't do it. I did." 

"The thing MADE her do it, and now controls her tongue as well," opined the clergyman, having been summoned to the scene. 

"We need punishment, to restore happiness," said the father.

"We need righteous fury, to restore harmony," said the mother.

"We must destroy it in order that it may be forgiven," thundered the clergyman.

As the three adults danced around the cleansing fire consuming her toy in the front yard, the child ran to a neighbor's house.

"They've gone fucking crazy over there," reported the child.

"Such language," tutted the neighbor, and took the child home, where the broken vase lay forgotten in the foyer.
_______

A parable for Artistic Interpretations at Real Toads.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Stop

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.