Friday, September 30, 2016

Drawn and Quartered Nightly

She called the shots tonight:
vodka, jello, .22 caliber
popguns in the woods.

Now she's gone
but we're friends
on Social Media.

The trees could turn pink

Cats gather nearby
plotting my death.

She sends me a sticker -
thumbs up;
my liver feeds the strays.

Watch the felines stagger to their
back porches before dawn
where we all sleep it off

in our own way.

Me Missing You

When your face is missing from the crowd,
the light of the Moon snuffed out among the stars,
the Mona Lisa stripped of her knowing grin,
and the dogs of the East Side go to their beds
without a bite of supper.

Driving home only takes a few centuries
in the failing light, and the rain,
the radio barks that the dogs are still hungry
as they lay fitful in half-sleep,
and the Mona Lisa certainly looks nonplussed.

Tomorrow, I’ll re-write this poem;
and when people ask me what it’s about
I’ll tell them 'life is short, love just to love',
hoping to see your smile emerge from the named 
and nameless crowds all around at any moment.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Autumnal Katabasis

When the balming winds blow through your open windows
in late September following a hazy rose colored sunset,
you forget how intensely the sun burned you
not thirty nights or a harvest moon ago.

Through it all -
the pain and the blindness
and the birth of new sight
after the blisters healed -
you have been judged to be clean.

You may pass peacefully 
into the beloved season 
of decay.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Love Was Not Meant To Be A Science

Most of all I miss her sarcasming spirit laughter,
acidic and ticklish love screaming
all over my thoughts
my works
my face and my hands
my time here among the walkers, runners, and flyers.

Fingertips trailing from back to chest,
the nails etching their trail between the worn
out highways and walkways that made us
so much more than a metaphor for use.

If there is a thermodynamic equation that explains this,
tell me now so I can write poetry about the Science
of Love and read it to her when I follow her.

They say she'll never know now,
but I can act and dream like that they are wrong.

She'd like that most, I think.

That, and the title of this poem.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Best Out of Life

Everything's as dry as a corpse ~
she keeps singing to me
as she passes behind her bar...


It's just passed high noon.

She refills my vodka and cranberry,
we talk circus; my falls and flights,
her time in the Fire-Eaters Guild,
I tell her I was flying earlier today
from a green sheet of sweaty silk
hung from a warehouse ceiling
near downtown Detroit.

She tells me she gets what she needs
out of life,
making the rest from what she finds:
truth and lies -
a long drive down the west coast
as the sun beams off water as red
as a subterranean sea of magma.

I find everything I need and then
I find creative ways to lose it.

It's a talent handed down through
the generations.

I tell her this.

She smiles, starts singing again.

The door opens, more customers
walk in, ready to drink Sunday
to the floor with the chewed
gum stuck, broken pretzels strewn
hitherto; promises no one keeps...

So many jagged pieces.

Just then,
smoke begins to rise from the dried husks
of men and women
who measured woefully less.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cold Nights Alone

blue and white
the snow falls,
whilst you keep me
in sight.

cool brittle-bright
glow in blue shadow...
no-one knows me,
not tonight.

Gleaming cold dream.
This restless respite;
shine on me well
for through clutching
dark, deathly night chill

I struggle

I fight.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Touched her shoulder, her breath caught...
Does desire sing?
Has heart soul?

The door is closed behind me.
Will flame die slow?
Smoldering low?

The light glows like we as we lie...
Is truth this patch-over-patch quilt?
Could guilt fly?

Streetlights through curtains shine white.
Is nothing so fast?
As this, this mother night?

Her mouth speaks soft-winged words...
Should fates' voice be heard last?
If so, is that right?

Monday, September 12, 2016

She Said

"You need a bigger phone."

Yes... I have an inadequate
smart phone screen to the 
more discriminating singles
out there navigating purgatory. 

The night was getting old
but it could still dance.
so I asked for my bar tab 
and paid it, leaving a nice tip 
for Steph because she has
to put up with a lot 
when she babysits 
all the old drunks 
and the young drunks
and other desperate rats
and bum poets
who lovingly infest this place.

Then I stood from my stool
told everyone and no one
to have fun
and walked right out the door,
when I called someone 
who knows it's not the size 
of your phone that matters, 
but how you use it.


Friday, September 9, 2016

On Damp Mornings Near Detroit

I would love it to death if I were a Raymond Carver poem.

Living among the stands of pines, wild flowers, bears, and bobcats
of the high Cascades, the Olympias...

The Columbia River not far over the distant hills the smell of rain
every morning, even in the dim winter sun,

the hoarfrost riming the black trunks of trees
as snow fallen in the chill night still clings
to each finger branch, tendril of a living life,
waiting to become so green that it can't
be perfectly described in human language

but you attempt to do it anyway because
that is as honest and cold and lovely

as you can muster.

Because that's what you keep living to do, even though the end
might see you driving away from a phone call, a failure, a love
in an old car with the windows rolled up
in relentless rain as the windows steam opaque and white

while somebody tries in vain to talk to you,
your thoughts wandering the pine stands
and the high peaks of Cascadia,
or a dark club in the smokey part of town
drinking a gingerale special after hours.

I would also be about trout. And perhaps Lapis Lazuli.

Something more permanent than all of us left wishing we were poetry.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Transiting the Mechanized Jungle

Endlessly passing
cars on the interstate
pointed toward a
distant leaning gray-green
where rent was due in
vicodins and
cheap vodka that flowed
like a stream of fallen rain
and cigarette butts
through the gutters.

Cars outside
loud, over-heating
headed toward
Midtown Detroit
Hades, Indiana
Old Port Callisto.

It didn't take her
that long to drive,
and the weather
was worth it -
even if it wasn't
verily pleasant
to live through
at the time.