Thursday, May 30, 2013

Back Story

Gravel rock scar left a dent
in the middle of his forehead.
Nobody really knows for sure:
Running in the driveway with
untied shoes at five years old?
Midnight shift, stagger drunk,
miles away from the mischievous
years of racing for first in the dirt?



Vayavya - Summer 2013

My Next Door Neighbor’s Brand New Baby Boy

His face reads like a Bukowski poem
written after a weekend bender
with not nearly enough Bromo.
I’m not saying he doesn’t have
a certain puppylike appeal.
It’s just those worried wrinkles
already grooved into the middle
of his two-week old forehead
have me convinced that his future
will consist of way too many
well-placed and perfectly timed
motherfuckers.



Vayavya - Summer 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Miles Away Gray

Not with this wind blowing, and this tide – Rudyard Kipling

Waves crash in miles away gray.
I cannot see them or hear them
from where I wander the shoreline
in search of your face, my son.

I cannot see them or hear them
as they rise and fall and die white.
In search of your face,
I go unheard as they go unheard.

As they rise and fall and die white,
your goodbye becomes a pale stare.
I go unheard as they go unheard.
When will you return, my son?

Your goodbye becomes a pale stare
from where I wander the shoreline.
When will you return?
Waves crash in miles away gray.




The Monarch Review - May 14, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Asphyxiation

Everything is a worn red pincushion,
an alabaster lamp of yellow light going nowhere.

Everywhere I look, there are things beneath things
and hecklers taking liberties with each evening’s cold.

Always, the rosemary breath of before I knew you
reminds me that the sun sets wherever I used to be.

Never before had the asphalt sweat smelled as black
as the morning you asked me to tell you your name.

I know now what your crow's feet have been warning me,
what the glow of your imagination would never confess.

There is a dizzy sort of calm that comes with seeing
me wear warmly the pale blue skin of asphyxiation.




Off the Coast - Spring 2013

Fornication

For years afterward, I was afraid
that’s what they were –
those super dry closed-mouth pecks
under the sleeping bag on the cot
with Kimberly the summer
Uncle Jim couldn’t find work.

Eight years old was too young
to notice her high Indian cheekbones
and jet black hair. It was not too young
to be spellbound by the whiteness
of her smile or the way it crushed 

the deep inside of my chest.

There we were, lying next to each other.
I was shaking the way I had imagined
Adam shaking before Eve’s outstretched hand. 
But, Kimberly was smiling at me. So, we pressed 
chapped lips together over and over again
until there was nothing left for a little boy
to imagine.

I asked her if she would marry me.
She told me that cousins can’t
and, of course, I believed her –
she was ten years old and knew
long-division and cursive.

We lay there together, hiding
our heads in the hot underneath
of the lumpy cotton bag. Before long,
we got up, went outside and started
throwing stones.




Off the Coast - Spring 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Harmonica and the Cat

“Ase Linden had three friends and a flute.” – The Sojourner

Ase has me beat by two friends
and a flute. What I have these days
is her and what’s ours together.

I mow; she weeds; what’s ours
together learns to play bundled
in the early green of dewy spring.

Later, after dinner, I watch
what’s ours together splash
in the warm soapy water

of his nighttime routine
as she runs just one more errand
for milk. Later still, her fingertips

move slowly along my back
with the lightest touch of gentle
conversation. I breathe

heavily while what’s ours together
dreams out loud, “Mommy, Daddy.”
Perhaps a recalculation

is in order. What I have these days
is her and what’s ours together,
leaving me lacking

just one good friend and a flute –
unless I count the harmonica
and the cat.



The Toucan - May 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mumpsimus

Makes me feel all warm inside, being
unconditional and lacking second thoughts.
Maybe the “I need beer” sign is just a tragic
plea for understanding. Besides, who am I,
standing in judgment of another man’s needs?
I stop the car, hand him a dollar through
my fully opened window, thinking of someone I
used to know. The man nods. I ease on the gas,
See you tomorrow and the next day and the next…



Camroc Press Review - May 8, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Silence

Silence befriended me in my teens, playing chess by myself,
rehearsing opening choreographies, remembering
hard lessons learned.

Varsity matches were full of it, in spite of the heavy breaths
of contemplation and the every now and then glancing to see
if my opponent was starting to buckle under its weight.

I lived hungry for it during my first marriage, a 22-year cacophony
of two grown people insisting on being the last person heard,
until I finally got everything I ever wanted.

Then, there was waking up to it and reclining with it in the evenings
under a beige shaded lamp. There was singing to it at the top of my lungs
all alone and trying to make it cry.

Before long, I started taking walks with it in the early morning
and sometimes the clouds would part, letting me see thousands
of silent stars – ancient, confused.



Decanto Magazine - May 2013