Because all experiences are valuable.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bigger by Far

As I leaf through the pages of the swamp
the crocodiles have set their gantlet teeth in rows
and watch.
Had I not read this book a hundred times at night
through the bare threads of an aging muslin sheet,
I should be lost
to their snap, and the slither and roll to the death,
coming early like autumn this year.
But this is not my first bedtime story, and not my
first, nor second, mapping of wet leaves on cracked pavement
which none will come to repair in this life
and watching where you step is tantamount…
to nothing…
but an inevitable buildup just the same.

The frost at the edges of your mouth
bit me sorely, in times when what I needed was a whiskey, or a kiss, or
a kind word
or really by god anything with a slight tang of humanity
that one person might offer another,
much less a beloved, so shrunken and losing essential particles every hour.

Madly and passionately, I am huge now,
bigger by far than anything you never saw and never looked to see,
and I am enveloped in an unending kiss, and the intoxication of a love
I never dreamed,
consumed by sighs of relief and joy so often that
I have to catch my breath. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

In Greaves and in Armor

She would like to say she has outgrown this armor
but in truth it was never made for her at all,
sheaths of beaten steel she polishes-
a timeless ritual of women,
in thoughtless anticipation of battles to come.

She would like to say she can lay down this outsized monstrosity
and find a clear stream to wash off the dirt,
sweat of fear and unending exertion-
but it cannot be laid down, not now,
it is hers to carry even when she cannot recall where it came from.

She would like to live in her own skin,
or at least choose to make her own armor,
designed to mold to her and move like water-
responsive to her own call for protection,
so unlike this ugly ruin of mail and grief.

She would like to sing instead of cry, and smile instead of hide
as she fights and she dreams for the right,
to exist as she is, in the way that God made her-
while so many other beating hearts tell her,
that her battle is not real and her pain a cruel sham.

She would like to be unbound, and know for sure
if the armor is the problem,
after all, it was not hers-
does it work to keep her lost through the misadjusted visor,
all a trap that's sprung inside, so she never sees the truth and flies away.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Painting the Roses Red

As descents go, this was effortless.
Each foot placed in a hold
as sure as walking the pavement.
Unexpectedly Alice tumbles,
teacup over kettle,
only to find the cake finale
an indeterminate mystery.

Our hearts won't be ruled.
I imagine
it is up to us to govern ourselves
in the garden we were given, and
the games will end
when we tire and walk away.

I don't want to forget this journey,
the taking of this trip
entirely by accident, as if I
did indeed merely trip
and fall,
as if I
could pick myself up and skip away-
chalk paintings done in magic,
bleeding color into the background.

I don't look back. I can't look back.
Like the leading man leaving the explosion,
I stare ahead behind rose glasses.
Every descent is not a disaster.
Some are just epic daydreams,
where white and red are both love.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Lie in the Candle

She bends at the waist and
Her hair is a fury- it fights like a wild thing possessed.
False sprigs of cypress curl smoke
From the mouth of the oven, the brick cherry red
With the heat.
The air has gone dry, and the eye of the ocean is open,
It sees to the floor, out the door to the north.
Paint it all blue, for the chi, for the life left inside there,
Where she cooks,
What she casts,
With those cats underfoot.
As she smiles the two smiles that she has, maybe one, maybe not,
Maybe both, it depends,
On the fire in the wood, and the blood on her hands.
But the truth in the witch is a
Lie in the candle,
A light left undimmed, whether free or kept chained.
Just the spectre of freedom, a plaid in the heather
Swept down the river, and
Lost in her howl.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Deal

who made this deal that I would be in this skin for this life
thin lines of grease paint ran off my fingertips into the cracks in the concrete
as I sat there with my overpriced tea and orange confection of unhealthiness
overhearing, no listening openly,
to the sales pitch of an acting class hustler,
guaranteeing this poor bastard he would be a star,
dropping the Denzels and the Tom Cruise,
talking Walking Dead and Lee Daniels.
It was a great moment when he dared to correct her...
all wrapped in her uninformed costume of middle age
and he all of 20...
but he knew to correct her when she said
say the script says you play a preacher,
are you going to be an Al Sharpton,
are you going to be a Jesse Jackson,
or a Martin Luther...
he said, Martin Luther King, Jr?
Honest to God did she not know the difference between the two?
Honest to God did she not see he could play whomever he wants,
if he wants,
not just black preachers. I was appalled for him,
but that's just me thinking I have any right to think anything,
when I don't,
because all I have is this skin I am in...
but I do know better than that.
When she told you to get over yourself
about roles you said you would not take,
I had to leave
before she turned you completely into a whore.
Keep your morals, keep your dreams,
Best of Luck to you, kid.
I'll buy a ticket...
hell, I already did. It's called Starbucks.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


In ruined vineyards,
It is possible it is better to be alone,
Es possible esta mejor ser solamente uno,
hiding insecurities and unchanging lacks of judgement,
beneath the heavy hair of wanton vines,
between the sighing rows of perspiring leaves,
escaping the lucious desires of grapes begging to be picked,
mingling inside the mouth- the jaded
richness of old wine and 
the bitter sour of new wine that will never be pressed.

Nothing is beyond the imagination of tastes,
Even the dying man- condemned-
salivating his solitary last moments away
in recall of divine repasts,
and vintages too pregnant with joie de vivre
to be forgotten.

Acres of sunflower heads
dried of their crowns and beauty,
food for crows and old women,
fit companions enough for the
shadows that stalk the sunset,
lengthening their presence toward the silvered olives,
sinking low into soft chairs,
in the days when
nothing is left to be done,
all consigned to the care of the seasons,
Es possible en la nieve lavarse.
Es possible en la lluvia dormir. 

July 2016

This was written on the train between Rome and Florence, as we passed miles and miles of vineyards and sunflowers in Tuscany, and one vineyard in particular was left in ruin...which I only glimpsed for seconds at 225 mph. But that is life, after all, going by so fast, and some of it in ruins. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Every Day That is Left

Showered with dust
from fleet bee left-behinds-
his crop-dusting feet,
so unwitting and wild,
the field a mad riot,
sowed at last year's tea dance,
floral progeny bow to the wind
and make pacts,
to live full this one Summer,
to bloom bright until death,
to make love,
like a flower and bee-
every day that is left.

for Melanie A. and her bees