Saturday, November 10, 2018

Middle age

desert of my life
there were things I never meant
to take root in spite

An education

scribble on
the bathroom walls,
and a nation tucks its guns into bed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Forever give me sadness any day

To my right, “they have good coleslaw.”
From across the table, “it’s chopped instead of shredded, that’s why.”
A minute later to my left, “they have good coleslaw here.”
And farther down, “yes, it’s the best coleslaw in town.”
It continued like this awhile longer,
the buzz of hearing aids, the comfort of repetition
and appreciation of ordinary things.
I think of complicated things,
and I feel alone.
I think of coleslaw and am filled with a sadness 
that soon there may be one less friend at our table.
I look around the table and smile warmly
as I take mental snapshots of each face, 
faces alive with friendship and creased with memory.
Eyes grow watery with age. I think
it has to do with all the loss, the body must let go
forever. Give me sadness any day.
It fills me with love,
and I overflow.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Serve me up, piece by piece

serve me up, piece by piece
what good am I to myself

take my hand and write the words that will untether hearts and minds

take my feet and lead the refugees out of war, furthermore
take my arms, open them

take my shoulders and lift the young women above the oppression experienced by their mothers and grandmothers

take my head and place it on a lunch tray because it is of no use to me
as it has not commanded my hand, my feet, my arms, my shoulders
to do what needs to be done

serve me up, piece by piece

A prompt from imaginary garden with real toads

Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Tetractys

between your teeth,
and honey flows from the warmth of your mouth.

A prompt from

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Queen Mary

We made love on a haunted ship, leaning out the porthole under a full moon on Halloween.

Ten years later, 
I remember your laugh.

It's the warmest sound in the world, 
happy, sleepy and sometimes high.

My heart feels like your bedroom candle, 
the one made of psychedelic colors
that melted down the side of the dresser and swirled into a pool on the old hardwood planks
next to your bed.

I don't remember our bodies, or anything else.
Except, you didn't seem to notice the waxy mess.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

I think about the smell of the earth

I think about the smell of the earth
often in the spring, scent
of freshly fertilized fields
wafting softly over morning dew.

My nose instinctively crinkles and my emotions turn instinctively annoyed,
but I let the fertilized earth fill my lungs and I am filled with love
and a sense of protection over this place.

The smell of the earth reminds me
of what is real, of what is not
curated for our consumption.

The midwest farmers are real.
The midwest farmers are everything.
The midwest farmers are everything I am not.

I love them for this.

If you are not familiar with the midwest life
then you may not understand what it is
to be made of contradictions.

To all at once be judge and protector.
To all at once be thick and permeable.

Like the soil, the conditions have to be right.
Tillable, the desire to be turned over
irrevocably transformed.

Monday, May 14, 2018


We're slipping away
I said
your face told me to elaborate.

Away from what
I don't know
from where we came.

I have amnesia
every day
a different day but maybe not.

Suspended in jelly
my slow thoughts
follow my tendons visibly moving under my skin.

I am made of puppets
you said
I don't understand.

This jelly is red
I don't understand my pores.

the world in
to my skull I am sorry I did not protect you.

I should have
manipulated these hands
into the earth every day I go.

Sunday, May 6, 2018


Writing, rewriting
an elegy
almost daily
makes her feel more real to me
like back in ninety three
we were so silly
always laughing
our future planning
years together spanning
still now I'm weeping
sweeping, piecing
together broken feelings
of someone gone but never dead to me
trying to find the remedy
too blind to ever see
the love in front of me

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Inverted landscape

But if I could just
cup the base of your neck in my hand
and pull you to meet me, breath to breath
your mouth to mine
I might be able to experience you
all of you at once, instead of in pieces.

But only after we share
a cup of loose-leaf tea and gentle smirks.

Can we float outside these walls, hand in hand.

Inverted landscape
the trees are purple against a sepia sky
and nothing is moving except the tips of the purple grass
under our worn sneakers, pointed toes, grazing.

But did I mention the floating. That's important.

Like in those movies where an unseen force
is pulling, pulling
leaning forward
the toes again, grazing the purple grass.