Saturday, July 13, 2019

Joe

There’s more than a few
people I know, but Jose
is the best. No way
can anyone compare to blue. 
I mean a “Kind of Blue.”

Time takes its toll
on others, but not my
friend. Every tear cried
with joy brings a bowl
of fruit. Let’s stroll. 

Near the end is where love
is. T. S. Eliot “arrived where
we started.” Your hair
is your flair. Look above. 
“All you need is love.”


Friday, July 12, 2019

Mr. Miracle

You write the truth more
than you know. Floors clean
themselves with dirty, lean
words. If those who adore

you, read your work aloud,
you’d be in their consciousness—
around the world. Blessedness
is a gift not given. I’m proud

to know you. Keep your
Texan privacy. Cheap are
words said in vain. Bar
talk goes down drains. Bore

no one. Heap love on
mercy needers. We all
need mercy. Above all,
a greater heart beats on.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Gary

Friends for life are hard
to come by. Birds, especially 
blue birds, have to gently
sing their songs. Shards

of hearts litter sidewalks.
I know a mate named Mark
who’d give crumbs, not hearts,
to these kind creatures. Talk

to me and you’ll see
that a poet can hear
what many others fear
to see—life can be

forgiving, even for kind
fellows. The best finish 
first, occasionally. Fish
and that’s what you’ll find. 


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cat

Tater's treats sit atop
Auden's "Selected Poems"
on the bookshelf because
they fit there. I thought
this fitting for a poem.


[Working Title: Bloomsday]

The patrons play and fall
regularly in the streets.
Puke splatters the walls,
and the Irish stand tall,
till they don't. Punches
fall and faces crawl
into the gutter. Hunched
back travelers brawl
and wail for the stench
the smell of sheets,
washed and dried clean.

"Let's get out of here!"
said the woman, pear
shaped, to the man agape
with fear. He apes
himself. He knuckles down
to the rippling ground,
and says, "No more."
His last breath is floored.

On this day we sing
into the pissing wind,
and allow others to fend
for themselves till night's end.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Honeymoon

While pulling a barstool, 
screeching across the floor, 
you're hit with the scent of whiskey, 
mahogany, and your own sweat, 
which intermingles with the taste
of blood in your mouth. The hardwood 
backrest is light in your hand. You 
can't see a bottle of Maker's on the shelf.
It's going to be a long night. 
Your husband raises a finger beside
you. "One more for my bride, sir!"
he says, or would have if he weren't dead.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Working Title: Movement

Life is motion. The ocean breaks the shore.

Every door opens and closes more loudly with age.

The burden of living breaks a man.

Each decision aids precision and navigates the river rocks.

The water flows.
Now is the time.

Ever present is His presence.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Breakfast

Green tea peels back
last night's drunken damage,
and the day breaks on 30th
Avenue. Every footstep passing

the sidewalk table eats
a bit of each person that clicks
and clomps toward work.
The day is already done.

Dreams of the reverse path home
fill their heads like water, or
green tea. The leaves sink
to the bottom of this paper coffin.

Dead tired, the writer tosses the cup
and joins the cattle lowing toward work.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Geology and Genealogy

He spent years under Oklahoma stones. Even after washed and dried, his shirt held their incense.

When building chimneys, the odor of wet mortar settled into his beard.

Portland dust fertilized his boots with city-germinating aromaskyscrapers and sidewalks come from this dust and will return to it.

After a rain, the New York City pavement composed him, yesterday, in his son's memory.

Stone or concrete perfumes him into existence, out of thin air, for his descendants. Anywhere.

Text messaged photo from my dad.



Thursday, April 4, 2019

R.I.P. Coach Hampton

In physical education class, you made me run suicides against the oldest and largest boy while the whole class watched. I was the youngest and smallest and couldn't beat him. He'd win by a hair and you'd make us run again. You were rooting for me, but I didn't know that then. The largest boy was running for his dignity. How could I beat that out of him?

That's my most vivid memory of you and your teaching. Wait.

I also saw you on the pitchers mound of our middle school gym floor. You'd throw the kickball maddeningly and bouncily to the athletically gifted to keep the playing field even. And you'd snatch linedrives out of the air as if you had a gloved hand catching a baseball. My older brother said you used to dive, too, before your heart surgery.

Now I see you eternally diving home. How is your eternal home?


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Portal

The soul's window remains
the same from birth to death.
Life parades outside. Jester
and orator are equally framed.
Those born blind see the same.

The eye is a symbol of a window.

A witness knows when one
gives up the ghost, whether
or not the shades are closed.


Friday, March 29, 2019

Earthbound

This incensed hyacinth
purpling aflame in spring
will anger into summer ash.