Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Sometimes in a moment when I think
I'm gonna go completely crazy--
Not the good kind, the horrid kind--
When it feels like there's nothing in my soul but dirty dishes
and puppy puddles on the floor
and bills
and phone calls I hate making
And I stand before the stupid heater
And wish it could ease the ache in my back
I look up and see your eyes
And for some reason
I get a silly little memory from college,
of Russ, ten years older than I, scribbling away gently on his paper
red head and beard tousled.
"What are you writing?"
Just being nosy.
"A love letter to my wife--"
So open, looking up to meet my eyes.
"Read it."
And me, awkward, nervous laugh,
Embarrassed because I asked,
Because he told.
"Read it. Here."
And the notebook turned around, black words on a white page,
Standing naked and unashamed before me.
And I read it.
And somehow, today, life is not so bad,
Because a man wrote a love letter to his wife.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


A childhood story said that far away
And long ago, men bound themselves entwined
In twists and curves so tight that where those lay
The limbs would join. That sketch still in my mind...

So much they lost. The beauty, and the form;
Proportion gone. And where there used to be
That grace of movement, they had dared transform
And hinder part of them that would be free.

And hand to head, and arm to breast, they stand
And watch the pennies fall before their feet.
But all I think of is the useless hand
And how that closeness is its own defeat,

And how perhaps I, like them, could be free,
But keep the things I love too close to me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


(apparently I have always been obsessed with bugs......)

So effortless. I only moved my hand
And pressed one fingertip upon the stone.
Not even pressed, just placed. And that was it.
That winged speck of life that crawled alone
Was no more than a blot upon the grey
That looking back I couldn't find again
Once I had turned my eyes another way.
And yet, that was a life. It once had been
A little point of wonder, even it,
The center of a cosmos so minute,
And yet, to it, unknown and infinite;
And I had stopped that life. The things we do!
One finger from a bigger world reached in,
And world touched world.
It never even knew.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

...any suggestions for a title?...

He came upon her from behind.
What have you there?
My heart, she said.
He touched her shoulders, close and kind,
Face near her hair,
Warm breath, bent head.

I love you. May I have your heart?
She turned her head
And smiled up.
You've had it from the very start,
You know, she said,
Hands like a cup.

But it's in pieces. What is this?
And some are torn,
And some are bruised.
And here touched by a stolen kiss,
And heartache-worn.
Why is it used?

And she could only hold it up,
And look at him as though he knew,
Heart throbbing in her fingers' cup,
The beating fragments shining through.

My friends. I've nothing to confess.
I loved them so.
And that's just me.
It doesn't make me love you less.

He nodded,
Though he'd never see.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


"No time to stare at you right now."
No space for eyes, no room to look.
Cannot glance up.
Eyes drag themselves across the book...

I saw that somewhere else before.
That movement, creeping on the line.
Stumble and
rhythmic heart beat'
s anesthetic sign...

Remembered. Ant that crossed the rug.
Frustration, male and angry haste.
Crushed but not killed.
I watched it crawl across the carpet's waste...

Frustration is a bumpy word
To crawl across, at best of times.
I stopped its agony unheard.
Cream polyester.
Black punctation dot to end the lines.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

....another old one...


The pages of my life lie all around,
In random heapings blown about the floor.
The storm is still. The memories on the ground
Are blurred from beating rain and wind that tore.

I pick them up and try to smooth each page,
And falling tears make dimples like the rain.
Why do I cry? I feel no pain, no rage.
Right now I'm happier than I have been.

High in the storm's eye, peace caresses me.
The fall will come. Of that I do not think,
Lest I should walk with Peter on the sea,
And look upon my frailty, and sink.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Daydream Fanjeaux

What can I give you, O my heart's desire?
What can I give, my lover still unknown?
Today I have nothing but my arms that tire
Waiting forever till the time has flown.
But when you've come, I'll take you by the hand,
A lad and his lass, and she sees only him,
And show you the place I loved for you tonight
In Provencal sunset, while the shadows dimmed.
Slam poet.
Sentences like mile markers in the era.
Pass the murky darkness of modern romance.
Look, actual real words.
Hear the cry to the crowds in the dark ahead.
These are words.
Coherent, magnetic,
Like highway lines into the dark,
One after another.
And you focus, and they pass,
And they draw you to the next,
And the next.
Cruise control in the silent night,
And you watch the lines pass
Through the sleeping world.
Are you the only one awake?
And the next.
Slam poet.
Past the exit.
5 miles over the speed limit and counting.

Friday, May 9, 2008

rewritten from a poem I found from years ago....was the original idea ever any good? don't know...

My heart is broken, and it will not heal
Last night, until I fell asleep, I cried
I cannot put a name to what I feel
Much too confused for phrases cut and dried
My dream...so overused...came true last night
But as I reached with wonder in my hands
To touch it, it was rudely....so cliche...
And boldly snatched away, and now I stand....
Oh, please don't laugh. Before you call this trite--
You were the dream that broke my heart last night.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Thoughts condensed like embers,
Amber-molten in the palm.
Was is all a dream? she said.
How much can I keep?

Thinks that she remembers.
Shuts hers eyes, stays very calm.
Puts her hands against her head.
Banks the embers deep.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Empty angry words
and doors slammed silently
and then cold and alone and mad.

Where are the words?
What is the argument?
Futile, like tire studs on a summer road.
That gritting gnawing sound,
Holding on for dear life
When life is no longer dear.
Tearing up by bits that which they hold so close.
The thin line between need and not
So quickly crossed.
The thin line between security and destruction.
A thin line of sound.
Listen for it.

Monday, March 31, 2008


And there he lay,
His little cheek pressed hard into the rug,
His knees tucked in,
The padding of his diaper up behind
Above the curls,
His hands shoved close against his little chest.
So sound asleep.

He wouldn't cry, to say he missed your kiss.
He only waited, just beyond the hall;
I never even knew until I stopped
To check on him. So sound asleep, so small...

So quiet, when I laid him in his bed:
A little whimpered sigh, but nothing more.
And where he'd lain, I felt beneath my feet
The warmth of his small body on the floor.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yes, this must be a book; no other place
Could epics, heroes, tales like this one thrive.
Such sorrow graven on a heart and face
Belongs on paper only, not alive.

Oh, say it is a book, and turn the page,
As one who passes o'er what troubles him!
The evils gather, and the scandals rage--
Then turn, for honor pales and hope grows dim.

Why cannot this one drama, like the rest,
Like those of Greece, of England, of mankind,
Be put in poetry, the sins confessed,
And then forgot, for centures combined?

We are sad actors--we must play ourselves,
And cannot put our lives back on the shelves.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

See, I don't really need you when I fall.
I didn't ask for your help.
That's not what tears are.
I have my help
deep within myself.
snowflakes under lamplight,
and the smell of sheets off the line,
and damp curls on a sleeping child's forehead,
and wheat fields in southern France.
and yes, you help too, though maybe not
when you think you do.
the way your eyes match your hat,
and the way you drink out of the container
without touching the rim,
and the way you cuss when you were trying so hard
not to smile, and couldn't help it.
and you too.
the way your eyes are dark when you think,
and the way you smile at me.
don't want to give it all away, though.
see, though, my point is,
I don't need you.
I already have you.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

High on a graveyard hill
Shadow and sunset,
Peace of the sleeping will,
Peace comes at last.
Rain breathes a half-heard sigh,
Waits, doesn't fall yet.
Resting, the dead ones lie.

Life comes too fast.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I lie here, still, with just a wall between
That sick strange darkness haunting all your dreams
And my small world of candlelight and prayers.
I wish you'd let me help. I'd die for you.
Much good would that do. Life's the question here,
My breath as I refuse to let hope die,
Your life as you refuse to live with hope.
And so you live without it. That for me,
That would be death. I cannot understand;
And still, I understand. Don't ask me how.
But somehow, when that darkness near your heart
Dares threaten once again to touch your soul,
Know I am lying just a wall away.
Know that I pray for those who cannot pray.