Monday, August 31, 2009

unfinished thought

it's not that his smiles are any less charming
just because he uses them to punctuate
the joyful buckings of a healthy little body
at three o'clock
on monday morning

Friday, August 28, 2009

Of Watercress and Less Important Things

Thanks to ursprache for somehow inspiring this train of thought.

The other day as I lay half-awake
I realized that for at least two days
my life had not ventured further than the mailbox,
which is right next to the front door.

And that really, when it came down to it, I was just fine with that.

Sunbathing on the patio
Sleeping baby inside
Cold grapefruit juice with the luxury of a straw

My life does not need words like confusificate or tumescent
to describe it.
I talk about other people's lives like that, sometimes.
But mine--well, maybe I should expand my vocabulary.
I'd really like it to include words
like watercress
and gesundheit and chiffon.
Those are good words.
I guess I'm just not quite ready to move on to delving into
the language of despondence and murky sexualism
till I have put a bit more watercress into my life.
I am still stuck at a point
where I clip coupons that I always forget to use,
and covet Audrey Hepburn's timeless elegance,
not to mention her figure,
and wish I could grow red geraniums in a window box
just because they stand for hospitality.
And I suppose I'll be here for a long time
before I ever make it to watercress,
let alone gesundheit.
So be it.
I'll get there someday.
Don't wait for me, though.
I feel like I might come across a few more important entries in the dictionary
between chiffon and confusificate.

Friday, August 14, 2009


And she is hard.
I knew her once.
That night her lips were cherry red.

(I should have written this before,
The day it all ran through my head.)

There's strength, and there's the strong. And then
there's crabs.
You know, with hard-ass shells.
The skeleton is all outside.
Inside, it's all just gooey wells.

I just don't know.
I understand that wearing hearts pinned on your sleeve
Is too much like the children's games,
Where someone snatches, laughs and leaves.

But this--where did it go? and when?
The words are sticking to my pen.
I'd laughed and said, "You're so hardcore."
She didn't smile though.
"I am."

And suddenly my little life
Just shriveled up and ran and hid.
I'd planned to meet her there.
But where's the girl I knew when we were kids?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Candid Shots

After that weekend in Seattle last spring, I found myself spending hours at a time scribbling lists of phrases in no particular order in random notebooks, trying to capture a thousand memories. I keep stumbling across those pages. Sometimes, it seems better not to try to organize the fragments. They are what they are.

Life is made of pictures.
Plowed furrows flashing by,
Perspective, all angled from the flying shadow outward,
From the shadow of a little enclosed adventure.
Loud music
Love somewhere inside.
And yes, I volunteered to sleep on the floor so I could
at least be next to him
within arm's reach.

They say it's always rainy there.
It was sunny for us
Sunny, and purple benches, and purple flowers,
And pictures in sepia tone in little corners of a garden.
Smooth bark that was hard to keep a seat on.
Sunny over in line with the emo kids
in the rain.
Sunniest in that dark basement of a venue,
With hot sweaty bodies and too much noise
That shook the dust from the ceiling.
Sunniest there.
For me at least.

I don't remember any rain, those days.
I still have the key to that place,
And the ferris wheel ticket,
And the band ticket,
And the parking ticket,
the good kind, of course.

Life is made of candid shots.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I stand before the closed venetian blinds
With summer morning sun a golden silent promise
Waiting, glowing and awake.
And blurred across my early morning mind
A hesitation, like the moment of a first kiss--
Most important choice I'll make.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

...found this in a notebook; forgot I ever wrote it...not poetry, but something...

Old man
Showing me the old town.
Sort of hopeless hope in him.
A million stories
All true? Dunno--sometimes
Just want to ask if they're imagined. Or read.
Or overheard.
"See this lot? Yup, I own this one and the two across the street.
Bought for dirt cheap.
Know how much I paid?"
No, I don't know.
And I don't hear the answer. Too aware
of the vacant, dead houses, the dead town,
dead and still as a hot summer afternoon
with grasshoppers.
Only it's a warm winter noon.
Too aware of a sort of singing in my ears,
an inexplicable feeling of desperate claustrophobia,
an urgent desire to scream over his endless voice
over his success plan,
over his bitter desire to be right,
not when everyone else is wrong, but
because everyone else is wrong.
Because they are all wrong.
And I can't.
I can't shut him away from me like that.
Because some of his stories are true.
Because once I heard him admit to making mistakes in his life.
Because once he said the only mistake he ever didn't make was his son.
And I love him for that moment, however brief, of humanity.
And so I smile and nod, and try to keep the walls of my world
bigger than this ghost town.
Because the world is bigger.
More alive.

Friday, April 17, 2009

for seattle last year

mae in april, running headlong
caffeine steps of saturday,
and the world is spinning faster
for the children's games we play
lean your head back, don't be dizzy,
laugh out loud, forget the time
lean your head back in the music,
watch the dust fall down in rhyme
driving wrong way so they told me
gonna miss you kids he said
leanback make thewor ldspinfaster
fasterfa sterrou ndmyhead
don'tforgetthe purpleben

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Picture Them Home

I saw summer leaving, this last year.
He passed me on our street.
He tried to look past me, through me,
Anywhere but into eyes where he could see blame
Or pleading to stay.
He looked like a little boy that afternoon,
torn jeans, faded t-shirt, short shock of blond hair
and bare feet on a bike,
coasting down the hill
with the wind caressing his childhood tan.
It's hard to tell when you see him, sometimes;
he has so many different faces, from day to day.
But I knew it was him, that time--
Because he wouldn't look at me.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Airports are sad places, my mother said then.
But now, I'm not so sure.
Alone, I lean my head against the dark outside
And watch embracing wings.

Don't know that it's sad now, so much as human.
I feel the unborn's stir.
I think of all the love, and time, and lives inside
The darkness of these things.

No place else so lonely, and so surrounded.
The darkness of the womb,
And early morning hours. Anticipation. Yes,
It's that which makes us Man

Makes mankind my being. Our life is grounded.
Transition is our home.
So here we sit who can't, for all our human-ness,
And wait for times that can.