Misc Poetry, Poetry

Heavy Duty Cycle

She sheds herself

one rough skin at a time,

drops them dripping into the hamper,

and, naked innards walking,

drags the dripping hamper

to a sly-smiled laundress

who has her discount ticket pre-filled.

Heavy duty cycle, she says,

and remember,

hang is the only way to dry.


Misc Poetry, NaPoWriMo, Poetry

Selfish (NaPoWriMo Day 3)

Holding yourself close to yourself
the record skips
the song is long over.

No room for the Holy Spirit
the nun with the flashlight will say
when she ejects you from the dance.


Misc Poetry, NaPoMo, Poetry

Dogs (NaPoMo Day 5)

Dogs have races. Dogs have war.
Dogs have Shakespeare.
I think someone ate a dog in some
Shakespeare play.
I got that from a movie where a teacher
taught Shakespeare.
Simulacra upon simulacra
the coolest concept in sociology.

I see a dog in a meadow. He is well cared for.
Sometimes when we think of dogs
we get a pain in the pit of our stomachs because
we think of dogs being mistreated.
Innocence makes us fear guilt.
Little children sing creepy songs in horror movies
give us the chills.

Serial killer has the heart of a child.
Animals are innocent.
Shark seeks food and procreation
the height of evolution.
Lamb of God doesn’t bleat
on the bloody altar.


Misc Poetry, Poetry

Blood Magic

Cailleach 2In the wake of receiving new eyes—
ball and white, red and black—
my intellectually adoptive grandmother
has departed her own gnarled hand,
likely moved on by neglect.

In her place the Scottish hag
Cailleach of my blood,
the same gnarled hand but missing
ring and pinky.

A red leather bracelet
sewn to my wrist—involuntary surgery—
whispers sanguinely to the half
of my innards that still
belong to the ragged dead hung on
my right ankle as I exited the womb.


Misc Poetry, Poetry

In the Style of Clementi

I reached down to play and forgot how it went
this piece I wrote when I wanted to be a composer.
All I could play then was Clementi’s sonatinas
so a sonatina is what I wrote and noted
In the style of Clementi to give the unintentionally pedantic
arpeggios some gravitas.

It was easy enough then for my fingers to churn
on the left hand and twiddle on the right.
But now, silent stacks of sheet music behind me,
leaning towers of dog-eared Film Score Monthly,
my battered mind turns her back on the fingers that long
for the old twiddle and churn
back when the books held more hope than silverfish,
when the room used to be bright,
when the piano was only a little out of tune.


Misc Poetry, Poetry

Jazz God Has Wrath

I wrote poetry about
jazz long before I
earned it, listened to or
liked it.

Now I
purr and deliquesce—
can’t consume enough.

The god of jazz, whichever slinky
Power he may be punishes
my ears by
insatiable hunger, my
dissonant heart by
terminal syncopation.


Misc Poetry, Poetry

Eau de Summer Camp (poem)

The base note has something to do with
sunscreen—a fair haired girl’s
most important piece of camping gear
next to bug spray
which is the sharp second layer of the scent.
The whiff of stiff, chlorinated towels,
unwashed and hot from the top
of the waist-high chain link fence
they were draped over to dry
completes the first perfumer’s chord.

For nuance, a drop of happy sweat
from happy children come to wash
their hands and faces with pink powdered soap
from lime green metal dispensers
hung over shabby sinks
on which daddy long legs perch
each rolling their eight dull eyes
at the rush and frivolity of the new generation.