Memoir Poem, Nashville, Poetry, Still Life Poetry

Nashville Summer at Night

A soul heavy as wet July.

Steam rising from the grass

lazily curling and uncurling its come-hither fist

in blue efficiency streetlight.

Windows fog over

in droplet-streaming screens obscuring

the midnight hush-your-mouth in each

of a line of bricked and columned houses.

This is a city morally opposed to sidewalks,

where stoplights go down at eleven.

This is a city whose treacherous shoulders I trudged

for a decade in the dark.


Poetry, Still Life Poetry

Born of Drought and Humdrum Despair

Barren, plodding hours
clip the waxy blossoms
from a spindly
yellow-leaved pomegranate tree.

Only one fruit survives.
It is small
and waterless.

And arsonists

sweat and twitch and ejaculate
as their ill-intentioned campfires
possess the mountains

one thrashing
beetle-eaten tree at a time.


Poetry, Still Life Poetry

In Florence (poem)

An apartment with frescoes on the walls
that lean toward the light, lean toward naughty Roman,
sigh darkly over their birth in the prim pre-Renaissance instead.
They whisper to each other of the hardships of being
mere copies of copies, restored and restored again,
each time by cruder hands.

The apartment, saddled with inaccurate
purple velvet furniture and skinny beds
packed in as if for orphans
is attached to some chi chi hotel with flags out front
that clank against their poles and wave
to the bronzed pickpocket boys in the street
whose clever-eyed discernment is spent mostly on
which girls’ asses are ripe for a pinch.

The pope who built the palace,
now parsed out for foreigners and fornicators,
glides from room to room, to hotel lobby,
to check-in check-out counter, and, disillusioned,
wonders if this torment is the tail end of his
thousand year purgation for loving the woman
who burnt his bread often and shrieked at lesser maids.