Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Trading Laterally

The egg salad sandwich
And pickle spear
Lay on a paper plate
Within its wax paper wrap
Illumined in the shaft of light
Streaming through the deli's
Dirty window.

When I stood in line
With number in hand
I very much wanted
This delicacy.

But sitting in the molded plastic
Bolted to the floor
Before a Formica table
Near the window
With two dead flies
On the trim
I suddenly
Wanted nothing more
Than being anywhere else.

Wrapping the egg salad sandwich
And pickle spear
Back into the wrapper
I abandoned
The molded plastic
Bolted to the floor
Before a Formica table
Near the window
With two dead flies
On the trim.

Offering the sandwich
To a man with a sign
That said
Will work for food
I jumped onto a bus
With molded plastic seats
Near a dirty window
With two dead flies
On the sill
I had traded laterally
With the exception that
I was still hungry.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Perfect Freedom

Caught away
I slumbered
In angel arms
For a day and a night.

No thoughts occurred
To me.
There was no place
To run
Had I such inclination.

The sun caught me
When I fell.
The moon soothed me
Through the night.
All the light I required
Was amply provided
In morning’s sweet blush
I was brought to sense
Once more
For a season of wanderings
About a silent universe
Amid starless skies
Empty rivers
Treeless hills
And snowless peaks.

There is safety in oblivion
Mercy in absence
And perfect freedom
In the arms of angles.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Unending Story

Oh, tell me an unending story
A tale that never ends
With characters fantastic
And plot lines that ever wends.

Charm me with chapters
Of episodic brilliance
And villains evil
With tentacles of dalliance.

Keep me involved
In this forever story
That bathes my mind
In unending glory.

Open the book to me
That speaks to me ever
Of people I love
That die to me never.

We will, in this tale
Keep forever our noses
In this wonderful book
That never, never closes!

Shooting the Moon

Last night
I pointed my rifle
At the moon
And pulled the trigger.

Between here and there
The full metal jacket
Fell to earth, I figure.

I peered
Through the scope
And couldn’t find
A new crater.

I may try again
Tonight and see
If I can do it then
Or maybe later.

I’m not a man
To lightly surrender
To circumstance
Or situation.

So I’ll fire again
Just to see
If I can make
A new lunar formation.

Talking to the Wind

There hasn’t been a day
I've not thought about you.
Not an hour passes
Not even a few.

You’re on my mind
You’re in my heart.
When things never end
Things never start.

I long and I ache
To hear from you again.
You were more than a lover.
You were my dearest friend.

But I suspect it’s pointless.
I’m talking to the wind.
Because when time runs out
All things must end.

The Bitter Cup

I’m not leaving you
He said.
We’re in this thing together.

I didn’t say anything
We both knew he lied.

The eastern sky
It looked like traveling weather.

Pushing his pant legs into his
He made sure the laces were well tied.

I’m just going to take
A look-see.
I’ll be back in a minute or so.

You stay quiet and sit tight right
I’ll be back in a little bit.

I watched him pull on
His gloves
As he made ready to go.

The winter sun rose on
My face
And I knew that this was it.

At the top of the rise he began
To run
And he didn’t even look back.

I loosened the tourniquet and felt
The blood
Flow from the wound.

It spread on the ground in a
Warm pool
As I lay my head on my pack.

He disappeared over the
He wasn’t coming back anytime soon.

Never thought it would end
This way
Not in a million years.

As my blood flowed out, the sleep
Rolled in.
I knew I wouldn't wake up.

I would never leave him
Like this.
I’m not a man that surrenders to fears.

So I laid back and let it
All go
Sipping death from the bitter cup.

The Dead

It’s kinda weird
When I stop to consider
The dead always know
Where I am.

Ain’t no use to hide
‘Cuz the dead got eyes
Can see everywhere
So it don’t much matter a damn.

I’m fixin’ to stand
Up tall and brave
And not pay the dead
No never mind.

It ain’t as if the dead
Got legs
Though I don’t mean
To treat them unkind.

Please give the dead
My best regards.
I don’t mean them
No harm.

Got a rabbit’s foot
In my pocket
And a garlic pouch
For a charm.

Leavin’ Today

I’m leavin’ this town today
To some place I don’t know.
Can’t say why exactly
Just need someplace to go.

One city’s as good as another.
They all start looking the same.
Don’t much matter the reasons.
I don’t put much stock in blame.

Got a clean shirt in my backpack
And a couple dozen warm socks.
Got a good pair of boots
That can kick a few thousand rocks.

I’ve memorized a hundred or more songs
I can sing to pass away time.
But there’s nothin’ much in my pockets
Save for a nickel, few pennies and a dime.

This trek is just what I need.
I’m gonna take a bead on the sun.
I don’t rightly know where I’m headin’
But I do know this journey’s begun.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Let the Mountains Fall*

Mr. Collins
My unworthy eyes
Just read your new volume
The way a plebe
Reads a textbook
Or an apostle
The Holy Writ.

Mr. Collins
You shame me
With your pure
And simple words
Your mild verse
And easy symmetry
Of line.

Mr. Collins
So seamless
So naturally
Your thoughts
Gather to flow--
The ink
As blood
In your veins.

Mr. Collins
Your poetry
Compels me to
Secret away my own
Or offer them up
To heaven
As burnt sacrifice.

Mr. Collins
Should you ever find
These poor
Sniffling lines
Please hurry onto
Some other pursuit
More worthy
A master of language
And let
The mountains fall on me.

*My reaction upon reading Billy Collins 2013 collection of poems, titled Aimless Love. Buy it. Read it. Then never read me again.


There is warmth in my soul
But ice in my mouth.
There is love in my heart
But hate in my brain.
These things contradict
Yet the obvious

How is it that opposites
Are the building blocks
Of the experience
Of life?
Such uncomfortable truth
Is a palm on the blade
Of the knife.

It’s of no use to grasp
Upon reason
Or wrestle with truth
And try to comprehend.
All of life is reduced
To contradiction
At the end.