Feedback on this one is appreciated!


I was born slowly,

the way modeling clay

hardens into a husk,

or how acrylic paint

begins to thin.

I was held by friends

who didn’t know

quite what to call me.

They took me and pulled

and pulled

and I tried to stretch,

to keep them together

but they drew me back

until I almost


I lingered there

tightly bound in

thoughtful tautness-

perhaps I was the

sharp connection,

a spiteful bungee cord

that refused to let go.

The friends forgot

that I tied them so,

and I was again no more

than an undulating unknown.

Yet still, when they stop moving,

they can feel me, relentless

with my unwanted bond,

my untiring tug

which they wish would

disappear, but won’t.



after Jim Simmerman’s Moon go away, I don’t love you no more

Hope struggles to get dressed in the morning.
Really, it’s just the socks it can’t handle.
I guess it wants to kick at the floor
and feel the bamboo tiling soak its feet

In reality, everyone loathes clothes.
Kind of like how Sandy Clauson
hated to wear gloves when he crushed beetles
down by Rock Gardens,
across from the wishing well
that had run dry years before.

Perhaps that’s why Hope rarely leaves
the house- because of Sandy
Clauson, all the Sandy Clausons,
who pitch pinched mandibles
down an empty well,

while Hope just sits there
on the bed, its socks
lying next to it,
picking out all the splinters
from irritated feet.


Suicide has also become an ordinary topic of conversation among the young who more than ever before seem to be able to discuss it openly and dispassionately as an option in trying circumstances.  Suicide appears to be an accepted fact of life in Micronesia.-NY Times


And it felt like that time
he had tied his knot
and curled up his legs- just a touch
of slipping away.  He waited
till his lungs started to fill
before surfacing, spouting:
It wasn’t bad!
You should try it!

And we do, we try it every day-
lives exhaled with the smoke.
We sample death
like hors d’oeuvre, bit by bit
till one meal we eat a bit too much,
sit back, bloated,
and lay down in a coffin.

If only we could each see our clock
suspended, perhaps, above one’s head
or stuck into our chests.
A way to see the minutes left,
the ones we haven’t spent.
And then we’d notice
the ten seconds that tick away
when someone holds the door.


A poet hangs
from a thread, knotted
at one end to a tree, or desk,
and word by word
he unwinds himself
and steps into his depths
with a passionate scribble.

As he descends, he’s blinded
with the white enormity;
and the torch glows
against his walls:
monstrous mounted horns,
painted flames, a
trophy, illuminated.

And just after a sentence
he fumbles his pen and
opens his pack, trying desperately
to fit it all in.

Stolen Train

I had lost my train of thought.
It was cobalt, 2” by 3/4’, with silver axles, and
It was overtaken instantly by villains on horseback.  Or
perhaps it embraced its fluidity
and seeped right off its rails.

The police say I’m not alone-
that trains are stolen everyday, and
mine’s one of thousands.

They say that
there’s a scrapyard downtown
where trains are taken to be torn apart
and refashioned.  My perfect engine,
its cobalt paint scraped off in blue chips,
its silver axles melted down into tin,
and the metal underneath, polished
made useful by someone else.

Neighborly Witch

As her brews start to bubble
she toils and troubles you
for two white eggs and some flour,

She takes small girls in
to her fearsome kitchen and
helps them to bake for an hour,

Each night, eerie light shows
and judgemental wind blows seek
to gust her right out from her niche..

But her stockings stand steady,
Pan and broom at the ready, to
clean; she’s our neighborly witch.

The City’s View


I love the stench of garbage, let alone to rot.

I adore the wafts of smoking on the streets.

And I enjoy some skunk smell, although most do not,

For the smells of ‘home’ are awful hard to beat.


These things might feel ugly, or brutes of smells to bear,

And odd enough I find I bear them not.

But consider these disgusting smells, for some do indeed care,

And feel at home with garbage left to rot.




Book Hopping

What fun to be had, hopping from book to book,
To meet Peregrin, the fool of a Took,
Or perhaps hatch a dragon, or speak dragonese,
Adventures that come and go as you please.

I’d love to intrude on journeys bizarre,
To avoid His Eye, to travel afar,
But as the Black Riders come to kill us all,
I’d much prefer reading to taking the fall.


*If you didn’t get the references, my choices would be the journey in Lord of the Rings, the egg-choosing in Eregon, and learning Dragonese in How to Speak Dragonese.

Bad Luck

Mistakes have been made- my score’s left unsettled.

I guess it all started when I dropped that damn kettle

Onto my bad foot- worse, my bad toe,

And if they didn’t already, now the neighborhood knows.


Unfortunate, really.  Now it’s good for a laugh.

But what wasn’t funny was its started path

As the hardships continued on through the week,

With straight rainy days and an awful luck streak.


I missed my appointments, I was late to the train

All seven days, and it continued to rain

As I rushed my daughter to her seventh grade play.

I thought maybe ‘late,’ but not ‘4-hour delay.’


One good thing happened in the form of a store

That was selling antiques, and I needed some more

For my ancient collection, an array of lamps.

(You see the progression, so let’s skip to the chance)



The lamp almost saved me with its wishes inside,

I wished to fix my mistakes, and repair my pride.

It gave me the chance to relive my past,

And so I accepted.  Some luck, at last.


I was back in my kitchen, black kettle and all,

I took care to avoid, and prevent the fall.

Bam!  Back to the present, with hardly a glance!

For since I’d changed my past, I don’t get the chance.



Time is difficult stuff.