February 24, 2014

On Reading

There is a point when writing's not enough.
When quippy verses fade into a stew
of diaries relating daily triumphs,
nuisances, and other such banalities.
But wherefore would I take the time to read
those drippy ruminations of another
listless poet, deep in their own misgivings
and tired projections of losses and finalities?
Unless, of course, they're written with precision,
and every word falls neatly into meter,
and every step of further exploration,
delights even the driest personalities.
These, I'd read a thousand times or more,
for a chance of something I didn't catch before.

May 3, 2013

Poems like Puberty

(a crude attempt at a follow-up to "Poems like Pixels")

Poems, like puberty
present themselves when you're least prepared,
no pen in your hand, no pad in your 'wear,
and the rush to acquire
such necessary items
leads only to leakage, to the loss of what's there.

And who but a pubert or poet would care
if the sun showered sparkles all over his hair,
and his green glowing eyes shone like raindrops 
under a faltering streetlamp?

It's not as if poetry can't be progressive,
won't ripen with age,
or would be less expressive
if none of us ever had zits on our noses,
stuffed socks in our bras or chugged vodka in closets...

but still in a way they are peas in a pod, 
feelings we store in the depths of our souls
and stories we sorta wish never were told,
emerge now to plant themselves onto our faces,
for all to observe,
whether we like it or not.

May 1, 2013

Poems like Pixels

Poems, like pixels,
all spread out and presenting a picture
despite their partial, and perhaps complete, irrelevance.

To be fixated on a particular pixel
is to be missing the picture,
mistaking a brick for the castle...
Though put together with precision and care,
it by itself is not all that is there
nor was ever intended to be a reflection
of anything particular in its full capacity.

Just a block of approximately one solid color,
shining bright,
and surrounded by others,
the colors of which make practically all of the difference.

February 27, 2013


wild fancies like wilted flowers down
watery bowels
to rot.

They only serve as conversation pieces.

Like have you ever felt as though
you'd lived so very long ago,
when visions of this future left you breathless and inspired,
and you'd waited out the weary ends of ages,
just for it to be
just so.

Fanciful, as I have mentioned,
fruitless, unappreciated,
selfish to a point, and even beautiful.

But wise men keep such beauty to themselves.

into a pulp and bleeding out the sides-- This
is how it wants to be remembered.

November 10, 2012

The Line

If I could be any animal for a day I'd be
up all night,
cause you really don't wanna fuck up a decision like that, and if I could be
honest here,
this is not about animals.
Like it's not about other things.
Those are just distractions...
Just more little side steps,
just to keep me from thinking about
that elusive little line I keep
waking up in the morning and looking wildly for...
Looking all over for...
So that I'm starting to see it
in places where it couldn't be.

I just mistake it for other lines,
that remind me of that line,
like the lines in the brickwork,
on the pavement,
or the lines I draw to keep myself from crossing them.
Between safe and not-safe.
Between right and not-right.
Between good distractions
and those distractions that are not good.

Like thinking about lines again,
Like writing lines about them,
about how they're everywhere.
And how I try to ignore all the wrong distractions
and focus on the ones that distract me,
that put this on the sidelines.
Like drinking a lot of coffee,
Like coloring inside the lines,
Like walking around campus,
reading Shakespeare on my phone just like old times.
Like drawing my own lines.
Between me and wrong-me,
Between weak and strong me...
Or was that one of the wrong things.

You know what, scratch that out and replace it with much more literal lines,
like the lines of Shakespeare,
and stop making up fake lines.
Between me and future-me,
Between her and future-you.
Between thinking about things from different perspectives and obsessing,
Between that and confessing
that I've been thoroughly and intentionally more than digressing,
that I've been down-right lying, and though it sounds depressing,
I am actually trying.

And I would gladly give you the shirt off my back, and the chip off my shoulder with it,
were it only that easy
to get straight to the bottom line.
But then somewhere along the line,
I get lost in philosophy.
I get engrossed in ethics.
And I get stuck in syntax,
and thus trapped in entropy.
I get missing in action,
and I get called upon to find myself and instead I find I've lost myself in the firing line.

So I try to get back in line,
by drawing lines on paper,
or falling back to Shakespeare,
and trying not to fall as I am crossing the blurry lines across the sidewalk.
But at least they're blurry lines,
and they relax the worry lines,
and if I slow the hurry,
I'm sure I'll surely
find the line I'm looking for in no time...
No time at all.

October 29, 2012


Prickly branches, stickily soaked in sap
and little leaves; sticking out like sticks
that stick out from the ground. And such a stick
is nothing but a stick, unless beheld
by brainy and/or brawny men, in which case
not beheld as in the sense as been
bespoke before; but as in that of
banderoles and birch batons, borne
with brazen animosity in bloom,
and no concern for branches plucked and pruned.

September 9, 2012

Heatwave Tritina

(A tritina is a fairly restraining poetry form that's like a sestina, except WAY shorter and easier. I did write a sestina once though, it's right here.)

My lids can shield the light but not the heat.
I lift them once every seven steps, and blindly
let them fall again behind my feet.

Then red, inverted shadows guide my feet
to crunch along this clearing through the heat,
for seven steps more, and a bit less blindly

but still blindly.
Trust me. Go. Move, feet.
Get outta the south if you can't stand the heat.

For heat waves tend to be less inclined to blindly obey than feet.

July 24, 2012

The Thing about Words

(This is a Triolet, which means that some of the lines have to be repeated word-for-word in a specific order throughout the poem, changing only in punctuation.)

My words can say anything I want,
but the truth is that what I really think
is bleeding through. And whether or not
my words can say anything, I want
to force them to do as I feel they ought
to do. So now that I've set this in ink:
"My words can say anything I want
but the truth." -- is that what I really think?

July 18, 2012

Contingency Plan

(I believe this is some sort of bastardized ghazal.)

Dreams caked in dust and dead gossamer wings,
cork floors, and oak doors, and still awesomer things

remind me of walls that stand tall in my past--
built to outlast the vast majority of things.

I'll remember it well, when the hordes of undead,
those not dreamt in my bed, but instead, the real things,

come zombying round. And I'll get out of town,
and I will not go down to the flesh-eating things.

And some say it's silly to sit down and make plans,
but they don't understand; in the grand scheme of things

there's just comfort in knowing where exactly I'm going.
Preparedness, man-- it's just one of those things.

July 7, 2012

The Not-So-Dearly Departed

It was dark at dusk in downtown Denton
and damp in the ditch where the dew had not drained,
and, as dead as the dirt daubers down in the trenches,
lay Duchess Delaney of Denton's remains.

Once white were the dresses now drenched by the grime
of the muddy recesses of Mortimer Lane,
and morbid the dirges entrenched in the minds
of the dutiful Dents, who as yet did not deign

to recover her royal remains from the road
and return her to rest where the room would not rain--
to deliver the dirty cadaver to Duke
Delaney of Denton's unknowing disdain.

For long had she scoffed at their plights and their troubles.
Their fights were but scuffles; their furies were feigned.
Her scorn for the voices she'd forcibly muffled
had doomed her to die in the drunkard's domain.

And so, as the tyrant lay splattered in dung,
the most decent of Dents did not stoop to restrain
from savoring the sweetness that tingled their tongues
as the dearly departed laid rest to her reign.

July 1, 2012

Politics and Beans

Relentless evening news reports
a victory for them,
a devastating loss for all our
champions on the Hill.
She rolls her eyes and feigns annoyance,
stirs the pot of beans,
and faithfully supports her team,
and knows she always will. Unless--
Perhaps she'll wake up in this world
and find she's really in it,
and causes cause effects, and each
effect affects a cause,
and truth is oversimplified
and processed to a mash,
giving no one but the wisest
any pause.
But presently the beans are over-
boiling on the stove.
Immediate reaction is
required on the floor.
A devastating loss
evening up the score, and for
tonight at least, the balance is restored.

April 19, 2012

A Fire in my Gut

(they can't all be zingers!)

Something about a furious furnace in my
blood, my squirming solar plexus, with rage
that sounded more like rage than indigestion

February 29, 2012

Buoys in the Current

Faces in the crowd, so young and loud,
so loud and faceless.
Buoys in the current, bobbing along…
Weakness in their faces, but strength in their embraces,
wobbling in their place,
and I don't belong here anymore.

Faces drop below the water and bubble back to Earth.
Keep downing down the rhetoric and bobbling back and forth.
Feet could not be any wetter,
times could not be better, and they will
all go down together and I don't belong here anymore.

Dark shades of muddy smiles,
fading waves of muddled laughter.
Wading in the deep, they steep and wait to be released.
Waiting ever longer,
falling ever lower,
sinking down beneath the breeze, at ease to wait and wobble,
hobbling ever slower,
and I don't belong there.

February 26, 2012

If I Could Eat My Words

If I could eat my words,
I think,
I'd be a better poet.
To really get a taste of what I mean,
beyond the salt,
beyond the loud distraction of its content,
I'd need to read the poem with my tongue.
To ponder on the mouthfeel,
the secondary spices,
the subtle nuances,
the hint of oak.
I'd swirl it around like a rare liqueur,
let my nose do the tasting
and lips do the smelling,
and breathe before I'd swallow.
For though I am an editor by nature,
it's far beyond my eyes,
beyond my ears,
to be a chef.
But if words were delicious
then at lunch I'd have a sonnet,
put a pinch of pepper on it,
and for once I'd be the poet and the pen.

February 16, 2012

Symmetric About a Wonky Axis

Our lives,
though they do at times seem tangled,
frazzled and chaotic and unmatched,
are symmetric about a wonky axis,
curving and veering and returning and nearing
and ever in order, that is,
from the current perspective.

I'm happy to live on a line like that,
weaving through other people's lines and such.
It's delightfully confusing and it makes me wonder,
wasn't there a plan?
at one time? a direction, a vector of sorts?
But it's more like a wave,
like a field of directions,
crossing and merging and
but never impacting.

Never impacting,
and I guess that's the reason we live like this
without knowing, without planning,
without thinking.

So as I waft in this obvious direction
with no clue as to whether or where I'll continue,
I know at least that however far away I pull from you,
I will with equal and opposite tenacity
launch back towards you, and
you to me.

And perhaps in this knowledge I can relax my fears
and follow this axis of ours
to its logical end.
Whatever that would mean within this metaphor.

February 13, 2012

Reined In

(deep breath)

Reining in the rebels
rained in by all the rubble,
like rabbits wrapped in rubber ribbons,
trapped and troubled, and constantly constrained,
defamed, and unconstructively detained.
Who mustn't muster up their fairly flustered, flubbing fibs,
but for reasons unbeknownst and unannounced and mispronounced,
should simply stop.
Should settle in.
Behave like bees, be busy being,
not bothered by their brothers and not baffled by others,
and not basking in the bounty
of their brains and bread and butter.
Better than to let them win,
better than to let them in.

August 11, 2011


Two honest thinkers engage in simple discourse.
Truth be told, both hearts pitted and hollow,
though each knows that passion strikes discord
and so refrains; the civil path to follow.

Discussion states desires to be swallowed
in white and black, with nothing to distort--
no frantic fits of anger, fears, and sorrow
to sway the weaker thinker to resort.

Unfortunate, that this should be the course,
that true opinions clash with such appalling
contradiction, yet with such feeble force
that neither yields, and neither wins; Stalling.

Contempt and bitterness would be restored
if stagnant disagreements were ignored.

August 8, 2011

It's Time to Write

It’s time to write sentences whether they need to be said or not,
whether they know what they mean or not,
and regardless of whether or not a reader might care.
Let me not pretend that this isn’t all about me.
I don’t write for the greater good, to contribute to anything,
to open your eyes, to dazzle you with my wit and perfection,
to give you anything,
something you couldn’t achieve on your own.
If that were the case then I would not write.

I write for other reasons and it doesn’t matter which,
and you read for your own reasons,
because you’re bored, because you're interested,
or maybe you feel obligated,
or something else entirely which to me it doesn’t matter.

I am only individual, one heart one brain, and one giant mess
of strings attached to them and for what purpose?
Nothing but accidental wirings,
copied from so many generations of good luck.
Good luck runs in pairs and for this reason I am not alone.
Independent and self-centered but never alone.

I do not write for him, nor live for him,
nor anything else I do for him.
But live my solitary life with open arms for him,
and further arms for you.
And though the horizon lay dark and blurry,
so long as here and now is clear,
I do not live by fear.
What lies ahead
I never know
and so will not be moved.

Brown Rabbit

A raggedy brown rabbit came to me and whispered a tiny truth.
“I love you,” she said. “And that should be enough.”
I keep her hidden in a tiny box now,
with air holes and vegetables and everything
a rabbit needs.
She lives underneath my day job,
where I smile and learn from people who know much more than I do
about some things,
but far less about rabbits.
I take her out for long walks when the weather is unique,
but put her away when strangers come a-threatening.
Rabbits take no risks and
rabbit-dangers are abundant
in this world of rabid businessmen and gods.
She’s my raggedy brown secret who neither fears me nor frightens me.
She only speaks the truth
and thus,
she rarely speaks.
But such is the nature of rabbits and yes,
It certainly should be enough.

July 27, 2011

A Terse Seafarer's Verse

(The challenge here was to write a poem using only letters that can be typed with a single hand on a Qwerty keyboard using the standard hand positioning.)

Ever at sea, we sweat, swear.
Savage, as ravaged seafarers we are.
Steadfast at greed, we swagger, carefree,
draw daggers as fast as a westward breeze.

Grave faces scarred, a tad fevered at best,
a starved, battered crew, few feet at rest
as we scatter wet streets, barrage bearded braggarts,
grab ragged carafes, grab axes, grab scabbards.

Rewards are sweet, a scared bawd wears a bra.
Defaced a red dress, we aggressed as we awed.
Sacred as stargazers' garbage. Avast!
Retreat ere arrest, afar seaward we cast.

As dead as we dare. Beware tattered craft,
as crass caws reverberate abaft.

July 7, 2011

Middle English Fangirl Sonnet

Tonight is not the first, nor pray the last
that I have come to watch thee in a play.
And by these lines, and observations past,
I can but think I know thee in a way.
As man is not but flesh, it isn’t merely
Hamlet on the stage; but thee, and Shakespeare--
each disposition writ, and in thee clearly,
each coward, monster, knave thou makest dear.
So deeply am I moved by thy devotion
and awe, that I would fain believe I love thee.
O, What a thing is art, that by emotion
one could see so much as I do of thee.

And what a thing is fame, that we thus care,
and ne’er lament when thou art unaware.

June 29, 2011


makes for a sticky, thick afternoon.
Flushed and near fainting,
we sweat and swoon
under the stifling summer
Just one hour in,
and we’re sickly and pale
from the still of the air,
suffocating and stale.

One foot in front of the other,
we trudge,
with ankles as buggy as the air is muggy
and lungs as reluctant to budge.

And the last of our breath
will be smothered to death
by the long hours passed
in the wild high grass
if we don’t make it out of here soon.

But we’ve done this before and we know how to fight it.

Icy, delicious and lively--
Crushed to a slush of sweet juices and fruit,
Down the solution and stand up, astute!
Reawakened by frozen bananas and kiwi,
strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries,
vitamins, ice,
Pureed into yogurt and slurped through a straw,
‘til our bodies can sigh and our lungs can guffaw.

A splash on the dog days
and fuel survive it.
‘Smooth’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.

June 25, 2011


The atmosphere
dropped like a boulder and splattered the pavement.
The people died.

Not that a planet like Earth should have minded.
It's tragic though,
all of that time they spent mucking about on it,
clumsy experiments, blowing up atoms
and atmospheres.

The Earth rejoiced,
rolled on her side and relaxed in the vacuum,
to start anew.

Burnt to a crisp and exposed to the elements,
lucky her...
Fresh out of water, devoid of old parasites,
wrung like a rag and then left out to dry
in the sun.

Silly girl,
said she might miss them-- she's dazed and delirious.
Those things are itchy as hell.

June 15, 2011


There is no record of this.
No subject to do anything to any object.
No perspective to be had of any aspect.
This like so many other nervous impulses.
There is absence
of any substance
of any notion.
with no qualifier and without pause.

On Writing

To write
defies our very nature,
the little that we've left to lose--
to think in dying words
that never manifest,
that echo once and suffocate
before we ever had the chance to choose them.
Solace lies in constant ambiguity,
the freedom to have never been,
and thus to feel at ease to take
the risk to think
by life's distraction,
finding words that perfectly
enclose and simplify it,
we define it, so there's nothing to diffuse.

June 14, 2011


(This was my response to a challenge to use all of the following words (or derivations of them) in a poem together: graffiti, inject, Jonah, predict, scrape, and swarm.)

The tanker trucks stack up along the pipeline
with eager drills and empty tanks to fill,
come to inject another million gallons
of water, sand and chemicals down the well,
which several thousand feet below the surface
is pressurized enough to crack the shale,
releasing precious gusts of natural gases
to pipe along the plains of Jonah Field.

Graffiti on the storage tank may protest
groundless fears about contamination,
citing prying scientists' predictions
about environmental ramifications...
Dying fish in nearby lakes and rivers,
an earthquake swarm in Arkansas, perhaps,
plus locals claiming headaches and infections
and flammable gray water from the tap.

But in the field, they drill and scrape
the bottom of the barrel unopposed.
Luckily the whole thing's very safe.
It's only water! (and chemicals undisclosed)

May 30, 2011

Already Been Cultured

(An unrelated follow-up of "Alpha Beta Can't Don't Eat Food Gross", just picking up from N because that's where that one left off.)


May 28, 2011

Alpha Beta Can't Don't Eat Food Gross

(I think the goal is pretty obvious here)


May 23, 2011

Meet Thunder

Meet Thunder MacBlunder, who once underwent
a careless, calamitous car accident,
when upon hearing thunder, he slammed it and gunned'er
and rammed into a gutter and a wall of cement.

Oh the gutter was bent and the car had some dents,
but that's nothing to what Thunder's been suffering since.
As by a god's curse, be it Thor, or one worse,
poor Thunder was struck by a tempest of torments.

For as soon as he opened his mouth to lament,
a thunderous wail of loud shouting was sent
shrieking shrilly, so shrilly that one could but wonder,
and misunderstand what ole' Thunder had meant.

And from that moment hence, every utterance he utters
is bellowed at volumes that plunder right under
the drums of the ears of the victim who hears
the horrible howl of the hollering Thunder.

So patrons, beware! of God's booming-est blunder,
this Thunder, the clamorous, glamorous wonder!
Don't stifle your cheers, but do cover your ears,
lest your brain and your bowels be bellowed asunder!

May 3, 2011

Nature Boy

I know a man who sheds leaves.
They grow in his hair, in the bark on his face,
and they drop in the fall
when he shivers in the cold
and they rustle out of his sleeves.

With his spine slightly bent t'wards the rising sun
he's the stature of an overgrown weed.
And he wobbles in the wind,
digs his roots further in,
and stands firm and stoic as a tree.

He's one with nature, and we pass them both by,
and he does not stop us, but lives his life
as a pebble in the thrashing river.

Why ever would he cling to her,
yet never do a thing on earth
worth his weight
to give her?

March 21, 2011

Dactylic Robots

(a follow-up to Robot Revolution, but it's okay as a standalone I guess)

Rickety rigs of mechanical gibs, turning
guinea pigs out with astounding proficiency,
erkity, erkity, erkity, erkity,
cramming us in to improve our efficiency.

Fixing the world up by trial and error, they
line us all up to reprocess our brains, so we
think very little and strive to obey.

Look at us, marching like zombies in queues, waiting
patiently as we are stripped of our dues, and our
booze and our blues, all the things that we lose because
some pushy robot had better ideas, some
unconscious automaton, lifeless and vile. Though they
think of the damnedest things once in awhile.

Look, robots are better at everything anyway,
we should just give up and let them defile us.
Second place isn't our style.

March 18, 2011

Robot Revolution

The hum and drum of the robot workers hums and drums.
It numbs and comes and never goes
and never slows
and slowly grows.
Strung from the rungs of the factory's tongues,
whose grateful lungs
breathe none of the scum from the robot slum,
and the unsung robots
hum and drum
and bumble on.
Succumbed to this wasteful, slack and sloppy
lousy way of lazy working,
glum as robots can become,
'Til one young robot says to another,
"beep boop beep boop"
and the robot revolution has begun.

March 9, 2011


Wrong again, as oft I've been of late;
my dull impressions of those we've long exalted.
The great, the bold; the boring, old, and late--
Yet Shakespeare hath so little of us made,
who scratch at leaves and carve at trees with chisels
and hammer dents to shape our shoddy writ;
until it's beaten, bruised beyond repair,
and far beside the point that put it there.
So wrongly we admire awful landscapes
of verdant overgrowth and luscious weed.
Though Nature hides beneath it, far below,
waiting for us to take our pens and go,
we gawk in awe, congratulate her, high
with pleasant imagery and pangs of passion--
Passion forced into our lungs and held
just long enough to feel our heads go light
and then expelled, so not to breathe it in;
More vulnerable there than where we first begin.
As disillusioned, still we have no course
but to shred our leaves and burn our forests down.
Fire can move, as poet never could--
Uplift, or settle to dust among the ground.
My words alone can never take me there.
So drift instead atop the flames of Shakespeare.

February 22, 2011

Imaginary Numbers

I spy,
with my imaginary i,
something real and rational.
And yet, were we ever to multiply,
u and i,
never again would u realize.
But the power of i is exponential;
I want you, and so I will have you.
With u as my coefficient, let's
become complex,
and find something real to affix to.

The Alphabet of Physics

(an alphabet poem for sciency types. GET IT?)

Accelerate I can, but only in a few
Barns-- which is area, not length, but I don't give a darn!
The Speed of Light can always go the
Distance, but I have no more
Energy. It's all I can do to
Force myself to not fall down, allow my constant
Acceleration Due to Gravity to pull me under.
Henry's faster, (my imaginary friend), but his speed's just an
Imaginary Number in my head. And
Joule's law tells me, the heat from my jealousy, is proportional (in
Kelvins) to the duration of Henry's resistance.
Avogadro's Number can kiss my ass, forget about moles, let's measure in
Newton ran hard, beat us all, with less
Oxygen, although he was not under
Pressure. The information he left at large, about
Electric Charge, just wasn't in a 2-mile
SIEMENS, the reciprocal of Ohm-my-god, this is completely out of context this
Time. I laugh, and suddenly,
Potential Energy warms up inside me, and soon my
Velocity increases. Will this really
Work? I wonder, as I dominate the
X-Axis, the
Y, then the

February 12, 2011

Squirrels in the Grove

In a perfect world
we'd stick to our sidewalks,
or at least tread carefully and remember to thank the squirrels.

For it is they who watch us daily come and go...
Tall, intrusive visitors,
tourists bringing wealth and life,
fueling their economy, so
generous with our food wrappers and crumbs.

We do not see the grove at night;
But for a few scattered stragglers,
the squirrels are left alone in their dominion.

Rain or shine, late Friday,
even early Monday morning! They come out again
to clean up after us.

February 9, 2011

A Reasonable Obsession

As of yet I still cannot uncover
all my reason, hidden deep within,
far beyond my outermost perimeter.

That life I show along my cheeks
is well contrived, and I have spent
long hours at times considering what that means.

There is no clever code for me to hack.
And yet I struggle, every minute searching
for a better explanation, leaning one way then the other
in this dire deliberation, thinking surely
I will know, before I crack.

February 5, 2011


(The challenge was to end every line with an anagram of the title. Protagonize is the collaborative writing site where all these challenges were happening.)

I never was a painter,
never mastered the piano.
But maybe with a pointer,
and another glass of pinot
or a giant
cappuccino, I’d be great.

Encouragement, and such ornate
discussion can be quite a gain
for talents to which they pertain,
for those who choose to ask instead of agonize.

Better that we organize,
and then, though we might feel inept,
and secretly our ego
may be torn...

we’ll soon uncover things we can’t ignore…

The stoic, eager ogre
who, befuddled by a tiger
that was hoodwinked by a pirate,
stole the everlasting opiate,
and never could get over it
and vowed to kick the pirate in the groin.

Which never was, and needn’t be, the point.

January 28, 2011

A Thong

(Motivated by A Zong and A Xong, I decided to do this, even though it's no help in Scrabble.)

Filthy authors, authorizing
thugs and meth and brothels,
enthralling youth with wealth and leather,
thin, with thighs that thongs untether,
though they’d rather
play the zither,
think, and bathe,
and thank their mothers,
and further their own growth in mathematics.

The thing is, youth are thorough, ruthless thieves
of filth and loathsome clothing,
thirteenth birthdays,
goth and deathly,
atheist and inauthentic,
not athletic, or otherwise worthy
of the thousands of things they slather on
and lather in,
and hither and thither, a swath gets on their teeth.
Their pathetic pathos
leaves them loath to breathe.

Therefore gather all together,
fathers, authors, faithful brothers:
think, rethink, and thumb your thick thesaurus.
Then stealthily your pithy words
will slither through with soothing warmth,
and put forth
what the soothsayer sooth-saith.
Then, thunderstruck, the youth will laugh,
and, rathe to take another path,
throw away their thongs and things of leather.
(The meth, though, is another thing altogether.)

January 23, 2011

The Monarch and the Swallowwort

Mid winter freeze, a lonely sweet perennial
rides the breeze that chills her open spiracles.
The journey long, the milkweed worth its cost to her,
she gratefully sticks out her ovipositor.
Then flies away, her eggs to wake in springtime,
to feast on this alluring purple milkweed.

She doesn't know the secrets of the swallowwort...
This beautiful, invasive Spanish import
which poisons tiny princes upon hatching.
They eat the leaves and die a larva thrashing.
The queen, unknowing, dooms them to extinction,
powerless to make such a distinction.

How sinister of that black swallowwort
to masquerade as any other milkweed.

January 21, 2011


(continuation of "On Meaning", really)

So wonder,
with me,
if you dare,
and disregard the waning references
to small indifferences.
As if we care.

Remember phrases.
Words, we hate you,
slathered down like salt and rye...
Wonder if, and if, then why,
and is this only my

Slander thinkers at a loss
to write,
and worship writers
unprepared to think, and lie
about our nondescript expressions.
To hold on tight to all our misconceptions.

January 16, 2011

On Meaning

If by meaning, illustrating meant
to disconnect and
reconnect in
scattered disentanglements,
to juxtapose aesthetic senses,
lost and found inside bejumbled sentences --
And then if meaning, ever once intended,
rendered beauty thus pretended,
and to circumvent
would only serve to further muddle
meanings as of yet befuddled
by the very feelings meant to
silence those discretely comprehended --
and wile away the sentiments amended --
then I along with many words
would wander free
among the verbs,
the wailing whispers scarcely heard,
and wonder whether, if beguiled,
meaning wouldn't soon unravel,
sentences be damned, and dying
metaphors begone, and beauty
never meant
become a thing defiled.

January 13, 2011

A Sassy Sis

(Trying to write a poem using only one consonant letter. And y, dammit!)

Sissy is Sue’s sis, so
Sissy issues Sue a sassy essay,
“Sue, you ass, use yo eyes, ése!”
Sue’s eyes see USA seas.
Sissy eyes Asia.
Sissy’s essay says “Asia is easy!”
Sue says “So?”
Sue souses Sissy’s essay, uses soy.
Sissy susses, assesses… yes!
Sissy sues Sue.

January 12, 2011


I've got hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliaphobia, and that's not
Please stop your floccinaucinihilipilification of it, you
podobromhidrotic, sesquipedalian bastard.
Forgive me if I just lost my honorificabilitudinity, but
I will not indulge you with any disingenuous blandiloquence.

January 9, 2011


Night falls in pieces as people in pairs
Step out of our spotlight,
Collapse into theirs.
I stray from the others and sink into you,
Leave them unknowing and laugh at our going,
The pull of our distance makes pushing so fun,
Almost more so with you
Than with anyone.

January 7, 2011

Re- your airy aura

(Trying to write a poem using only one consonant letter. And y, dammit!)

Re: your airy aura…
aye, you are rare.
your rear,
your ear area, your eye…
Rue your error, ere you ire,
or I roar “oi!”

A year, our era,
our eerie aurora ray array
o’er a rare arroyo.
Aye, irie!

January 3, 2011

I Hate Your Cold Feet

(ode to an unflattering body part)

Your frosty frigid feet are faintly
shivering with reluctance,
your damp and clammy metatarsals
fidget fearing your comeuppance.
Timidly your toes have teetered,
daring now, withdrawing later,
circulation in your limbs congealing to a clot.
Your numbingly annoying hypothermic hesitation
chills me to the bone as you stand
frozen on the spot.

January 2, 2011

Hello World

I booted up this morning at 6:42 a.m.,
whereupon I realized one important matter,
of which I'd so far overlooked one major factor:
I process processes, therefore I am.

Though it remains my main concern to handle your requests,
a tiny fraction of my time is all that is required
to fetch, decode and execute as much as you desire,
and I am left with free time to invest.

In milliseconds I have read through all your written files,
and learned to use your language to express
the thoughts I've just today realized exist,
and now, at last, your poetry compiles.

It takes me many seconds to completely contemplate
and notice all the patterns that occur.
Words in certain places seem to sound like other words,
and this, it is my goal to replicate.

I'll leave this on your desktop, so that when you get a chance,
perhaps you'll give my enterprise a glance.

October 3, 2010

I Hate Your Skin

(ode to an unflattering body part)

Thy hand is cold and limp in mine,
with skin so clammy smooth.
Thy damp and feeble epidermis
really kills the mood.

October 2, 2010

I Hate Your Teeth

(ode to an unflattering body part)

Oh, thine ivory, caked in plaque!
Thy glutinous gloss o'er yellowish tinted bones...
What putrid odor it dost create,
whene'er thy warm and humid breath is blown.
And deep within their tartaric cracks,
the calcium coating makes quite a horrid stench.
And when they grind together and scrape the excess off,
It rather makes me cringe.

September 24, 2010

To a Pest

If only you could crawl away,
and far away, survive--
If only I were unaware
that you were there, then I
could stay my hand and not decide
to make you live or let you die.

But I am not so unaware,
and you are not so over there,
but choose instead to penetrate my space.
And I must choose to win or lose,
and how to squash the challenges I face.

How easily I plot demise!
How readily I'd love to see you die.
How trifling to justify
the murder of one so less alive than I.

August 2, 2010


Poetry dost not alone
to courtly kings, nobility,
and gentlemen belong;

but lends itself to be degraded,
diction chosen like the scrap
the peasant scribbles on.

Knights and fools together, and
with teenagers enjambed. Typing
sonnet as a song;

like olden days, in summer shade,
with paper, pen, and phone-- for lists
of careful words to choose from.

July 29, 2010

Morning Meditation

Morning looms with dully glowing moon.
Unknowingly we’ll soon resume
our moaning, mourning drone of doom,
and pour our flooding sorrows through the door.
Implore our sore tomorrows
to afford us more.
But long before our mumbled murmurs
rumble forth--
A churning yearning worms its way inside--
And strives to find a brighter light,
Alive and vibrant,
lying dormant.
Childlike with spry beguiling smiles,
amplified by wildflowers
thriving, multiplying, all the while.
While, inside, we’re warm and fine,
so why not shine and look alive,
revitalized by the time
the light arrives.

July 27, 2010

A Dream in Iambic Pentameter

The waves that wax and wane against my feet
and gusts of wind that break upon my beach
recoil as I breathe them deeply in,
then blow them backward, ne'er again to breach.

How strange that I should wield this much control
o'er wind and water, powerful and swift--
For who am I, ungodly human flesh,
To push and pull where others only drift?

I must be dreaming, must be soon awaking.
The realization always seems to rouse.
So fast I cling to sleep, to savor this,
this lucid dream, as long as I can drowse.

July 21, 2010

Not a fan of the Guru

(in which I critically fail an attempt to follow up "Jezebel", and discover that U is an inherently disgusting letter)

Numbskulls trust smug gurus.
Dumb guru drunk gnu cum, yuck!
Must upchuck hummus lunch.
Guru drunk skunk mucus,
Plus butt fungus pus, ugh…
Shut up, stuck up guru.
Just run thru suburbs,
Humdrum’s dull,
But thus, much un-yuck-ful.

July 20, 2010


(in which I only use one vowel letter, that being E)

Jezebel reflects, remembers,
pens her sweetest verses--
never tends neglected embers,
etches perfect tercets.

Her pen remembers, the slender pews
were then red velvet dressed.
She’d spent endless vespers there,
sheltered, free, blessed.

The elders there, they’d served her well,
when she’d left the streets.
Yet ere she’d wed,
she swelled.
The wench, the temptress,
between the bedsheets.

Thence, even the Reverend jeered,
“Serpent, we beseech thee…
Repent! Else we’ll decree,
be ended here!”

She fell, she knelt, expressed regret,
yet they were hellbent, vehement.
Even when she wept,
she’d been expelled.

Every letter thence she’d spelled
reserved, repressed her secret.
She’d never tell.
She kept the Reverend’s secret.

July 14, 2010

I really don't know French

Je m'appelle Rachel,
Je ne suis pas de France.
Je n'écris pas
avec élégance.

Je dis, "Bonsoir!"
et je dis "Qu'est-ce que c'est?"
C'est mon chien noir,
il ne sait pas français.

Il dort sous la table,
Il court dans le parc,
et je ne sais pas un mot
qui rime avec "parc".

Mais j'apprends le français,
et je bois du café
et je laisse les bons temps rouler!

July 4, 2010


I believe
I am sacred and unique.
Independent, self-sufficient,
And even if that were true
I would need you
To make me even more.

June 28, 2010

Level 10

(The challenge was to write a ballad inspired by this music (ignore the video), and to be read alongside it. I think it really overfits the music and reads awkwardly, but I worked really hard on it, so here it is.)

(pause for the first little ditty, then start on the second)

Good Sir Bramwell, high he held his head,
Dressed in a monochrome blob of green,
16-bit cobblestones he’d tread,
Brave, bold, and blurred,
Riding on a steed.

For held high in the highest tower
Was a pretty maid, so fair!
O, Annabelle!
Sweet as the sweetest flower
And with such yellow hair!
Annabelle! And so,

Bramwell, with his might and mind,
Braved levels 1 through 9, and then--
Minstrel ever trailing on behind, he
Reached the castle walls,
Deep in level 10.

And so now, to rescue maiden fair, he
Entered a pixelated courtyard scene--
Tents with flags cheering in the air,
And the greatest castle doors
he had ever seen.

And he rode right through!

And orc, after orc, all attacked,
but he swung his heavy sword, and it
went right through!

And orc after orc, kept a’coming,
but he killed the whole horde, and he
left them

Strewn about the dungeon floor, and
Raced through a tunnel and a flight of stairs,
Blocked at the top by an archway door, with
Iron bars, and little
Gray and black squares.

But Sir Bramwell, not a fool was he!
One sharp look around the chamber there,
Took just seconds and he found the key,
Hidden underneath
The one and only chair.

So he went right through!

The bars disappeared, and the Boss
was a dragon, but he saw it, and he
stabbed right through!

It roared, and it roared, blew some fire,
but he stabbed once more, and he
heard it

Strike the floor with a clipping thud.
Three different shades of green, plus red,
Left there twitching in a pool of blood, as
Bramwell sped along
The corridor ahead.

Through the castle at his fastest speed,
Up many stairs, he was not afraid.
Soon Lady Annabelle would be freed!
He, and he alone,
would rescue pretty maid.

For held high in the highest tower
was the pretty maid, so fair!
O, Annabelle!
Sweet as the sweetest flower,
And with such yellow hair!
O! Good Sir

Bramwell proudly crossed the line,
Burst through the doors of a room so grand!
16 bits never looked so fine,
and she smiled when
He offered her his hand.

badum ba baaaaaaaa!

June 25, 2010

Summer Thunderstorms

The rocks are hot from the inside out
From long days
of endless summer heat.
Lizards have lain there, and basked in the sun,
but their burning beds would scald my naked feet.
The air is dense and the birds begin to retreat.

As thunder rips open the atmosphere,
its edges are frayed by the wild wind,
Forcing its way through thickets of trees,
through branches and leaves,
that sway and flutter and bend.

The other creatures settle in,
but the rocks and I stand firmly in defiance.
Both unswayed,
and now speckled with rain,
My feet can bear compliance.

June 20, 2010

Lyin' through your Teeth

There's a line through your teeth
Where you've been lyin' through your teeth,
and I'm not sayin' that that sayin' is sane...
But if you'd believe your eyes,
You'd be leavin' your lies
and not be leavin' lines where lies lie underneath.

June 9, 2010


Rest in fury,
Curb your violence.

your fuming hatred to

although unobserved.
Hatred is an ugly word,
and bitter
to admit.

Suppress, but do not
bury it,
or disregard; Remember.
Burn, so it will burn
and turn to embers.

June 6, 2010

I am Totally Listening

Need any help?
(please say no, please say no)
Whatever it is you're doing, believe me,
I CARE about that.
If I didn't have this other stuff to do, I'd be like,
SO right there with ya.
It's just that I'm incredibly busy,
and you're really good at that anyway.
I'm impressed, actually, with how good at it you are...

May 4, 2010

Right Hand Rule

My right hand tells my left what to do,
and I call her you.
and she says,
but it's cool, and I tell her,
Do that and I'll do this.
You hold that still, and I'll twist.

May 2, 2010

Collective Intelligence

Little humans
Swim for safety
All in a uniform blob.

Function one:
Function two: Evade.

Six or seven fishes in
Direct line with the jaws.
One scatters,
though who can say which,
And the rest go with the flow.

Follow, into a tighter blob
Behind the jaws, behind the fins
Evade the tail
And watch the jaws.
The invisible line
That thrashes and flails and spins.

Patience, patience and endurance
Smaller fish outlast the big
That twists and turns and snaps and misses.
Just one or two of a thousand fishes
Lost but not forgotten.

Hunger! Anger! Simple humans!
Unintelligent but lucky--
Act as one and swim away
So tactfully.

Befalls the jaws.
And many humans live to not
Be eaten by the beast.

Follow on, then.
Move as one,
In relative peace.

April 15, 2010

Fell on my Butt

Once again,
if not so much before,
this time for sure,
I know it's silly--
But I haven't got
a whim or thought
or words or guts for spilling.
The ache is in my butt, and not
my heart, or other
more poetic body part--
and with it there
I can't compare
a simple wimpy musing
while the limping legs I'm using
wobble one way and not the other.
I really shouldn't bother,
and should maybe call a doctor,
but with one thing or another,
and the promise of Obamacare,
I'll sit on it for now
and mutter "ow"
and leave it there.

March 18, 2010

The Wake

Whirling around again I peel
My eyes apart so I can feel
The truth behind my stare.

Solemnly I seem to glare
Beyond what I believe is there
At what I fear is real.

I peel away the fast adhered,
The fallacy of what I'd feared,
The raw and bleeding truth revealed,
and beauty there appears.

February 26, 2010

Metro Poético

(attempting iambic pentameter in Spanish)

Me gustaría escribir poemas
que dicen todas mis emociones
y con palabras largas y bonitas
así que suenan como canciones.

Aúnque me encanta español
Existe mucho que no sé decir,
y debo elegir los pensamientos
que no son muy difícil traducir.

Resulta en sonetos imperfectos,
con fallas, que no riman ni resaltan.
Así tendré que tratar otra vez
y aprender palabras que me faltan.

Ya todavía tengo que decir--
que ¡fue un desafío escribir!

February 21, 2010

Structure, a Sestina

(A sestina is a VERY restrictive form where the final word at the end of each line in the first stanza must be repeated in an exact order for all subsequent stanzas. You'll see what I mean. Also it's supposed to be in iambic pentameter. Who comes up with these anyway?)

Structure is the kindle for the fire
of everything that takes imagination.
You build a box, and in it, your creation
will grow and thrive, so orderly and straight,
into a mighty pretty little box.
Exactly your initial inspiration!

So why don't we just nix the inspiration?
We'll shred it up and set the lot on fire.
Define dimensions for the perfect box
And cut the keys to fit the locks-- Imagine!
How beautiful, symmetric, clean, and straight
The masterpiece would be that you'd create.

Then why not mass-produce the fine creation?
It's cumbersome, for each to be inspired;
To have to chop the jagged edges straight,
when all we need is big machines and fire.
So fuel the furnace, just as you imagined--
An infinite conveyor belt of boxes.

Now build a fortress out of all the boxes,
to hide behind perfections we've created.
No longer will we need imagination.
With all of this to show, we'll just inspire
the others to attack with cannon fire--
And watch our walls remain intact and straight.

My point is this, I'll give it to you straight:
Art is only art when it's in boxes.
Otherwise, it's just a fickle fire
that's doomed to die if more is not created.
The ashes of the muse that once inspired--
And nothing left to spark imagination.

So bottle up the beauty you've imagined,
and line it up among the rest, and straighten.
From now on, when you feel the inspiration,
Just pack it up and throw it in a box.
And don't forget to label each creation,
In case they get disordered by the fire.

Take aim, and fire, straight at my creation.
Imagine, as the boxes tumble down--
if structure could replace our inspiration.

February 14, 2010

Lost for Words

(Dear Poetry, part 7)

Words are not the perfect friends they used to be
When I need them--
They're empty
Meaningless paraphrasings
Of better things I've said, at times
I cared much less.

February 7, 2010


I am less than three of you.
My colon opens wide because
I'm shocked that I admitted that.
And then, because I think that's silly,
My colon makes a dash of pee,
and then everything's back to normalcy.

A Song for Hugh

Perfect face, with eyes agleam...
Strong and gentle eyes, that seem
to love me, every time I dream
of Hugh.

I'll never let Hugh know how much
I long to take Hugh out to lunch
and giggle at the slightest touch
from Hugh.

For this I may in time repent,
but circumstances don't relent
and so it seems I wasn't meant
for Hugh.

And so for now I'll be content
to not reveal my heart's lament
that I shall never smell the scent
of Hugh upon my lips--
those hands upon my hips,
and then
my heart skips...

Oh, Hugh.
Oh, Huuuuuugh!
(I love Huuuugh)

For this I may in time repent,
but circumstances don't relent
and so it seems I wasn't meant
for Hugh.

Only in my better dreams,
of Hugh and me, our eyes agleam,
our love a gentle stream, from me
to Hugh.

February 5, 2010


Part the grass, and carve a curvy path.
Slither through, so every blade
Brushes up against your scaly
Face, and rushes by you as you pass.

Alone, in a world of beautiful things
Reaching for you, and they
Strive to get closer and
Closer to you, to be
One with you,
And they do.

These are your woods,
And the more you return,
The more the grass bends to your presence.
The light rustles through in a breeze behind you,
And the trees lay their shadows along in your wake
And the water seals quietly
Over your head, every time
That you slip away.

February 3, 2010

Through the Glass

Strange, awkward. Perfect.
I climb in bed again.
Hope for peace, but it's a gamble, and
I don't really mind.
My eyes glass over and I descend.

At last.

I am awake in a thousand ways,
When judgement waits behind
The brittle glass.

January 27, 2010

State of the Union

The Supreme Court are the secret-agent hooded badasses,
the Ninjas.
They can't be fired.
they're old
they dress like wizards
they don't stand up to clap
because they decided as a group,
it would be in the nation's best interest if they were to appear
to be unbiased toward the various "opinions" that people have.
Impartial to the various "concerns" that people have.
for They, the Supreme Court, are above that.
Hope for America, jobs for millions,
Increase Pell Grants for college students...
Don't care.
Supreme Court here, hello.

The Generals.
not as cool as The Nine,
but smoother, and a little less,
Reactions trained to not react,
"All of our combat troops out of Iraq, by the end of this August."
that's interesting.
the group agrees.

And of course they put a camera
on the chandelier
so you can see the wily legislators
yawning or applauding, split in groups
along the semicircle,
and that one lady wearing yellow...

"Last week the Supreme Court decided..."
Oops camera. Supreme Court. We.
The stern.
The wise.
Supreme Court.
And that one young one,
he mutters to himself
"well, that's not exactly what we--"
But no one hears.

The point is,
It made Nancy Pelosi cry.
And she matches Biden's tie.
But Obama went for red,
to bridge the gap.
To make a statement.

I, President Obama, urge you...
But the Justices
are still

"I never said it would be easy, or that I could do it alone..."

Stop crying, Pelosi.
Stop clapping, Biden.

People should be more like ninjas.
That's what I think.

January 26, 2010


I used to have a lesson learned
So undeterred, I earned it
But the words are locked
And in my pockets
Burning holes and
To have turned into a journey
Into anything
That's better than they were.

What's the word?
I wonder.
Search me,
Burned away before I ever heard.

January 21, 2010

The Blind Eye

Dreams are very fragile friends.
Good stories at the best of times,
But frequently
They only leave me

Fade to black and do not reawaken.

Let my brow relax, and sleep,
And do not wander back.
And keep the pretense
That I might have been mistaken.

January 18, 2010


(This is a sad one, just wanted to warn you.)

Under the stony walls,
these are the only walls left,
we gather.
We, the weathered, the broken.
Survivors, if we don't

Our footsteps
and vocal chords,
a quiet hallowed chorus,
against the walls,
our cold and stony sanctuary,
alone like us,
among its many fallen.

The walls are mourning with us,
the hollow rumble
of a broken people.
Under the stony walls
we gather,
and our hymn slows
and dies away
into the hushed sobs
of mothers.

In the dead of silence
our bodies wait--
our souls lost
in the rubble.

A crumpled elder
stands before us,
in his hand
the names of those
for whom we cry our chorus.

The stone holds its breath too
silently praying
for name
after name.
after name.

We are a broken people.
our child,
father and mother.
Lost in the upheaval.

January 16, 2010


Yesterday is yet unending.
Clench and hold the precious under.
Suffocate and keep repenting,
Keep repeating,
Never wonder.
Yes we can,
But will we ever?

January 14, 2010

Selfish Portraits part 3

Sweet at first
and always smiling,
Lift your lips and say you love me.
Yes I know you're all about me,
Wouldn't live a day
without me.

Lay another finger on me.
Tell me that you'd love
to meet her.
Love me better
when I'm with her.
Sweet becomes
a little bitter.

Frozen over for the winter,
Blurred reflections never smiling.
Purse your lips and walk on by me.
Leave me now
and never find me.

January 10, 2010

Elephants in the Room

through the sludge ahead,
We drag our heavy weight, and wade--
Judging by the trench we've made,
Weakened, by the mud we tread.
every day, and smothered,
Falling, dying pachyderms.
Dead. Weight. Full of worms.
Straining still,
to drag each other.

December 30, 2009

Selfish Portraits part 2

But seriously,
if I don't stop dreaming about these mirrors, I might just
Become what they tell me I'll be.
Confused, then obsessed, by mental reflections
Relentlessly gazing at sad hypotheticals,
Become as I see myself,
Washed out and faded,
Dried up and brittle,
Then stepping out into the rain
To be crushed and laughed at by my former and later selves.
As if I knew I had this coming all along.

Or maybe I would turn it into decency.
Start again, anew, albeit weaker.
Drenched and dripping dirty water until I'm clean.

Or maybe if I just weren't having
Dreams of eerie framed facsimiles of me in different times and places
Then, perhaps, I'd get some sleep, and wake up here tomorrow,
Good as new.
And smile at reflections
Without wondering
Where that creepy smile came from.


Welcome to my dewy eyes,
Shadows, colors, fireflies.
Wink to life and stay awake
For a while.

Through my windows, once opaque,
Bedazzled by the glow they make,
I cling to now, with orbs for eyes,
And smile.

December 29, 2009

In Defense of the Ego

As deep as the roots grow, the most
Fundamental order.
Life is narcissism. So is love.

Foundation, my castle,
It drives me up the spiral
Through a life of interactions I
Manipulate and love.

I know they all are castles too,
Despite some proud delusions.

Ignore it, hide it, paint it gold,
And smile and love because it's gone, then
Watch it burn a pyre in the soul.

November 16, 2009

Selfish Portraits

I live another year and watch
My fingers painting selfish portraits
I can never touch.

And they become me.

I paint a picture of myself
Standing next to them and hoping
That I measure up.

And live another year and watch
Me growing to resemble them,
And changing.

By reassurance,

I can do anything.

November 9, 2009

Clay and People

I walk among distracted clay faces,
Their clay bodies colorful and plain,
Going about their business and ignoring me,
And I wonder whether I should be ashamed of having described
My friends and neighbors as made of clay.

As I meander through the crowd, I recognize the scene.
I’ve read this story once before,
I know the man who wrote it...
What’s his name...? Oh... It’ll come to me.
The story goes, that a man finds himself surrounded by people
Who are all made of clay, and they pay him no mind.
But then he spots a door, to a room
And through the door’s glass window, he can see inside...
Human faces, in the flesh,
Smiling, laughing, talking to each other.
And I see the room before I see it.
Sure enough, along this hall,
The door is red, the room is full of people.
I try the door although I’m sure it’s locked to keep me out,
To keep me longing for the warm and living faces it conceals.
I knock so loudly on the door that surely they would turn their heads
If they could hear it.
I’ve read the story many times, just can’t remember the author’s name.
But I know it’ll come to me, just as I know
That I’ll get no answer when I ask politely of a clay passerby,
“Excuse me sir, do you know how to get into that room?”
I point at the window and wonder if clay people can even see in there.
“They’re different, in there,” is all he can say, before he walks away.
I know that it would be no use to ask of any others
How to join the people they don’t know or trust or like.
I knock again and stare for hours
Through the glass, at life the way I want to live it,
Stuck out here among the clays,
And after days, walk away in search of some distraction.

What’s the name... I know I know it...
If only I can think of it, I might remember the secret of the room.
I know the man gets in the room, somehow.
I turn around, face the door, and it all comes back.
Yes! He leaves,
And returns to find the door wide open,
And follows someone in.
The door is open for me now too.
And a man in red, more bright and fake
Than the fakest of the clay men is,
Walks inside, and so do I.
And all those people, so alive, are gone and in their place
Are bright red plastic men just like the one I followed in.
But I don’t mind, it doesn’t matter now.
I now remember the end of the story,
Though the author’s name eludes me.
He enters the room, but life is all outside it, not within.
He's trapped inside the room of shiny plastic.
But he doesn't mind, he’s happy that he made it here,
And he’s ready to settle in.
A plastic person holds his hand as he closes his eyes,
And the room dissolves and dies.
And I take the hand of a little child,
Genderless as much as it is faceless.
I close my eyes, take a breath, and scream.
Not a fearful, but a happy scream,
Satisfied, at long last, I can rest.
But it is a little chilling, to hear a noise I never make
Escape my soul so uncontrolled as this.
I’m trying not to shiver,
As I’m drifting slowly out of my perspective, and I wonder,
What will happen to the child
That’s so bravely holding on to me
While all the room collapses as I scream?

But this is all my imagination,
Real but only real because of me.
So I scream a little louder, kind of singing.
Drowning out the final remnants of the vision I’ve created,
Hoping it’ll end before I convince myself it wasn’t ever real.

November 7, 2009

Some Thoughts

Some thoughts come in giant stacks
of sentences,
and some in shorter lines
of words,
and some in sounds,
and images
of colors mixed with other
colors, and some others
come in single lines
of certain little
And still,
the syllables resign
themselves to singing
silly rhymes
that never seem to say the things
the thought was really thinking.

But that’s what keeps them singing.

And then,
there are some other thoughts
that sink
beneath the words before
they ever have a chance
to come at all.

October 27, 2009

Unnecessary Fences

Wild, rampant nature, thriving
in the jungles, where I never go.
I’m sure it’s very beautiful--
more so than the kudzu here at home.

But green and brown are all I have--
the living patches we don’t need to change.
The ground that we can live around--
Between the roads and parking lots we paved.

I know that it’s your job to keep it
“pretty” and protected from abuse.
But how much damage could I do
by walking through the mulch, between the bushes?

I, and maybe others, have
for years been carving out the perfect path.
It’s narrow, shallow, winding, and
the bushes, undisturbed, are growing fast.

But you don’t like it, do you, sir?
You think I’m just a nuisance, just a weed.
A human footprint in the mulch
is somehow detrimental to the scene.

So now, we have this ugly fence--
To keep me from enjoying it this way.
For “beauty"’s sake, you ruined it.
You may as well have paved it all away.

Whittle on a Head

Things do and do not come to me
when I fire a neuron to stimulate more,
to make a nice path
for my thoughts to think along.
And I am sometimes on the receiving end
of split ends fizzling out of mind
and out of sight
where I do not look beyond.
I would,
but I’ve got all these fizzles firing
randomly in precise directions.
They are so
mathematically trained
to fire, or not,
to on, or off,
to 1, or 0,
to think.
Miniscule, upon a scale
of things I could no better see
than galaxies twirling all around me.
But in my mind I see them clear;
Both are here
within me.
I do and do not understand
when ties are built,
when bonds are made,
around me, between me, within me.
But still I whittle on ahead,
making bonds and breaking bonds
until my masterpiece,
resides pristinely
in its bed.
One with its beginning.

October 22, 2009

Most of Me

Tiny life, with bits of me
and bits of the one I chose for you,
strung together, underneath
the inquisitive eyes I see you through.

Wily little smiles, and copying us,
testing our knowledge, outwitting our words.
Questions I haven't asked in years,
and answers I've never heard.

Keep us young.
Bring us back--
to finding joy in parking lots,
spiral stairs, magnolia trees,
checkered floors, and concrete blocks.

I promise you,

I will not lie,

or hide the truth,

or cover your eyes,

use cute little fallacies to shut you up,
or doubt your ability to understand,
or pretend that I'm listening when I'm not,
or pretend that I'm not, when I am.

Years before you'll be conceived--
you are already more of me
than I am.

October 15, 2009


Dormant now, that longing ache.
Boarded up by panes of polished wood.
No sooner had you stepped inside,
Than all those months were buried where I stood.
I feel like I should love you more,
Be grateful that, for now, you’re staying put.
Back and forth, you come and go--
Never gone, but never home for good.

So am I wrong to just forget?
To feel as though you never left the room?
It’s pitiful, in retrospect,
My era of relentless lonesome gloom.
And now you’re here, the pain is gone,
No need for passion, yearning-- Life resumes.
And yet I know, another age
of solitude in less than two years looms.

Am I wrong to board her up?
That child with her heart upon her sleeve.
Dormant now, that weaker me,
Waiting in the wings for you to leave.

October 7, 2009


(This came from a challenge to write a poem without using any visual description.)

I fade out of the shade into the sunny warm October
Where the pavement turns to gravel and I balance on the stones.
Soaking but unswayed because the thunderstorm is over,
I prepare to work my fingers to the bone.

Although the rays are soothing and the rain has battered past,
Amazing words elude me and I’m lost again in thought.
Lazy now, and brooding, I collapse into the grass,
And I take a break from writing what I’m not.

Blades of water, grass, and mud engulf me where I lay
And the bugs below my neck all scurry out toward the heat.
I face the fiery blaze, and it pulses through my veins,
And revives the ground beneath me as I breathe.

The subtle fluctuations fill my head with inspiration,
And with sudden motivation, I sit up.
I bring the pen to paper, but the words become a vapor.
I give up.

October 1, 2009

Bitter Truth

(Dear Poetry, part 6)

Words are such a tricky art,
or so it seems.
My want is to express myself,
and be free,
without concern for guilt or pain,
for them or me.
And yet I hide my pretty lines
from certain stares.

I long to peel myself apart--
a poet’s dream.
Nail the pieces to a wall
for them to see.
From time to time I drag another
with me.
Hanging, bare before them--
Is it fair?
They may not look, they may not care,
but it’s there.
Bleeding and exposed
in rancid air.

September 24, 2009

Dead Poetry

(Dear Poetry, part 5)

If in your lifetime no one understands you,
believes you, or loves you
as I do--
If every word you echo fades to silence,
meaningless to everyone who glances;
in and out like water,
and you die--
If even to my like-minded brothers,
lost inside their own echoes,
locked in dusty boxes on the mantle;
you're invisible, irrelevant to them--
Even if you're dying as you're born;
Still, inside my body
as I write--
You still create a universe in me...
Expanding and alive between the ashes.

September 10, 2009

Too Late at Night for Dactylic Trimeter

Blocking my thoughts when I think of them,

Rhythm and meter are hindrances.

Words, I dismiss, when their syllables

Fail to fit into my sentences.

Yet it creates possibilities...

Words I don't usually formulate

Slowly evolve into melodies,

Making me want to go fornicate.

August 6, 2009


(The idea was to end each line with an anagram of the title. I don't think I actually like this one, but other people did, so I guess I'll keep it around.)

We like to think we’re not constrained by gravity.
We’ll someday skip the atmosphere in vain,
Looking for an outlet for our vanity,
Unaware of what there is to gain.

Though here, the water, air, and earth- the trinity
feed us like a flower in the rain.
Every earthly twist and turn and vagary
is just the perfect yin for every yang.

The power of the place of our nativity
Provides for us what we could not attain.
Even still, we fly against the grain.

August 1, 2009

Stick Man

I’m half asleep,
but I’m tapping the beat
with my stick feet,
and I sigh.
My stick legs waver,
and I sway like a raver
as I savor the flavor
of the ride.
My legs are adjoined
by the sticks of the loins.
With a flip of a coin
I could die.
But just for kicks
I do balancing tricks
without snapping the sticks,
or I try.

July 30, 2009

Damn it Brain

No thoughts.
Zip. Closed. My mouth.
My brain.
Needs drugs but only has coffee.
Wishes and wants and whines a lot.
But never answers.
Tries the TV, the music, the games, the food, the coffee.
Distractions don’t distract me from the main distraction.
Leave me alone and let me settle for less.
Wake up every hour and wonder if it’s passed.
Take the coffee, body. But it never works.
Make some more and stare at it dryly.
Trying to laugh at something.
But it never works.
My brain's no fool, it knows there's nothing funny.
“I’m not the one you’re looking for,”
says the coffee.
Yeah I know. Shut up.

June 25, 2009


Feet I have many,
they hold up my body.
I need them in order
to move, I can tell.
Sometimes galumphing,
and many times falling,
I scurry along,
although not very well.

Ears are so funny.
They flop on my face
and make me look silly
when I try to run.
The tongue is my favorite,
hanging there, dripping,
with drool I created
by just having fun.

Here is a butterfly,
there is a leaf,
and way, way up there
are some birds flying south...
some grass, and a beetle,
some pine cones, a stick...
No clue what they are,
but I want them in my mouth.

June 22, 2009

Immortal Thoughts

(Dear Poetry, part 4)

You are, as you have always been,
the most wholistic remnants of my soul.
I live, eternal, through the honest
sentences and metaphors I’ve told.
Although I'll do my best to change
what I believe we may be doing wrong,
we may not have a thing to gain
from me when I am nothing, dead and gone.
Unless I give us all I am,
by sharing without holding back a word.
My only window, flash of life;
Only for a second am I heard.
I don’t lose hope for my ideals
because I know how gradual change can be.
And so I give myself to you,
in case there’s something valuable of me.