Little Vines 1/11/21

New Little Vines. Here is this week’s array.

the red sky at morning
A hurricane, maybe not
but do you want to count on it?

New world order.
A statuesque automaton and a self-driving car
They passed their citizenship tests today –
High Five! Honk Honk!

recruited your appendix –
and between them did they go to town on you.

Like a ship’s anchor
that friendship sank underwater
dragged bottom and crushed a mermaid.

step aside little potato and bypass the fray
strong emotions come into play
when brussels sprouts invade a plate

Hardly worth its time to sniff the food.
Cue petulant vocalizing.
The squared twelve minor bacteria shifts its pseudopod
and falls back to sleep.

She was looking attractive
and attached and
very married not to you

Fractured eye with the green
prism of jealousy held tight against
chalk-yellow face glitters through a blur of tears

the doctor stamps hard on your foot
puts pressure on your high teeth
and the baby pops out!

Tapestry: the thread used up
the pattern still incomplete
the decision makes itself

Come out of your dream
Shame no longer works
Let’s try this. Dangle him over boiling water.

the hard edges of her memory chiseled on the gravestone

how has a box of home-made fudge made you
such a reluctant giver
and you such an offensive recipient?

Fate’s big old rubber band
snaps back all your venom at you
like a colossal wasp it bites and
stings you hard. You swell up and die.

the artificial atmosphere
imparts unusual colors
to ordinary party chit-chat.

Take a seat in the waiting room
I promise you that your next good idea
will be with you shortly.

if you doubt yourself
sit on the sofa beside the aged cat
Wait for him to purr.

common as a comma
this beetle is
and yet where is another exactly like him?

Little triangle skinnies
cavort over the boiling sea
their iridescent veined wings sparkle
they flit among the pillars of rising steam

The fly evaded the swatter.
Another unused death,
thought the Big Old Non-Aligned Deity, and frowned.

Cardamom bickers with cloves and sugar
in every one of these muffins
but none of them really means anything by it

Tonight I baked
the shapeliest lasagna
in the galaxy.

Who knew the role of Hypocrite
would be so in demand?

the casting director mused. The farce rolls on.

Line of Traffic

Line of Traffic

I steer my suburban big-size car with a free hand
moving down the four-lane divided limited
access highway
full of cars just full of cars
me in the thick of it
the feeling
I’m the one
somehow keeping the whole thing going along
I falter
brake lights come on
I set a pace
we all do fine

I’ve been a licensed driver
longer than many of these other people around me
have been living
forty years ago
when I was learning to drive
navigating narrow blacktops
trying to stay out of the ditches
either side of the road with the weeds
growing person-high
watching me terrified behind the wheel.

I stamp on the gas
push my way into the exit lane
crossing traffic coming out of the turnpike entrance
shout at the guy who has the nerve to honk at me
in the endless looping pattern
of traffic and driving
brake and accelerate
accelerate and brake
in with the crowd running down the highway


What Precipitates a Decision

What Precipitates a Decision

It was still raining
after two years
because she was not attracted
to a life of romance.
The real puzzle is
how is it all going to work out when
not much can be said
about a heroine
in a romance novel
more interested in getting an engineering degree
and taking a lucrative and engrossing job
that being much more to her taste
than the good-looking fellow
of average intelligence
though with substantial private sources of money
and loads of vital energy
the author
who was so kind-hearted
and meant to be doing her a favor
tried to foist off on her.
She will have none of it
and so it rains
she studies for her master’s
he sulks in the living room looking out the window
tapping a tennis racket against his leg
Maybe a genre change is in order here
it just keeps on raining.


Give It Up

Give It Up

Extra-late-middle-aged man
in a baby blue sweater
the atmosphere was friendly
in a fake kind of way
fantasies of success and lots of money
gone with retirement
replaced by

whole lot of posturing
on the tennis court
and bragging about lifting weights
at the gym


Wait a Minute, I Didn’t Check My Agenda

Wait a Minute, I Didn’t Check My Agenda

I’ll buy those special shoes soon as I can find them
Get the supplement milkshakes
subscribe to the newsletter
heck I will join a support group and spill some secrets
if that is what it takes to get popular
meet people
and figure out what is going on
that all these other people know
and how they gather in a little group at the gym
talking and laughing having a great old time
while I peel off my sweatpants
falling against the wall when my shoe gets stuck in
the hem
the shoe that is not one of those special shoes

or so I thought until I realized
the brainwashing and TV commercials
and the team-building and way back in high school
and that
I’ve tried it and they’re not and
I’m really not that interested.
And I get out that book and
put my nose right back in it.

Make a note:
Say hello only when you feel like it
and to people you like.


Unacknowledged Guest

Unacknowledged Guest

Lots of empty spaces on those platters.
Looks like everyone just couldn’t get enough
of my fried chicken Bolognese fricassee
served over almandine green peppers
in a white sauce
I made myself, not from a jar.
Yum, I say.
Yum, the dog says.
Get out from under the table
I say.
Once I’m sure dinner is over
the dog says.


Little Vines 1/4/21

New Little Vines. Here is this week’s array.

work fast work very fast,
blink back those tears

I scream bloody murder is it a shark a jellyfish?
these slimy oceanic tentacles reaching out for me? No.
Drat this seaweed wrapping itself around my legs.

I still cherish the memory of our relationship –
a precious unbelievable seventeen seconds
I spent in fatuous admiration –
then she stepped off the elevator.

the rhythm leaks
the low notes are soggy
she’s singing with a bad cold again

just hurry and don’t ask questions
The guru guides the dramatized truth
You chase after it. That’s how it works.

a teenager at 6:15 AM –
twelve identical versions of sullen
lined up in front of me

Pet him, sure, but there is always some danger
that the polite lion will forget his manners
at the sight of your plump juicy arms.

the stolen figurine
fainted from the stress of the abduction
fell to the floor and went to pieces

I don’t want him to worry
but as that piranha accelerates toward him…
well, at least he can stop fretting over retirement now

your arm.
the numbness expands.
the cat sleeps on in blissful peace.
you don’t move. he’s so cranky when his nap is disturbed.

my chair –
a nosedive into it –
and quick as a wink the cat is curled up and fast asleep.

The penciled-in answers to the puzzle
in this odd book you picked up at the nonsense bookshop
Is it me, or have they suddenly begun making sense?

a great big belly laugh:
the only comeback
I have for everything you say these days

an ancestor
untidies your memories of her
when you discover her hidden diaries. Whoo boy.

The troubled woman tastes the theological pie
teetering on top of the plate of advice –
the pastor steeples his fingers and yawns

when an accountant screams red ink
the blood of your dying business on his hands
the efficient garotte of bankruptcy waits outside

How can its garish colors soothe the reddened eyes?
How can the blowsy rose in the funeral wreath
mediate the strident hatefulness of chance?



Running up the stairs
twenty pounds overweight
wearing high heels
shoulder bag slipping off my left arm
stack of folders sliding
I trip on the top step
grab at the handrail
There was never any doubt
a broken ankle would result
but the face plant
and consequent knocked-out tooth
were a surprise to me
and put me over the top
for bad luck on a Thursday. I screamed out
a big long string of curse words
some of them twice
The whole building heard me
which helped a little
but not enough. The ambulance
stopped at the front entrance
It would be nice to know
the driver understands
I just cannot have this vehicle
get into an accident
on the way to the hospital.

One has to draw the line
in a quarrel with fate.