From Clean Canvas, 2018.
Flat composition sky
wash gray monochrome
matte black crow drawing a line across
horizontal slight slant downward and left
wings extended himself a series of triangles
skinny strong legs bent V-shape
toes flared out
big personality thrown in with a bold brush
From Enough for a Book, published in 2016.
pictured on the cover of the road atlas
is a smooth matte black. No potholes no repairs.
No big trucks in the left lane passing little cars
shouldn’t be going that fast and scaring timid drivers.
No gas stations.
How is anybody going to get
without a place to fill up
what if you need
some crackers and peanut butter?
Restless passengers and bathroom stops
clouds promising rain
construction zones with barriers and flashing lights
nowhere in sight in this guide and so I can tell you
from decades of experience with
long car trips
this road atlas cannot be any good.
Artist trading card, 2014.
The voices in the other room
a strident mumble interweaving a shrill staccato
fill the listeners waiting outside
with a vague dread. The heavy wood door
blocks the sense but not the sound
and the sound is enough. A slicing kind of conversation
served up on ice
can chill your bones, can’t it? When the door opens
two tiny old women emerge. Smiles on their faces.
The listeners stand
heads swiveling to watch them
creep down the hall
glide out the door
chatting in perfect amity
Mirror images swinging tote bags
on opposite arms.
Mail art postcard, 2016.
From Generous With the Details, 2017.
Pointed at Me
The houses along our street:
inscrutable cold eyes they have
The poems were written for the artwork you see and were published in Pink Chalk, 2018.
Loud shout voice
For Pete’s sake
look at me
You! Hey over there hey you!
Look out for the bus!
How I look
you could look. I’m telling you.
Buy this dress. Buy it.
Cut it out
this stupid nonsense
or I walk
down the street
get on a bus out of town
save my sanity.
I pass up the chance.
Being someone who hangs back –
That’s what I’m good at.
From the collection Spring Cleaning, 2015.
Ambulance. Parked. Hood up.
The object of a lot of fuss.
The jaunty tow truck from the local garage
bright red and in the pink of health
winching up the ambulance
with casual strength.
The ambulance driver catches a ride
in the tow truck
A concerned party to the treatment
of the patient
now securely settled in the back.
Off they all go down the street.
The tow truck swaggers, warning lights flashing.
can’t do a thing for itself,
shaky and wobbling side to side
no siren, no bright lights, no rescuing
but being rescued.
Oh, the embarrassment.
Repair truck, pen and ink drawing, 2016.
From Spring Cleaning, 2015.
It’s Simple Enough
Talk all you want
write send a telegram phone call email I do not hear you.
your sulky hurt expression.
Purse your lips grimace wrinkle your brow I do not see you.
Phone booth and guy standing in front of it (drawn on the screen of my phone)
From Look Winter in the Face, 2015.
The wind cleared the sky of its clouds
nothing left but blue
The eyes scanned the empty stretch
for any landmark
artist trading card, 2013.
From Autumn Opens a Door, 2015.
Halfway Through the Ritual
the guys at the carwash
are playing opera over the speakers
as they set up their own rhythm
of chivvying dirt from the crevices
of expensive cars
with short sharp blasts
of the air hoses.
When I come back after lunch
they have changed the radio station
and they are sitting in a row,
backs against the building,
Gas station, pen and ink, 2016.
From Catch Up With Summer, 2015.
Seems like summer is always coming
it’ll be here soon
wait just a little more
then it was here and
whizzing by like the train we waited for at the grade crossing
waving at the passengers who never waved back
because they were gone before they were here.
Seems like summer was like that train
gone before it was here.
View from train window, outskirts of Washington DC, summer 2016. Pen and ink, 6″ x 6″.