Wrong Idea

From the collection Look Winter in the Face, published 2015. With this poem I have finished posting the entire book. So, you’ve now read it! Thank you for following along.

Wrong Idea

When I talk or what I say or did do
None of that makes
did make
ever will make its way through the turbulence
that I used to think I was if not the cause
then the one sending out the wrong kind of magnetic particles or
smashing the atoms backwards
but I stepped out of the static a while back and found a route
through those choppy waves and then I
picked up transportation out of there
and after that I learned
it wasn’t me.

Postcard Moon over the red planet 3-18 small

Mail art postcard, 2018.

The Memory of What Was Envisioned

From the collection Generous With the Details, 2017.

The Memory of What Was Envisioned

The expensive towels
shrunken
and the bindings
slowly detaching themselves
more and more with each wash.
Their sad decline made worse
by the memory
of anticipated long-term luxury
they excited
when they were bought new
white and elegant
just two years ago. Now they are
barely achieving
run-of-the-mill status
never contenders
for a nice toweling-off
after a bath with fancy soap.
A disappointment. Thrift
and secret hopes
are all that keep them
in the linen closet.

11/17/16

Looks like a bath but it's a ceiling 8-13 small

Mail art postcard, 2013.

Fault

From Generous With the Details, published in 2017.

Fault

Do cast your thoughts back and remember
that curious little incident occurring last year
about this same time
maybe a month earlier
than now
Consider whether
the literature has covered it
meaning
spelling out the possibility of an encore
in full. Then
make your decision. I’ll wait.

11/18/16

 

It's Your Fault small

Mail art postcard, 2012.

Malevolent Spell

Malevolent Spell

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.

11/14/16

Postcard Portrait and Lady 6-16 small

Mail art postcard, 2016.

Night Ritual

From Autumn Opens a Door, 2015.

Night Ritual

Close the window.
Pull down the latch on one side and then the other.
Leave the other window open
just a crack.
Slide the curtains
across the rod.
Those metal drapery rings
have always made a fuss. Tonight is no different.
Turn on the bedside lamp.
Pull down the covers.
Set the pillow against the headboard. You like to read
before you turn out the light.
The cars
on the street outside
pass at longer intervals now that
it’s bedtime.

The dark is shut out.
Now
finally
you are prepared.
You turn your face on the pillow. The night world
sweeps you up and into
the dark that is not shut out.
The uneasy night quiet lies heavy over the house
urging you over and forward
into the collision of you and sleep and
the family troubles welling up from long ago
the strangers who want to hurt you
the empty hotel corridor with pale blue carpet
the elevators that come loose and
tumble in circles.

Postcard 4-18 dark elf figures small

Mail art postcard, 2018.

Heart Lost

From Autumn Opens a Door, 2015.

Heart Lost

The lady hunches over her cell phone,
her knitted tunic drooping and
her turquoise handbag slack. Her voice
has the juice drained out of it.
Everything about her expresses
something silenced
something
like a cave-in after demolition had already started.

Postcard ink bw lady looking at her phone 11-17 small

Postcard, brush and ink, 2017.

Nightmare

From Generous With the Details, collection published 2017.

Nightmare

Storm weather sets in at bedtime and
The wind a continuous low intense murmur
picking a fight with
the window frame
rattling angry in response
the quarrel spilling over to
the hum in the electric wires
the snap of a tree branch.
Voice to raised to shout at anybody
the occupants of the house
held
in a black-night-heist
of sleep
Uneasy dreams
and bleary eyes the spoils of the fight
when the sun rises behind the clouds
still taking bets on the winner.

11/11/16

Postcard -figures at night 8-16 small

Postcard, 2016.

Haiku Group House Painters

From Generous With the Details, collection published 2017.

Haiku Group House Painters

i.
The paint rollers hiss
white strokes across the ceiling
Fresh, right from the can

ii.
The painters have set
a rhythm of pure white strokes
to radio songs

iii.
The painters apply
the white paint while the cat cries
at the basement door

iv.
The painters shouting
above radio music
discussing haircuts

v.
Home disassembled.
Furniture covered. Walls bare.
Painters here today.

vi.
The bucket of paint
divided into brushloads
regroups on the wall

vii.
The frayed walls need paint
to make amends for aging.
Brush on a thick coat.

6/9/16

Postcard house in the fields 3-18 small

Mail art postcard, 2018.

Exploded

Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.

Exploded

The conversation was so ludicrous, it seemed to me that it must be made up of movable parts that had shaken themselves out of sequence, like one of those square puzzles where you pushed the letters around each other until they made words, if you could actually do it – I sure never could. Because what I was hearing could not be true: I knew we lived in dangerous times on a dangerous planet, but I never expected that the rigors and the tedium of grocery shopping would finally so unhinge my mother’s mind that she would hand me a hundred-dollar bill, tell me to get in the car, get a gallon of milk, and keep the change.

Which, for all I knew
it had been years in coming,
civilization
neatly falling to pieces,
but that it happened today?

(Tanka 104)
3/4/18

 

OK, Let's Go Shopping small 2013

“OK, Let’s Go Shopping” – mail art postcard 2013.