One-Liner Poem #33

I don’t enjoy one-night stands–
I prefer lying down.

Registration photo of Bill Brymer for the LexPoMo 2023 Writing Challenge.

Rejection Letter

The citrus smell drifting over the fence
is from the neighbor’s mock orange bush,
a cultivar lab-tweaked to produce
the heady fragrance of orange 
and jasmine blossom, 
evoking sensual nights in the tropics, 
colorful saris, musky incense,

which feels a far distance 
from Louisville, Kentucky, 
where I am rooted
struggling to write a poem,
the results never bearing the fruit I desire.
With the frustration comes the familiar

suspicion that mine are but poor imitations,
that the best I can hope for
is to trick the senses — a frippery, 
plain-clothed mimic of what 
I am not meant to be.


whenever you can

try sex in its own juice
(no sugar added)


I climbed a mountain and foolishly fell into a valley when
I found your love.

A false peak and a single misstep sent me spiraling
through thick clouds.

My hopeless body smacked the ground with a bone-shattering thud.

Without hesitation, my soul peels itself from the broken mess;
I float with ease beyond your summit to kiss the cosmos,
to fall in love beyond a broken crown.


I’ve seen

a rain in the still of morning drop
these lengthened tight lines before.
Yet, after planting ten Sempervirens 
weather intrigues. Did not like when
the painters trick cut thick pigment.
Wood wand end of ragged brush
quickly dragged through smokey
wet new varnish over stiffend oil,
it never appealed to my virgin eye.
Oh! this mornings lanky soaking rain
over what perfect real world portrait
of our soft woods should then allow,
we see a painters deft hand applied
    for that first time.

I’ll Even Make You Meatballs

This morning my heart broke
just a little
when you wanted the yellow crayon
instead of the lellow one.
Then I realized it has been a while
since you last requested peter butter 
on your sandwich or skeptically tasted
a bite of tormato
I will accept that we no longer check
the nailbox for letters each day after school,
but please, oh, please,
when I ask what you want for dinner tonight,
let me hear you say skaghetti 
just one more time.


memoir presentations ten twenty four

my family left the city yesterday evening
now we’re in the conference
discussing the superimposition of images
i’m sitting to take photos, notes
on the screen are reactions to the solar eclipse, nonreaction to the hurricaine that year
what are the limits of historicizing the moment
we bring hands together
make noise



side of my thumb


the peel



Burns, OR part II

Sometimes, I want to quit my job
and move home, bridges burned.

But sometimes, I’m drinking
four roses on the rocks 
in a little ranch house
full of bird dogs and nice furniture
while a woman tells me about
her ribs recipe and how she uses
just a smidge of maple syrup
to add some sweet to all that spice
and I can’t remember if home
is here or there.



homesickness for a place you’ve never been  

my therapist says  •  there’s no good translation for this  • i am crying • down fourth street •   how many worlds • have i built • in this body • at war • with each other •  how many gods • how many mothers • intranslatable yes • somewhere between •  ghost and blood • somewhere between • this ocean and next • today i google judas • today i order chai tea • today i learn • betrayal is every language • war  •  is every language • no good translation • i am wrapping a towel • around myself • wet with longing • no good translationdesire • like a tourniquet • i am leaning down • to serve you • body intranslatable • as i bend • body incapable • language • have you ever put a ghost • in your mouth • have you ever opened • oceans • inside you • have you ever • watched your mother sleep • and seen your own wound • looking back