Posts for June 7, 2016


Muster Out

My head’s a crazy place
to be tonight 
A friend 
recommended a poem
and I ended up
studying war
for two hours
Words kept repeating 
“multiple fragmentation”
“ground casualty”
“body recovered”

I learned that
the Butcher of Kentucky 
was born and educated
in my hometown 
learned that he cheated 
KY pig farmers
of $300,000
in a single month
in 1864
that he abandoned 
his wounded
and they were
murdered in their
hospital beds

trying to clear
my mind
and the only things 
that work
are great 80s songs

Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
“It Takes Two 
(To Make Things Go Right)”
( that was THE skating rink song)
‘Let me clear my throat’

rings out as
“The 900 Number”
fills the background
(and I slip into the Ed Lover Dance)

I just wanna dance
and sing as
loudly as possible 
I need to shake
some things loose
I need to get
in a good way
I need to know
that inspite

of sadistic motherfuckers
and cowardly bastards,
there’s some joy
to be had
some moment of
clarity and frivolity
some moment that
can repair a soul
that can allow
me to muster out
and temporarily forget
the savage nature
within us all
– Jessica Swafford 


Lonely boy

An overnight visit from 
brothers that fight
ride two-wheel bikes
and chug chocolate milk
brings out some pouting,
some sharing issues,
and a new found appreciation 
for toys long-forgotten.


Antisocial Worker

Hundred years later blow dust off my book
Hundred fears later not one that it took
Hundred tears later now i can’t even look
Hunt the deer in the headlights right now with the hook

I’m an antisocial worker
Waiting for the company in my head to have a merger
But right just smashing a triple stack burger
While a vegan convicts me of three different murders
Just sing for me, dont give me any flack Roberta 
You out my league but still curve ya like Koufax 
That’s a cold fact from Baghdad 
Author of his own toetag
I hope there’s never post-rap
Ghosts tap on the windowsill 
My pen so ill, my don’t chill
My kinfolk spill when life cuts me
I’m benzo chill when life loves me
Put it in my will when life fucks me
Make limbo trill, nah i just fuck myself
My sins don’t heal, luck’s on the shelf
For some, it’s grim but it’s real
Stuck in a cell, my friends can’t fill
The hole inside no one else left but you
But the best ain’t through for me
Well, at least hopefully

Hundred years later blow dust off my book
Hundred fears later not one that it took
Hundred tears later now i can’t even look
Hunt the deer in the headlights right now with the hook

I daydream across the street from Cheesecake
Tell me how that grease tastes for Pete’s sake
To save Peach first gotta reach Bowser 
He can’t defeat my powers 
Then i’ll throw at her feet flowers
Get the deed to the tower
With sharp teeth, greed devours
But right now i just really need a shower
I just really need an hour
To tell you who i really am
But showing takes longer
I think that’s love honest
What’s Love when you never even show at my shows
Shout out Fredd C and Devine 
They deadly on beats but nobody got a mind like mine
Find a mime to find the time to act it out for you
Give a quarter ass effort then say That’ll do
Old school like yabba dabba do
Doin’ dabs with the crew
But Baghdad comin through with the new
Y’all best to follow suit
Open these bars so before the bar close I’m already loose
Fortune cookie rappers soundin hollow in the booth
From yesterday’s fiction we write tomorrow’s truth 

Hundred years later blow dust off my book
Hundred fears later not one that it took
Hundred tears later now i can’t even look
The words smeared on paper but the work never shook


Please call…

Her voice echoes down the line, no further
than London but it might as well be

England: he will not answer when he sees her
number in the caller ID, will not pick up

the phone to dial his childhood
home. She waits and hopes, withering

each time the phone rings and he
is not on the other end.



tall spring grasses clasp
ten discarded cursive leaves
trophied deer antlers



My hands are red,
every bend and grasp a little sore,
and there’s a spade-shaped bruise on my back
from my son tackling me in the garden
where I was raking
and hip-swinging ridiculously
to the beat of American Patrol in my head.
(What can I say? I dig those swing classics!)
It feels a little like victory
and a little like aggression
forming this first patch.
We’re going to grow pumpkins!
I can only hope they’re large and delicious.
Either way, I’ll have callouses.


Finding Truth

When you’re working in the field, and you want to know if what your brush just uncovered after days or years of patience is really fossilized bone, touch it to your tongue. If it sticks as its pores absorb your moisture, you can be sure it’s truly what you seek. I don’t recall when I learned it, this piece of trivial trivia, but it applies as well to a lover’s name. 


God Made – Man Made

what’s good?
what’s bad?
who’s happy?
what’s sad?
why can’t I listen 
when teachers talk in class?
Lifes yet to be solved by math
and I just don’t know how to act. 
When your values gone,
who’s still got your back?
Is your light bulb on
or are you just seeing black?
When imagined people
deny your real feelings.
If you were never alive,
was there ever really a killing?


A Summer Poem

Poem 7, June 7

A summer Poem

I walk past the thorn tree,
wet with rainwater, a sagging limb
with a thorn pricks down into my head.

Before I have bled,
I shake the branch I need to trim.
A startled dove leaves her nest. She

brings a moment of rejoicing,
to me for poetry, to her for love & hope
of new life to come, voicing from her wings.


Off On Tuesday

Two weeks have slipped away
Since last your voice
Tumbled through my eardrum
Mentioning how
You’re off on Tuesdays
How we need to meet
On a park bench
On a skyscrape
For what?

If anyone you call an angel
Brings daylight to your life
I am eclipsed
Relegated back to polar nights
In arctic cells.
Forget any memory built
When splitting bottles of wine
Or opportunities coming
In milestone celebrations.

All I am to you is
A couple numbers on a clock
The X on your calendar

Still I would love
Every minute of myself
Given to you, but I won’t
Unless I had a promise from you
To be remembered
Like on a day like today
Off on Tuesday

Oh, but when we finally meet again
We could fall back in so easily
If I let it happen.
Just wish you could recognize
That ability to forgive
Is the same as love.