Posts for June 5, 2017



This year I cultivate the soil by hand
Use my own back and a hoe and a rake
Instead of my dad’s gas-powered rototiller
To let Creation know that I am serious

Every morning I water what the clouds won’t
And I evict the weeds who squat so quickly
I begin composting kitchen scraps again
Midsummer snacks for adolescent peppers

When a sage plant refuses to grow
And some rosemary only pretends to live
I kindly return them to the dirt

I guide toddling tomato vines up stakes

In the past I’ve tried controlling Nature
But now I only offer suggestions


No siren is waiting or knots in my stomach

I tie simple bowlInes
To pass the time or when I’m nervous
Then up and through
Around and down
Pull tight  
I learned how
Sitting alone on a dock
In western Kentucky sipping 101
I mastered the knot 
In Tortola sipping red stripe tall cans 
Now I’m trying to tie one 
The shaking of my hands
may as well be an s.o.s.
Or a testament to how sobering 
This life has become



I don’t know what’s in me today
It doesn’t feel like much of a poem.
A broken egg yolk
Crumbs stuck to the bottom of my feet
The smell of exhaust trapped in the humidity
I woke up to bees breakfasting 
In the tree outside my window
And was exhausted, but glad


How to Eat Red

Cut the heart out
Eviscerate its flesh
Gorge until bloated
Let the juices glisten on your chin
Want more when it’s gone
Remember it later
Different than it was

(from a prompt from Carole Johnston) 


How Families Hide Secrets

First, they collect them. I tell you

they collect them.  Flattened and stacked—

all facing the same way.  Folded in half

and torn, they multiply.  Folded in half again and 

quartered, they thin down but gain in strength.

Strength is powerful.  So they keep folding 

and inter lapping, folding,

inter lapping, folding…, but 

their hands move so quickly

you can’t see what they are doing.

They move so quickly even they can’t see

what they’re doing.  Even when 

everybody has their eyes open, watching. 

Yet they make lovely picture frames 

to hang in the family room or down the hall. 



Doomsday Device

Doomsday Device

Now in pink
With unlimited data.



Don’t want to forget anything
then what would I do?
each outfit is placed neatly in the suitcase
intended for a specific adventure
helicopter ride, dinner and a show,
wedding ceremony
packing this baggage is easy and exciting
unlike what I pack everyday


The police helicopter swept the sky

The morning was laying
its first deep blue
streak along the limb
of the world as if no blood
had been spilled ever.

(found poem and title – from Phyllis Gotlieb, Violent Stars, p. 139)



Suds and Duds
parking lot
5 lb.s of Chipotle
no way can I finish this ‘fore my clothes dry



being this drunk and hungry takes me to the slippery years of my youth

to the fallen-in ankles stumbling on the ice years of lovelorn

arms out slow spins in the rain freedom

cigarettes on rooftops terror

bottles of wine under my twin bed lonely

to all the things i never thought i would make it to

to all the things i prayed to god i wouldn’t make it to


but i did make it.

and i keep on making it.

every morning I’ve made it

every night I plan how i’ll make it again


this hungry drunk is reminiscent, but it is not mirror

i am not as much terror

i am not as much lonely


i am naked hurricane eye freedom

i am love spread like gold on november

i am me

i am here

i keep going