Posts for June 19, 2017


#8BA326 ( 139, 163, 38)

“The king of herbs is dead!
Long live the king of herbs!”
is the thought that comes to mind
while ripping basil in two
and tossing it over sizzling zucchini

no one is home
but me,
no one here to hear a twenty-something
wax etymological,
because his parents have yet to return

and so the dishes sit, prepared
with helpings removed for their preparer who,
not waiting, prepares to
enjoy a meal

what is it about fresh herbs that
make you feel like you accomplished something
instead of simply eking out survival?


The Field

There are fields behind my house
that the cute farm guy-
bails every late July. 

When he does,
I think back to being twelve, 
staring at his sunburn. 

I found corn in the field one day
promptly scaring my sister, 
screaming “Children of the Corn!”
to which she didnt understand 
but ran anyway. 

One summer in those fields, 
I chipped my tooth-
its still chipped. 

And sometimes, 
I go back. 


Subtext Equals Sadness

                                    after Christopher McCurry

“You’re not his real sister,” yelled her siblings after their brother’s death. 

He’s never taken pictures with her or held her hand in public. 

When she went through it, it was ‘no big deal’. Now that he is going through the same thing it’s a nightmare, a disaster.

Her mother gushes over baby clothes the same week as her hysterectomy.

He always calls her Love, she rarely feels any. 



there are so many women who live within me: i am not lonely.

the women with me here in this body, in this minds reach, are strong and they are cowardice, they are loud and silent, they are fire and freeze,
they are myself.

i adopt new women as they are birthed from the earth and sounds become action in the room around me.

woman rises from black coffee, hot and bitter and good.

woman crawls from the mouth of heavy southern accent poetry as its spit into a microphone,
she is honest and new and shaken.


the women i am most lovingly taking into my body are the women born from mans imagination.

i am watching the apparation of her as man scans my figure, he is adding the pretty like sugar and ignoring the folds and pinpricks that don’t fit her figure. once he has worked from the ground up and is crowing her with a mind focused on his needs and desires, the chorus from my throat rips through, her smirk becomes snarl, and man has lost interest in the woman he has made because suddenly she is not his.

orphan pretty woman come to me, we round character, we fill minds, we comfort. pretty woman you are one of the ones within me now, we will make you ugly, we will make you whole.



I can’t hold my arms up anymore.
They’re suddenly the heaviest thing in the world
I can’t pick up my phone and look at another person pretending to have a better time than me.
I can’t pick up the remote and turn on a life I will never live.
I can’t pick up a book and read something I will never be good enough to write.
I can’t.
My arms are too heavy.


hate day

It’s Father’s Day
A day I hate
A person I hate

That’s a lie

A person I love
A person I want
to Hate
is a strong word

He wasn’t there
not for us
but for her
and her
and her
and her

That money in his wallet
was well spent on her
but at home
we went to cash advance
to get our food

I hate this day
I hate you
I hate that I can’t
hate you

Not even a little

Happy Father’s Day.


Red Man

It was your world and you
let me in
The fields replied to you

Your skin was dark from
years of the sun’s kiss
Your hands were scarred from
long days plowing tobacco

Your heart was full when I
asked to help in the barn
You let me draw on the
wooden beams

Your name was tattooed in
blue ink on your arm
sunken in and faded 

You pulled a wad from the
pouch of Red Man and I
said, “Papa, what did your
momma think when you did that?”

“I was one of ten kids, hun. She
didn’t even notice.”



The tap of isolated rain drops writes
on paper leaves. Mosquitos, second instar,
try my ankles. The sun is stirring clouds
and branches, welcome as crow call, wake song
of the cardinal. Insist, sparrow, on your space.  

I took a seat in this arena, listening
to the practice noise, the warm up
of the parts that challenge them. The city
treads mechanically. One church bell, two.
A train clears its throat, again, again.  

The sky is white. The canopy shakes
off shadows, the wind turns my page.
An artist let each seedling try for light.
No mown lawns this side of town, west
of wealth, south of the river, wild.  

The shouts of workers taking cigarettes
to lean against the walls that once enclosed
a yard, but now, a parking lot, empty their anxiety
of coming in the dark, before the morning
had a chance to rise up from their dreams.  

I hear the kettle, know there will be coffee.
I want infusion of tea leaves, picked
by tan hands, sheltered heads trained by straw hats
to see the hems of wealth below them, select
notes for morning of the day in bloom.


Ritual of Serpent Mound

     she’s cunning
knows what i’m doing
when i arrange myself to
observe the swaying walk
full-bodied blue cotton 
print dress that defines &
outlines sinuous curves
     kisses me on the front 
lips the middle the back
all the way to the tongue
sends a pelvic shock
to the end of my toes

                in the fading light
         along the coiling body
of the great earthen effigy
we carry a basket of corn 
          to the open mouth
              feel the swell
                      of its