Posts for June 3, 2021 (page 2)


Mom Cimprich in the Bardo

Go flag down the prophet Elisha
as he pads down Magill Road
and make him come in here.
Tell him to stretch out on Mom,
in the hospice hospital bed
and lay down on her three times
until she sneezes hard.

We want her back, the one
who birthed and diapered
us surviving seven.
(She’d often say that when
she washed that last diaper
she could run it up the flagpole.)

How she appreciated the slants of all
the successive mortarboards that crowned
her eldest, John, at each degree.

Jim came round to help out or
for joy rides along the roads
of Preble and Butler Counties.

Back home when not tuned in
to Eternal Word television, she liked
watch Joe out her window planting
his rows and rows of soybeans, corn or hay.

Her interior decorator Marianne 
also kept her dressed in clothes she liked.

She loved eating cocktail shrimp, the ones
that Cindy set out on the kitchen island,
each Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day.

One day she saw the Eastern Bluebird
land and rest on David’s finger;
and another time she caught the grandaughter
who sluced forth from her youngest, Laura.

Will anyone else ever bake for us
so many loaves of kolache
or pour the honey dripping
over the Christmas oplatki?

Yeah, sure, Elisha said after
he’d been told all this. Her cat
jumped off her pillow.  The prophet
stretched his body out on hers,
lips to lips, heart to heart, palms to palms,
soles to soles. All waited.

He arose. He turned to us
and said he’d heard a whisper.
You can hardly know the ways
that she’s to be. She says
what she wants now
fresh air.  Catalpa blossom breath
came in the window being opened.


Ode to Dew (dadaist inspired)

An orchid paled and pruned by a raw southern tongue.
(dire be) The flowers veins as ripe as a grapevines, snipped
by Silt, a haloed boy who sought war.
To the north crained a triumph,
fought amongst insect and cobweb (the cell and sin).
Where Twine, an infant, weeped a pheromoneic symphony
and there, in the pushes of battle, Fennel and Tin dwaled!
Wanting the sealess fatalities to end.

After the moon had dizzied 
with the passage of time,
after the mossy shores had stitched, 
the war collapsed. 
Proving to breathless; 
A rhyme is better than a pale grasp.


Lineage of Men

I’ve always been punished
for wanting more than 
they told me I deserved
by those that saw me
as my father
and his father
believed that I would make
the same mistakes
because I’m a man
and men didn’t have emotion
couldn’t love like women
set up to disappoint those
who believed themselves

and to those
that see me 
that way
take a moment
and look
a fucking


Carpe Diem

I remember the moment I fell for you.
I wanted to sniff your hair
in the dark

and wrap a curl arround my index finger
if we made love.

I close my eyes and write other moments,
weaving words into verse.
I find myself on Jack’s Knob
in winter, brown leaves
crunching beneath my feet as snow falls or

I find myself on Hay Creek in April,
wading clear water where Red Horse
spawn as twilight gives way to night,
but thunder in the southwest cuts short
those images.

I sit on a bench in Heidelberg, Germany,
the memory of it vidid, looking up hill
toward  a castle I could not see
although it called to me, as inviting as
you were the moment I fell for you.

I stand at home alone, typing on a keyboard,
and I remember swimming beneath the falls
in Crystalina, Brazil, sparkling like your eyes
did when I wanted to sniff your hair
in the dark.

I stood once above Cumberland Falls,
the moon bow bright below,
I wish it could have shined 
on your hair when I curled it
around my index finger.

I stand alone, remembering how
I walked Trafalger Square at night,
moving against the crowd the way
I did on Poros, Greece
above Zorba’s Taverna.

I type words. 
I close my eyes.
You cannot hide within a heart ache.
I remember the moment I fell for you
and you will always be there in the dark.


Cinquain for the Gentry

It is
the third of June,
no talk of Billy Joe.
The Talahatchy Bridge–


dissociate / Xbox

hasn’t been

long enough

since i had to                    wrestle

          a camera
                                   worse than

a panoramic pankration

(where all’s fair but eyes and dicks)

(where you break your neck

to break the agon’s ankles

before you’d ever beg off agony)



again and again

3rd person hitched like a                    bucking


to the wagon of my




goddamnit who even playtested this game?


Conversations with the dead

[History is] our conversation with the dead, and we practice a kind of ventriloquism in order to hear from the other side. – Mary Beard

Actually, ventriloquism is just a conversation
with oneself, whereas history as we practice it
is more like a séance: we sit in the dark
holding hands and hoping for illumination
of any kind, but all we get is vague thumping
and the occasional cryptic knock.


Kingdom economy



in the economy of abundance there is plenty
and we feed each others’ chicks so none go hungry
and there is enough for all
because we have learned the art of generosity
and use the gifts we have today
instead of clinging onto them for tomorrow


Sun Ceremony

Sharp flashes of afternoon light glint
off the water, force my gaze
away. Like Moses,

I remove my sandals. Anointed with
sunscreen, I present my bare skin
to the sun like an offering

on some primitive altar. Waves chant
the words of the rite, rhythmic
and indecipherable,

only their whispers washing up,
gold-trimmed and holy.


A Curious Etymology

Did you know the English word /morgue/ came to us from the Archaic French
verb /morguer/: to look solemnly? At one time, at the Grand Châtelet / in Paris /
on the Seine, below the streets / below the courts / below the police, you

could descend to the basement / the lowest level / la basse-geôle and peer through
open wrought iron grating in an aged, heavy oak door, more functional / less elaborate,
than the ornately carved cedar one at the entry portal of the courts. Through that grill,

you would glimpse the bodies, stripped bare / they don’t know any different / strewn
about recklessly / they’re dead, aren’t they? / on the unkempt stone floor, on display,
for the staff to confirm death, for the public to identify / to recognize / to call out

for a beloved. In a stumble towards decency, to avoid bad humors / to quench a stench,
they moved those souls to more solemn accommodations at the place du Marché-Neuf
on the Ile-de-la-Cité, to a grand exhibit hall all their own with an obscene expanse of glass

to accommodate the growing crowd. Each body was given its own marble pedestal
with a constant drip of cold water to preserve the mass of tissue and fascia; clothing
neatly displayed behind / amid fragrant blooms of orange trees, jonquils, jasmine,

and muscadine roses. Built in the Greek tradition for its own peculiar purpose, La Morgue,
was fashioned as an architectural splendor, a government efficiency where bodies caught
in the nets at St. Cloud easily arrive by boat, a hygienic achievement where scientists determine

when the soul had departed, a spiritual temple at which community could pray for these lost
as they gazed, and, maybe, identify a singular body or – always one for spectacle, always one
for show – all of us voyeurs, may examine our own intentions, even admit a morbid curiosity.