Posts for June 15, 2021


Strange Face Illusion

he stared in abject horror 
at his rippled reflection
that refracted back skyward
from the watery surface
disbelief soaked his conscience
a silent creep of apprehension
cascaded down his body
slow at a funeral pace 
Troxler strange face illusion
his muted visage altered
as the death knell rang clear
his secret self appearing
as the twisted monster
he had always concealed
now perceptible to all
his truth exposed, unmasked


The Words they Said

they told my ex-wife
that they were sorry
she was knocked up
by a man like me

still a boy who played
video games and music
chased big dreams
that someone as poor 
as us
wouldn’t ever achieve
how I went to college
so I could avoid a real job
bound to inheret 
his father’s drinking habits

they’re still in the same places
doing the same things 
with small mind and big false fears

tonight I allowed them through memories
to hold them to the light to see
if any of them were worth keeping
placed them in the shelves of memory
between tall stalks of corn
that I used to hide in
and the oak deep in the woods
with a rope swing

and I’m glad
to be rid of them
there’s no room for clutter


Competing (But Make it Online)

People from across the nation
met in my bedroom today.
They met in kitchens,
basements, living rooms,
and anywhere else with a plain background
and reliable Wi-Fi.

Dressed up for performances 
to blank screens
and empty rooms. 
Words were shared 
over cheap computer speakers
with no less passion than they would be
in a room of thousands.

Beneath the cameras,
we perform in slippers
or have pets winding around our feet.
From the other room
comes the sound of the outside world,
breaking into our sacred one.

Nine squares on a screen,
each housing an individual
with a story to tell.
There are no large crowds,
no eyes to meet,
no hands to shake.

But there are voices,
and despite it all
they are still being heard
by invisible audiences
that are still listening.

Here’s to this year
and to the next,
when we can put the voices
to faces once more.


Dad’s Dad

Grandma and Grandpa Bollman lived on Brookline in Mount Washington.
Grandpa would take us to fly kites in a field
which would one day become Beechmont mall

Memories of dad’s dad are few

Looking over his glasses at us
dark skin in summer
his smile a bright white contrast

The garage was his workshop

He invented things there,
like the kite string winder that prevented tangles and string burns
One hot day he steps away from his work,  hooks up the hose for us 
a stream of water runs down a valley in the driveway
making a temporary river for stick boats to float swift and wild 

Heavenly cool in bare feet.


Love poem to a tree in late February

Still, some over-wintered
oak leaves will hang fast.  Until
sap rises in the spring, like jilted
lover’s, they will cling with hollow shafts, to the
frolic of the summer past.  But soon, as old loves
whisk away, a bud, already taken shape, awaits
on twig tip for its single chance to dance into a daylight
waltz with Sun and wind and rain.  How we anticipate
the unfurled bliss of that first vernal kiss,
a story many times been told, this
ode to photosynthesis.


it was the seventies

my father lived
his whole life innocent 
as flowers 

trusting his
god admiring Richard

he cried like rain
learning about the crimes
and the lies 

The Pentagon Papers released 50 years ago this week .


help wanted!

help wanted!:


i’ve started looking for a new therapist today

a reminder that:



learn about my discrimination

before you offer advice about my discrimination



A: Lifeishort and

death is

B: I’m on a moratorium. 
A: From what?

B: Nothing,
Waiting for Godot:
Samuel Beckett I am 
or maybe I am tteckeB leumaS
maybe all just some
cute reflection gambit
purposed between processed pages
posted idly while I choose 
to reflect on the not cute
constituting who I am in truth
instead of letting you in. 


Inappropriate Questions

Like insistent lovers,
Some questions muscle their way into our lives,
Shove their assumptions down our throats,
Casually peek up the skirts of our unknowns.

And when we come into our own,
Fit a small peace in the puzzle at hand,

The intruders smirk,
Hurtle us to further places we’re not ready to go.
Not satisfied with the patient progress
Of lingering, waiting, exploring each life step,
They push us toward the next and the next and the next and the next

We tire and revolt
Their liberal peppering sprays us
Into quiet submission
As we wait for the probing to end
The damage of all that pressure
Bursts our lives wide like frozen pipes
And traces our eyes in soul scars
That shock the meddlers into a hush

Until they target the next young pup.


Over the hill

Things went downhill
fast, taking a hairpin
turn for the worse just past
the halfway mark.