Posts for June 17, 2021


Kevin #4



you know I ain’t stupid,

and I know you ain’t stupid enough to think I’m stupid, 

so trust me

when I tell you

I know for a fact

that Kevin ain’t no Jack and Jack ain’t no Kevin neither.

But they could’a been,

both of ‘em,

they could’a been.


I’m figurin’ y’all know Jack

or heard of him at least.

I mean, there’s lotsa tales about him and all of ‘em are mostly true

save one.

You know the one I’m talkin’ ‘bout’s a lie, right?

A total


fabricated lie?

It’s got beans in it 

and I’ll be good’n’damned if you ever hear that tale from me,  

because you won’t.

But still,

there’s lotsa other tales ’n pert’near evra’body’s heard ‘em 

so pert’ near evra’bod’ knows Jack

or thinks they do,

e’en if the Jack they think they know is just the lie about the beans.

But Kevin?

Hardly anyone knows Kevin

unless their wife had brought him home to do a piece o’work aroun’ 

the house



unless they had the news on that one night last December

when they showed his picture on the screen

and said Amanda’d shot him dead.



i want to wash away
into the gulf or the sea
in hope that maybe one day
someone would come after me


I Left My Cell Phone in Sunset Park

Didn’t know it until 26-hard-walked blocks, 79-no-breeze
degrees later. My 1st hair appointment in 16 months
cut short by gray, rolling gate—the solid type guarding
Delilah’s Salon, the Greek oasis I sought, shuttered.  

Reached for phone. Not there. No phone to check
for a text about delay or to call to ask what’s up?
No phone to call for help if I became prey to humans
or to cancer dizzied-recovery exacting demands.  

I sought shade in street lamp’s thin shadow, trembled,
exposed. Angled radiated, sun-sensitive skin to shadowed
safe space, sipped water, and pondered options.
I was her 1st appointment, in a city where traffic snarls.  

Waiting seemed fair. I quit panhandling time when folks hurried
by this long-haired, southern-displaced voice calling softly, gently.
The sun bore hard heat, no earth to absorb and buffer. No phone
to check emails, texts, or to play dominoes opened me to a true,   

still way to discover where I landed. Delilah’s Salon and Rice & Beans,
Latino/Hispanic local eatery, formed the 1st floor of a single 5-story-
walkup, red-bricked façade bookended by vacant lots—both fenced,
one red, the other white, invited graffiti’s light and color signatures:  

black tags—no overlapping disrespect and one throw-up bubble-style
spoke bold its author’s name. Grass tufts stubbled the ground
like an old man who forget that shaving mattered.
Rigger Waterproofing advertised between 2 sets of windows—faces  

with lots of stories behind broken blinds, mis-matched curtains,
window gates to keep babies from falling unlike my cousin who died
a year before I was born. One item Rigger advertised intrigued:
brick pointing. Set me to wondering what bricks point out…


Don’t Mess with Midge — A Fable

Her name was Martha
but they called her Midge,
even as she grew
to tower
over other kids,
and sport
adult-sized shoes.

She practiced karate,
and propelled
a mean soccer ball.

Classmates said
Don’t mess with Midge.

She was good at math,
not so good at French,
hated home ec, pulled
B’s and C’s, didn’t
date or get invited
to the prom,
yearned to be
didn’t know what
she wanted
to be.

One day Midge met
a tall, tattooed, rough
biker named Rick,
a hunk with a jagged
scar covering the left
half of his face.

He leered, she stared.
He commanded Get on!
She dared and did.

In short time she dressed
in studded leather, rode
her own monster H-D®,
burned up the road.

Rick trailed      far        far        behind.

Friends say Rick ain’t the man he used to be.


Kidney Duds

I should probably be in the urgent care
My kidneys are duds
I’m in pain
But my tolerance is high
And the stones are still small
So I have to power through


California Hacienda

Those haciendas, home to the wealthy,
los rancheros above the pounding surf,
places where tea was poured for weary travelers,
sanctuary from dust and thorns of the Chapparal.

Their opulence was simple,
Comforts hewn from oak and Torrey Pine,
Fine needle work, their only splendor.

And buried under their feet,
the rooms filled with memory
of the people who were part of the land,

under the archways and rose gardens  
lie the old women and old men
wrapped in blankets woven by forgotten hands,

Cupanas, Kumeyaay, Zuni, Navajo,
they lay sleeping so close,
listening to each other’s snores,
finding no rest in this new world.



I wish I could sat
in that pocket 
where words
alcohol, love, and sex
all meet between 
and up the knees
at the heat of the sun 
can be found
and her breath
finds it’s home
within the bottom
of my lungs
if I could
I think I could
write something
worth a damn


writers block

poetry is hard 
writing is hard
my brain hurts 
body hurts 



I need to start packing,
but something is holding me back.
In my head the list is compiled,
yet my suitcases remain in the closet,
diligently collecting dust.

Which pieces of my home do I take,
and which do I bid farewell to
for a little while?
How can my luggage be nearly big enough
to help me bring along my life?

Eventually it will be done-
clothes folded, bags zipped
and ready to go
with as much of my life
as I can manage to take along.


Down the Drain

Ashes of my past sift,
Cascade through my brain
As the shower spray
Splashes against my face.

The red end of nicotine-like addiction
Burning in a choking love poem long gone.

Poisonous people puppet a shuddering, stumbling me
As I jump to reclaim my own strings.

Aftershocks abound in the snotty mucus trail wake
Of a spineless slug who fathered a decade-old quake
And a beautiful pair of tragically cursed blessings to the world.

The haunting refrain of a once-irresistible tango
Friendship flows to flirting, rolls over for foreplay, dips into more,
To idle posturing, 
Then regret,


Even the most fervent moans 
Are poor consolation
For trusted friends now gone.

Thoughts trickle like water,
Malignancy’s set adrift.
I step into the warm towel of my power,
Leaving my demons behind to drip
Down the drain.