Posts for June 30, 2021 (page 2)


Tonight at the Open Mic

The post-COVID crowd was small,
regulars from fifteen months ago,
a random dude from Boulder, CO.

In spite of the small crowd, poets 
insisted on the f-word. Some open
mic tropes remain undefeated.

Praise to the bar tender who poured
my bourbon. Praise to the former
poet laureate who read undeterred.
Praise to the MC who encouraged
a diminished crowd. Praise to the
former host who showed up late
and read under duress. Praise poetry
and communion and old friends and
new friends and poetry months and
praise pens and pencils and paper.
Praise me and praise you and praise
and praise and praise praise praise. 


Feelings on changes a year makes

I shan’t do it, I won’t play the
 cynic today: last year I wrote 
 despondent, “topographically al
 one” and it wasn’t the truth, I
just couldn’t see the lie I told
 myself — you are only as far aw
ay from others as you pretend to
 be, only the self, imagined in 
your now. Why this reversal? Aft
er all, what can happen in a yea
r to make such drastic change? I
 suppose simply this—I am neithe
r, nor, both, and, between, beyo
nd. They are not as separate as 
I would like them to be. Today, 
then, I revel in another version
of myself, a me that comes and g
oes cyclical, periodic, undeterm
ined, interminable. Saying what 
shall come after, I’ve come to r
ealize is unfair to it itself an
d to what came before; it preclu
des the in-between, the forks, t
he choices. Maybe that’s what it
was, the choices, those scary mo
nsters in my closet, waiting unt
il I, fast asleep, defenseless, 
could be consumed. The current i
s as it always was, something in
 which to swim, overtaking, over
taken, the struggle and the chan
ge. But I won’t pretend I’m ther
e by myself when others surround



I think it’s lovely


the world shares a moon


and that when we need a breather


we can look to the sky

and find comfort



that we are not alone,


that there are others

who share the pain

and turn to the moon

and get lost in its resplendent smile







The Senate vote was unanimous!
Unheard of, a miracle?

Or another excuse to take a day off of culpability —
Dressed in celebration, wrapped in a pretty bow.
                                                                        Another flag planted in the soil of self-righteousness
                                                                                                 To claim pride in expanding freedoms
As we still stuff so many dark lives into cages, into graves
Then scoff at the audacity, hope to curtail

freedom to pray, to fight for our country

It’s the wrong time and place if it’s on a sporting field
                                                                            And some try to quell critical thinking that maybe
                                                                                                           More richness, more complexity,
more humanity and inhumanity,

more struggle, sadness and shame
Colors the history and the present of
A beloved nation

                                                                                                               estranged from her freedoms.
                                                                   Sometimes picky about which children she’ll embrace.
Alternately sheltering and suffocating in her hugs
the huddled masses yearning to breathe free

Our vote to cheer for freedom and fairness?

Our willingness to dig in the shit

to plant and nurture those ideals?

Well, that’s a bit too stinky to stand together on.
And it’s not just skin-deep.

Proud to be an American

Pride month in every city and town
Companies joining in with their “pride”
                                                                                         Or maybe just proud to take advantage
                                                                                              To advertise and play opposite sides
                                                                                                              Rather than to take a stand
Against making people fear
What’s in their pants, in their minds,
An inquisition, a rape in the name of
“Protecting women and girls”
                                                                                        While making a punchline of their pain
                                                                 Discounting some as irresponsible, drunken whores
While dismissing as harmless the actions
Of an often pasty club of responsible drunken whores
Whose members stand upright
                                                                                              Protecting unborn babies from death
Careless of their lives once they’re able

To cry out for help,
for freedom, for justice
                                                                          For no more trauma in active shooter drills

                                                                                      Why not abolish active shooters instead?
Is that done with more laws to control the lawful
                                                                              Or maybe Rambo waiting at the school door?

How can
care and safety for our country

                                                                                                  Take on so many disparate forms,
Fuel so many vicious arguments,
                                                                                                      Be unanimously un-unanimous
So animous – hot, resolute,

                                                                                                                   A simmering volcano of
American sentiment
Stirred by the belief
that all other ideas are

To notice, to think, to speak the truth
The complexity
                                                                                     It’s unAmerican to notice the problems
It’s unAmerican to pretend they’re not there
                                                                                                                Unanimously dissenting

May it bring us more toward balance
And toward a shared hope
A vote for the best this country has to offer
That could even sometimes be


Sunday’s School

If Sunday had been another day,
Perhaps Wednesday would be our time to pray?
Even Tuesday or Thursday could host our day of prayers,
while the others were for curses and swears.
Friday could be the day for pondering and reflection,
leaving all others for complaints and rejection.
Even Mondays might stand the test,
as this traditional day of rest.
Saturday could lend its time for love and praise.
Oh, if Sunday had been other days.



(My) Voice

My voice
is just one big puzzle
made up of pieces of everyone else
that don’t quite fit together.

Everything I say
comes from someone else’s mouth first.
I’m not funny
I just steal from friends who are.
I don’t have a way with words,
I just listen to people who did.

My voice is screaming inside of me
to come out and 
say something
but it’s trapped behind 
all the stolen words
crowded in my head.

As one voice goes out
another comes in 
and I’m no closer
to finding my own.

No one has ever heard
my true voice out in the open-
not even me.
But everyone seems satisfied
with this broken collage of others
that makes up me.

And I wonder
if I were to speak as
just me…

would they still want to listen?


To Tell You

I have to let you know that Mama’s dying
And I don’t know how long it will take

We’ve been trapped inside 
    this disease for about ten years
I left her early in that time
     but for at least four years

She tried to buy me plane tickets
to see her

Reaching out from the inside trap
Straining to free thought
     through speech

Neutrons hopscotch
Over plaque cells
      Electrifying life

Sometimes less frequent
     Soon none
A sweet smile left for all

Plaque chokes slowly.  
      Memory fades
             and goes

Now, do you know?



we like to rewind
injuries as much as any
play in the game


A Map to the Beginning

The end of anything

Always has a weird feeling

The end of a book,

A movie,

A song,

A season,

A relationship,

A life.

Sometimes we feel lost

Or don’t know how to cope

Or what to do next,

But that saying they say

Is turning out to be a little bit true

‘The end is just the beginning’

Nothing ever just stops

And things usually get better

You read the sequel,

You find similar movies,

Find songs from the same artist,

Plan more adventures,

Meet new people,

Or find something peaceful

Whenever you are lost,

Make a map

Cry it out and then keep going

We can’t be afraid of the end

Because we don’t know what’s beyond it.

It all works out in the end,

And then becomes a new beginning


Our Dinner June 30th Haiku


Silver fork pulls meat
           Sweet king crab legs for dinner
                     More warm butter–please?