Posts for June 5, 2022


Hypothetical Old White Guy Steps Out, Part 2b

Dream flash:

Nathaniel Jones —



name —

dances The Slider

in a Cincinnati White Castle.


We called his dance “The Slider” ‘cause…


if you don’t know, go Google something

and for slavery’s sake don’t ask me what his race was.


Goddess knows which drug it was that powered him –

him being that huge

but harmless

say-his-name-Nathaniel-Jones –

but whatever drug it was

it’d pushed him all the way from Cleveland south to Cincinnati

in what could have only been one or two hells of a hurry

without so much as a thought

of stopping

and he was hungry when he got here.


Got in line to order but the line was long

so he danced to pass the time.


Didn’t know the cops were called.


Seems there was a woman there in some distress

so the cops were called to help her.


So na-SAY-than-HIS-iel-NAME-jones

danced the three part Slider

as a way to pass the time

while waiting for his order. 


Yep, danced the three part Slider the way we saw it later


surveillance TV:


Part 1: Big man’s slip-‘n’-slidin’.


Part 2: The cops come in and—

C’mon now, friendly human, say the big man’s name

(just skip back up the page if you’ve forgotten)—

like I said, the cops come in

and the big-man-not-in-question decides not to risk it

and boogies his way on out,

which leads us to…


Part 3: Nathaniel Jones—

Did you say his name yet, fellow human?—

stands at the edge

of the White Castle lot 

looking at his city 

as if he’s staring out to sea.   


And then—

Yeah, I know, you knew this would happen—


pushes back when the cops come get him


falls out the bottom of the cop car camera’s dream frame

and I can’t see him dying

and I can’t see him dead.


Dream flash:

On another night

somewhere in drunken Cincinnati 

I’m watching John Travolta on tv 

and I’m thinking,


they’re right,

white men can’t dance,

not really.

Hell, I don’t even trust my sweet white self

to do Phase 1 of The Slider,

so it makes a certain kind of sense

that I don’t dream of Mr. Jones at all,

leastwise not too much. 

But I do wake up sometimes wonderin’

if I don’t dream of him,

do you? 


American Sentence

Laughter trickles downstairs, time fades in clock-tick fan-hum delirium.



It was some kind of mistake
To bolt the door and close the blinds
Just to keep the blues inside
When the remedy was a walk away
Few hundred yards to where the music plays
The wind picks the leaves
The stream strums the reeds
Redeeming shitty songs of yesterday


I’m tired

I’m a morning person,

and this
has got to stop. 

See you tomorrow

at 11:38 p.m. 
that’s better. 


Garden Children

Oh, those aching azalea disco balls swinging on my elegiac elderberry lavish children
Oceaning the rhythm of 1,000 pregnant women dancing to the sound of 2,000 children

Our octopus mom knees fencing with our hips, struggling to be beneath the need to be everywhere. A strong andromeda rhyme bounces on our chest, heard by cows and children

Oh, early spring magnolia music, spread your tiger petal teeth on our almond otter bodies
Undecorated hips seeding the apex of a late winter’s promise, unraveling by plows and children

I vow to write myself a spring eulogy, only regretting falling in love with feeling young
Hear quips of the garden rockcress, the pounding early spring bloom: proud crowns and children

I decide I am the best version of myself I can be. I am an impatient forsythia flourish,
a joke spoken like prayer on a seesaw, I am born anew. The fear of winter wilt: my favorite child



Home is twenty-six feet long,
maybe eight feet wide.
Complete with faux wood
panel, cracked by age
and water damage-stained.

The previous owners tried
to paint the once sodden ceiling.
The sporadic white patches
hinting at a tired father’s
attempt to fix it all.

Sometimes I can feel the life
this RV had before we inherited
all of its projects. The wallpaper,
the cabinets, the colors,
all chosen with great 1980s care.

We’ve only driven her once
to get gas and propane.
Finally, the water is hot—
small spaces make you
appreciate small things—

But every few weeks we scooch
to let the dead grass recover.
The first patch is starting
to show hints of green again,
validating the time passed.

We planned this life to save
money for six months,
but if it rolls into a year
or more, I wouldn’t complain.
We have everything we need:

Two plates, two cups,
two forks, two spoons,
two knives, two cats,
two people hopelessly in love
with a life together.

Now there’s a fresh coat of paint
and we installed our own cabinets.
Someday we’ll get good enough
to drive her without
our belongings in free fall.

Until then, we’ll track time
through a calendar of bare patches
in our parents’ front yard.
As the saying goes,
home is where the heart is.


pinky promise

driving through these city
streets that haven’t felt quite like
home but they linger
in my mind beating on my 
heart with their dying
impacts on my soul which
will soon be home to
another but i’m scared
because i’ve never been
away but it’s okay i
promise it’ll be because
her streets will have new
stains new places to see
and rearrange with finding her 
roaming peace 


C’e Sempre Spazio per di Piu

It used to be Porsche,
The best money can buy  

Pleasing Porsche still remain
Up there with the best

Now newcomers fill their box stalls
You will find them
Pacing, prancing, performing  

Innumerable Tesla, everywhere
Bentley here, no there
An occasional Aston-Martin

Lotus Europa lies languid, waiting
Martinis for Maserati
Ferrari so fiery
Loaded Lamborghini  

Porsche, Tesla, Bentley, Aston-Martin
Lotus, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini
C’e sempre spazio per di piu
There’s always room for more


A night at 56

There were flashes of you
In a dream I once had
Like and old projector reel
when the film is long gone
You under that thin sheet
With a sleek grin
and green eyes
Whispers of promise
That I could taste on
your lips

Our legs and breath
intertwined like vines
In a midsummer heat
Of steam, surreal-ness
and sweat
With your hair flowing
to life above me
As we laughed like
Holding tight to a 

Looking back–your
Sealed the bitter to the 
I couldn’t hold back
such a longing
Even though I knew it
could end
In a moment too soon

Then I wake up and 
you’re gone
Like a bird’s song 
on the breeze
And I’m left to miss you

Every day with you
If I’m dreaming
Don’t wake me up
I can’t believe
We made it


clap when you land

I used to be one of
those people 
who clapped when the plane landed 
before it became 
socially unacceptable
I never let myself fall asleep
while the wheels were up in the air 
because if I let myself focus on something 
other than conversation or a movie
I started thinking about all the ways the plane could crash
all the possibilities for death
who I would try to save
how I would save myself
so I clapped when we landed because 
we were still alive 
and I could finally take a nap