Posts for June 15, 2023

Registration photo of Shaun Turner for the LexPoMo 2023 Writing Challenge.

Are Poetica

The last time I felt at ease anywhere under the sun,
I couldn’t tell you. But I do remember how it shines–
its warmth on my face. When I was young, too bright
for my own good, I believed in the sooth of others, on
depending on it. I guess I still almost do. I’ve my old
wounds. Years later, after several someones scrawled
their sun on my heart, I found this a separate kind
of theft, like summer dissolving into a moody winter
for the lack of fall. It’s no wonder our circles narrow, on
and on. But it doesn’t have to be an unrelenting spiral.
I write wound and share this queer and distant grieving
so that someone may read it, and for a second, find
in themselves some kind of familar space, our shared
distant and half-remembered home. 


Excerpts from a haze of awakening this morning

The Ancient Greeks understood
that everything is already written
but in every moment being created

We’re well into summer
The air is like a warm bath
with eddies of silken cool

It’s a surreal morning, just before noon
The cold air of last night gave way
I had a full sweat suit on
in the middle of June

I’ve always written prose
never tried to win the roses
too many euthanized on the track

The man with his crow children
passes with his cat baby
in a carriage
taking his cat to the park

I’ve put a cigarette out the night before
after just one puff
and that’s what I’m drinking now
with coffee made by the plaid brigade

Snapdragon Ale 8
create your fate
don’t hesitate
All the things made with the intention to change the world
actually do
what white mice are moving the levers behind your scenery?

Tiny yellow clover flowers hold their own
near the herculean tomato plants
Grizzly bears etching their way onto canvas
A few hours ticked off
onto thirteen thousand sheets of paper

Scrumbling your insides
shiso pineapple tea
The dots in the notebook
all pimbly-tumbly

The Fool, the grey eminence
The stool, the earthy smell of shit
Joe Pesci has your back,
if you’d listen

Pits fallen into pits
Pith encased
The truth waving from
atop the Straight up Kitten’s tail

You brought your banner over last night
The one you printed off tiki tok
the one you cut out on the dotted lines
and you banged it into the doorjamb
using railroad spikes and a sledgehammer
at one in the morning
disrupted the sleepy ones laying above

This label and this label and this label
-all to say there are
endless labels for us,
we’re just human
We deserve kindness,
we are excused from this
staunch water boarding of false wisdom


The Husband, The Son, The Photographer

We stood on the bridge and 
watched him wade into the river 
from the opposite bank
camera held above his head
toward a loose cluster of people,
some waist-deep in the water
near the pastor and the child.

Baptisms like this used to happen here 
nearly every Sunday in summer, 
my mother-in-law said. 

This was his favorite way to take photos–
camera in one hand above his head,
like the pastor holding up one hand 
to the blue sky above an arch of trees.
These he would edit in black and white
for Monday’s paper:
the sleeve of the pastor’s white robe a water-heavy triangle,
the child holding her nose,
people on the shore a blur in the background.

From the bridge, 
we couldn’t hear the shutter
or the pastor’s words,
only some splashing when
the girl rose again
and then a spatter of applause from the congregants.

We clapped, too, and
wiping her eyes, 
my mother-in-law nodded toward the photographer,
who now was shaking folks’ hands,
and said, You know, I wanted him to grow up 
going to church, but…I think
he turned out all right.

Registration photo of DadaDaedalus for the LexPoMo 2023 Writing Challenge.

No Good


I have become docile 
groveling and for what cause
else than see ego less deflated
can it go down any further
warbling as terror overtakes 
slips hands beneath garments
enclose me so I ferment alone
offkey hums echo in my lone chamber
feelings aren’t permitted
you dim witted sissy
until lining the page in poetica
you must keep feelings in bay 
to be ejected over civilian centers
but now it’s just me and you 
tiptoeing through cirrus fields of tulips  
until we face our music
will it be R or B 
will I be given the tiniest choice
how and when my soul is loosed
from this avatar I am imprisoned in as of yet?

Registration photo of Ann Haney for the LexPoMo 2023 Writing Challenge.


Tall and towering
in my early years
when I walked
into her bedroom
I would spy
on her porcelain
dresser tray
loose powder
jewelry in a dish
a string of pearls
the cobalt blue glass of
Midnight in Paris
Her scent
followed her
for years beyond
into her later days
she famously choose
jazzy prints
short heels
aqua and gold
a flair for color
costume jewelry
big brassy earrings
copper band bracelets
Her gray hair
now swept up,
a large braided
gray hairpiece
like a crown
sat atop her head,
the abundance
her long hair of youth
that fanned out
across her bed
as stories go
into the shape of
a large circle
like the Round House
where trains
turned around
upon arriving
in the little town
of her origin
Empress of Love
was born 

Registration photo of Sam Arthurs for the LexPoMo 2023 Writing Challenge.


I thought I saw a shooting star 
Overhead once, years ago
Turns out it was just a satellite
Transversing the heavens
I made a wish anyway


Elhers Danlos

Some nights 
The pain rises
From deep within
An ache hard-pressed 
Scraped fresh off the bone
Ripped from the muscle memory 
Welded to the underside of my flesh 
Like a sodder to a flame
Trekking it’s way 
From the hemispheres 
In my brain 
Etching down my spine
To the tips of my toes
Igniting a fire 
Which I can’t put out
All I can do is hope 
I can breathe 
Through the “struggle “
Just another day 
In “my neighborhood “
Called my body
A hidden battleground 
Waging the daily war 
That I didn’t ask to fight 
I’ve been waving my white flag 
For far too long 
Every night I surrender
Every day I try again. 
No one is coming
To save me. 
There is no place 
To retreat to 
There is no backup plan 
With teeth gritted 
Sleep far away
Maybe tomorrow 
Will be a better day?


The End

She should have died here,
on the screened porch, in a rocking
chair she bought at a flea market
and painted red. At the end of
a common summer day of swimming 
and grilling and walks in the woods.
Late evening, with the light
still lingering around the edges
of the sky. Grandchildren sleeping
or giggling in the cottage behind her.
A broken-spined paperback, pages 
thick and soft from re-reading, face
down beside her. Her eyes would close,
open, close again, each interval
longer, as her breath came slower
and her battered heart moved gently
toward stopping. 


The Green of Home

Visiting natve trees,
a reminder of the woods
where I use to wander. 
Smooth sumac, buckeyes,
growing under or along 
edges of a canopy made
of mulberry and oak,
red maple and hickory. 
Walnut trees and white pines
along with cedar, dogwood and
redbud filled my childhood 
yard, cooling the summer air
and hosting birds who sang
from the early morning 
Mockingbird to dusk’s sweet
Whippoorwill lulling us to sleep.
Trees were my climbing walls,
hiding places, roof for my tent
made of old bed sheets draped 
over branches. Spring peepers
sang a song of mimosa blossoms 
and forsythia blooming beside
a dusty driveway that trailed 
off toward the outside world.
The green world of trees
let me breathe dreams of home. 

KW  6/15/23



Charlie Jane Anders

begins her novel

Victories Greater Than Death

with a protagonist

who has a beacon

inside her

full of starlight

that some day

will be released.

It’s such a great metaphor

for being trans,

for being closeted,

the desire

to let that beauty

escape from you

without always thinking

about the consequences,

so pregnant

with something amazing,

never knowing

when it will get

the chance

to shine.