Category
Poem

i’m getting better (i think)

downtown shops
i spent too much money
but that seems to be great
not because it wasn’t wasted
or that the world seems to be normal
or even that i had fun
i bought clothes for myself
i used to hate doing that
trying on dresses, skirts, shirts
only to find that they never fit
the feeling was hopeless
so it seems to be a glimmer of hope
that maybe i’ll be better
no, i will be better

Category
Poem

blue house

The first thing we found when we moved in:
a tiny plastic bone from
the game Operation
From then I think we couldn’t help
but leave traces of us, too

A hair in the gap between
the countertop and oven
A sprinkle of ground breakfast blend
beneath the microwave
A pyramid of used toilet paper rolls in
the corner of the bathroom
because the recycling bin is
all the way in the kitchen

There are pieces of us on these surfaces
on these floors
in the creases where the walls meet
We leave more
in the spaces between

Category
Poem

I Resent the Person Who Said No Decision Is Still a Decision Because They Were Right

I’m waiting where the road meets the sun
We didn’t agree to meet there
But that’s the place all the songs that played your name sang about 

It wasn’t always an easy time
But then, there were stretches I forgot I was waiting at all
I grew up, ticked boxes off my list
And got used to it because I had to

Maybe there was room for someone else 
But I’m the girl who doesn’t know shit about love
and there is no lesson, there are no teachers here
I eat the heart out of homemade dinners
and float on my back, a queen
who will waste it all by just sitting there

But if I’m right
I’ll meet you here
and we’ll take that walk 
where the road meets the sun

Category
Poem

I have been wanting to tell you

The crazy Rose of Sharon finally died.
It kept leaning to the East and got too tall to trim,
the last spray of flowers, purple and white mixed, were way at the top.
I think you would have told me it was a nuisance shrub
and to get rid of it, or at least make it behave.  

I noticed recently that it was truly bare- 
We started to cut it down a few times before,
but it was so brave to just keep growing and blooming
in its crooked, exuberant way-that we left it alone.  

We didn’t know this past Spring would be its last,
it leafed out as usual but is now kaput, as Pops would say.
It has dozens of offspring, even a few across the road-
we have potted them up and given them away,
but they just keep coming. I guess it isn’t really gone.

Category
Poem

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. 

Category
Poem

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
me

Category
Poem

Euphoria

I think it’s lovely

that

the world shares a moon

 

and that when we need a breather

 

we can look to the sky

and find comfort

 

knowing,

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

 

 

 

 

Category
Poem

Unanimous

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?
Unanimous!

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

unAmerican.
                                                                                                                                              Divisive
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
Unanimous.
Category
Poem

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.
.

 

Category
Poem

(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?