Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blood IV: Advisory

Wind shifts on a whim
Blood-chilled counsel, "push away"
Fades to gentler, "stay"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blood III: Predatory

Black-tipped wings beat back
Gray wriggling, vision of blood
Gabby gobs twist up

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blood II: Transubstantiation

That this blood could change
Not to wine, but water drops
Freed to feed parched earth

Friday, August 27, 2010

The degradation (and uplift) of advancing technology

It has every right to bare
this clenched fist of a grudge
embittered by techno-Jovian
whims and base transformations

Once delicately formed— two
tips pressed en pointe, three
others elegantly tucked— it
danced with a golden shaft
pulling indigo pirouettes
across a swept ivory stage

Then came the re-pose: a claw’s
arched looming. Unhappiness
fell as five wilted stems,
beggar mouths forced to fumble
toward those impoverished
humps of white-on-black glyph

The other hand is left
complimentary, richly gripped
by understudy glee, being
drawn from a hapless margin

Carolee Sherwood's prompt at Big Tent Poetry this week is to take a "hands-on" approach. I did a comparative study of my hand at work penciling a sketch versus pecking at the keyboard, and this is what resulted. The days of hand-writing poems are long gone, and there may be a wee metaphor in the retelling of the demise. Check out what the hands of the other BTP poets were doing this week here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blood I: Revelation

His blood spills secrets
Tangy trysts, lusts fed full red
A heart disordered

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Conversation with a pesky subconscious

My heart is a squishy stone
I toss out
across this green-gray gloss
mosquitoes skim
but the odds were always slim
it would skip with any vim given
its mix of bulges
and irregular beats
Let’s not mention that
surprising lack of heft
currently keeping it afloat
There it lies not quite flat
a maroon lily pad
I’ll lay piddling wagers
some nomadic creature
can make a home
Maybe the crawdad whose squeak
nothing like a fog-horn warns,
“Frog dress is on the marsh”
I swear I can hear
her bull groaning,
“The slippery bitch
can’t stay clothed”
Newly hitched
this bogged-down daddy’s got
a passel of polliwogs to feed
and he needs
the lean of her tender
slimy legs for support
The crickets and I
might inwardly snigger
but from such
small giggles bred
is the manly laugh of strife
and that’s when
my heart slinks slowly back

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Crazed eyes churn up, wash
away his watery calm
Salt-licked worries spray

Monday, August 23, 2010

To see...

When I saw her, I didn’t see
a girl who girlish wants
to laugh and dance and breathe in
the song of fall scents
the smiles of dainty sunshine
What I saw was a drumbeat
those questions I had to keep
flat-foot stomped down deep
or I’d blurt them out
the dozen how could’s
one hundred why would’s
and a lone what should
this girl do to make it stop
That’s when it finally did
and what I saw was me
uncovering my eyes

This poem is written for Brenda Warren's new site Prompts for G10. Brenda asked writers and poets to contribute to the discussions she will be having with the adolescents in her Montana classroom. The first prompt is to address two excerpts from the YA novel Firegirl.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Uncut memories

Mute grass remembers
One season when scythes didn't chew
Seeds glistened in dew

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rare pebble

Rare pebble, worn smooth
Takes bubbling dares, gives up murk
To gulp at crisp air

(with thanks to dearest human being for her inspiration)

Friday, August 20, 2010


My sins run cold, so
Hold me closely and scold me
I've told you, I'm old

Thursday, August 19, 2010

celebrating the superficiality of all things being made equal

let us join hands
you and i
and tramp down this falling away
road new paved with over-baked schemes
and the shattered
windshield glass from a dream car
we left for dead many miles back
every tire including the spare had blown
and they still hiss their casual tunes
while popped-out
flesh-tone hoses
dangle and sprinkle
a rainbow gloss on black-rimmed puddles
it’s a cause for deepening joy
these shallows won’t
dry up in either of our weened lifetimes
moisten your lips dear
and make that pineapple-sweet whistle
i love to taste
when i dare to plant my tongue there
the food’s long gone
and pots are now for banging
we’ve lost our way
and maps are made for shredding
into playfully themed streamers
we’ll tie in our hair
as we dance off the waning
silky heat of a too-late summer
the sun’s dial is flipping
and bound by those zeros
we’ve gotta go but it’s best
we’re brought low together

This week's Big Tent Poetry prompt is a wordle, that jumbled confection of vocabulary you can see pictured at right. It's a bit of a secret mash-up; the words were taken from an unrevealed but "well-regarded" poet's published poems, so check back in to the BTP site to find out who that was. I'm sure they'd be surprised to see their words put to this particular use :^).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Boredom drifts, no worth
Yielding eyes pry, floorboards creak
Cracks in his settling

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a parable of incomparable talents

when I go
it will be
impossibly late
and I’ll leave you
not multi-talented bars
or pairs of randy ingots
itching to procreate
in a splendid explosion
of golden delight
what I’ll leave you is
a stale-air larder
filled just this once
by dully packaged thoughts
and duller feelings
when I have them
they could only couple
if enlivened with musical prodding
or the sigh effecting benefits
from hands full of mood-altering
so please yourself instead
and don’t
put them to any use
bury them deep
better yet
pile them high on Pyrrhic pyres
where the gathering scorch will send
down leaden puddles
while precious platinum curls rise
up to trickle trickster tears
my greatest possible reward


Horned owl ponders
Origins of specious sky
Calls without response

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Stained-glass wings shatter
This butterfly's carcass lies
Beauty's no trifle

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Age's road wends where
Why's get narrow; How's bend... point
When, he can't defend

Friday, August 13, 2010


What’s mine is
yours what isn’t
all his possessed cheap
and passed on
needle deeds to pour out
the thimbles-
full fitting
nimbly in the shallow
dimples of
a love’s distressed palm.

Its clutch of fare-
well will break
hers down to
beggared bits
so nebulous ours
can’t keep from
matters and oh how
theirs gets circulated

This week at Big Tent Poetry, Cynthia Short invites us to think about our possessions. I've been making a concerted effort to lesson my hold on physical matter, and this piece is an abstraction on possession rather than a focus on any one thing I may "own."

Thursday, August 12, 2010


He speaks speckled grays
Good days gone by tinged with sighs
Her missed spectacles

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

if i had wings, i'd spy

a man cloaked in dust bitten rays skip down the rude lit hall
as a voice calls to him run your fitful bow across my cracked
teacup mouth and draw forth a loosed leaf smile at first
i dismiss it as contrived twaddle one might hear in settings
where silk roses bloom on synthetic counter islands or
a cloth lily wrecks on its maiden voyage mid-way through
a copper sink’s bounded blue but cigarette tip joy burns
peep holes into my cottony resistance it’s a compact thrill
as dense as the peach pit my tooth struck to chip that once
such piquant frissons dissipate into damply aromatic trickles
when the man replies with a tartly rolled lavender bud ready
to burst its pink i’ve the heart of a wobbly kneed boy about
to pull back the tulle cloud on an auburn morn’s feathery
bathers petaled girdle strewn on the slippery rock path
leads up to her dewy lap where luminescent splayed fingers
lay printed hymns when ash trimmed logs fall from his fatty
lips i take the house sparrow’s hasty cue to flap a skyward
exit out from the bony white glow of his unfulfilling promises

At Rallentanda's blog this week, the POW prompt asks us to create a "spotlight poem" (one for which we'll have to answer to commenter's questions) based on 30 words she cleverly arranged on the back of the nude in Man Ray's famous photograph. Check out the other poet's spotlights to get in on the fun.

I don't know what to call this new form I'm playing within, but something about it appeals to me. I'm sure I'll get tired of it, but for now the freedom of these run-on lines feels like the wind's blasting.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Tentacles unfurl
Soft ribs neath aqua-blue tent
Preyed upon's shelter

Monday, August 09, 2010

If the world could teach me, I'd sing

I've had this idea for a media project kicking around in my head for over a year now. The basic idea is to  collect art and poetry from a cross-section of the world's children addressing a single theme. For it to work, there would have to representation from all corners of the globe, and as many diverse cultures as possible.

Right now, the question I've settled on is, "If you could be any creature, real or imagined, what would it be?" (Although that's not final at this point.) The children would be asked to write and/or illustrate their choices with a short explanation.

I know it's an extremely ambitious idea, and to do it right would take a tremendous amount of effort and a good amount of time. I could "crowd source" the initial stages by having kids submit their art electronically to a blog or website, but that would potentially exclude a big demographic. Plus I'd like to find a way to personally visit these communities as much as possible. So, I think there would need to be a bit of both electronic and in-person solicitation for material. Ideally it would be coordinated through local school systems.

As a website, the project could be continually evolving, especially if it's built on an open-source content management platform such as Joomla, where contributors could post their material directly to the site. This would also make it possible to submit all types of media (images, video, audio, etc.).

I'm writing this post as a way to concretize my thoughts on the project, but also to get some feedback and/or suggestions (or even offers of assistance, if you're enthusiastic about the idea).


Salt and pepper lies
Can't disguise gouges he's made
Peculiar pecking

Sunday, August 08, 2010


He'd devise strong vows
Where she comes foremost, and stays
Words are too brittle

Saturday, August 07, 2010


In youth his might could
Brandish ponderous beyonds
Now here's weight crushes

Friday, August 06, 2010

It's merely evilution, my dears

that gurgling brown hunger you feel deep down it wasn’t you
god knows who put it there no it’s only natural it was she
who planted the initial seed grown up into a succulent leaf
frowning nature abhors a vacuum and she wouldn’t couldn’t
endear herself any more if you sustained such a saddeningly
blank space she’s given you the device for devising wickedly
clever ways of consuming it would be a godless shame
to leave the engine idling now what you eat doesn’t mean
as much as the act of eating itself actively naming god’s
creatures great small may not give you dominion or merit
ownership but ingesting them sure does dainty fingered
sentimentality lost her privileged place when steely
eyed invention serendipitously shoved a crappy cushion
throne up to your table’s edge it’s a divine and kingly right
to take your fill with hands nimbly fashioned for taking
all that’s managed eon after eon to crawl out of a world
engendering slime until there’s nothing left but the awful
runny pallid mucous you’ll sneak back to sated at last

This week at Big Tent Poetry, Deb Scott suggests stretching different poetic muscles. I tried to go "against type" (for me) with this unpunctuated, second-person, prosaic block of text. It's inspired by an article I read (The Scales Fall by Elizabeth Kolbert) about the collapse of fisheries in our oceans due to overconsumption. We're at the dawning of what biologist Daniel Pauly describes as the Myxocene epoch in which the seas will give forth only inedible slime.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


His full, moony face
spins on thin neck, reflecting
bright passerby smiles

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Cicada's siren

Cicada's siren
whirs its wayward directions
Crashing waves of heat

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Estos Huesos Hermosos

Still he stalks that road in Andalusia
siempre esta noche
19 Agosto

A bleached-back beast
who plays at fat habits
and gorges at ragged bone buffets
while a wobbly, hobbled silence lifts
then bounds from mound to mound

Their gently dusted humps
eulogized by one faint sound:
an insistent insect hum

Cantan las moscas,
“Aquí están
los desaparecidos”

Seventy four years ago
esta tierra roja
had a terrible thirst

First, she slurped peppery blood
Then, she chewed their salted flesh
Then, she ground down their swollen organs
Lastly, she swallowed
their still tender names
and spit up
a gray welt of trunks to replace them

Aquí, aquí, aquí
he digs, gouging out from the deformed,
hardened bellies what remains he can
to pretty himself with
the discard of another worn-out piece

Perhaps he’ll take our splendid poet’s smoothed ribs
or the natty newspaperman’s polished hip
or that meddling mayor’s sturdy jaw

His parts always need changing, but
los años perdidos
filled so by unchecked appetite
offer no shortage of substitutes
estos huesos hermosos

I got an early start on this week's Poetry on Wednesday prompt, where Rallentanda asked us to take inspiration from the Spanish. August 19, 1936 was the date that Federico García Lorca was summarily executed by Nationalist militia in Granada. The exact whereabouts of his remains (and those of others who were "disappeared" during the Spanish Civil War) is still unknown.

Monday, August 02, 2010


Clepsydra dribbles
bead-moments he can't recall
One life's time dripping

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Pesty he sputters
indeterminate, too kind
Thick ooze trails behind