POEMS

 

 

Elegy for a Stalker

 

 

His preference for walking passed him by

like the amulets of a stranger’s eyes

 

floating in the ashtray of a sunken car

that raised him like a resurrected Rambler.

 

He loved that watery stare, the decision

to dive and risk hitting bottom,

 

to drink from those face’s chaotic years

drunk at the Aquatic Tornado.

 

Praying for the violence of vision,

for windshield wipers in a southern storm

 

to stop near a cave in the heart of Kentucky,

girls became names, on boys that were rocks,

 

carved in the moss of a pitch black world,

the museum of blind beginnings.

 

 

 

 

 

Tanning on the Way to Cincinnati

 

You rose without permission one inch at a time,

no awareness of height or the chaotic current

 

climbing the painted flood gate walls

where a waterfall studded with Appalachian gems

 

descended on Portsmouth like a drunken Achelous

out of his mind with fever.

 

This was the sky showing earth who’s boss,

driving the sun to its knees.

 

This was a river’s saxophone song,

a sultry brown spill of mayhem and mud

 

cleansing the ground like Sexton’s last smoke,

a puff of desolation and a double martini.

 

What was it like to be plunged in peril,

like a truck tire shredded on the bank of remorse

 

or a Barbie doll floating on a Bengal’s back,

tanning on the way to Cincinnati?

The above poems from Duck Lake Journal

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Anthem

 

 

Isn’t this       what the body       becomes    

                 line after lung            after lips drooling words

 

a national hymn          of critical concerns

                       for answers      to the bleed      the break &

 

the burn &       why the spine’s        binder of dust

                                 opening & closing        day after day

 

becomes a pole       at the end of the street

               to fly something no one     would die for or keep

 

folded                 within themselves?

                     We’ve all stood               too long in the rain

 

the palm of our hands       blinding a heart

                                everyone hoped       was dying to stay

 

as long as the              anthem played.

                           Isn’t this what      the body     becomes?

 

Bloodstone Song

 

Angels hold me         now   

      halfway          between ballroom        & beast             

                                                              

a place     on the map wrinkled    by sweat

        my fearful hand      is forced           to provide         

                                                                

so you         can fully comprehend     

        the torment               of winged things      

                                                             

that fluttering fall love       strips you with      

                  before        suffering’s arterial river

 

drags you       downstream to a      cradle’s rock   

         where lips    are taught a           bloodstone song       

 

the ripple of                becoming.

The above poems from Portland Metrozine

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Sinners in the State of Remission

 

 

And still something more had to happen:

still, you washed my face with your lips,

after soaking the cloth of your tongue with tears.

 

We made salvation for dinner. Our ribs

became ladders to god, so God could climb down

and eat at our table, our boat on the lake of fire.

 

I baptized you in the name of the room

we promised to never leave. Walls blazed with the heat

of repentance, as if saved one last time.

 

As if heaven was that time. But God forgot

we were not ghosts and painted our bodies blue

to blend with the Spirit’s hypoxic eyes.

 

After all the ways we believed and didn’t.

That only the chosen make the list. That faith is not

a sweetener used to make death a little less bitter.

 

Like sirens church bells whispered inside the

the steeple’s abandoned tower. Locking the door

from inside, You said love rusts like an altar boy’s belt

 

if not rang by the angel of light. Kneeling we heard

the calcium spark like steel off the nails of Calvary.

Time surrendered to eternity’s whip of lavender’s

 

bruised, avenging stem, where lashing became

the tender thing, a sacrament for the troubled ones,

for those who swallowed the miracle whole.

From Isthmus Review

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Familiar

 

 

 

He said,    this is my favorite word

                                  because nothing ever is    said it

 

like silk     in a caterpillar’s dream   said it

                            like praise for a           porn stars bed   

 

for keeping him safe       honest & willing   

                                to live by         rules of attachment.    

   

He used it like floss      to clean the past   

                 off my bleeding gums       taming the hours

 

loneliness made       out of whips

                              & wonder.  Offering what remained   

 

of me to test the minute’s   lashing tongue

                     I crushed the clock   with trembling hands

 

sparing us both       that wicked date

                                  with everything        I couldn’t say.

From Bluestem Magazine

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