Try to See It My Way


i’m yellow i blast
to which you snort
stop being difficult

then ho as all hum
you barter for blue
apparently because
it matches the sofa

[inspired by Mama Zen to show my signature color for Real Toads]
reminds me of The Beatles song “We Can Work It Out”

I Might Buy You a Mallet

PicCollagewhen I forgot the onions
it was weird and we wondered
what the heck was missing
so i typed it all out for you
because i could see how my
tattered snappy soups
salads and sandwiches page
from quick cooking could be
a tad bit embarrassing
in your new college kitchen
-and you know how we usually wallop
a bag of walnuts with whatever
soup can we have in the cupboard?
you probably shouldn’t do that.
i used to use my mallet
which I swear one of you kids broke
and disposed of secretly
because a heavy-ended mallet
just doesn’t sprout legs
and walk away on its own
now does it?? hmmm
i might buy you a mallet
to crush your walnuts
or a small food processor
-and don’t forget to put a big squeeze
of ketchup on top
a good Tablespoon kiss
before you dig in &mix it all up
with your hands, shape into patties,
and fry it on the pan.

a sort of ingredient list for Real Toads

For My Daughters

On this day can I offer some words
For my daughters? My starry-eyed dreamers
With patterns unknown who waltz with the moon
Disbursing light to the dim of black night
Until daylight destructs their tiptoe dance
My summertime babes well-acquainted with sleep
Makes me dare to say something stupendous:
Let us sleep, Let us sleep, Leave our hearts
In our chests. Leave our soft eyelids closed
They are innocent rose pearls. Keep the sheets
From the day; it’s a blue rungless sky
Don’t wake us to climb, we’ll rise when we rise
Upended from bed ~ a new pretty dream
We can make ourselves a new pretty dream

linked to dVerse Poets

At Jennifer’s House

Allie Brosh's "Hyperbole and a Half"
Allie Brosh’s “Hyperbole and a Half”

At Jennifer’s house there were Barbie’s I neither liked nor understood. Also a poofy dog.

At Jennifer’s house we ate salad with oil & vinegar dressing, but her mom got cancer. So salad didn’t count for much, did it?

At Jennifer’s house there was an upstairs bathroom. We poured liquids from her mom’s medicine cabinet into the bathtub to get a good fizz going, but once we walked in on her mom connecting something to her private parts over the toilet with a string or a tube, so instead we went outside to hang upside-down on her swing set and laughed at this other girl for letting her boobies show when she tried to do like we did.

Between Jennifer’s house and mine was a tree I made her climb and she broke her leg.  She still let me come over after that, and even after I told her to get naked for no apparent reason. Of course, I blamed the naked Barbie’s.

At Jennifer’s house I vacuumed her mom’s rug, which may have made up for my terrible lack of judgment and bossiness as her superior nine-year old neighbor. Jennifer moved away after she got off her crutches.

Jennifer invited me to her new house and her dad let us run behind his truck with the tailgate down so we could hop in the back.

Jennifer’s mom didn’t live in the new house. She wasn’t living at all. Their poofy dog was there. None of it made any sense.

For Real Toads

Is It Hereditary, Father?

 they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity…

Is it hereditary, father?
That we eat sour grapes?

Am I you? I need to write it down
Are my teeth are set on edge?

I blame you for our flare of flesh
For loving the high & imperious sun

I blame you for pride and vigor
The boob tube and sofa set rigor

I’ll tell you I don’t remember Kansas
Basement days or your loaded shotgun

The I-love-everyone-life-is-great-days
Your fists and arms in a fury of rage

I am damn sick of worrying I’m sick like you
Tell me I’m not; that these teeth are my own

after Carolyn Forche’s The Morning Baking

Puff & A Prayer

To think of time—of all that retrospection!
Walt Whitman, To Think of Time

Remember the fertile summers we lined up five beds against the wall beneath the window panes, feeling lucky to catch the breeze flitting across the hill where we would watch for the L.A. Unified
School bus to come chugging up past Mountain High Ski area with a hundred happy campers ready to be greeted by our tail-wagging, white fur-shedding Rookie dog. And everything was regular meals, singing songs, guacamole from Fernando if you asked, and that chalk dragon I drew on the rock retaining wall for the kids. Remember the Animal and Science Guys? Ukelele and Magic Guys?  The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in costume, and that rock star drummer guy still drumming with just one hand. How did he tie that bandana around his head? I never asked. And how was it you came to me once, back in our room with our full bed and four twins, to lay your hand upon my hip socket that felt like bone-on-bone grinding me down a few years to pray for my pain, which I’d gone to the doctor for, but I swear after your touch instantly vanished! At the end of that summer, Jerry the caretaker, asked me to wash Puff the Magic Dragon off from the wall on account of we were renters, and not year-round owners. I never looked back on it until today.

for Real Toads in memory of The Rowdy Ridge Gang Camp

: read what i’m saying :


convinced of my own
influential flapping
my own silly
i associate pressing
whichever lever

take this here lever
::peck : peck : peck::

to the release of some
dearly desired seed
::flap : flap : flap::

and because I’m blind
to the automatic release
of seed : of rain : of light
my seed:for:brains:self
begins to wonder

what did I do to deserve this?
and can I keep it up?
why yes i can : why yes i can

::peck : peck : peck::
::flap : flap : flap::

::type : type : type::

for Real Toads


Shaving the Carrot

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius

My boyfriend’s Mom

Said I’d be worth a lick

Said I’d make a good wife

Because she saw what I was doing

Shaving the carrot she handed me

In the definite right direction

Letting the peels fall away from me

–Deciding he wasn’t worth a lick

I let the peels fall away from me

for APED

In This Town We Find


in this town we find
there is a closed bridge
&i want to cross it so badly i pout
until you say, okay, even though it’s dangerous
even though the man on the tracks might blow his whistle
&turn us in for slipping past the chains
&what about the furthermore?
what if our love collapses on the bridge
and we lose our pictures? or my hair gets wet?

so the bridge shakes its rusty steel and wire snaps
&i hear the rail man’s burly voice lifting my wet body from the river
saying, “she had no place” like wake people say, “it’s a goddamned shame”
&right about then, to my surprise
&absolute delight
you start running across the slipshod planks &so do i
&the weight of us running across the bouncing bridge is thrilling

&it is dangerous
knowing we may become unhinged at any moment
over the rocks we cannot identify below us
with the water burbling over the tops of their backs
in this weave of water we don’t know the name for

Real Toads Tuesday Platform