i can’t tell you where i’ve been

down
a dirt road by I-5

like so many others
i used to search out

lined with some kind
of trees, i can’t tell
you what
for hidden deeds

but today
i woke up in my own
bed, not a grove,

feeling familiar
again

even easy
that i can see the sun
rise

what i mean to say
is that
i’m back

if sunshine matters

::

for Poetic Asides

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the decade when breathing was the worst thing imaginable (1985-1990 something)

i’d notice millions of
living people with casual
legs sitting in the room
too close to me
then i’d notice wild
hairs inside the nose
on my petrified face
up to no damn good
then immediately
or maybe involuntarily
i’d close up my throat
to become otherwise
(invisible) you know
–i never once
died before learning
small talk wasn’t as morbid
as staring at wallpaper flowers
::

i’m not sentimental

woman-with-long-hair-1929.jpg!Large

some girls turn
their roses
upside down

tie them together
at the knees
hang them by their
mirrors

some girls
watch their flowers bleed
watch their faces
wane to colorlessness

some girls become
stranger still
to their
upright selves

some girls meet
sentimentality
while other girls
decree

some loves
must be
clipped
whose sum must not
be saved

::

for Real Toads
and submitted to Verse Escape

‘A’

you’ve been thinking
more than your usual ruts

and i’ve been thinking
’bout that nightmare job

how the frosty haven’t even been
issued a death certificate,

and here you are wanting to change
my name to Always. Always?

i’m awoke now. i ain’t dead yet.
just choking on Al(l)ways

figuring out all the ways
i can start over with an ‘A’

::

for Real Toads
& November PAD Day 1

that’s not even a word,

but i’ll go along with you
as if it were
admissible

like
tact
and kindness

we’ll tack it
onto your imagination
who’s asking to wear a
pinned-on pokemón tail

which you gotta know
is really an ill-suited
lightning bolt

spurring us to
say other things
like crimp-cramp,
love-dove —
all the light-lub stuff

::

musing over kids & their costumes
for Real Toads

thumbnail-5

beg

your pardon

is like stars

ebbing

on the opposite

side of blue

{I can’t blink at you}


for Twiglet

paper heart

No words for this shocking blue day, but I can clinch my eye sockets and keep Monday out. I don’t like these desks, Daddy. I don’t like these hard chairs. I don’t want to kiss and say goodbye.  I don’t want this plastic water bottle you wrapped my fingers around, but I’ll clutch it anyways.

I think I’ll throw up. I think I’ll run away. Just stay, Daddy. Or take me with you. I don’t know why you won’t keep me with you. I’m too soft for these hard edges, for the sharp-eyed teacher and her iron thumb. Can’t you see? My feet don’t even touch the floor.

with a pink crayon
he etches a heather heart
on folded paper

::

for dVerse [Kindness is a Daddy’s heart. Mondays are the worst for separation anxiety at the elementary school I work at. I hand him the paper, and he gives her his heart which fits in her pocket.]

the wisdoms

who’s hands are these?

i
look at them

idle and veined,
i have no other choice

but to look at the window leaks,
the mold expanding

in the bathtub
a black wrongness

a simple sowing,
an awful rowing

most days i imagine
moving out,
breathing right

but my fingers still
crinkle and push
to white the grout

like i have no other choice

::

cleaning house for Real Toads

I smell like cotton candy

[UNSET]-2

Not a petal has fallen from its let-it-be place.
Tell the doctor there’s no need for a referral.
Tell the gardener to put away his ratty rake.
I’m just where I should be, love. Don’t say it.
‘Should’ isn’t as fraught a word as is ‘love.’
I know there’s a way to stand in open water,
A way to soak in all the love through my toes like
A god-damned sippy straw. I know there’s a way
To be me without the hairdresser rolling her eyes,
Without mothers turning their kid’s shoulders the other way,
I’m okay with that whispered wire, “She loves too much,”
I like the parts of me that smell like cotton candy.

::

picture #2 for Real Toads

through

and the problem is —
i have too many walls
which retain information,
sensation, reverberation

and i know what to do —
scrape them just right
so that there’s no
deception, inception

and you can look at me —
maybe that’s the whole point
of this delicate colonoscopy
a straight forward loneliness

and, an in, and push —
we’re through

::

55 for Hedge