I like this kind of art.


Johannes Vermeer – The Little Street 1657-1658

September moves every day, —
in sound & silhouettes,
in an immersion of subtle
pigments —  but you,
You are my favorite kind
of vulnerable & tender.
As real in my hand
as a Coffeyville brick,
As light in my palm
as a captured sallow sun.
Never inconsequential
(I want you to know,)
are the two softie dogs
on our sweet Little Street
lying together if only
to mirror our love’s delight.


playing it again for M at Real Toads


blanket choices

the things you like, —
all go together

in your body shell
and tempermental intestines

with miles of bamboo space
for that monkey, that moon,

those flutes of feathers,
and happy day pennant flags,

a few paisley prints twisting,
wedding bands sewn down, —

pulling up now,
preferences for all the yellow birds

minus clunky gold cages,
and frozen gauze butterflies

take a quiet lunar sun to eat,
and one conversation piece crimson spot

some clever chump will market
as a deep ruby red, — garnet lace


quilting for Real Toads

occupational hazards


Paul Whitener the Sycamore Tree

there’s value
in what’s written
in mother’s
edgy voice

of blunt space
of moonlit night
of sycamore tree

of turning away
of self-doubt
of turning towards
ready to die
over, and over again

as is best
as is done
by toying
with the edge

of brush,
of pen,
of small-town mouth,
of tongue to teeth,
of windpipes
saying hello


for Real Toads


Mi Young Lee

Mi Young Lee

how does anyone
interpret a life?

it’s the direction
your shoes point

that tells your
vested interest

your vest
is interested

like your inside leg
in baseball

like your hips
in dance

like in love,
my dear

22: NaPoWriMo and Real Toads


per usual,
my winter art is solitaire
the queen of hearts comes first
followed by diamonds &clubs
then spades
spades are always last
that’s just how it goes
when there’s an absence of green
&because the heart knows
it’s a red &black world,
it chooses queen

Gerda Wegener for Real Toads


artist-in-his-studio-1626.jpg!BlogWe fall from Heaven, put food on tables. We sit down in sacred scarred chairs, no one ever doubting the full moon’s ability to expose us like whores in white wet bathing suits. We fall further. We wonder. Will Heaven have fig leaves? We sure do like to paint them here.

for Real Toads

Imagine Leaves

James Castle, untitled

James Castle, untitled

talk is monotonous as hearing is humorous.
maybe it’s Boise, or maybe it’s art
on salvage paper. a milk carton
Ms. Mcgillicuddy saved back.
the sky that listens empties itself
so soot can smooth into feathery cracks.
saliva isn’t hopeless. it helps hodgepodge stick.
&remember, simple allegiance to mundane is best,
or else details will run away.
so look again. it is infinite.
houses start as sticks and bones.
sky and land are thirsty souls.
shepherd’s hook casts a thin tree shadow.
you can imagine leaves or even a title.

for Real Toads

On a Train I’m Remembering

Toril “California Poppy Glow”

The boy sits there. An empty-headed kid of eleven I guess
Staring in my general direction like a special kind of slow.
His older brother asks me to run some warm bath water.
Their father, with a face full of hair, reeks of smoke and
Cannot wash away his nicotine lips or stained smile.
And where is their mother, I always wonder when I come in.
The white wooden church next door, has been condemned
And belongs to them. They are going to fix it up, get closer
To God; preach the gospel, bring in some pews. But all they
Manage to lug in is a TV set and a coffee table to rest their
Beer cans on. Sweaty, they leave rings. And I’m too good for this.
Only I don’t know it yet. But maybe that’s what this boy who
Misses his mother is trying to teach me with his irksome eyes.
The oldest one is nailing blankets over broken glass right now
Because it’s cold. And sometimes it rains in December, and
Where is their mother? I can’t say why I go, leaving only a trace
Of mist leading out west. But as I sit on a train, I remember
Those boys, an anonymous sad wind blowing east of the Rockies
Where poppies never grow, because they’re not meant for snow.
And now I am remembering. Poppies were never meant for snow.

Written for Real Toads

How to Grow a Poem From a Crabtree Clipping

Step 1:  Clip that Crabtree

(She’ll never know)

Step 2:  Get out a fat felt tip pen

(Like the one I use for my eyebrows)

(courtesy of markmelnicove.com)

Step 3:  Cross-out text until
poem emerges

Weekly Writing Challenge: Image vs. Text