i can never

seem to do you justice
by writing b-e-a-u-t-y
or taking a picture
with this old camera
— one eye always open


18: for d’Verse

tell me doctor,

do you keep the creature in the basement?

trying on different lives, like dresses,
to see which fits best and is most becoming

may i observe your lab techniques for birthing
hybrid poems? freakishly garish with good grimace


9: Real Toads

Foolish Woman,

you’d fasten your voice
to a patchwork sail
going anywhere —
today’s as good as any
to make sentences in rain,
or no rain, to have pretty
iCloud thoughts turn vaporous
because you can’t line up
the stars, — you’ll never know
who you are until you are
the swell of big blue words,
until you lick the salt of
the wave that causes you,
foolish woman, — an ache
in your arms from cutting
prepositions and pronouns
away from playful porpoises
(which is unfair to them really)
until you curve your paragraphs
and carve the sea (which no one
can do) to make a purposeful
poem beyond sparkling and clicking
understood more broadly
than dolphin speak


1: NaPoWriMo and Real Toads
Hey, “It’s National Poetry Month Peeps!”

monkey do

it’s a poem’s favorite thing to do
look for the hairiest palm tree
obtrusely buried in the sand
because naked ones are less easy

and soft poles are easier to climb, c’mon,
every monkey’s uncle knows this
as every hand that plucks pizzas
over yellow bananas knows it too

to be real there’s a monkey named Austin
here on the page and it’s not a playground
for lovely words like caress or cleave
although there could be room for that

a poem isn’t totally useless if
it has something to hold onto:
a banana, a slice of pepporoni pizza,
a hairy palm tree in plain sight 

monkey leaves the page coconutty 
leaves it up to you to discover,
to touch, to feel, to ingest, to
sling your own shit around


for Real Toads

Poets are stage managers

trying to figure out how to deal with
a marooned sky by using a boom light,
a spot line, or a cue card with the words
‘load in’ written in black marker real big.
So it would seem, if a poet put in just the
right amount of a sudden stream of a half-
way believable illumination, that nobody
would deny its sure stroke of genius, its
technical sign of hope on a playground set
previously devoid of a stage swing, squeals,
laughter, or small feet running on blacktop.

Sunday wordle

in the bathtub of the little pacific grove house

i read john’s letters; the entire book.
– i come to my senses,
justify forty-seven years,
180 minutes.

in three hours i’ll shake
the thrice-run water
off my bare body, – which i’m
emotionally tied up with.

— the main thing is not to hurry
nothing good gets away
so don’t be afraid.
we’ve been through it together
so many times.

we met in college.
no bolt is required,
no curtain of clumsy music

in the great silence i fiddle
with which odd handle
spits glory water out once more
to warm my thighs, toes, dreams –

– i am unrestless in this hallowed break
of heaped out earth, framed in pine,
tiled in tiny teal hexagons.


QKJ #30

if you look real close

holy is the white frost on grass
drowsily melting into yellow
winter tatter, – bit by tragic bit
playing a phantom “we were here” 
game. a monumental dew.
— is it me? is it you?


get listed for RT
submitted to Daily Post

wrapped in the sweetest beginning i think

i come from nothing, but i’ll find my way of this
as i grow and grasp to close these intangible tabs
reaching for dreamy words to shut up withery skies
straining to clamp oyster eyes together; a stop gap
for saying everyone’s pearls are the same-same.

i come from backlogs, from avocado green couches
from whence sprang some well-grounded whispers;
but i believe in night, and i believe it’s okay to sleep
on heartache as i’ve supposed i’ll be living a long-long
time, so help me God in these nothing-but-nothings.


for Real Toads

Journey From Couch to Keypad

There’s a certain way to be wrong, –
I’ll see who I am after last night’s argument
I’ll try to think through my fingers
Loping on this nameless groove machine

I’ll root around for a symbol on my keypad
Looking for a way to describe the volume level
A falling house of cards, – all grind & grave
It’s animal; a beast lowing in lounge light

It’s clear that the moon is a cushiony thing
And I’ll always collide with it, because I’m blind
I never see it coming, – I feel better having said this
Invulnerable, and irrevocably immune to denial

for Sunday Whirl  and Real Toads

Wordsmithing in the Real World

I can work with tangents.
Why must I remind myself?
It’s a game I like to play
coaxing ‘said words’ to come
back ’round to a better bend.
Sometimes a wily word
will disclose an actual word
it’d rather be, like ‘conscientious’
or all-out ‘capital.’ And when I say
it out loud, whoever has ears
to hear mutters, “what she said.”

(for Quickly)