Friday, September 25, 2015

Antique Remedy (Fodder)



That blue typewriter has taken hold of me
I bend and avoid it (like a wordsmith
who has lost his tongue in a knife fight)
The funny thing is
      that typewriter isn't blue
      but my sewing machine is
Maybe I should have learned to thread a needle
      maybe I did

This poem is called Fodder

In the city
the sun sets in the east
against the mirror of office buildings

At our table
You read me someone else's poetry
quietly and deliberately

The cattle chews on the thread
I replace all of the buttons
because I am missing 
one










   

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

While You Borrowed My Pen: A Couplet

'I have to finish this thought, the one about depth'
She said, as an anchor of words formed her last breath

Instead of pushing the chair closer to her words
She pulled the table closer to the lap of hers

She squinted as she composed a life work for them
Juxtaposition her only friend and then, him

And I was unnerved because he was somewhere else
Some body borrowing my attention and self

Friday, September 18, 2015

Chlorine and Why I Never Swim

Swimming pools remind me of him
I can see him stooped over the deep end
placing small drops of chemicals 
into tiny test tubes, waiting patiently 
as the captured pool water turns different shades 
of yellow, pink, and blue
He explains what each color represents 
and claims that the balance is
once again, perfect
I think he's a genius and wonder how 
he learned to figure out those colors,
and hope that one day 
I'll be able to do it as good as he does. 
It's a few days before Memorial Day 
He lets us splash in the water 
behind the "POOL CLOSED" sign
under the condition we help clean
the rough, concrete steps and sides
He investigates the thorny red flowers
that swim up the vine outside of the gate
As we pretend to scrub
he picks one for my mom 
and I can't wait to be old enough 
to pick my own roses

Tap Tap Tap ...

I see him standing in our living room
Golf balls placed intentionally behind his 
putter, huddled together at his target
He grabs an iron from his golf bag 
flings a dimpled, white globe into the air 
catches it steadfast on the side of his club
We begin to count as he bounces the ball 
up and down, up and down
waist high and almost to the floor.
Our voices become shrill 
two hundred eleven, two hundred twelve
tap tap tap 
The ball finally hits the carpet with a soft thud 
We groan and we cheer in the same gasp
He beats his own record every time 
Soon, I can't just watch him anymore 
I get up and try it for myself
and laugh as I clumsily fail to recreate 
what he did so effortlessly, with one hand
in one swift motion

Monday, September 14, 2015

When The Tracks Are Empty and Still

I was wondering what it would feel like
to hear you say you've memorized
the freckles on my chest and declared
them a constellation 
I am trying to remember what it's like
to fall asleep holding a body hold me
I am holding a beer
As the train passes I watch it through
a camera lens, tonguing the crooked 
spaces between my teeth
I'm sweating but only notice because
my pen slips between my fingers
I am pressing too hard, I press replay
and listen to the same song again
I empty my ashtray and it reminds me
of everything that I should do
 cut the grass, mop the floor,  or
figure out why steady, rumbling of trains
meets me with a calmness that worries
when the tracks are still and empty

Friday, September 11, 2015

I Was Here

Fall blows into Capitol View
It almost smells like fire pits
Feels like a memory
I almost put on a sweater

I keep forgetting to breathe
It's probably the cigarettes
I keep writing the same poem
It is definitely the wine

Where was I?
I was hungover in bed hoping
I wouldn't have to work again
when the collisions began

They haven't stopped since
The teasing of the seasons
Their smokes and mixed drinks
Theories of conspiracy

None of us are getting out alive
The only way to avoid death
is to breathe and be life-like
May as well try




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Come Have a Beer

By noon on Monday
an early September rain pressed
the temperature down to 68 degrees
The window opened
The ceiling fan pushed the air around 
The conditioned air was set to off
Your hair was short but longer than before 
when we met
I fussed with my new wine collection
finished off the the beers in the fridge
You offered your favorite gin drink
I held back tears once, you cried twice
We promised each other we were good
We made two trips to the cigarette store
I wanted to take your photograph 
as you let the petty things go
suffering that thing that always hurts
I resolved to keep the air turned off
until there weren't enough blankets
to keep us warm

Monday, September 7, 2015

Blank Document

The fairy tale showed up
without postage stamp or expectation
and it wasn't happily ever after
it was a land far far away
where the best of times unfold
and the worst of times shout at me
and say
Remember when you weren't you?
I do

I wish I could leave it at that
but I am who I am
and in my wildest imagination
I assume you are the muse's tool
heart meant to be wrenched
washer buffering the load
metaphor explaining the world
Instead we are exactly as we were
strangers