Thursday, November 9, 2017

The sun’s not yellow (it’s chicken)


Before momma
married a hard man
and moved north 
to a hard land, 
she filled her city pantry
with water purification tablets,
with gas mask filters,
with cream of mushroom soup.

Before momma
duct taped cellophane 
around the windows,
she taught herself the harmonica
so she could play along to
Heart of Gold
between shifts at the restaurant. 

Before momma
was a waitress in a white shirt
bleached perfect 
and ironed smooth, 
she studied Edgar Casey 
and Kirlian photography
and spent mornings
reading the I Ching
while smoking cigarillos. 

Before momma
kept rune stones 
in the cookie jar, 
she was a student 
with a crappy west bank walk up 
where Bobby Dylan puttered around 
with his guitar for a few weeks in 64.

Before momma
taught Bob Dylan how to macrame,
they shared cold cinnamon sandwiches,
and she asked him about New York City.
“Oh, I dig the city, baby. 
Like I dig the freckles on your knees.”
When she mentioned
that she didn’t have any freckles,
he assured her,

“Exactly, baby. Exactly.”


Posting as my response to my prompt over at Real Toads.....

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Weather machine blessings



Wasn’t it
the rain that put shine
on the street
and made us
shiver closer together
locked step, arm in arm?  



Written for Marian's prompt at over at toads. She asked is write in the fussy little form of Shadorma, which is a six line not rhyming poem with the syllable structure of 3-5-3-3-7-5. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Opened ended letter to a lobsterman

Dear lonely sir, 

How do we square 
with the fact 
that those knots and nets
you leave in the harbor 
will never hold me?


Brief piece written for the first Camera Flash challenge over at real toads. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bad Tourists

Image copyrighted: Isadora Gruye Photography


We can’t leave our shine on the curb or shake the grey night rain from our shoes.



Written for Sunday Micro Challenge at Real Toads. The task: write about night rain in the streetlight using Ginsberg's American Sentence - that's a poem in one 17 syllable sentence. For this one, I used one of my own photos from my first rain soaked night in San Fran. B

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Party Instructions

Eat the cake Magda, 
even if the flour and salt 
turn to paste on your tongue. 
And keep working the room. 
You’ve caught the eye of a single banker 
and a married baker.
Neither care that
you’ve crumpled your cocktail napkin
into a sweaty ball in your fist
instead of folding it twice over. 

Eat the cake, 
and dance alone. 
Your shoes are reading
This machine kills fascists. 
And you're making eyes
at a sweater vested 
jalopy owner who could 
smoosh your butterfly
good and proper
even with a mouth full 
of cake paste
and cab fare jangling 
in his pockets.

But you’ll eat the cake.
And come home alone,
still clutching that cocktail napkin
in your hand like you were saving it

for your scrapbook.

For my first Poems in April prompt at Toads, I wrote a new installment in my black birthday cake series. For this out of standard prompt, I asked the Garden Dwellers to pick an image of a protest sign and write a poem with the phrase that was in no way political.  For my image, I chose this image of my favorite protestor: Woody Guthrie. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Pencilz Down

1. That patch of dirt out by the drive way will never be a garden because
  1. you know science and science told you to stop trying to grow things where your heart wants to see dust. 
  2. the king rats and mole people have claimed that patch of land for themselves.  You hesitate to play the apex predator card this far into the suburbs. Plus it’s sort of neat to see them come together for a greater cause. 
  3. again, science, but different reasons.
  4. again king rats and mole people but because of fear. 
2. You’re not worried about drinking 
  1. city water from lead pipes. You dream big and risk it all. 
  2. cocoa with marshmallows at your kitchen counter like a goddamn toddler who cannot hold her gin. 
  3. Polonium in your tea. 
  4. Tea in your polonium. 
3. When confronted with discussing your favorite book
  1. moonwalk away. They won’t love it the way you love it.
  2. say it’s a tie between the Velveteen Rabbit and the Lorax. Celebrate your subterfuge by moonwalking away. 
  3. answer with the Economic Essays of 1848, wait for another communist to agree and make out with them profusely, then go for kebabs. 
  4. be the asshole who admits that they love to read, but not books. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Austerity Measures

He will leave,
or I will leave 
when the thaw comes,
when the sun freckles 
and burns the bridge of my nose.

Until then, we are gargoyles,
perched on our cathedral couch
with noses cold and hands running,
our swollen cuticles stained yellow
with the ever expanding promise 
to be better,
tomorrow.