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. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Never Had


Your grandmother would say  
his nose could chew its way out of a dense fog
or pea soup
or pea soup with ham and alpha bits of seconal. 
True, you added that last part 
because one of the following:

  1. You never really cared for your grandmother, but she seemed like a classy enough broad to swallow her oppression and sleep off the entirety of the 1950s with her head in an oven, unwittingly quoting Plath. 
  2. You never really cared for pea soup but read in a Buzzfeed listicle that William Jennings Bryan ate only pea soup laced with barbiturates while getting over the gold standard. 
  3. You think soup and barbiturates would be the theme for the greatest holiday party never had.
  4. You dated the bassist for the Japanese scream metal band Soup and Barbiturates in your early twenties.

And on mornings like this
when your toast has yet to settle,
you wonder if his collapsed lung
or fear of skydiving ever held him back
the way you thought it would. 


Posting this in response to Kerry's challenge over at Toads. The mission, write a poem in less than 25 lines using the poem "A Wolf" by Jorge Luis Borges as a reference. I had never read that poet before and was most struck by how well he captured the interplay of command and futility: how we can be in control, but still fall to the larger swirl-whirl of other forces. 

As always, work in progress....feel free to offer constructive feedback on how to improve. All poems on this blog are posted for that purpose.  Thanks. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Rushdie in Broken Binary

She crash-landed 
from the birth canal
right to the city walk,
chain smoking 
and quoting Rushdie 
in broken binary.

No one taught her 
how to paint her toe nails.
She just always sort of knew
how to lacquer and file
her sharp edges 
down to someone
worth splitting
pancakes with
on a Thursday afternoon. 


Written for Kerry's 55 Flash prompt at Real Toads.  The challenge - write a poem in 55 words inspired by a clip from the movie Samsara.  Here is my offering to the well. with all poems on this blog, this is a work in progress.  Please let me know your thoughts, criticisms, feedback, etc.   Viva la. 


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.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Preflight Checklist

Behind the airlock door 
there is something keeping this rocketship safe 

Perhaps it is better left dead and unsaid 
perhaps I can teach my tongue to curl and figure eight
fancy and tight
or maybe this is a game of fetch
where your mother -
drunk
and babbly-
throws the steak knife
on the floor

and I bring her lilac breath mints,
flashing the smile I rehearsed 
during my vivisection lessons with the butcher.