Thursday, August 10, 2017

Morning with Magda

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico 
has grown to the size of New Jersey.
You imagine it as a hovering brown smear 
that burps neon green bubbles 
of phytoplankton rot.
The water along the edge 
churns thickly with the current,
a clear line between
business as usual
and suffocation. 

Your stir cream into your coffee.
The synthetic hazelnut flavor
coats your tongue
bitter and sharp. 
Cat hair brambles gather
at the edge of the kitchen table. 
You are not sure 
if you are doing any of this right,
if you are choking
in the brown/neon green slick
or if you are just wide awake. 

Written for my Out of Standard prompt at Real Toads: write about something you can't completely see. Here I am exploring...well, can you guess, do you get it?? :) 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dream Captains

Every damn night
you shut off the lights
and sleep the rest of worms.
Mouth open.
Tongue dry.
And oh, that is just the beginning of your dry patches. 

We’ve lost interest in 
your night kneading,
your cradle cap full of sweat 
and dirty limericks twice forgotten.

We’ve stopped applauding your night terrors 
about pulling the loose thread 
on the living room carpet
as if it were a ladder
that could bring you closer to the moon. 
You pull and pull 
until it ravels itself into a parachute
until there is nothing left but ruffles and sea foam.

You dream. 
And we wait for shadows to grey
under the floppy tongue of morning light. 
We huddle around the imbecilic wall clock in the bathroom,
watching it shed slivers of seconds with every tock. 
The big hand, 
the little hand,
chasing after each other
like squirrels desperate for a shag. 
Which one carries the nut, Magda?
Which one is keen to chase? 

I wrote this new poem in response to the weekend mini challenge over at Real Toads.  This poem is part of my Black Birthday Cake chapbook - a series of poems written to Magda ( a woman) from the ghosts living in her apartment. 

Sun Down

the day scrubbed the needy, 
whiny yap from you. 
So when you leave your sneakers
next to the welcome mat,
we move them just a little - 
just an inch or two. 

We think 
you’ve stopped noticing the distance
between the things you buy
and your self-taught terror.
This is not make believe. 

You know 
the sun whispers terrible things
to turn the horizon tender pink.
And you know 
you’ve begged for that same brightness, 
the blush of words 
from the bath-robed weirdo
combing his beard with a chicken’s foot. 

the day stripped you clean, Magda. 
The curtains closed. 
The tea kettle silent. 
This is not make believe. 
Your sneakers do not want to dance with you. 

I wrote this new poem in response to the weekend mini challenge over at Real Toads.  This poem is part of my Black Birthday Cake chapbook - a series of poems written to Magda ( a woman) from the ghosts living in her apartment. 

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,