Archive for January 2016

Bullet Points (From Mars)

January 17, 2016


Bullet Points (From Mars)

Bullet hole eyes
blanks espied.
Bullet rip mouth
lips unhoused.
Bullets gutting
stinks rutting.
Bullets split
limbs spilt.

Belly swells
bullet’s well.
Cratered head
the body’s own
red planet.

For my own prompt on With Real Toads to write of something real, with artifice, if possible influenced by Picasso.  In this case, very influenced by Picasso’s WWII sculptures seen at the ongoing MOMA show. 


Arriving in the Country First Time That Summer (alone with kids)

January 16, 2016

DSC01175Arriving in the Country First Time That Summer
(alone with kids)

We lay outside
even as night fell
and this was kale
for my whole life–something

the sky turning deep greens
to violet,
the way that summer evenings are
inviolate, an inked imprint of yes,
I voted for this–

I may have even
read aloud a teeny bit, squinting,
as we drank last year’s lemonade–all that was left
in the freezer, and
ate, delightedly, popcorn made from a jar found
in the pantry, a bottle bobbing
at sea–

Not even that dusk’s aura ever
actually leaves–our blanket, a comforter (you know, stitched)–
and big enough (you two knit
to my sides),
to fit the smocking
of stars above,
to shield us
from the blades

which felt so cold
to our bare feet, when, at last,
we ran in through the
long dewed grass,
though we laughed, laughed–

A poem for my own prompt on Real Toads about something real (expressed with some artifice); the pic is of a sculpture by Picasso from the show currently at MOMA; I do not know the title, photo by me. 

Without Nine Lives

January 10, 2016


Without Nine Lives

When I think of a child
being killed,
I think of how a child feels
when a cat is run over,
of a chest too small
for its grief, of a small chest tight
with disbelief–

I make no parallel between the deaths
of child and cat, I am talking about how the child

how he or she wonders what kind of world
could let a cat
be run over,
and whether that cat will go
to heaven and whether some day
(picturing clouds)
he or she will see
the cat there.

Maybe the child will even write a story
about the cat, the way its markings made it look
like a pirate, and how its fur could sometimes give off a spark aside
the softness, its slide
about everyone’s pants’ legs, and
the pink black white brown yellow
of its impossible

Only when the child reads aloud
the story, the page rumpled in the way of a sea seen
from a cloud,
the part about the cat being run over
will crowd
his or her throat, though
the words are short words, words that fit into
a small palm, and he or she will hand
the rifled page to us, we who already know
what kind of world, saying,
you read. 


Draftish poem written for no reason other than that I have been thinking a lot about gun issues since Obama’s announcement of his executive orders (basically an effort to enforce existing laws.)  I will probably link to Real Toads Open Platform. 


Islands, between the Lanes

January 10, 2016


Islands, between the Lanes

She never considered the cold
of a collide,
not having had much to do
with car hoods;
thoughts passed mainly
in swerve anyway, uncurbed swirls
of blue air, splayed hair,
cracked refractions of jacket, taxi–

and though the islands between the lanes
were not writ in hieroglyphics, she understood well enough
that their rubbed cobbles
were cliffs–

and that she could–would, if she could–
fall off,
and whether what bade her stay
was the light
or what wasn’t light at all,
but, rather, that tunnel that she carried
at her neck, as heavy as mounded earth
and a long dark hole can be, she couldn’t say–
only that it was some kind of training
in either light or darkness
that allowed her to stand in those places,
during that time,
waiting for something
to change–

Draft poem for Brendan’s great prompt on With Real Toads on immrama; island hopping of a kind. 

What They Expected (thinking of Sandy Hook After Obama’s Speech 1/5/16)

January 6, 2016


What They Expected
(thinking of Sandy Hook After Obama’s Speech 1/5/16)

to hold a pencil
(which is actually kind of hard
to get right)
to learn to type

to stand in line,
maybe leaning a little–okay, super-a lot
maybe on
their best friend–
it was a joke!

to eat lunch stalked only
by the smell
of ketchup,
maybe too of milk, maybe even
chocolate milk.

to do a bunch of stuff
and again
and again
to get really good at it.


A draft poem for Real Toads Open Platform hosted by Kerry O’Connor.   This has been edited slightly since first posting.

Indian Wrestlers, So the Clay

January 3, 2016

Indian Wrestlers – So, the Clay

one to the other:
who will win today?
the man who makes the bets–
no, the man
who takes the bets
and though it knows
they’re but dough
to those men–spittle and small
acumen, ghee and
out the pit, each
peoples parts, bruise
and broken nose, hearts
rib-caged, eyes, I’s.



Another 55, rather a draft, for Kerry O’ Connor’s prompt on Real Toads to use a photo from the 2015 National Geographic contest; the above taken by Alain Schroeder in Maharashtra, India, of Kushti wrestlers. 



January 3, 2016



The browns of the grasses brown
as the peaches of the sky peach, in patches,
as if the morning had decided to mix it up
in order to help some Dutch landscape painter,
only this land more
the neverlands (like all land),
not outstretched to fit frames,
color schemes;
colder today,
fresh snow.



A little 55 for Kerry’s prompt on Real Toads.  This one to my own photo of the beautiful Catskill Mountains, upstate New York.