Archive for August 2016

Our Ursine Friend

August 30, 2016


Our Ursine Friend

Yes, she smelled.  When she moved, more than dust wafted, and though she seemed (from a distance) to lope with the grace of a scarf dangled from the neck of a woman who had never heard of Isadora Duncan, she was definitely a bear in close quarters, meaning Ming china had no chance, even stoneware a goner–

The good side:  our rotten lettuce had no grubs; no need for ant traps.

But here was the true boon–and forgive me if that word is overblown, overblow honestly the crux of this matter–in her onyx-eyed snuffle, in that padding dance of claw and matte, she brought out our fanciful–

We would all lie down on the lawn or squeeze together in the bed–she never minding the overhang–and the dark warm funk of her fur somehow gave rise to fairies in the brain.

it was as if her quills, dancing lightly along our sides–for her paws paced when she was sedentary–were pens for all they wrote in us;

and I would find myself telling tales of the imagination–storyboards made up of whole (if hirsute) cloth.  No more the veiled memories; forget the fathers, mothers, bosses barely disguised.

No, she allowed me to see in metaphor, even beyond metaphor,
and the humdrum of my heretofore gave birth to heroes on the run from rutabagas, villains fomenting fate, backdrops built from all manner of “olde” and new, and as I wove that bright-worded warp, she would grin with her sharp white teeth–

you too.


A bit of a draft story for Real Toads Open Platform, hosted by the wonderful Kerry O’Connor.  (Also for Gillena’s prompt on megafauna, though too long for that prompt!)  Pic is one of mine; all rights reserved. 


Carrying On

August 16, 2016

Carrying On

It was the only way she could think to thwart her fate.

She imagined herself as cheese.  She remembered one with true jalapenos–not just pepper jack–her lover at the time complaining of his bowels.

When she could not stand to chew the green-rinded seeds, she swallowed them like popped pills; and when she could no longer take the swallowing–even her stomach blistered–she rubbed the rinds against her skin, trying to push some lasting burn into her pores.

She was rather amazed they gave her access to the markets.  Though they visited every day, measuring her wrist’s girth with bony fingers crooked to meet a thumb, they let her move freely about the town.

She had tried, of course, to abscond.  She had hidden in a ditch; she had hidden in a closet; she had one time rolled herself into an industrial clothes dryer thinking to snare escape by night’s cover, thinking they would lose track, peel off after the trucks that carried away the dumpsters of clean linens.

But they were waiting when she unwound herself; they were waiting outside the burnish of silver door, the thick glass circle. They were waiting with pitchforks–the ones with bright plastic-coated tines used to move the clothes–and semi-automatics.  And as they led her over the dotted linoleum, she felt that grasp on her wrist, measuring.

She should, she thought, seed her skin with cyanide.  That would give them something to chew on. But access did not take her to the back aisles of chemists, only to the women who sold green–vegetables, melons, chiles–and too, the men who sold what she was soon to be, hanging from heavy hooks, forearms akimbo.


A short short (weird) story of sorts for Real Toads open platform, hosted by the wonderful Kerry O’Connor with a quote about imagination.  Pic such as it is is mine.  All rights reserved. 

Some Not Quite Nirvana Urbanas

August 12, 2016


Some Not Quite Nirvana Urbanas

The Buddha pestering,
I grew hungry for change–
but re-wiring desire’s no easy matter
for a serial committer
of the sidelong-look-in-the-mirror sin, sins of nattiness too–vanity, pride-
oh, I, oh
how I tried–as mad for affirmation
as a hatter for a brim–

Me-walking here,
me-walking there
where still some wish constantly
swirled about head/hair–

till finally going back
to good old Houston and Mott,
climbing to my flat,
my fifth-floor walk-up spot,

where, from the bathtub in the kitchen,
I looked out to a night
jeweled by cars that waited only
for a light
to change,

just sat there, feeling pruny
but intrepid, adding hot
when the water tepid

(did I mention it was rent-

content enough
for a time.


A bit of silliness for Grapeling’s prompt on Real Toads to write a poem using the names of three cities.  I think I have five here–AND a couple of states.  Have a nice weekend!

Ps pic is mine as well.  As always, all rights reserved in all content.

pps I’m pretty sure a desire for natty clothes is not one of my particular sins, and I tend not to look for myself in mirrors.  All that said, I did have a flat with the bath tub in the kitchen for some time.

ppps check out my new book:  Dogspell!  Also check out my other books!  1 Mississippi, Going on Somewhere, Nose Dive, and Nice.  





August 9, 2016


He husbanded her ash for years; when the wind blew, he’d place some,
as if it were pollen and he a reverse bee,
upon a plant or low-hanging tree, and wait, downwind,
for its caress.
He would feel himself then weeping
into her hands, though it would seem to others
(if anyone had seen) just wind in his eyes.

But he worried as he aged
that he was using the ash too fast, that it wouldn’t last him, or worse–
and this was worse–
that he’d been self-indulgent with his machinations, and that in his wish to hold on to her, he’d never let her rest, that he had wrested her from
the singular life of ash, one eddying release, the possibility
of well-spring–

So he took the ash to a lake she’d loved
and sat there with the box–he’d never been able to transfer her
to an urn, she hated the taste
of metal–
which held inside the tied plastic, and inside that, the ash,
just sat there for some time,

with no leaves that could blow, just lake, and ripples of lake,

until he opened the box, the plastic, dipping palms into the soft remains,

until, not even looking–late for a lakeside–he pulled off shirt and shorts, and rubbed the ash like some tribal warrior over his thighs and calves, his knees and the backs of his knees, arms and belly, chest and shoulders, neck and nape of neck, and
his face.

He did cry–for her, for himself, and for the ridiculousness of himself, standing there not a warrior, on even a beach that was embarrassed, and the tears made rivulets
in the tightness of drying ash;

and he looked down at his legs, his torso, at the hair that was flattened by the ash, and at the hair that sprouted through the ashen mats, trying to feel something other than
the crusted rim of his own skin

until, slowly, he walked into the water, which took him aback with its warmth–

It was water that still held the day, water that held him too now with the day,
water where grey unwound.


Prosish poem for Real Toads Open Platform.  I am also linking to dVerse Poets Pub, for Whimsygizmo’s prompt about blue (one suggestion: to write a sad poem.) Pic is mine.  All rights reserved.  

55s – Female Laocoon; In a Laconic Moment

August 7, 2016


Below two 55 word poems for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads, to think about the word “lacuna,” meaning gap, cavity.

Please don’t feel obliged to read both!   (Or either!)  As a process note, Laocoon was a Trojan who warned his fellow Trojans against the Trojan Horse. The Trojans did not believe him, and the gods who favored the Greeks (Athena, Poseidon) struck him and sons down with great snakes rising from the sea.


Female Laocoon

She warned against the gift horse, but some people like
gift horses, think that they deserve
gift horses–gifts
only what they are owed, and any horse of theirs
a sure winner–so those joined in
with the forked tongues, circling
muscle, as they rolled the enemy right
into their sleep-folded night, walled




In a Laconic Moment

When, in the heat, even the grass lies down
and brain’s buzz stills,
into the wilt creep words
like rape;
though creep is correct enough,
the words come more
in flashes, teeth
in a leer, fear collared
by bone,
and she screws up her eyes
at the flattened lawn, roots showing pale
where mowed.


Both pics mine; all rights reserved. 



Seen Song

August 4, 2016

Seen Song

When his vision began to go,
he would only see at first what he could not see–
all those edges that curled like a parchment folding
to smoke, the flame itself soon
but a constellation of floaters.

He sat under a sky that creaked like a swing set–
at least seemed to creak in his mind’s dull eye–
a disease of iron poles that, swingless, rusted to bust–

it was dank where he sat,
the clay of who he was turning to soil he sank into,
when slowly–slow and quick at once–
he began to hear what sounded as if made
by chance– the birds–

who even when he was sighted he hardly ever
seemed to sight–
the chattering whistles, whispered
chitter, the candle quiver of tune
that glowed and flowed, blew in and out beneath
a hum of wind–

and flashes came to him
and whether these were the binocular imprints
of memory or what actually lay
at his skin’s touch–he couldn’t say,
only that he began to see in birdsong–little chirps of field,
cheeped stone, chins
upon a street, the rut-jut-tut
of lips, a railing of caw,
a coo of resonant blue, all roosting
in those eyes that had been waiting, he realized,
for ears, waiting for years for ears, waiting
to hear–

and he sat until his eyes grew almost silent–he knew then
it must be night–and in that night, he saw
the bass thrum of sleeping grasses–how like horses they did not need to lay down
to sleep, but barely bowed tassles that like manes twitched
with passing dreams–and the grasses dreamed, he saw,
of that time when they galloped heedlessly
over mud and clods of mud,
of that time when earth awaited
their seed, as if the earth
were a woman–and his eyes laughed
at the sentimentality
of it all, and his eyes then laughed
and laughed.


Sort of a poem/prose poem for Stacie Eirich’s prompt on Real Toads to write about birdsong and spaces.  I’m in a bit of a rut re horses and birds lately, but not minding it!  Sorry for the length and thanks for your patience.
Pic mine; all rights reserved. 


August 1, 2016


Because it was my heart, I made a corner for it
in the apartment,
on an old folded comforter, green, freckled
with flowers.

I could not believe my heart
would mistake the comforter
for a true field,
but hoped that it would sense
the summers overspread, the words
there read–children’s stories
where good prevails
though something much loved
is lost,

and so my heart lay,
quivering at times, still, at times, cold.


Another poem for Kerry O’Connor’s Sunday mini challenge  (though longer than ten lines) on “because it was my heart” (though a bit longer than mini) and also for Real Toads open platform.  Weird pic mine.  All rights reserved.