Archive for the ‘poetry’ category

Bird Mask Girl

August 12, 2017

Bird Mask Girl

She only feels like drawing bird mask girls
lately, knowing more about beaks
than wings,
only what really is at issue is
the mouth.

The bird mask girls don’t have one,
the mask a closed construct
except for the slits the girls’ lashes
flutter against.

Why do we do what we do?

The bird mask girls wear
puffed sleeves.
These are arguably shaped like cumulous clouds
but are small and tethered to what is drawn
as clothes.

She is not conscious in this culture of ever wearing a bird mask.
It seems to her that the one she has perfected has a smile
and teeth that manage to look fairly white
against the lipstick, lipstick not at all like the sticks
birds perch upon
in air or sky, even barred sky.

The strings that hold the masks in place
are tied with bows
in the back.



For Magaly Guerero’s prompt on Real Toads to write a poem based on one’s own prior work.  I am slightly varying the prompt to write the poem about one of my past drawings (instead of an old poem) although I have also been about an old poem about posturing.


Not Morse

August 6, 2017





Not Morse

They spoke in code, each word a secret agent
of another, so that, “I need more time
for myself,’ meant ‘I’m seeing
someone else.’
And so on.

At first, even uttered letters
delighted in the game, dipthongs preening
at devices, consonants peacocking
about the vowels, but soon language stretched
to strain, silence pained.



55 words for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads, with a special challenge to write something stemming from the art of Erte.  A piece on the letter M by Romain de Tirtoff, known as Erté, above. 

Wound (Passed Down)

August 5, 2017

Wound (Passed Down)

My mother didn’t know
the contours of her wound
so had to sculpt mine
by feel
as if she were a blind girl
and I were a piano that she heard
by touch,
only that would have been a deaf girl
and she didn’t honestly
touch much.

At a certain point, I took charge
of my own wound,
but since I also worked by feel at first,
its deepening seemed somewhat haphazard
like the chance radio station
the frequencies always
default to.

It was only as I grew older
when I could see it in the mirror
or when I looked down
at my person
that I became conscious of where
I put in the dirk.



Poem for Margaret Bednar’s lovely quilting challenge on Real Toads.  Not sure this exactly fits but what I have.  The above an image from fabric saved by Margaret.  Process note: dirk is a small knife (probably more properly a small dagger of Scottish Highland origin.)


The Moment My Own Nurse

July 29, 2017

The Moment My Own Nurse

Of course, she’d been drugged, but
“I just can’t believe it, I can’t
believe it,” she exclaimed even as
she breathed, and in the elevator,
took my face in both hands,
as I bent over
the gurney, and

‘oh” my name, she said, you know, saying
my name, and “oh” my name
so intensely that the nurse
teared up,

and it’s not that we
are in perfect synch or
though I did know how to calm her somehow
both pre- and post-op, playing just the right music into
her almost deaf ears, able too to sing

still, it was a moment–my mother loving me–
no, my mother always
loves me–but my mother loving me
with her hands–

I can feel them yet, the flow of blood that turned
the cool palms pink, there
on my cheeks,
I can feel them



For my own prompt on Real Toads (posting later today) to write a poem using narrative.  The drawing is mine; all rights reserved.   

ps will be traveling today so may be late in returning comments, thanks!

Opportunity Knocks

July 16, 2017

Opportunity Knocks

Hey, and people thought the corporate law of Delaware was so great.

It aint nothing like Delaware Antarctic!

Hell, your Delaware Antarctic company can do just about any old thing. We calls ‘em “limiteds” but that’s only as it relates to liability, am I right?

And you can keep all your profits on ice!  Not a tax in sight!  Not even capital gains!

‘Course we’re only dealing with short-term gains right now, the whole damn thing so… fresh, you know what I mean?



Diatribe of sorts for Brendan’s much more thoughtful prompt on Real Toads to write something stemming from planetary destruction.  Picture is mine, charcoal, chalk and oil pastels on paper, 2017, all rights reserved. 

Process note–Delaware is famous for the flexibility of its corporate law, making it a favorite jurisdiction in the U.S. and perhaps even the world for incorporation of companies.  Also, historically, there have been different U.S. tax rates for short-term and long-term capital gains.  Finally, of course, there’s that great big piece of ice now floating around.

Fragile Things

July 8, 2017

Fragile Things

Civil rights,
a neck, a spine,
a species.




For Magaly Guerrero’s prompt on Real Toads to write to a prompt of pics and phrases; I chose fragile things. Pic is mine; charcoal and pastel on paper; all rights reserved. 



What I sometimes fail to notice in my moroseness

July 7, 2017

What I sometimes fail to notice in my moroseness

The corn
in the corner of your eye;
the joke that floats in that blue
trying to rescue me from mine;
the bird song not made by my phone–
actually I do listen to it–but which,
in the absence of the smiles that glisten
on your fingertips, often lures me
into loss;
the sauce that is your teasing
of my bemoan;
your seriousness that says, but we are here now.



Poem of sorts for the wonderful M’s “get listed” challenge on Real Toads.  The drawing (kind of goofy) is mine also; all rights reserved.