In the sudsy bathtub with my lover
hot & content, one finger
fiddling a weeping joint
we soak in lavender
& hold each other ;
slippery skin to skin.
I want to do two things : first
try to show that life finalizes itself
on the threshing floor, engorged with a life-
time of self-thinking thoughts and self-sinking
At heart my father
was a naturalist.
He took my trembling hand
and told it to catch garter snakes
to slither as I slept
on the bedside table
to eat as I gagged
hands empty of crickets
Wisps of sainthood waft about this living room—
give me flamenco, give me Persian rhythms and
sweet gypsy jazz, swing it all out of speakers
perched high on the cabinet counter.
Bits of wild wind shoot through
the second story windows,
running from the belching mountains beyond
the poplar trees in the backyard.
The gusts lift the melodies and snuggle them
into marrow-bones, into wall studs, into wallpaper
maps pasted with thick sticky tack, ivory-camel white.
There I sit, idly running a finger
over the yellow and blue threads of this wingback chair,
beleaguered by idiosyncrasies, “personal
touches” I’ve someday gotta pancake punch— Continue reading “101 bpm”
He was better educated—better than that lot,
he spoke Persian and wrote Persian poetry and
ran around with wild men who fished
the Dunedin rivers with pocket knives, waiting for night
to shine lights at the flounders and roast sparking fillets
on a cast iron fire.
Beyond the ribbed panes of the kitchen window
swings a gorgeous plum and yellow philodendron;
sweeping lacquered leaves catch the breeze
half in split leaf, half monstera,
a good name for such a beast!
She belongs to our neighbor,
who carefully disregards her day after day,
neutrally striving to feed her natural sunlight
(9-9:30 a.m.) and a sprinkle of cloud water
from the Mountains half-past
whatever the sky might bring today.
Politely fluffed and slightly panting,
a middle-aged border collie slumps against
the coal-colored cabinets in the kitchen coolness.
Her thoughts are of comfort and resignation,
and I, for one, hopefully far from my prime,
think maybe I should join her on the tiled floor.
The coffee molting in that licked cup is stale
already, gone the steam, gone the beans,
gone the money-bagged Peruvian bean man,
never stood a chance against this batch.
Doesn’t matter anyhow the cup’s not there
for consumption anyhow, the cups
there are all for aesthetics—my fancy word
for look at me in my mood, look at
The sky is thick and dreamlike with clouds,
great battleships of cotton and luster
sailing to an endless azure tune—
on my back beneath the poplar tree
I listen to the steady whine of the horse fly.
Rain has come over the central plains in torrents,
heavy running along the window panes
heavy with oblong droplets pelting skin,
duck from backdoor to garage, to house again.
Three days of the stuff, and now—
The mountain shudders under great weights of gusts and snow,
groaning and creaking
the six English climbers huddle rope-tied
to rocks and tree branches listening for avalanches.
And I sit here,
at this metal patio table,
so arbitrarily square,
in a humid afternoon swatting flies and wondering
what I will have for lunch.
Little boy, blue jeans to the belly,
puffs his little red cheeks—
his pointed spectacles, falling down that button nose,
watch as he blows his mind into the trumpet.
he called out,
his knotted arm, knitted and purled,
pumping a bucket the size of a table.
I heard his low voice
as I walked by him,
say to his boy holding the rods
that no one’s biting these days
no one’s calling.
I imagined him, then,
standing on that barnacle-crusted pier,
two rods in hand
fishing for people.
Scooping up chums
who couldn’t tell bite from bait
and filling his bucket with the lot.
Fresh People with Aloha!
he’d call out,
his knotted arm pumping
a bucket the size of a boxcar,
his boy standing by, holding the rods.