Tuesday, August 31, 2010


On the black wingtips of a plane

flying eastbound in winter,
ice slowly clings to metal.

Storm clouds butting up
against the rudder,
stuttering warnings
of impending doom,
but the lift is not hindered
by the force of nature.

She is returning home.

Tombstone regrets and
posthumous amends,
her twisted thoughts
tangle like her grandmother's
necklaces which gather age
in a manila envelope
under the mattress
of her dying mother's bed.

She mumbles beginnings
of prayers she feels
obligated to speak,
but fails to complete
for lack of faith that God
recognizes her voice
or cares that she
has hours yet to fly
and only minutes to
get there in time.

Intent on delivering
goodbyes and apologies,
she travels homeward
toward the hills where
her bare feet once ran
upon the same clay earth
that soon will be hollowed out
in a pit large enough to
contain both casket
and contrition.

She closes eyes,
tears filling throat
and coating her face
like ice on wing.
She takes breath,
taps right foot slowly
to the rhythm of old song
her Mother often sang
while hanging sheets
and socks on rope clothesline
on August mornings:

"Fly the ocean
in a silver plane,
see the jungle
when it's wet with rain...
just remember
'til you're home again,
you belong to me."

Opens eyes/
overhead light reflecting in
tears which fall slowly like
the large snowflakes
dancing about the plane,
she stares into
the dark expanses
outside her window.

On the black wingtips of a plane
flying eastbound in winter,
ice slowly clings to metal.

Storm clouds butting up
against the rudder,
stuttering warnings
of impending doom,
but the lift is not hindered
by the force of nature.

She is returning home.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


It was was 1984.

Sitting Indian style
atop the
on Mainsteet
in small town

I was popping tar
like bubble wrap,
hundreds of
black circles spanning
out like grease spill blisters
under an August sun.

No shoes,
sweat leaving tracks
like spliced wires
upon my gas can red cheeks
and I was
"finding a 100 dollar bill"
in a world
that was mine, alone,
to explore.

August, 1984 was
sheltered and difficult,
poor and filled with
smile inducing objects
like 25 cent bottles of
Orange Crush soda
and Vacation Bible School
and puppy love and
a sip from Bucky's
beer can and thinking
if I were nice, others
would reciprocate.

The ending of
1984 killed these
blissful moments,
slamming reality
into my core
like ribs into
bicycle handlebars,
knocking the wind
out of my lungs,
leaving me heaped
on the side of
that same road,
like the time
Chucky Bryant
picked me up
after wreck,
before he rode my bike
and a crying,
girl home.

August 1984
and he was
my temporary
in a leap year
filled with pain.

I needed saved then
from that town,
that road,
that life,

My sister,
two years younger,
and I laid on the tracks
one afternoon
listening in unison
for the moaning of steel
on steel, of some distant
heaving locomotive.

We never heard that train,
but I can hear that horn
this evening/
two long, one short, one long/
approaching crossroads,
gates lowered,
lights flashing.

Move back girls,
away from tracks
just enough to feel
the breeze of passing
car upon sunburned skin
in August, 1984.

Captain Crunch,
Captain Caveman,
Oh, Captain, my Captain,
Prince and Purple Rain,
all moved me like
freight cars
on hot tracks
on afternoons
when the world
was still mine
for the exploration
in small town,
August, 1984.

"Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves."

Orwellian forecast:

August, 1984.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Has loving ever choked you deep
like swallows of hot cocoa,
burned you from lips to belly,
briefly sweet upon tongue,
then cooling quickly,
making you hate you took in
too much, too soon
yet left you compelled to sip
from yielding cup again
and again?

Each song we loved to
makes me hate walls,
and windows,
and you.

Alone in bed,
heart suffocated by your smile,
I hum in pitch with self-loathing,
and this love still burns me
from lips
to belly.

I hate most mornings
so I cuss the spiteful sun
until it disappears
behind buildings filled
with empty spaces.

I curse the first time I kissed you,
pressed hard against
wooden door.

Some nights I cuss often.

I am not perfect.
I hate these faults
I have adopted,
but they comfort me
when I am tortured.

But I did love you
like waking from nightmares,
like photos of the deceased
reminding us of what we've forgotten,
like laughter,
like touch,
like molten drink.

Swallowed you with abandon
held you gently,
like hot cup in hand
and I know you
remember too,
know you can not forget
the distance
from my mouth
to navel.

That was not love
nor hot drink,
but it did, at times,
quench your thirst.

You cried when the nights
ended too early,
you having pleased me
and I placed my lips
upon your tears.

It lacked the romance
I'd seen in the movies
I've forgotten the plots to.

Just felt empty,
like you drank too much of me,
left me dry.

You wet of lip
and full of my essence,
without thought to refill me.

I told you then of the time
I was 6.

Knelt my scraped,
chubby knees
upon pine needles/
hid from Mother's eyes,
whispered to the ground,

"I want the world to die,"

before I yanked cocoons
from the tree,
like the stanzas I pulled
from the inspiration
of your lips and thighs.

You failed to grasp
the connection of