Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Everything is a choice.
Wake up, or stay in bed.
Assume, or research.
Write a poem,
or eat a pickle spear.

I don’t have to write.
My life is not rigged,
prescribed by some
invisible hand
with a supervisory scrawl.

There’s responsibility,
sure, if people care.
Which I have done
a little research on,
and they do. A few.

Buckle down
and all that.

Today I’m content
with a pickle spear.

Tomorrow, the reward
might be letterpress alphabets,
water poured into glasses,
(a vision that exceeds meaning)
or the accusation
that I have no method.

My method is choice.
I have one. I use that.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mistaken Constellations

Today, the world is measured
in gum splats on the sidewalk.
Expectorated gum is the mistaken
and overlooked punctuation
of the population.

I once thought there was a story
to be written between each spot,
that This Could Be Art,
but the idea was little more
than a dog wearing a sweater.

Still, I love the city. Today, a man cuts
into stale bread with scissors,
and pigeons purl
at his feet, rainy greys,
oily violets. The sky
is a rowboat of blue,
and under it, a division
of architecture.

At night, the stars
mimic the gum
and a friend’s orange hat
bobs on the waves
of people ahead of me,
a buoy that directs
this way, this way.

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27th, Rain and 54 Degrees*

Hey look, it's raining
the nerve of air
to be so moist and warm!

Oh how we love
the animal seasons --
those whose leadership
is through a blind barrage
no matter what the day.

We love to talk about weather
like the news,
as if we're not just readers
but the whole editorial operation
who set to print
the headlined story.

* I planted a garden of spring bulbs in November. This morning, two of the daffodil bulbs were pushed up and green. That's all the news that's fit to print.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Narrow tendrils ascend from chimneys,
grackles cobble rooftops. The driven
wrap a custodial scarf around their necks,
warm their cars, push ahead
to the day’s interchange. Paychecks ahead.
The rest roll into the languid language
of coffee, cereal rained into bowls.
Later, the nozzle widens to the bounty
of morning television, social media.
Or a book opens, and the day is wanton
with words, gunfired, molten.

Monday, January 16, 2012

January Light*

pierced through
the slats of a barn

leveled, risen,
an I-beam

blue debates gold
on a morning walk

try again, electric snow!

shocktwinkle of success,
the underfoot promise

robes of a goddess, impossible
and mysterious shadows cast
against the side of a bank

cold duct of sky,
a gleam of fish eye

pearl jigs, jukes,
suspends in horsehair clouds

the first month,
a programmable dot
winks on the horizon line


* It's out of fashion to write about light. The collective reader has spoken - no one wants to read a poet's musings on motes of dust in sunlight, the quality of light slipping through the transom, or cat fur suspended in a moonbeam. Workshoppy MFA trends stink. When light strikes me, I will write about it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jennifer Whatever

You get tired of writing about yourself,
so you turn to explosives. It's a hobby. Fire,
better than being forgotten. Flames uncap their peaks,
you whirl them around your waist, take a stab
at swallowing them. Perfume your hair red.
Color your lips galaxy.

All your friends are supernovas, rockstars,
or they eat vegetables only and are immortal.

Everything is as separate as freckles.
Sulk on the mousehide chair, write at the desk,
breathe in the miasma of sulphur
from the mineshaft under your feet.

One day you will light your last sparkler,
toss it into the lake. Waves of goodbye,
or hello, again. Hello.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Strikeout: Clearing the Headspace

Ok, hooray. The Editor has arrived. He's wearing his top hat and cane, and he climbs my ribcage. Tip tap with the cane on each bone. He likes to poke my innards, and takes special delight in my lungs. A couple of good jabs and the wind is knocked out of me.

Today is the 10th, and I'm just getting around to feeling like the new year has begun. Pure poo.

Pens lean in a cup, books rest straight-backed on the desk, and my mind clear enough to think about making a list. Whoop de doo. Who cares about your lists?

Sheesh, you're tough. Today I crush your hat, and bend your cane. You can live in my spleen for awhile. Snuggle a kidney.

It's the new year, and I'm just getting around to feeling productive. I cleaned my workspace, and a clean workspace means a clean mind. It will last under a week.

Is it a resolution if you just want to get better at everything you do? That's what I strive for this year, and to enjoy the learning process.

All of my piles of paper are arranged into color-coded folders on my desk now:

Creative Writing Residencies
Hospice Memoirs
Virtual School Bus and Arts In Your Space programs
In-Service workshops
Gaslight Theatre
Poetry workshops
Central Casting & Casting Networks
Paper Kite Press & Paper Kite Books

This year, improvement everywhere. Little steps. I start a poetry residency with 8th graders tomorrow. The end of January is a hoop workshop. February is the start of a creativity workshop with friends that I hope will push up the confidence level. March is burlesque. The summer is memoir. Mingled throughout are performances, listening, writing, being. I'm happy to be alive, to learn, to love. Grateful for the chance to improve at anything at all.