what is unlyrical but must be said

Let’s try this. I’ll consider that person over there or next to me in line on the road the one who cut me off in a hurry or voted the other party or plays teeth-gritting music loud or didn’t go to my school or love my team or wear my style or speak my language or moved too quickly too slow to apologize or understand or maybe they tripped on a different mistake—and I’ll wonder what meanness and ugliness and stupidity lurks yet in my heart my own special blind spot cultivated now overgrown. Derision hate ridicule tearing down are all on this coin scraping and scraping a grave deep ocean-wide. Can I imagine that person over there or next to me in line on the road has a mother a brother a grandma a child? That they could be my mother my brother my grandma my child? How they hunger and thirst and ache and love and in that, God knows, they are me, my brother my grandma my child.





Too Early to Tell

Time was
I put on gloss
and polish, finishing
touch—a mask
for what rattled
undone, inside.
Best face forward
(all turmoil is let be).
Who are we
to each other
beyond gloss and polish?

Today’s PAD prompt is to write a memory poem. I got distracted by the cosmetics ad (with a bright tube of lipstick) that popped up at the edge of the screen.


Look to space—soundless,
starred fascination-deep. Silence
this clash of human cries. Let’s
sit snug and dream of drone-
delivered stuff, hash political hairs
and tell kids they don’t want
to work at McDonald’s. Let’s bash
bullying and say it’s okay
to cry over math every night

PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 6 prompt, “We’re being watched,” touching on technology. I went a little slant, perhaps.

11 September, Mozartstrasse (revised)

a day of sun and rain either matches

or causes my mood; I vacillate

on the balcony-edge of ennui and imagine

we’ve arrived at a cross-roads again


I dress in gray and that’s not working

I drink tea and tree-gaze and that’s not working

we weigh this decision as if we had any sway

over these flighty earth-bound souls


(the sky is sudden in the hills—

watch clouds overspill forested heights

race wind-chastened down our valley)



from the forest

to the cat, green hat—

things we wanted

like beetles in a jar


distant god-watching

ultimately unfruitful


suitable it seemed

to stroll wine-sparkled

and violin at the sky

with cello’d flute—

there was a chill in it

green and gold lights

chained trees in stone

(and we thought

this was




If I were a better liar

I wouldn’t try to spare your feelings
I wouldn’t be here to please

I wouldn’t keep changing
my back story to suit me

I would talk to strangers
and be home in a crowded room

I’d give up the sea and appreciate
the beauty of underpass graffitti

I would like dogs and the idea
of caviar

I would buy into complacency
I’d punctuate my words with grace

I’d take even these bits of dandelion fluff,
stitch them into something so gorgeous

you’d believe