April 17th, 2014

I don’t really like children.
Princess’s fall from a low pink wall
flustered grownup kisses
symbiotic toddler tears
I wonder what learning to feel a skinned knee is like.
If she learns that skinned knees are important, worthy of kisses
Will she learn to feel anything else?
Will Princess spend her adult life with her knee dimly skint?

Or maybe she is learning to trust her skin.
The fluttering grownups must believe that the red mark is the truth-
That when skin whispers pain, it is important, and that Princess should listen.

I can understand my clumsy hand when I brush it on a hot oven grate making pizza
I can translate the braille a kidney stone makes with its cleats
The way I can understand a man gesticulating panic in Russian or Chinese.
But I don’t speak the language of my body.
Maybe Princess will be a prodigy.
Maybe she is learning to play chess with her body and win.
Maybe when Princess is grown, being kissed by all the king’s men,
Her skin will tell her instantly whether she likes it or not
And whether she should stop.

April 10th, 2014

The hand-me-down shoebox of CDs
Containing such gems as P-Funk and Bob Dylan
Surprised my dusty car stereo with
Bach’s Partita #3,
A prelude to my dad’s death.
It moves with the precision of my father’s fingers
But my father’s fingers age like Paganini.
To dad,
Bach’s Partita #3 is work.
I never asked if he enjoyed it,
And I’m sure he would find that a funny question.
He still plays it
But in an empty apartment
With no woman to love it.
Bach’s Partita #3
A prelude to my mom’s death.

March 30th, 2014

I’m never sure when to respond
To a Facebook post.
So I made a divining rod
That detects borderline personality disorder.
Talking to you is like
An alien abduction.
It makes no sense to me,
But I read a book on it
So I don’t have to know you either.
I can’t stop staring
As you lift me gently to the mothership.
I learned early that the way to win
Is never to flinch, no matter how bright the fluorine light.
And I keep my emotions
Wrapped in foil shields
Like baked potatoes.
I know you hate that.

March 13th, 2014

I am promiscuous with trust,
And recreational pity.
I see a face in the sky
Like I see
A face in the dots of discarded gum on the sidewalk.
I guess it makes compassion’s dish taste better cold, but
I would be far more empathic if I saw faces
On cars on the highway.

March 9th, 2014

The drunk jambalaya we made of our limbs
Was all very nice, but
I want a sober roux
Of me and you.

Mardi Gras connection purely coincidental. Lest you forget, there’s still a book out there for you!

February 27th, 2014

Sometimes I imagine the lady that hands out pamphlets
In front of the abortion clinic
Hates babies almost as much
As I hate kittens
When you offer me one from a box
On its way to the pound.
I suppose, in theory, I could love it
But I’m so tired from squeezing joy out of guilt and obligation,
And my only food is my heart’s thin stone soup.

February 20th, 2014

The cockroach in my trash can isn’t well.
He occasionally expresses a dim tin desire to live.
But I’m too busy
Doing poetic penance
To finish him, or my Powerpoint.

February 14th, 2014

My valentine to you all.
Your tongue
Makes me feel
Like a toasterful of forks.

February 13th, 2014


Deep in my chest
There is a windowless basement
Where you are handcuffed to a chair
Until you tell me where he is.
You’ll let me hurt you a little
But eventually you’ll tell me
How you know the world is good.

And when that’s done, I’ll beat you until you answer my Star Trek trivia questions.

January 23rd, 2014

I never could fake a moon landing.
The gentle, fragile, soft tattoo
Of astronaut boots
Itched my mind
Like an ant on your arm you can see but not feel.
Flags planted on boring craters
Fill with dust, forgotten.
When my nerves collect too much data,
They aim it outside the solar system.
I’ve emptied myself out like an ashtray.
Your equations work out on paper,
But die without oxygen
In my cathedral mouth.