Archive for November, 2009

the cynic

He sat by a river
smoking a cigar so big
it barely fit into his mouth
his teeth were stained purple
from the half-empty bottle
of pinot noir perched against his leg

He sat and stared at the water
transfixed by the fish he couldn’t see
the rod he wasn’t holding

His breath smelled of mint
and rotting meat
and cigar, of course
and in a tree-branch a raven watched
as he pulled a pistol from his pocket
cocked back the hammer
held the barrel to his temple
and pulled the trigger

He survived
but blind

His daughter
raven-black hair
washed him tenderly
with a faded grey wash-cloth
wiped away the drool
from the corners of his mouth
and let him cry
into her shoulder
with unseeing eyes

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November 22, 2009 at 5:21 am Leave a comment

What does God look like?

Does he have a bushy beard?
And if so, does he ever trim it?
And if so, does he trim it himself or
does he have a heavenly barber?
And if he has a barber
Does God leave tips?
And if he does, how generous is he?
And if he’s female,
why does he have a beard?
I want to know

November 22, 2009 at 5:11 am Leave a comment

riff

What I did today
is none of your business
is everyone’s business who cares
to sell me something
apparently

What I do today is
none of anyone’s business
but I’ll tell you anyway because
that’s what people do
they tell each other what they think
feel dream do hope regret forget
embellish the truth or plain lie
it’s what we’re programmed for
trust me

so what I did today
is what you want to know
is what you think you’re entitled to
is what I’m gonna tell you as soon as I
find the words

I don’t have the words
sorry
It’s complicated knowing
where to insert the “a” the “the”
the “yes” the “no”
the “now” the “never”
the “forget about it”

just
put it out of your mind
will you?
Or tell me what you did
it’s what you want to do anyway
isn’t it?
You don’t really care what I think
feel want

Not unless I pay
$150 a session

Today’s almost over
and I still haven’t said a word
not really
just brayed terms
empty and plastic and bent
out of shape

November 18, 2009 at 4:31 am Leave a comment

panic attack

my legs aren’t mine
inside
my organs throb and jostle and grow
and fear grips my heart
and squeezes

my kidneys swell and swim sideways
my stomach tightens
my eyes dim
my feet go from heavy to weightless
in under a second
and i yell out “No”

but there’s no one
just the night
pressing against me
chafing against my skin
i’m scared
i am scared

i grab at my breath
like a drowning swimmer
grab at it and pull
in the air and breathe it out again
i count 1 2 3 4
i count them 5 6 7 8
when i get to 10
i have nowhere to go but start
at the beginning again

my feet drive me forward
closer to safety
where’s that?
how to escape the terror
of my own skin

but it’s not the end
it’s a beginning
with memory
with recognition
with knowing that
it’s not over until it’s over
and i’m still here
still here

November 12, 2009 at 5:49 am Leave a comment

skytrain ride

because of you
i smell the world
a sweaty sweetness
oozes from your bloodless pores

because of you
voices echo like castanets
and the clang-clang-clang
of a broken fan

because of you
my stomach jostles
my chest rasps
my eyes puff up
you’re a hungry snake
your fangs in wait

i orbit the city’s stink
like Jonah and his whale
then
the safe thud
the metal mouth heaves open
frees me–
briefly

as I step out
through metal doors
your glare follows me
like a hiss
or a Siren
waiting

November 6, 2009 at 1:58 am Leave a comment

umbrella weather

the long shaft
its tip explodes into spokes
bear-hugs me against the rain–
my protector
against the city’s feral exfoliation

you are my crown
under you I roam free
through concrete and steel
only the wind is your enemy
bending you back
sometimes breaking you

and when you fall
you are nothing
a gleaming rag
a metal skeleton slumbering
next to an overflowing garbage can
powerless to face even a single
drop

November 3, 2009 at 10:16 am Leave a comment


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