Thursday, June 28, 2012

500 Weeks (for Anita)

In 500 weeks
there’s over
3,500 goodnight kisses,

hundreds of miles
of dog-walking,

over 10,000
shared meals.

Thousands of doses
of necessary laughter,
some tiny,
some enormous,

over 20,000
digital photographs,

a bucket of tears,
containing both happy
and sad.

A few
sleepless nights,

a thousand songs
connecting to
to ten thousand memories,

a multitude
of misunderstandings
and slightly
more apologies.

Innumerable heartbeats
bouncing off one another,

at least
20 coats of paint,

one quietly
spectacular woman
to lean upon
and look up to.

Wedding Day, November 29, 2002, Newport Beach, California

[On Friday June 29, we will have been married 500 weeks.]

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

David, Then Buster, Then David Again (Prompt: Someone Famous)

I first read about his band
in a New York
rock critic’s anthology,
and when I saw them,
I was spooked,
then intrigued,
then amused.

His was a voice
bigger than
his hair,
with a rock star persona
that verged on self-parody
and a NooYawk accent
that belied his literary wit.

that didn’t last long.

Years later, he materialized
as Buster
channeling the soul of Charles Brown
and the showbiz of Al Jolson
at New York Tramps’
as Ethnomusicologist-in-Residence.

He was witty, suave
artistically unpredictable,
and ultimately confident:
everything I wanted to be.

After he and the World tired
of “Hot Hot Hot”,
he took on different guises,
and he’s presently
settled back with that group
from long ago,

sans the drug abuse and
youthful idiocy.

Never mind what the
rock history books say:
this is his prime.

He’s still my epitome of cool,
always been,
always will be.

Thanks, David,
then Buster,
then David again.


Then Buster,

Then David Again.

(Submitted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Shay Caroline edition,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Coyote Blood Orgy (Sunday Night)

Every night
sometimes early,
sometime late,
the ritual begins with
a single ominous yelp,
then builds to a chorus
of cruel mockery,
a rapacious death chant.

At the center
of this spectacle,
a stray dog
unfortunate housecat,
or a field rabbit
eyes darting,
calculating the
inevitable conclusion,
as this pitiless pack
savors this moment
of anticipation.

Circling and taunting
their prey,
it resembles
an amoral schoolyard,
as the wailing swirls
and their bacchanal
of chaos and viciousness
echoes across the valley.

The macabre singing
of the band rises
as the terrified victim
sees his last moment
of life

Just as quickly
as it started,
a lone cry signals
the end of the savagery.

It is both
sinister and banal.

Then the
coyote blood orgy
becomes eerily silent,

not from guilt
but rather
temporary satiety.

(audio of coyote - turn up your speakers)

(Posted for #OpenLinkNight at - come on and post your poem!)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Somewhere Else (Adultery Suite, Part Two, 1999)

When she met me
in Seattle
that Saturday
it was paradise.

we walked and talked
and got lost in
a somewhere else;
a somewhere that seemed
blissfully unaware
of all the realities
awaiting my return.

On Wednesday
the drive back to
the airport was terrible.
Every song played on
the rental car radio
underlined the impossibility
of this immature,
demanding love.

Once I was safely on the plane
with my heart in my throat,
I wrote every detail
of the weekend
and then shut the book
and held it tightly
to my chest,

hoping that my writing
would exorcise
the yearnings and guilt
long before I got home.

But, the yearning and the guilt
remained with me
and reminded me
of my scarlet adultery
every time I walked
back through that door

to a place
I would go back to
many times in the
next two years

but never really return.

(For #MeetingTheBar  at

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Shortest Distance (Prompt: Straight)


(Poetic Form: Soupy Sales, 25 Words or Less)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Not Tonight

“Uh oh.
Not tonight.

When he kisses me
more than once,
I know he’s warming up
to something.

Maybe if I give him
a few tight-lipped

he’s not stopping.

he’s positioning
his whale-like frame over me.

Perhaps he doesn’t realize
he’s gained 40 pounds
in the last ten years,
but I do.

C’mon, let me leave
my shirt on.
I’m too tired to make this
a whole big production.

I didn’t shower,
so there’s no way you’re doing

I’ll suck his tongue,
that always does the trick.

Ow, you’re on my hair!

If he wasn’t so out of shape
he wouldn’t need the meds
for the high blood pressure,
the high cholesterol,
the diabetes,
and then
maybe he wouldn’t need the
which takes too long to work


He’s semi-hard,
like the mozzarella cheese stick
I put in the kid’s lunch.

This is
kind of
how I remember
it feeling.

If I turn over,
it gets in deeper
and he finishes faster.

I knew it.

I shouldn’t have moved.

Now it’s gone.

This is frustrating.

Let me reassure him.

No, it’s ok.
That’s ok, really.

And now,
here come the

whatever you do,
don’t cry.”

(For #OpenLinkNight at - come join the fun!)

Monday, June 11, 2012

“You’re Always Gonna Be My Baby”

He introduced me
to many things
I still love
to this day:

the Marx Brothers,
Little Richard
and movie musicals.
He had a great voice
and would sing
along with the soundtracks
“Oklahoma!” and
“West Side Story” on nights
when my mom
went to ceramics
as he washed
and put away the dishes.

I never saw him
without his wedding ring
and he never stayed out
after work having beers
with his buddies:
his place was home
with my mom,
and he liked it.

When I was nine,
I wanted to build a scooter
so we scoured garage sales
just to find some old skates
to use as wheels,
because anyone could buy
new wheels, but
it took real talent to recycle.
Plus, it was cheaper.

He’d always put me on his team
when we played two-on-two
anything with my two brothers
because I was the chunky,
unathletic one,
and all my cousins loved Uncle Dan
because he always included everyone
and never left anyone out
when we played games.

He had an undeniable sweetness,
an unpretentious, inviting smile,
but he was nobody’s fool.

He taught me about
taking care of my tools,
doing hard work, and
making sure you finish your jobs.

His sense of humor
is what I miss the most:
he made me laugh
without bitterness
without irony.

He wasn’t cool,
but he didn’t have to be.

I didn’t know
he was going to die
so young.

Favorite memory:
when I was 30
he bailed me out
of an awful jam.
It was an embarrassing
humiliating spot,
and all I could say was
“I’m sorry,
but I feel like such a baby, Pop.”

With mock seriousness
he answered:
“I don’t care if
you’re 100 years old,
you’re always gonna
be my baby.”

I still miss you
every single day.

Thanks for everything, Pop.

(Written for #OpenLinkNight at - the best source for poetry on the internet.)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Spaceship Georgia Peach

From the first
drop of the needle

the world stopped

and was held captive
by the weird beauty

of the chugging backbeat
over which was the howl
heralding a welcome mutant
a new strain


They had sent their leader
and he blazed a trail
with a wild bouffant
crazed eyes
and the scream
of a White woman in church.

He traveled
50 zillion light years
bringing this evangel
and a rollicking piano.

He invited us
on his spaceship
The Georgia Peach
and with every
involuntary jerk
of our bodies
we assented

"Yes, Little Richard,
take us with you."

(Ok, it's an old poem, but I wanted to play in this weeks #MeetingTheBar at - go and prepare to be thrilled!)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

I’m Not Camping (Prompt: Camping)

I’ll drive my hybrid vehicle
over well-paved
to experience
the majesty and power
of the evergreen forest,

and I’ll capture the sights
on my 13 megapixel HDR
digital camera,

and record the sound of
the singing wetlands frogs
and placid lake loons
with my digital mp3
field recorder

and to capture the scent,
I’ll even bring back
a pine cone or two
in an airtight freezer bag
available at any corner market,

but I’m not going to
live in the forest
in a temporary campsite.

That would be
an insult,
a slap in the face
to our inventive ancestors
who devoted their lives
to mastering this
chaotic frontier,
to provide a legacy of
comfort, security and

If ever
I am overcome by
romanticized atavism,

I’ll return to those things
that technology
has not improved upon:

writing poetry
and making love,

I’m not

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Floating Candy

The hummingbird
defied gravity,
and zipped up
beside my third floor
office window.

He was beautiful,
with a splash of red
in a smooth green wrapper,
like a piece of floating candy.

I thought,
“you’re so far away
from where you’re supposed to be,
50 feet high in the air,
searching in vain
for something resembling
sugary nectar.”

He looked at me,
and I’m sure
he was thinking
the very same thing
of me.

where I looked upon him
with misunderstanding,
he looked upon me
with pity,

and then he
zoomed away.

(Submitted for #OpenLinkNight at - my favorite poetry site on the internet.)