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accents shift

from one neighborhood

to the next — one town

over– no more sounds

like yours or your friends

at the corner pub

where even the odd

and unloved fit warmly

at a table in the dark

where the fog follows you

home into a darker wood

until your voice tangles

among incestuous roots

and a knife draws

a line along your throat

at the possibility

of a misunderstanding

(April 22, 2019)

Speak Into Silence



S

As if with a spoon,

she scoops the words

from his pliant mouth.

The rounded vowels,

and crisp consonants

shred her tongue

with shards of ice.

Meanwhile, with slick

knives, he carves

all conversation, 

leaving bits of blood,

like rose petals,

to stain the ground

in a red-wet lust.

Neither he, not she,

can speak into

what was said.

They stare, stunned,

past empty eyes;

their mouths slack

like the recent dead.

(February 5, 2019)

Ars Poetica: The Fiction of Truth


Since I do understand the importance

Of narrative, I tell stories without

Telling stories, like now, as I write this

Poem. I’ve created a fiction of me,

Truthfully, yet still a grounded fiction,

Who is speaking to you, someone absent,

As if we were strangers ordered to share

A rough table in a pub. But instead 

of talking about the local football 

team, or rudely about the government,

I talk to you as if you are in love,

Listening, as I speak, rather than write,

These simplistic thoughts upon this blank page,

And pretend you did not leave years ago.

(January 11, 2019)

Good Fences

Spotlights illuminate empty stage with dark background. 3d rendering

 

There is nothing here, she says

holding out her heart.

 

He demurs in silence and

refuses to speak his part.

 

No matter, she improvises,

each stone’s cut smooth…

 

…and takes its place, he smiles,

like fate into its groove.

 

There are no walls, she says,

when nothing’s to divide.

 

The walls are real, he says,

everyone has something to hide.

 

Again, she offers her heart;

and, he has forgotten his part

 

(October 21, 2018)

A Stumbled Fall

teacup-sunshine

after w.-a.-r.  with apologies

 

Static allowed no pauses

to slip his supplications

into their conversations.

 

Filled with honey, his mouth,

spoke too slowly, too low,

to be heard over the swarm

of bees infesting her ears.

 

The tea cup had no depth

beyond the damp leaves

he fingered metaphorically.

 

It was too late to go back,

to be what he was not,

to grow his silent desires

from the salted earth.

 

(May 28, 2018)

Teaching

IMG_3451

 

I’m not sure I do much,

but open doors, set up chairs,

provide a place to read,

talk, write; which is enough

and yet, is not enough

to beat back the belligerence

barking like a spittle-flecked

beast. I can’t save them

from what is to come,

nor always be there to speak

amiably into their distress,

and voiceless traumas.

But there is this room,

an open door, and a chair.

 

(March 27, 2018)