‘Suburban Jewel’

May 28, 2013

Like red hots on the grill, thwacking screen doors,

radio jazz and wide supermarket aisles,

I am the noun lacking in another’s life.

These scenes and scents — the wisps of home in summer —

at once complete and cripple the present tense.

Tense as I am. Billowy to be in now.

 

Future domestic quiet in the gutter.

Trash more beautiful scattered on hills

beside the highway, on our frozen black beach,

than hopscotching the dirty city sidewalks.

Bring me suburbia so I can crown it

jewel of the haunted homesick spirit.

 

Enough babble at the lack of trees. Begin

the trek back to the source which kills like salmon

in a new water home. Daggers to the stars

through sunroofs and vantage porches. The neighbors wave

and blow hot chat of grandkids — welcome it

as a crisp dog on a bun. Savor. Digest.

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‘Dumpster Love’

May 28, 2013

Do you know Dementia? asks the crazy eyes

on the B. Dirty hair explodes down his chin

like rust and each word spoken sharpens with hate.

Confusion at the tight jeans, general location,

sleeve tattoos has sullied him. Society’s soiled

diaper bound for trash heaps. Dumpster love.

 

We cross the river, gaze avoiding gaze,

and he mumbles something about a pair of sneakers.

What wishes granted could return a mind gone

in cyclone chaos? He rides endless trains

to talk to strangers, to live, to feel, to shirk

a burden of eternity. The old man dies —

 

not the way the rest go, but alone

as night and stark as parking lot orange lights.

We all exhale collectively upon

the hours of our ends, but crazy face

released himself an age ago. What walks

is lurching disappointment in the flesh.

‘Prospect’

May 27, 2013

Park in autumn explodes orange,

but here in May — the cusp of green — it eases

into its spring gulp like a glove. On the pew,

you a secular prayer inside the tunnel,

the arches framing scenes of dogs and soccer.

The wind takes note.

 

Welcome the peace, don’t swat it like a storm

or beast hacked back by torches. Allow a breeze.

Let the change drip easy on your shoulders —

the married brother, the parting of the clouds.

With winter chased away, drink heaven from a hose

and wash your face in the sun.

‘Odds Are’

May 6, 2013

Here’s a man who lives devoid of danger.

No clandestine operations. Just a deep hardness,

and every man he meets remains a stranger.

 

Keeps stiff teeth, his grip clenching daily

like tetanus. The mercy gone, the empathy.

Here’s a man who lives devoid of danger.

 

Awakens slow as honeycomb. Treats coffee cups

like lovers, lick and palm and heavy breath.

Every man he meets remains a stranger

 

for fear, mostly, of revealing too much —

what warm childhoods don’t exist, the dashed dreams.

Here’s a man who lives devoid of danger

 

yet treats his suns as threats, stealing away

villainous and stark. He’s taken away

his name, so all he meet stay dark as strangers.

 

No surprises to know he knows but won’t let on,

the folly in it, the dread, the litany

of sleepwalking a life devoid of anger

and batting all away as leeching strangers.