On The Reality Of Tattoos
A corporate suit goes to the market for peas,
passes a fresh vegetable stand, salutes
with one finger. He stares at 89 cent cans;
one jumps at his breast
and brands him with a brand-name.
In a field of crops, a farmer places callused hands
at his waist. He winces as he thinks of harvest.
He's eternally tired, but as a kid he learned
about ethos. Parents taught him to relish
the purity of his unmarred skin.
In a Texas corporate boardroom, a monocle slips,
cracks into shards in chorus with Mother Earth.
It may have begun with Cortes and gold,
but now escalates with the green of easy cash and
the red of blood in Iraq when shrapnel streaks and
the black oil that bubbles up from under owned and
The man with moneybag eyes betrayed her
Skyscrapers and concrete might well
be locusts. They signal a new flood
or perhaps the cold that shrivels
when mushrooms run amok.
-both poems previously published at Niederngasse
I never regret how the pistol's trigger felt
A boy stoned me with a pitcher's arm;
how quickly we learned the power of a rock.
An ambulance scared the kid,
its siren proclaiming his sin
and mine. Men tried to revive me,
but a hollow man conducts no charge;
besides, my heart, shriveled like a bad plant,
wasn't worth the voltage.
In hell, I think of childhood dinners:
a house of golden arches,
burgers consumed in minutes,
the fist of Mom or Dad when I spoke.
I stand in ankle flames,
let them warm me as I eat pitchfork oatmeal.
I remember my mother's breakfast burritos,
my room's creaky bed, my parent's hands
wrestling with my bedroom doorknob.
I'd positioned a chair, but it would not hold
the barrage of whispers about a video camera
and a new excuse for the teachers.
A nightmare's etiology is cholesterol, caffeine,
and shivering devils with red nails.
One night, I'm the business end of a pistol,
cracking a symphony of relief all night.
-previously published at Autumn Sky Poetry
A New Genocide For When Others Get Old
A stone warhead peeks from beneath feathers.
A sparrow is toeing the curb, an arrow in its fold,
its steps a drunken samba of lost blood.
My audacity is like a driving rain
as I boast my prowess, the trueness of my bow.
My cardboard crown as king of monkeys is secure.
Lesser animals are products of development, their brains
instinctual, unlike the supercomputer in my skull
that calculates wind velocities on the fly,
using only the aesthetics of the breeze
to time my desecration of an avian
no one will notice or miss.
-poem previously published at Raving Dove
Thoughts While Napping On A Maine Dock
The wind and breeze say I existed
before birth. They say I was the wrench
my father used to fix a bicycle
owned by a young graduate student;
the football sweatshirt that kept her warm
while he fought for her on painted grass;
the Chianti that still stains a bedspread
at a ski lodge in Colorado.
-poem previously published at Thieves Jargon