Waiting at the Bar

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Waiting at the Bar

Don’t talk to me,
I’m quite content
watching you pour and mix
while I sip and twirl,
awash in the hum
of other conversations
and the ting of silverware.
Let me savor these moments,
anticipating her arrival.
Don’t distract me
with sports talk
or weathered cliches.
The wine you poured
and the woman not yet here
are inspiration enough.

 

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Drawing A Circle

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Drawing A Circle

My enemy drew a line
in the overheated sand—
daring me to cross.

With my pen I turned
his line into a circle,
big enough for us both.

Nothing standing in between—
no pundits, no internet,
no ads, just our words

and we soon discovered—
we have more in common
than either of us dare admit.

 

after Edwin Markham‘s Outwitted

 

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Interviewed by Hunting for the Very Best

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I was recently interviewed by author and food blogger, Dina Di Maio. We talked about my chapbook, Milkshakes & Chilidogs. Check it out at her blog, Hunting for the Very Best.

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Silence: A Halloween Nightmare

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Silence

The silence surprises me—
no more thumping from my chest—
no more swooshing through my ears—
the little gurgles of a living body
are now absent and missed.

The last light to enter these eyes
was from cold clinical fluorescents
as they sewed down my lids—
I felt the puncture of every needle,
including the embalmer’s.

Limbs useless, muscles atrophied,
a mind still spinning,
trapped inside a skull in pain,
feeling every itch of my skin—
nose filled with putrid rot.

The last sound was the dirt
hitting the top of the coffin.
Now— eternal silence
which I am unable to fill
with my screams.

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The Language of Touch

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The Language of Touch

Our fingers whisper—
trace thin skin,
sympathetic nerves,
compassionate nails—
a graceful discussion
of analog thoughts.

We’re watching something
that I’m ignoring.
Sitting by your side,
not gazing into your eyes.
I’d rather eavesdrop
on our hands.

I don’t want to interrupt
their conversation
with this banal language
of sound and sight.
Our fingers,
more articulate,
say it all.

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October Heatwave Haiku

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Rusted leaves recoil
Landing on scorching pavement
October heatwave

(The high temperature today was 98F/36C.)

 

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Peek My Curiosity

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Peek My Curiosity

If her top slips a button
and I glimpse white lace,
I must time my glances
to seem to keep eye contact.

When helped from a car,
if her skirt rides up, revealing
a delicate curve of thigh,
I pretend to avert my eyes.

Those made-up girls on stage
don’t pique my curiosity
because I know for a dollar
they’ll show their breasts.

I’ll stay patient, preferring to peek,
while trying to earn that which I seek.

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Pre-Modern

the-enigma-of-a-dayWe erected statues
to those leaders
who inspired
or enslaved,

back when things got done.
There was a kind of progress—
armies marched to kill,
factories produced and polluted.

It was a simpler time,
when a nation’s wealth
was calculated in tons
instead of bytes

and the elected were meant to lead
instead of distract.

 

(An ekphrastic poem written to “The Enigma of a Day” by Giorgio de Chirico, the Living Poetry September Visual Poetry Prompt.)

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Duty

girl-3395298_1280Yesterday I hosted a germination workshop for Living Poetry. We had six poets working with eight prompts over two hours. One of the prompts was to write about duty.

Duty

Even when the words won’t run
some days they barely crawl
the poet’s duty is to write

Drunk or sober
amused or apathetic
it’s our obligation
to drag a metaphor
out of the ordinary
to reveal meaning
found hidden under
the tiniest pebble
of inspiration

 

(I also used this for today’s Monday Poetry Prompt.)

 

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Chana Saag, Hot

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Chana Saag, Hot

I set fire to my mouth
with self delusion,
misbelieving I could handle
the spice.

Water doesn’t put it out
it spreads it around
like flames and gasoline.

Nose running,
scalp sweating,
lips smouldering.

My stomach — a furnace
whose walls are buckling,
belching like a dragon

until a lovely lhassie
in a mango dress
extinguishes the fire
with her kiss.

 

(From this morning’s Living Poetry Prompt and tonight’s dinner.)

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