Friday, August 19, 2016


…Today, in a couple of hours, I fly away to Taos, New Mexico for a writer’s workshop with ten other people, a few of whom I know.
Then next Friday I fly from there to Las Vegas for a guy’s trip.  The fastest way to get from Taos to Vegas is to fly all the way back to Seattle, then fly to Nevada.  Strange.
So I’ll be gone ten days.  That’s a long trip.  And it’ll be odd being in that writer’s space then jumping into buddy mode.  But hard to complain.
Not sure if I’ll be blogging while I’m gone, so if you want to come back here around the 1st of September, that might be best.
I hope you will.

…In the meantime, I got five poems accepted yesterday.  I submitted them back in February(!).  Pretty tardy reply, but I’ll take it.
Here they are, and have a great week:
My Ghost and Me

My ghost is here again,
sitting on the edge of the bed
its shadowed face a shawl of despair
He wants to reconcile,
to be loved again or held in arms.
but there’s been too much carnage
too many years running.
Just look at the necklace of lies and scars
he wears across his bony neck.
If he was someone else, anyone else
I would most certainly consider a second chance,
but the rings inside a tree,
the brittle bones rotting in caskets
do not abide grace or forgiveness
when so much has been torn asunder
by one’s own hands.


Too Many Men

There are too many men
inside me
trying to escape,
each one too slow or clumsy,
cowardly perhaps.
They like it here,
hiding in the chaos and bramble,
playing Hide N Seek,
Tug of War,
Russian Roulette.
Now that I’ve grown a beard people
tell me I look like Jesus or Lincoln.
Who I am is never who I am.
I don’t know the difference between authenticity
and an orange that’s been bit into.
Am I saying too much?
Does this scare you like I thought it would?
Now let me tell you the worst thing:
I never loved you, not like that.
Instead I was too weak to walk away,
too many different people inside my head
saying, Marry her.  Marry her.  She’s as good
as you’ll ever get.


Jetsam and Flotsam

I sit on a sidewalk
listening to the rain,
how it sounds like
chicks pecking on the pavement
as a thousand cabs slog by,
sloshing filthy rainbows
of water over me.
We’ve taken cabs
up and down this same street,
across the Brooklyn Bridge
to Bryant Park or Nolita.
You said, “The rain is nothing to fear,”
even as the floods came,
boats unmoored,
boards like broken bones,
the essence of us
now nothing more than
jetsam and flotsam
wafting away with the rising tide.

Where Your Joy Is Now

You always reach for the blue bottle,
the one tucked behind
the others in the bathroom cabinet
I never look into.
Only I do,
when you’re gone I do,
counting out the number of pills left,
these tiny toggles
you crunch and swallow dry.
Is that where your joy is now?
Your heart?
We once made love inside a palm tree
undercover of the night
and blinking Mexican stars
with you saying that was enough,
I was enough.
Maybe I’m being selfish or jealous.
After all, orange is my favorite color.
But wouldn’t it be nice
if the stars meant as much to us,
the night just as much,
if we still longed to be tethered together?

Crawl Space

Hey it’s me, hiding in the crawl space
With a faulty flashlight that keeps blinking off
I’ve been here fifty-five years
And as many days
You don’t believe me, I can tell
But there’s a reason I feel like a masochistic Peter Pan
You see
His hands were so large
His breath a fire
The things he did were enough to keep
A person enslaved forever  

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