Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Moving. Everyone hates it.
Cleaning the fridge, three a.m.,
all my life boxed,
I found a bottle of Moscato
from you wrapped in a plastic bag.
From before I'll never see you
again. My favorite wine.
This place, only last summer when I moved in,
impossible under the snow drifts now.
I pull the cork.
We drank half of it?
What giggling summer night was this,
after what touching sun-warm shoulders
and wading in what lukewarm river?
All cups packed away
so I bring the bottle to my lips.
Bitter and sweet,
enough for one taste and the heat
in my empty belly and then --
I pour it down the drain.
Throw the bottle in the trash.
I don't even welcome the numbness
trembling on my lip.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Looking for Believers --After Jeffrey McDaniel

If you chop off your arm or a finger or a hand when you are, say, sawing boards, you look at the limp piece that was part of you a second ago and scream, right? Not from the pain. From the horror of the thing-that-was-you now only a thing. I wonder if it is like that on the way to Heaven.

How to Rehydrate an Old Relationship

1. Cut off any rotten parts, freezerburn, or mold. 2. Chop the relationship into 1-inch pieces. 3. Heat a pot of water until you get a rolling boil. 4. Add the relationship to the pot and boil uncovered for one minute. 5. Remove from heat and allow to completely cool. 6. Repeat boiling and cooling. 7. Repeat steps 1-6. 8. Repeat steps 1-7.

Lessons in Housebuilding

I built my house
from my parents’ bones.
Every wall that sagged,
they extracted a bony pillar
to prop me up,
kept my crags from cracking,
crutched me under legs.
Soon I was the roof
over their heads.
They crawled under me,
rolling like deflated tires.
I tripped over their
sad rounded backs
with my bony stilts.
They said they couldn’t
see me way up there,
so I ripped apart my frame
and took the bones to the trash
like yesterday’s chicken picked clean.
I wobbled on the rubbery red
ropes holding me together.
I learned to stand all over again.
They watched me walk with such pride
that I bowed
as they showered me with the nails
that had once held us together.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

Possible Reactions to a Poem (acrostic)

Vehicle of mouth, lend me your
Open gates! Spew from the tombstone teeth
My every ugly lie and with
It, every ugly truth that lives
There, shaking the bars to get out.

Crack your damn eggs if you must.
Release your deadborn insides, the baby of
Your newborn soul wet and naked.

Lower your bottom jaw on its hinge
And empty your lungs to the sky.
Understand one thing when it comes,
God had nothing to do with it.
He didn’t make this storm. I did.

Sorry to hear about your outbursts,
Lady. My face hurts but yours is killing me!
And mop up the stink you left in the room!
Please. Thank you. Don’t come again.

Crinkle cheeks, stay away.
Raisin yourself in the sun.
I don’t want your sour puss.
Neither does anyone, even
God. You get out the door.
Everyone is catching on.

How the Magic Gets In

It’s here. Right now. Sitting in this room.
Stuffed between these two lines.
And these.

It’s in a photograph
of a smile that’s now
buried under Eastern Europe.

It’s in the Eucharist
when a bell chimes
three times.

It’s in the kitchen
before we blow out
the candles.

It’s in the eyes of lovers
when they know
it’s no one else.

How does it get in?
Does it settle like fog,
or sunlight on a seed?

It comes the way
open pipes breathe
into the kitchen
and the bathroom the earthy
scent of rivers.

drains in a second.

But it’s not gone.
It goes to live on:
in our bodies,
in your pages,
and every other elsewhere.

When Poetry breaks in

at night, it won’t want to leave.
It will crawl into your bed
and when you go rigid and say:
My mother warned me about you!
Poetry will laugh and say:
Baby, how do you think she knew?