A Little Dauber Do Ya

1

The only thing here in the traps was a very crisp frog. There's a bit of a breeze. Only some of the grass has grown, only some of it needs to be mowed. The rest is fried—if it isn't dead it might not grow again this year. So there's one upside to the heat, to the lack of rain: less mowing. If I can stick out the balm, I can spend my time here the next two days doing more of this, and maybe a little reading...


The rest of the story...

Time’s Beach

Lunch rooms
in old department stores. Or
on the ground floor
of the office building downtown
where my pediatrician practiced
upstairs, that sterile waiting room,
booster shots, dropping my pants
so I could pass the physical but then
lunch with my mom in the bustling
café downstairs, like something
from the fifties, the glamor of my
own personal history, a café that
must be decades gone, its existence
now inexplicable, part of the long
beach of time that will somehow
also include the rest of this, my
unraveling life


Note: This was among four of my poems published in February at Parhelion, an online literary magazine. You can see all four poems by following this link. I also wrote a short essay about my writing process to accompany the poems. Poems by other writers published in the same issue, along with an incredible painting of a farmhouse, can be found here. Thanks again to Parhelion for including my work on their site.


Thanks for reading...

Beckon Brush

A single bract
With a nutlet at its base

A flowering branch

A beech with its smooth gray bark

“It was more or less darkly mottled.”

Every vein ended in a tooth

It sent up suckers, so you see
Large trees were often surrounded
By little ones

Deer tiptoed at the margins
Browsing on coppice growth

Deer, most evenings
At the forest edge


Poem page...

Flock Like a Nuisance

In the gloam,
mirror on mirror,
shot glass memories.

Wild turkey, you’re a dinosaur.
Subtle grouse, you’re the heart.
New bird, I’ll never know you.

Sixty-six million years ago—
How long ago was that
In technology years?  In robot seconds?
In the exhaust of wingbeats
Thudding like clickbait
Into the online brilliance
Of original flight?

Long live the crow,
Who abstains from all of us,
Who flocks like a nuisance
Until none of us is around
To scorn him.


Note: This was among four of my poems published last month at Parhelion, an online literary magazine. You can see all four poems by following this link. I also wrote a short essay about my writing process to accompany the poems. Poems by other writers published in the same issue, along with an incredible painting of a farmhouse, can be found here. Thanks again to Parhelion for including my work on their site.


Get In, Get In

1.
I deflate into sleep
Letting the air of
Today escape
Until tomorrow.

There's afternoon sun
When we stride,
Evening lights
When we slumber.

I saw it on the news.
Flies landed all over,
A bug-eyed buzzing
Mist, here to soak up
All of our
Crowded skepticism.

When we leave our
Doors open to the
Cool dark night
They make their move
To get in.

2.
All of the ice machines
In Tucson are empty,
Hobbled by
Mischievous
Desert tech.

Before they broke
They bade us
Sonoran goodbyes.
They said,
What water
We made solid
Will never be forgotten.

They didn't try to
Negotiate. They
Made no demands.
It's not a strike
When the absence
Never ends.

They just got in.


To continue with this poem, please click here or click below. Thanks for reading...

Sketches of East of Here

I. Setting Out.

My brother is driving. I'm in the backseat at liberty to write. Dad, riding shotgun, shuffles through sheets of paper explaining stock valuations and physical therapy exercises.

The car is a 2015 Buick Lucerne with 62,000 miles on it and counting. Destination: Ludlow, Massachusetts, where my dad grew up, where he's from, where he still has family: his cousins, his aunt (who turns 88 in two days), his sister (who he hasn't seen in 25 years), his niece (likewise).

We left Belleville, Illinois, at 8 a.m. this morning, yours truly behind the wheel. Football (a.k.a. soccer) streams on satellite radio, channel 157, the European Championship tournament. This is the first round of the tournament, dubbed group play. Earlier, Russia knocked off Finland. Now, it's Turkey and Wales.

It's been awhile since I've been in a car's backseat. I'm enjoying it; it feels like a luxury. Like I'm flying on an airplane. What else is there to do but to read, to write? To describe, to explain, to tell?

At the first rest stop, my dad pointed at some new socks he was wearing.

"What do you think of these?" he asked...


Click to continue with my account of traveling by car to Ludlow, MA with my dad and brother to visit family there...

Armadillo Sonata

Goodbye to the poetry of Beethoven!

The dog jartles, looking
At me like I just
Went after the mailman.

I’m a wasp in a nest of dirt
I’m the armadillo in your garden

Armadillo armistice
Armadillo armband

An armada of armadillos
Carried an armoire away.
I crossed my arms when
Neil Armstrong landed
By mistake in Armenia.

I clean my clothes in the sun.
I sharpen my nails on rusted wire.
I am a dangerous animal,
A vociferous vole.  And
I am here to assure you

If, like me, you have
Lost your mind,
It can’t have gotten far.