Monday, November 28, 2011

Waiting Room

Finally, I join Magpie Tales, one of my favorite sites, hosted by the fabulous poet Tess Kincaid. Go here to read more poems inspired by the photo or to join the fun.


Like the skin I'm in,
You're for waiting,

Though weighty days
Sap your springs

And cause your back to sag.

It all comes back to waiting,
Though waiting seems eternal

And your living room now
Couches only this:

You never know the hour
Or the day

You'll slip your cover,
Eternally sprung away.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dear Sir

Dear Sir
may i call you sir
or do you prefer
let me start again
Dear Barry
Dear little boy
between cultures
did you even imagine
sitting at grandma's knee
that someday you would be
the leader of the free world
you whose deep black father
never knew the chains
that held your brothers
did you find it hard
to walk the walk barry
talk the talk barry
to become Barack barry
when you were
dreaming your dreams
some would say
scheming your schemes
but we won't go there
sir we won't dwell
in the dark barry
thank God it's not about color
and if it were you are
the perfect blend
cafe au lait us and them
them and us one blend
that gives us hope that we can
yes we can overcome
the chains that hold us still
but now sir
Mr. President
it's another sort of chain
a chain of copper
and of nickel and of paper
a paper chain burning our eyes
burning down our homes
burning up our streets
burning up the libraries of the poor
so sir i write to say please do
sir if you can
you can if anyone you can
yes you can will you
would you please walk the walk
yes you can
and fix the faults
and put out the flames
and take away
these burning paper chains
respectfully sir
dear sir
Mr. President

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crossing the First Bridge

Crossing The First Bridge

Clutch tight to your belongings
On the first bridge;
The wind will snatch them from you,
No matter how you hold.
You'll watch them float below.

Be careful where your feet fall
On the first bridge;
The boards will give beneath you
In splintery ankle holds.
Below, the water flows.

Watch out for other traffic
On the first bridge;
It will drive you to the edges
Where there is no rail to hold,
And then you'll know:

You are no longer crossing
The first bridge.


Sunday, November 13, 2011


Deceptive beauty,
Nothing soft,
You move me
With your hard bite,
Stretch me on the rack
Of your long vein;
I dance with pick and axe
On heaps of gob and slag,
Run barefoot
The wooden track;
With open mouth,
We burn the night blue black.


Thursday, November 10, 2011



words fail
this cold
rushing deluge

this drumming
rushing deluge

this streaming
sinking, sucking
rushing deluge

sticking, stitching
rushing deluge

running, ruining
this rushing

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Early Morning, Domestic

Windows. Look in. Look out. Reflect.
This is for the Jam. Better late than never.

Early Morning, Domestic

Reflected in the still dark glass,
Blue television light,
A bare bulb glowing yellow
Above a stove,
A man placing bacon in a pan.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 4, 2011

Men Leave

Men leave
by bits;
they scatter
everywhere --
rings and watches
coffee cups
keys and cards
on dresser tops
with old receipts
balm for dry lips
loose change
that piles and grows
on kitchen desks
unopened mail
empty packs of gum
and folded handkerchiefs
upstairs their socks and shoes
last night's book
yesterday's shirt --
they shed themselves
like skin.
Someday I expect to find
a finger by the sink
shinbones on the stairs
teeth and hair
on the bathroom floor
an indentation
in the empty bed.


Posted using BlogPress from my iPad