because joy helps you to swallow


each day my resolve
under a burden of years
with one truth to be
that we did not think
everything through

in these hours
I sweep fetid memory
under his favourite chair
each moment of hell
relegated to the pantry
behind the oatmeal
no one will eat

it is best to leave way
for new sweet minutes
when I am kinder
and remember smiles
like that time
he left his tea
atop the car
and we laughed

Book by its cover


She looks like a girl but when she opens her mouth
she sounds like a roller derby queen
complete with helmet and knee pads
the music of the 70’s surrounding her

He looks like a middle-aged man but when he talks
he’s like a used car salesman
trying to get me to take an old caddy
for a spin-and see its worth

My words come fast and furious in black and white
but I think I am a rock and roll star
hair flying around my head in a haze
of Janis Joplin mid-sixties blues

The hair on your chest

No one told you
when you were half naked
pressed up against the wall
touched until you were brand new

No one told you
when you were drowning in love
and falling through promises
cherished beyond breath

They never told you
that day when eternity was vowed
and she touched your chest softly
and felt your head explode when you came

That some day
she wouldn’t want to touch your hair
anymore. That someday he would not want
to hear your voice except to answer him

Does she know you have
gray hair on your chest
Did he look into your eyes and see
that you are still twenty-five inside

They never tell the truth
about what happens after.
Don’t be bitter-don’t be cold
but they really should have told us

Let’s drive

In my youth I drove

to soothe the beast
to tame the beast
to unleash the beast

I drove faster, wilder, and more at ease
than I could have imagined
and now-
I sit and wait for my turn to merge

Traffic flies
traffic does not stop
traffic does not cry

Screaming does not make it slow for me
anymore than negotiating
with a clock-
panicking only makes it go faster
it seems

There is no embellishment here
standing naked in the square
and showing all-
how it is to be
how it is to be now

Let us join together
let us eat together
let us pull together

Let us drive