Keep us close
with every contraction, conjunction, and
each oxford comma, crying out
for life
don’t leave us here
without the ink


it is not safe here
pummelled by your
slick use of syntax
the prose scrawled
across each window
every reflective lens
obscuring your eyes

Working conditions

He said he would install a/c
in the room in which
I work in, but
I said no–I think I need
to be truly miserable to write
or the words come out anemic

He has not spoken to me
all day
since then
disgusted–or at least thrown
by my logic
which he says
has no basis outside of emotion

I wonder why he does not
go with the flow
and the reality
of living with me under a storm cloud
for 29 years
after all
I have a good umbrella.

It is cool under there
and safe from blinding suns.
He must admit
that the rain
has done an amazing job
with the impatiens

Love letters

Love letters?
Sure I love them
how they meet
and merge
Even the Q
Though less
accommodating than others
like me
some days

you push your way
inside me
hot and pulsing
every word
melded with mine
a new being
glowing outward
from my eyes

the danger being
that such volatile
might melt, and
seep into the blood
until I am no longer
me but us
some kind of animal
words for eyes

I don’t say thank you
at times
you know how mad and reflective
I move through days
those you hold tight
with duct tape
thank you

making your brain my home

we are committed now to this journey through each others’ minds–
we took the steps and there is no backwards, no backward steps
until we reach the end, we’ll see it through to the end
of knowing you and stealing your thoughts, until I understand your miseries–
feeling you snake through my head at times tickles, sometimes squeezes hard
in those spots where it is narrow, where I booby-trapped the entrance
every tragedy covered in shame and pushing out the light–
could you just feel your way around, feel your way about the place
so that I might have comfort and warmth where you find
Antarctica, so I could have piles of skins and a blanket of care
your wild passions and tanks against the battlements of a weary mind–
and I walk-a-bout your head because you let me, and make it my home
for a little while, make it feel like home until I know you so well
I will conveniently forget where the doors are, forgetting
the front door and also the back

Goodbye, Sylvia

(Poem and reading both recorded in 2014, one on Sylvia Plath’s birthday anniversary, and the other on World Poetry Day. With no new material, I thought I would share them once more)

I’m sorry Sylvia, but on this day, the day we
revere you, the poet who could not be stopped
who could not be stopped, who wanted to go to her rest
and did. I loved you, you who were dead
when I was three days old,
wearing your gloves and best shoes.
I wanted to go, I wanted out, out of what
I saw as having no options at 17
And all I needed was for someone to tell me
There were choices, and then believe them–
That was the feat. At fifty-one
I do believe it now, and you in my ear
Talking about ‘daddy’ speaking of my daddy
that cruelty that knew no bounds
of that deep childhood well
the scars covering the bruises of my hell;
Your words, Sylvia, words that I’ve known since then
I thank you. Words that calmed and soothed me
when you, Emily, and Edward were my only friends;
words that urged me to give up, to lay over the tracks
with a worn New Testament in my hand, and you;
But today, I don’t need you to tell me life
Is not worth living. I’m turning off the reading–
I turn on a comedian, and laugh
a little out the side of my mouth, with effort;
Because I am not throwing my hand
No matter what you say.

Recording of ‘Daddy’ by Sylvia Plath

lap dancin’ poets

cannot be trusted–
give them a few nicely formed words
and the next thing you know they are
sliding into your lap
I can dig it–
a few notes of inspiration
and perspiration
baring my soul, heart,
body, and my mind
to the world–
but when you end up in my face
I find it hard to think straight

hell if I know what
poets are thinking
one day they are crying
and the next they are drooling
over some flower
that popped up in their garden
or the sun rising and falling–
I suppose that is
to throw the rest of us off
in this odd, huge world community
where I can’t even trust
the dangling participles

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