Naked in espadrilles

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It was entertaining
the pain-bringing of my burden
lifting like a curtain

We clash’d and we were bruised
in sweaty battles and southern comfort
in the wettest puddles
ever had. Including mine.
That sounds very Seuss

Let’s discuss how mean
to not find a soft place to land
after un-relenting grey skies with rain

I understand you conquered the beast-
my second-best pen
telling stories from the davenport
melting the ice–left and neglected
the flood taking over the house

I am undaunted–laughing at the rules–
meditating on how the mind is the sexiest organ
and on how we used to be good

****

The poem is a cut-up or found poem from my own writings
The painting is by Théo van Rysselberghe, unknown title

Sparklers

She remembers when the water was like diamonds
and she’d been dreaming about sparklers ever since
Cinderella with her magic fairy auntie
brought to light the possibility of lurking princes

She took off while he was working, packing
five t-shirts, as many pairs of Levi’s
and a red dress into her graduation luggage
still with the tags on, the air moist and oppressive

Starting off somewhere in the middle of the states
flipping a coin she headed west, not stopping
til the water was salty as her skin
her elbow jutting out the window, tan as walnuts

No one there to tell her to turn it down, she
blasted Guns N’ Roses, her hair
a storm about her head, her phone ringing
on the hour until she threw it out the window

Being cool in hot places

(a psalm for summer)

I call upon you Lord
in my weakness
when patience
is difficult to find
and days last so long

My dear sweet friend
no one else
has shown me
what real faithfulness is
and I am grateful

But even in my peace
I receive
from Your spirit
sometimes I get
restless and tired

I count on You
to show me
the way to contentment
in my times of troubles
ever grateful for Your gifts

After a hot, dry week

What is that smell called?–I asked–
rain on dirty asphalt–
the steam rising with a scent
pronounced and like no other

We ran to the shops, pelted
with raindrops the size of buckshot.
“Petrichor,” he said
and I shook my head–

No, that is the rain on the dirt.
This is the smell of soldiers going to war
and their mothers’ heartbreak

“Why,” he asked, “do you have to do that?”
What? I eyed the shop shelves–and my list.
“Make me feel this ache?”

He paused, a pound of bacon
in his hand
in my peripheral

I didn’t start the war–I said
picking up a can of coffee, and
putting it into our cart

hotter than eggs on a pan

sitting in my own sweat
t-shirt sticking to the car seat
I go back years
the scent of patchouli
and a badlyrolled joint
the backdrop for us

you and me and he
a triangle of the craziest
she nearly took my head off
guessing what we were up to
the day covered in southern comfort

so glad Mom didn’t know
what I was up to
sizzling summer days
on eagles wings no matter
how we grasped at them
hands-knees-lips-neck

good and bad it all passed
there was a beginning and an end
it wasn’t the best time in my life
but it also was not the worst

memories etched
in the rocks at the lake
impressions of our bodies gone
as sand shifted and water seeped in
before anyone could say for certain
that we had been there

you leave me cool and blue

Blue and cool.jpg

he is a one-strike-you’re-out
kind of man
the dog days are wearing
on my scraped-up heart
self-pity is crap
but maybe I’ll learn
some

holding a can of Fresca
to my forehead
been told nothing
but bullshit today
your words that don’t thaw
however the mercury rises

I can take any day
when the blues are playing
hearing the church sing through the walls
tickling the g string and moanin’ how
how people keep going
and coming


fears of the fathers

sailing through cherry blossom days
and crème brûlée nights
she wasn’t going to lay down her arms
for a mere brat of a boy
saving up her trinkets for later
giving him all her daydreams
and night sweats

he did not know the tango
but they moved through summer
amid a soundtrack of Ravel
and Aguilera
all second thoughts
stuffed under the mattress

back in the town onto which
they shook the clay from their shoes
all their dues, paid
if you took into account
their mothers’ latent wishes
and the fears of their fathers

Stroll

path.jpg



Let us take a walk through a particular woods on Long Island in New York. I will show it to you and then you will understand why a set of trees and a narrow stream could mean this much to me. I met my husband on Long Island and had my first child there. I don’t remember anymore what town these woods were in, but  I used to go there often, and usually alone. But even when by myself, I did not find it lonely there. It held that kind of peaceful solitude that you can really embrace.

As you step into the woods, about twenty paces, there is a small stream and a little bridge going over it. You can sit on the bridge and hang your feet over. I sat here countless times. Walking further in, the place is green, lush and cool with many leafy trees and evergreens. The smells are great and the ground is damp, so you can smell that as well. If you stand very still there in the Autumn, you can hear leaves falling from various distances away. My favourite clearing you’ll see as we come to it, is surrounded by several large trees with red leaves, and when they fall, they form a carpet beneath of red and pink.

How sweet it would be to sit in this clearing once more with the leaves falling around me and onto my head, shoulders and lap. When I was here I was in love, and he was in love with me. I remember how that felt to be someone’s whole world. And the day they put my newborn daughter into my arms, I thought I could take on the world myself. I want to feel that again, that feeling of red and pink, and explosions going off overhead, and my head so full of poetry that I thought it would be blown clear off. I’d like to be in love (here) again.

should spring be always
or summer arrive at thought
or autumn’s riches

late night crackle of fire
early June heat like mid-summer swelter
bad news on the horizon

I take steps backwards, and
a hand on my back pushes
me to press on

put popcorn in the fire
ice in a glass
small joys

It wasn’t nice calling me silly

just because
You can’t figure me out
how I could be so hot in your ear
then give you a chill every time you rub me the wrong way
weren’t you the one clinging to your teddy bear
every time the wind changed
If I am to die in the summer
pick me up in your truck
and take me fly fishing
because I never learned to fish
and I will feel I have failed at this life
if I never bait a hook
beyond the figurative
the one I carry with me everywhere
a smirky mouth all painted up red
watching the vampires
that come around during the day
eating up everything holy
they can stuff into the pot- pie
grabbing at something pink and wholesome
and smashing it to bits
taking my pretty little lips
to the dark side of town near the freeway
where love is cheap and
no one is thirsty
and they stand in line for hours
to get a glimpse of the king
I heard was still alive and well
and scalping tickets on Sundays
in front of Our Lady of perpetual coping