is everyone having a good time

the punch line
is the group of words
that punches you in the face
and hits you in the nuts

a final shot at your back muscles
while walking out the door

the punch line
makes at least one person laugh
but it usually is not you

you and your handful
compressed in your palm until
the walnuts crack
picking out the meat meticulously

munching on them
without much thought of passersby
each of which has an iron fist
that may or may not be aimed at you

watching them brick up the unused door
morter scraped and slid into a pail

the punch line
after the life-long set-up
the kicking and shoving
about each and every word

until the dcor cannot be opened again
we are passed all that
laughing at nothing
and everything
wishing we had packed away
a knowlege of what could have been

a joke to the last
hoping for kindness thrown in
pity for good measure
the mercy that comes with time
and memory



In my blindness a friend came to me
the sound of his voice low
as if he had sat on his legs
like a child

He was an intermittent talker
though he knew more than my brothers
about my life. habits. inclinations.

I found ready ears a welcome thing
exhausted with the putting up of jars
season after season

What he did not know
was that there was no one to post to me anymore
and even he had forgotten my name

But I could live with that
mulling over eras of happiness
and subsequent pergatories

Until he asked
with hands to his hips
‘How did you lose your head?’

And the elephant in the room
kicked through the door, leaving
through the garage as if he’d had enough

My hands lifted in prayer
or charades
each part of me pawned off

For when I could no longer sing for my supper
losing so much
that I ended up in this peaceful state

Until someone came ’round to remind me
there was nothing left
above the shoulders

Variations on a theme

feels like summer 1989
as we walk past the flamingos
the zoo
has nothing on us
all our instincts

to have accepted us as intimate
to trust even one word
did not know me
and now he is gone

I want to see my mother again
to tell her what has happened
and that she was right

Last words:
I want her to know, that
I am not alone any more
not bereft anymore
and I am not afraid


It is a crime

Time is a fiend
what it asks of me
some tender underbelly
of hope that bleeds
when it is disappointed
It does not take without
leaving its card

Time is a thief
when we are not looking
it takes more than its share
suddenly a month gone
then two, reaching back
as it takes it takes
the great taker

Time has been murdered
in the name of leisure
in the name of discouragement
just killing, time our credo
when the winter has beat on us

and I am not exempt for I have killed
I have also killed for that lovely

bit of nothing


Look at me

because you don’t see me

now with my bonnet off
I’ll dance in the rain
or play on the train tracks

foolhardy soul
what losses now

because you don’t see me

the fear is waning
and all bets are off
when it comes down


and my brave face

because you no longer
see me

each rose
smells that much sweeter
being discovered
I take the steps
two at a time
a miracle on this day

as I am still here

when you look through me

I don’t get sad when the fog rolls in
the blanket enveloping me
reminding me of what is real

not your fantasy
with pinpricks and Tabasco sauce
and each day
less and less
I remember what we said

You stopped taking me into account

and I took another look
at my books, but
doing your own accounting
is foolhardy

and takes a cast iron heart

Now that you can’t see me

what was bright like neon
is dull under your spell

your moods like
the ocean

my invisible coat
you bid me wear

big moon
jagged stars
playing riffs in the blackest night

serenading–do you know
what felt like a golden moment
someone wants from me

for a lifetime

your heart

still tomorrow
your words something I have grown
too clingy to
don’t criticize

I will be finished soon

Invisible now
the day scares me–
I want to run from it


the night is nearly come
and today relegated to
the history of days

three darts for a dollar

must be Friday again
there’s your ghost
sitting in the corner
telling jokes

inspired by waves and sand
and three seasons of greenery
that lie to us
that winter will not come

go ahead, pile it on
but it won’t do no good
your charming smile
all the poses
dusty shoes tell tales

all our Fridays memories
we are in too deep
the pleasing pints of new
we have swept into a pile
to be compacted
into a sterile cube

let’s have a smoke on it
and drink another down
to the good times we can’t have back
and won’t try
and won’t buy
another three chances

we cannot agree
on everything
(some days,
on anything)
hell, sometimes
we can’t agree on
what music to hear
but grasp my hand
and feel the
thrum of a beat
in my wrist
with your thumb
and let us agree
to never grow cold
let’s agree
on that

you do the math

dancing in my living room
to George and Elton
(does it really happen
if no-one sees it? like
that proverbial
tree in the forest)

he says I never go out
(though I could tell him stories
about 1985, when I lived ten years
in 12 months)
and I dance and dance

my head full of 1990
(wonderwall, hammer, hit me baby)
one more time–-let’s dance as one
I’ll lead this time–you follow–-
if you still have that notion
that 1+1= 1
and 2+1= no-end-of-joy

perhaps we will find
a new kind of joy
wrap’d in understanding, and
lessons learned (old flames–-
new rites of passage)
let’s not forget, and dance to now
(rhianna, radiohead, foo fighters
+ the beatles,
the eagles, and 21 pilots,
shaken and stirred)

once I thought it was crucial
to fly without a net
but I believe
the real trick
is to not let go

on account of 1985

she tried to be everything he wanted
sunny smart sexy
in his esteem

feeling the mask slipping
she cried
over time loss misstep
the game was over

her hair
a hood about her
safety darkness cool
a sure thing

from every fear
of putting herself
out there
expanse air no railings

each sigh
that she imagined
would draw him near
pushing away the curtain