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

I read you

the virility and strength of
the young male at his best in the morning
standing tall at 6 a.m. and boasting
crowing about youth and man and purpose
the knowing that you can do

and I read and smile, well past
my prime but making the most of it
still very much twenty-four or five
on the inside, and continue reading
between taking pills and vitamins
and exercising for the lady on PBS

turning a page, and reading the bio
I had to laugh a moment at my assumptions
seeing your lined face, the sometimes
weary eyes, but your voice, still rising up
taking on the day with the great hope
of young men and warriors, of every age

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

Tantalizing Tuesday: Noël Coward, part 2


Last Tuesday we began looking into the life of Nöel Coward. He was born Nöel Peirce Coward in 1899 in Middlesex, England. His body of work is enormous. He was a playwright, composer, poet, painter, he wrote short stories, he sang, and he acted.

What piqued my interest when I first started watching Coward’s plays and films was the depth of human experience and interaction. There is much within a small space. He would give us a one act play, perhaps 30 minutes long, and manage to punch into it such depth of feeling that one would have expected from a longer piece. For example, in the play and subsequent film,The Astonished Heart, that we discussed in part 1, we follow the characters along a relatively normal scenario. Surely the setting of marriage and cheating on one’s spouse is not new, especially in Film Noir. But just when you are relaxing into this simple story that you have heard before, pow! He lays something devastating upon you, in a quick twist of plot. I am fascinated by this sort of writing. I have dabbled in it myself but not anywhere near what Coward accomplished.

Continue reading “Tantalizing Tuesday: Noël Coward, part 2”

80 proof paragraphs

How deep and mellow
one minute reading a book
next thing you know
you’re elbow deep
soaking wet
stone cold sober

Spirits in books
and other voices
pulling us into the æther
knee deep and listening
seeking out the
loud drunk in all of us

Afterward, sated
and intoxicated
with camaraderie
we lay across one another
like happy children
in from play