Plastic Bag Mouth

Where have all of the words gone?
Iโ€™m stuck stuttering on air
my lips choke on tongue and teeth;

a plastic bag suctioning
in the abyssal ocean,
silence presses my palate;

larynx, pharynx, trachea:
nothing moves in the glottis
but thin polyethylene.

breathe out slow-
ly
there
is time.

I am
lucky, I have no complaints.

Real life is quiet and still.

daydream

A daydream is a singing carousel
of self-made memorabilia.

Yes, spinning alone
around the well-used calliope,

The world is forgotten
or, perhaps, exposed in biased detail.

Do Not Fear the Pencil

I say it again;
do not fear the pencil.

The earth is around me,
I am in a bowl.
I wanted to write everything.

There is so much,
but start small.
When I walk closer to the door,
I hear running water
crush

Or today, when I cleared my mind,
raindrops and stray globules fell
plodding and patting leathery leaves
behind me,
I almost climbed a dead tree
to sit in the seat is offered

but it was slippery from rain
and the wood was weak,
so I pushed my legs back into the wind.

Write only honestly,
do not lie about your thoughts.
It shows.

So, you may wonder what you are doing
a few times every month
as your mind settles and clears,

But keep pushing the lead
away from your heart
Although it moves more slowly
than the return to the next line,
this is what you have decided to do.

You may not wear a mask,
you may not write for fame,
nor for beauty, nor fluidity.
It is you writing you,
the pencil suspended in your hand.

Or, write the lies
you live as well,
it’s all elegant truth.

Growing up in the ocean state

Summer days were waxing moons
and waning sunsets
wandering the water’s edge
in a blackened promised city
wearing heeled boots and soft wallets;

We spent mornings in day dust cafรฉs
Or diners sinking into the sediment,
then gathered our fill of stars
with pink lemonade and holed socks;

Anything to keep our heads underage:
bakeries, bedrooms, monogrammed towels,
the sound of our own footsteps
jogging close to our backs.

The dark water shifts it’s gaze
in gravity of the one-eyed sky,
But this time it’s blank
instead of a kaleidoscope:

Each time a wave reached for us
a hand would only go out so far
and end straining the sparkling sand.

These were the colors of our eyes,
not pearly white or blue or brown,
But something seen from a lifeguard’s perch
in search of an absolute moon.

Pigeon in the River

A pigeon swoops from a rafter
daring the beady-eyed water to fly.

Cut in the slightest edge of wind and
pigeon feathers are useless
caught in the ebb of hydrogen bonds.

This pigeon loves the rush of city life;
He eats from the cornucopia of paper pockets,
lives in the cold yellow lights
and rides the traffic wind.

He tries the breast stroke, the butterfly,
an energetic freestyle looking up,
but what are wings if the sky is out of reach?

At first, I had the chance to save the bird,
right where the current runs close to the wall.
I could have cupped the bird in my hands;

He floats under Venetian bridges
and tries to warm an icy grip from his wings,
his little black eyes follow me;

The pigeon knows the water flows to the bay
and he curls into himself.

A strong shaking heart calms
as I walk away
a man in stripes rows off.

A new scene

I do not want to say the snow is icing,
Nor do I want to comment on how the ice,
still suspended in drops and spikes, sparkles
as the rising sun peeks in on the brief chill

Because today means more than that.
The tranquil white and bright barks
mark the end of a long week:
it blankets the muddy tracks

So much so that a throaty whistle carries
a colorful tune from even feathered bodies.
It’s a new scene of sleeping trees.
When everything seems dead

it earns a fine burial cloth
ready for the rain.

Tribute to a Workaholic/Snow

Snow covers a porous body,
a talcum over cracks and dips
presenting a clean face.

Snow is a white bandage
made of pure palm ashes,
a one-size-fits-all veil;

What delicate and graceful knuckles!
How weary the eyes
that wish for white,

Each morning she wears her boots
and each day she puts on snow
as she drives her way to work

despite little sleep
despite the pains
in her chest,

If they start to notice
the powder on her hands
she’ll wear the bandage home.

alcove

he spoke
from his mind
where it balanced
on his body

our eyes are foggy
but faces clear
and air peeks into
the smiles in our cheeks

a still place
wandering the starry sky
just bodies comfortable
in their own warmth;

I rest myself
in the alcove of sky
no fear, no worries
and gray does no harm

Rain Dance

Yesterday we ran
into the rain

Just after the sun slipped
from us to light another part of the world.

Early December night
and Christmas lights
stick to my pants and your shirt

Little globes refracting lamps
like little earths
line the trees and our hair.

Finally the sky was darker than your eyes
which have crystals in them
once again
You could have been brighter than
even the morning sun.

The poem

What are you looking at?
The poet writes in puzzles
The poet writes consciously and
The poet writes what he might
Not know
Though he tries

Is it the dark branches
Posed in front of purple fading skies
A lattice of words binding like twine
Spreading out and in and tapping the top of a house
Or is it one pearl on a whole goblet?

Is it a reflection or a window
or a reflection on a window or
what’s behind?
Layers of pasts
Lighting and pitch, time or
instruments with moving arms

Does a poets’ memory lie?
Or are words stiff picket fences?
Numbers worth looking into?
Is it a brush or a canvas or a model?
The beauty is that
It is all of these
And none of
them
Completely