Friday, May 23, 2014


With quiet feet and determined eyes
a girl with braces
borrows a green pair of her mother's pants
and tiptoes to the bathroom.

The bathtub fills with warm water
as she squeezes both her
legs down one pant leg.

And now that her little ocean
has come alive, she flops in, face first,
wanting desperately to feel
what it's like to be a mermaid.

But no, it's nothing whatsoever
like being a mermaid.
All she's doing is making
a big mess in the bathroom.
Her splashing, blubbering experiment is failing.
She's nearly drowning!

It's a bad and dangerous imitation
of the state of being a mermaid,
just as punctuation is a sorry substitute
for the soft sounds of human breath.

Lessons From Little Red Riding Hood

There are wolves to kill.
They will lie to you. They will
tell you they are trustworthy
and appear to you as family
but stop. Look closely.
Your grandmother doesn't have teeth like that.

Send little girls off into the woods.
Give them a basket full of baked goods
and make them go walking alone.
If you don`t, then, when they are grown
they will be timid women, paralyzed by choices,
startled at the sound of their own voices.
They will push down the power
that swells up inside them,
the power to kill wolves,
the power to distribute bread.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Don't get me wrong-
I don't go looking for beautiful women
to look at. It's not like 
I bring binoculars to the beach.
But if I happen to see
a foxy woman, and she's
weighing mushrooms or feeling cucumbers
when I'm shopping at the store,
well then, yes, I confess,
I want to look some more.

Soothsayers. Electromagnetism. Lava. The Number Five.

when you went
to the car wash
and the guy
who wiped the windshield
with a wad of cloth,
moist and maroon,
was actually a raccoon?

I remember that.

That was crazy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Now in the Summer, Here in the Desert,

some kids reach their hands 
deep into the gaps between 
minivan seats, feeling for 
one more nickel, enough 
to go down to the gas station 
and get a blue and cold slushie

and the pigs plop down 
into the mud and slowly roll,
trying to bury themselves 
in that thick brown slime

and an old chained-up dog 
tries to sleep in the shade
of the wooden steps that lead 
to the door of the mobile home.
A few flies descend on 
the dog’s moist nose,
and commence their fly dance,
complete with wing flutters
and rapid limb-rubs, right there 
on the peach-colored nose
of the grandfather hound, who watches
the flies with half-interested eyes,
not bothering to shake his jaw,
or to lift a heavy, hot, and tired paw. 

And upon these kids 
and upon these pigs
and upon this dog 
and even upon these flies
are bestowed a knowledge unknown
to those who live beneath cooler skies:
a knowledge of the summer,
a knowledge of the desert.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A White Stone

Dark Matter. Dark Energy.

It’s an expansive darkness. 
When we look up at night 
at the space between the stars,
we see the universe as it mostly is.

Even the park at noon is mostly dark,
when we consider all the darkness 
beneath the grass and all the darkness
inside the tree trunks and all the darkness
inside our own bodies.

For dark is the gate
and dark is the way
that leadeth to darkness,
and many there be
which go in thereat.

Only a few bodies
will be transformed into stars.

Perhaps it will be your body-
Pray that it will be your body-
which will be among the few
to receive a white stone
whereby things pertaining
to a higher order of kingdoms
will be made known,
will be made bright,
will be made alright.

Friday, May 2, 2014


Upon a field of daisies in the glade
a child played and giggled happily
with neither cloud nor tree to offer shade.
She prances, dances, summersaults, and we,
adults, we watch through windows in the house
with frosty, cool air blowing from a vent,
the turning blades of ceiling fans that douse
the flaming heat, and then the maid was sent
to fix for us an ice-cold, yellow drink.
But ah! Beneath the weight of sunny girth
the playful girl was pinned, began to sink!
Alas! Alas! The girl lost her mirth!

So children, please, be careful in the sun;
when sunstroke strikes at you, there is no fun.