Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Awakened by birds

Poems At Dawn

Through my open window they proclaim the
return of their fiery avian
god resurrected daily, filling my room

with waxing light to illuminate all
these darting and flitting notes of birdsong,
a wave of cunning invaders that rush

the bloodless breach to infect the swelling
crescendo of my dreams, a clear running
brook garbling the name of every smooth

stone caressed on its way down to the sea,
a musical coda in a foreign
tongue yet another night's mute witness

to this messy business, the purging of
my soul in preparation for a brand
new day; the first order of business to

lay here and speculate on their hopeful
call and response: an invitation to
eat or mate perhaps or a fervent prayer

to save the world from the likes of us at
least for one more day, but settle on the
unsettling possibility that they’ve

been feeding me poems at dawn, perched here in
my nest, eye on the sky, the beat of a
wing - promise of another juicy worm.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

love poem

Constantly I Think Of You

word was things had grown  
stale between them
sleek as she is
him handy in a tight spot

but the other night
when I flipped
on the light in the bathroom
they were crossed like swords

on the vanity
bristles deeply entwined
handles lightly touching
the envy of those two

coffee loving joes in the cupboard
spotted later side by side
in the sink rims stealing
a figure eight kiss of infinity

sharing a bit of undergarment
gossip the rumored stowaway
discovered fresh
from the dryer nuzzling

within a pair of my own though
I wore them that way hell
who am I after all
to judge their brief affair 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Drawing inferences

The Lumberjack

His toque screamed French Canadian, Jacques
I imagined; in profile a prominent nose broken perhaps
in a brawl over a woman named Suzette or
a close woods brush with a falling widow
maker, bloody Niagara soaking his flannel shirt,
dripping from the delta of coarse lines describing
an unkempt beard that smelled of cigarettes
and bug dope, trimmed, if he trimmed at all, with a
sliver of band saw blade stuck fast in a wad of tree gum,
whiskers after all affording a degree of protection
from plagues of black flies, already heavy and black
at thirteen, peppery checkered flag for school,
entrée to the big woods, one twinkling eye
nested in flesh crinkled by smoke and ribald
bunkhouse jokes, widening in mock surprise
at a sour note on the ancient squeezebox
broken out and dusted off on Saturday nights,
the one I didn’t draw carefully in a slow
steady hand, embellishment of any kind
sure to queer my chances with the juror
poised to swing a bubbly bottle of champagne
against the looming prow of my boat
load of God-given talent, a launch I await
patiently in these north woods, a brief
break in this rhythmic waltz, smoking
in the shade of all these doomed trees.   

Friday, June 15, 2012

smoke and mirrors


And now ladies and gentlemen for your
amusement and dining pleasure  
I will attempt to make myself
reappear on this very stage with help
from my lovely assistant,

her winning smile and plunging décolletage
distracting you just long enough
to allow me to fold myself into
a waiting hack and lie across the back
seat in the small pool of light cast

by the stage door flood, illuminating
the face of the driver, eyes widening
ever so slightly, his nearly
imperceptible nod a cue as if to say
“I know the way”; the entire exchange

conducted in near silence with one  
or two quick hand gestures created
whole cloth, tires humming an old lullaby
while I work out a plan, wont to tamp down
a sudden yen for a short glass of kefir

while the applause swells and fades to a
smattering of the faithful and you make
for the doors in pairs, the houselights up,
remarking perhaps on the cool night air,
suspended disbelief dissolving like smoke. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012



Night after sleepless night we made our last
ditch stand, dispatches through the radio’s
warm vacuum tubes, new shoots of rock and roll
sprouting up through the burned blackened wrack of

rhythm and blues and hillbilly music,
dancing to the beat while danger loomed just
outside the door, provisioned for the siege
with plenty of caffeine, paregoric

and laxative, burning our lamps, trying
the door, parting the blinds, the house around
us cracking her knuckles as she settled
down onto her foundation, asleep just

like that despite our racket, in spite of
our vigil, leaving us free to drink our
fill; you sipping your cup of fear while I
watched and swallowed it all down in great gulps.