Thursday, August 29, 2013

Planting seeds


Johnny Appleseed; a one note
fugue, the nut tough feet
coon skin cap drawing hoots in town
banded tail a metronome
keeping time for the lost nocturnes
of the previous owner

pared all of it down
to fit snug inside a haversack. 

Spoon to tack a roiling bowl
Dampened click of jostled flint
Needling a benign lump of sisal twine
Twist of tobacco, a screw of root
Quartered in keen right angles of brick
Red butchers paper.

Morning dashes off
A rendering of crescent shapes
Quartered and plated by this window
Where I sit puzzled
Before the haversack that loomed 
so large in my dream. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Can't beat the view

View From An Arlington Balcony

A rumpled horizon sets to work
as the sun goes down, dividing my view

Shouldering the rectangle balanced 
lightly on the Chesapeake, a slice
of seaboard peeled back on fretting skies

Reagan International resonating
under finger plucked flight paths tuned taut

Head down in a headlong rush, elbow
on this leg cradling all those marbled targets
flowing relieved into the bay
Safe harbor of the sea

Capital dome
          dunce hat
          radiating monkey shines
Washington Monument
mending bolted
in a halo brace

          with ice
          beading on the rail

line up perfectly with a slight shift
to the right, red lights of low flying
helicopters worrying
all bejesus out of a blameless Potomac.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Anthology publication

Stars From North Manitou appears in the anthology Of Sun and Sand, the latest from Kind Of A Hurricane Press.

Monday, August 19, 2013

DIA exhibition critique

Ellsworth Kelly

Stop sign red, blue to
buoy picture book boats; crisp line,
short for God’s scribble.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Give me varnished knotty pine

Men Who Finished Our Basements

Men who finished our basements paced in circles
running Romex in their heads, cold torches of beer chest high
illuminating the dimmest corners of their imaginations.

Elbows planted on enameled bars of churning Lady Kenmore’s
they plotted utter encapsulation of laundry rooms, apportioned generous
slices to well-appointed workshops peppered with outlets, sanctums

for salty words to spice the buzz of florescent lights on chains, cornering
darkness under fuel oil tanks, wreathing low hanging duct work in delicate
whorls of smoke, seeping into the stutter of a thousand holes

closing ranks around swollen silhouettes of screwdrivers and channel lock
pliers, the xylophone vibe of box end wrenches.  A place for everything
and everything in its place; Playboys tucked away behind fat three ring

binders, common graves of Hi-Fi schematics and Martin house specs,
blueprints for A-frames awaiting three acre plots east of Grayling, no more
likely to see daylight as fragrant mimeo’d diagrams for trebuchets.  

Men who finished our basements ran fingers down the fluting
of knotty pine panels, snapped chalked lines, shimmed furring
stripped down to sweaty tanks on sticky August Saturdays, sawdust

lodged in hairy swale, squinted through skeins of smoke from dangling
Winston’s, shrieking circular saws commanding attention, haranguing
the wincing wives of the men who finished our basements and elbowed

up to laminate wet bars to toast themselves in Miller Beer mirrors
tinkering the winters away, reluctant vices relinquishing their grip
on long forgotten stock with a nudge of the screw the morning you

arrive to consign it all to box or bag.  The men who finished our basements
all traces of them erased by young new owners eager for update, yearning
for dimmable recessed lighting, sturdy constructions to last the ages. 

Monday, August 12, 2013


God In The Details

God in the details
trapped within a bubble
left blistered on a decal
I applied askew, dripping
to a wing one rainy
afternoon ages ago, amusing
Himself to tears
aping in the funhouse
mirror of heaven’s bowl  
contorting bland features
coarse, crowing
in the higher registers
at the top of His lungs
slapping a jig
at the soles of His feet
omnipotence ambered under
RAF insignia
on a scale modal
Submarine Spitfire
boxed forgotten in the attic
gloved in darkness
slight-of-hand artist
pining for light, want to recall
off-the-cuff incantation
His first, maybe best trick
pleasantly surprised by unexpected sunrise.