Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Old Hollor Head

Lose the cap and shed that letter jacket,
finger the horse head Teamsters patch and
Automobile Shippers insignia stitched
over a Judas heart but leave the heavy

duty pair of Red Wings down on the mud
landing where brogans pass the night. 
Shorn of the Black Watch wool plaid
Pendleton shirt and Roebuck duck

work pants, skinned free of white
V neck tee shirt and briefs, flex those
massive arms before shaking them
off and rolling them up in oil cloth. 

Step out of a looming torso, first  
one foot, then the other, small planet
of your belly sagging on a peg and unbolt
the long levered legs destined to hobble

your twilight years.  Arch an eyebrow
in the mirror and animate the shadow
cast by a Rushmore nose, then bleed
the valve and deflate your dime store mask.

I’ll cradle you in the palm of my hand, then
tuck you into your matchbox bed, maybe whisper  
a high lonesome song to ease you to sleep, heartless
morning bearing down on your dreamless night.  

Friday, June 12, 2015

short friction

Seven Foot Sickle Bar Mower

Lifeless on an idle patch of Wear farm, swallowed
by time marked in jimson and honey vine milkweed
budging, a thing of the past to the eyes of a city boy, worse
a northerner, shoeless and shirtless, evenly tanned but

for pale omegas of a low tide flat top wreathing my ears
white shading to blue at the temples, prayerful snakes
slept late, coiled around clutches of my worst nightmare. 

Oil can like the oil can that tormented the Tin Man
in hand, brandished jail break file in the other, grandpa circled
the scorpion, striking at the lethal tail, silvering edges
of serrated eye teeth, eyes shadowed by the brim of the pith

helmet he wore back in his C.C.C. days, liquoring up
bushings gone dry in the heat while I watched from the open
palm of the Ford NAA Jubilee tractor seat, bearing

witness to the honing of blades destined to work
at cross purposes against the high grass bearding
the branch, touching but not touching, my father’s face
swimming naked in the quarry of grandpa in profile 

angled low above the linkage mechanism, steel working
against steel, shadow working against light, my hand rolling
fine red clay dust into snakes against my smooth cheek.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Shipping News

Algoma Guardian

Down bound for Toledo she’s riding low
with grain, slipping through the fine blue
capillary that splits the difference
between Belle Isle and Windsor
Canada keeping a low profile to our south
forever confounding us. 
N A I D R A U G   A M O G L A
the letters emerge one after another
from behind some trees in the middle
distance, tidy houses of our northern neighbors
gobbled up like so many pills, hull bleeding
rust, a witness to her silent progress
off my bike on my phone listening
to the nurse give the latest maritime news
of your steady down bound passage.