moustache dreams

In the dream, I was in Pittsburgh for a work trip. I was walking around downtown after a meeting when I ran into Patty. After hugging hello, we decided to go up to Squirrel Hill for a cup of coffee. There was a confusing maze of highways all around the downtown area and we drove around for a bit, quite lost and confused, before heading east on the Parkway. Then we decided to call on Wendy. We stopped by her house without calling ahead. Wendy welcomed us in, but as soon as her husband left the room to take a shower, she started making out with a man who sported a big moustache. Patty and I figured our timing was wrong, and we left.


gram with her mom



why are you remote
when i've turned you into the
other side of me?


the view is perfect

Here is an excerpt from a poem dictated to me by my four-year-old daughter:
how does the sun come out of the sky?
that rainbow makes the sun come out

the day is nice
the view is perfect.

she loved flowers and sun
but when she smelled the flowers
she noticed someone was coming
her friend came and they smelled the flowers
and then they kissed each other goodbye

then a lovely heart came 
and flew to them.

butt salad

Calmly here this morning, I was slicing banana bread for the kids and making my second cup of coffee. I climbed up on a chair to check the cabinet above the refrigerator for oven cleaner, explaining all the while that I needed to clean the oven because it is disgusting.
"What's that bowl up on there, mama?" asked my daughter, referring to my huge wooden bowl on top of the fridge. "What do you use it for?"

"Oh, that's mama's salad bowl. I don't use it for anything but salad."



this again haiku

covering my grey
when did i start requiring
so much maintenance?


american swiss

He was sent to the store with a list of provisions for New Year's. Her reubens required tempeh, rye bread, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, Swiss cheese. He knew he'd hafta peck all over the store for that shit, not usually on the list. And it said right there, a pound of Swiss cheese from the deli.

He managed to gather everything plus his healthy supply of Vitamin Water and headed over to the deli counter. And there she was, his old friend from high school. His new friend from Facebook. Working the counter.

"Hey." She was a little tough. Blunt. Not unfriendly. Okay, more than a little tough.

"Hey there. Happy New Year!"

No response.

Now what? "I guess I'll be needing some Swiss cheese, a pound?"

"Yeah. What kind?"

What kind of Swiss cheese? What did she mean, what kind of Swiss cheese? He consulted the list. The list said Swiss cheese, one pound, from the deli. He was unprepared for this.

His mind began to swirl with dread.

He took a breath and dug down deep for his answer. The same answer he gave to waitresses when they asked him what kind of cheese he wanted on his burger because he never listened to the choices. This answer always worked.


American. Yeah.

His friend's head turned back in slow motion and her face was troubled.

Gruffly, just audibly, her low voice rumbled, "Fuck, American Swiss he asked for."

Uh oh. Wrong answer.

Swimming around in his head now, grasping. What was he supposed to say?

She saved him from himself: "A lot of people like Finlandia. You'll have that."

Yes, please. Let him have that.

morning greyscale

Wake up with my sweet son, and where is my old man? Ah, he has slept on the couch. So much missing wrapping up in him, I stand and stumble to the kitchen, stopping for why are you sleeping here? Of course, I would not move over and make room in the middle of the night.

Water on for coffee and here comes the morning routine. All on edge at not-even-seven-a-m, pushing the curtains open out the back and all that snow. Stopped in my groggy tracks by a pastel morning sky above the rooftops. Robin's egg blue festooned by clouds of bright pink, really bright pink, like an Easter egg.

Pinkest pink clouds and sky the brightest blue, yet there is the grey cloud of your leaving, though I have only just found you.


what chomp might say to peach

pant pant slobber pant pant
throw me a bone
  (tail wagging)
pant pant
arf! arf! arf!
pet me pet me pet pet pet
slobber slobber pant pant
throw me a fucking bone already!


destined: a story in poems

If you are paying attention, you've already noticed that over there, on the right, below my pretty tag cloud (words! poetry! kids! love!), I have added a new thing. Something I Wrote. I think you are gonna like it. 

I've strung together a number of poems that make up a story I've been telling here on the RS over the past year. All together there like a narrative. So there it is.

Maybe I'll add more chapters to this story, and if I do, I'll let you know. Thank you for reading, good people.

Here's the link: destined. a story in poems.


if you lived in angel grove

i told her i was
the sixth power ranger
electra, who wore purple.

she believed me.

you took me to your family
and that is what i did.

your father on the virtues
of snorting salt water
awaiting loss of face
and hard time
your mother, you said
was a saint.

your brothers were all there
your sisters, all five
were far away.

now, that girl must be
grown, a young woman
whose mother left her
when she still believed in
power rangers.


and then, your comrade

  (the panther hollow bridge
  with no water below)

and that mother
and her child
they said why would
a mother
allow her child
to ride his bicycle
on such a busy street?

was it megazord
with his sights on you?

electra, who wore purple,
failed to save you.

failed to protect her.

the morphins, not so mighty.

(Linked to One Stop Poetry's One Shot Wednesday, Week 29.)


sage advice

you are the catalyst of many things.

some you know not.

take it
hold it
for a moment

and then
give it back

as you always do.


how to describe it

you said holes
fitting just perfectly
into one another

i said puzzle pieces
forming something new
and beautiful

you were right
it is not only two
becoming one

it's what was
missing, now found
gaps filled

comfort in knowing
we are not alone.


cheap haiku

this damn wine tastes like
it's been in the box too long
thus my punishment

oh, denis leary
firefighter fireschmighter, i
may self-immolate

you sit there eating
chips and french onion dip, my
ass swells by proxy

so proud when you gave
up pepsi, now in your veins:
vitamin water

on the other hand
like fine wine, scott bakula
with age, i'd drink him

my blackberry is
quiet, what will i do with
myself? i'm lonely

what's wrong with me? all
the love, all of the beauty
right here next to me.

take a memo

with all the concomitant

and confessions
expressed herein,
i offer myself
and remain, yours truly.

hay(na)ku for restless

no good
who's in charge?


dancing on the jetty

who are you?
i would have passed by
but for your words
green ebbs and waves
know but do not
conflate and conjure

my sailing ballast
mooring by rock anchor
greening my senses
reaching the quay's end
with you.

(The title of this poem is a reference to the song of the same name by INXS, from their 1985 album The Swing. "Watch the world argue, argue with itself. Who's gonna teach me peace and happiness?")


talk talk

here i am
full of love + rage
or whateverthefuck this is

hiding behind pretty words

you wanna piece of me?

you'll be stuck with
a box of chocolates
all prodded
best ones eaten
the rest nasty
like your hope for change
or world peace

cancel my account

i'd like to be obliterated.


life will have been
full of weird
and not so much

in the end
i hope you'll say
"that was strange

but i did 

things than that."


total eclipse

time passes strangely
like jejune blooms you might choose
for a prom nosegay
splashed with dried breath of baby
pinned to chiffon for one night
hungering for forever.

character sketch

My grandmother wrote this when she was in college. Her character is familiar.
Her colossal egotism is the only thing that keeps me from hating her with all my heart. I admire her for it, and I can't help seeing her most of the time through the eyes of her own egotism, but when I am alone to analyze her carefully as she really is, I find that she is cold, actually caring for nobody except herself. She is emotional, too, and dramatic, making life a stage with herself as the only actress--visualizing everybody she knows as a huge, admiring audience. She doesn't believe in God, but mainly, I believe, because she loves the effect that the announcement of her disbelief always causes. She has friends, in a fashion, but none that she can confide in, although she loves to confide, and does, in almost anybody. She has the sweet and innocent air that somehow or other has led several to believe that perhaps she is a friend worth having--in fact she has led one adorable boy to believe that someday she will be a wife worth having. But I know that she won't--she wasn't meant to be a wife--she wasn't meant to do anything but live away off by herself somewhere where her spiteful, underhanded nature will never come in contact with her fellow men. 

And yet her egotism is really superb. That fact evidences itself in that she has the impudence to write this character sketch about herself.


you are beautiful

and aloft
like free air.


dreamy girl

if i could only
be your comfort, your downy
warm when you're lonely,
i would carry us
beyond the place of your pain
to featherbed dreams.

haiku for fuck, no!

age spots on my hands
ah! fuck! age spots on my hands!
i'm my grandmother?!

adorable art day haiku

your haiku makes me
burst out laughing, i wanna
poem spar with you

bossed into writing
constantly ruminating
thinking in haiku

kids with tempera
and a license to create
kamikaze art

brown paint looks like what?
that's so funny, poop poop poop
somebody said fart!
rinsing paintbrushes
channeling you in a zone
how you're good for me
peace sign hearts and stars
love sign spelled L O V E
and your tree tree tree

black squiggly lines
a piano in your mind
now takes shape and soars

debating skills of
pokemon: does munchlax munch
while ole snorelax snores?

domino's pizza
disgusting and delicious
makes me want to die

i'd not trade this day
of artistic reverie
all of you and i.


streets of laredo

done wrong
laid bare
belly to the sun



to whom may
the custodian

and how are you?

on a barefoot floor
of the end of days
in a flash of resistance
i, sticky with pine tar,
am fomenting revolt.

hay(na)ku for new year's observation

better than
a morning fuck.