"Bedtime" |-------------------------------------
The mom said “Good night.”
The kids said “Good riddance.”
What now…oh yeah…
Watch the sheep and the fence.
“Not!” said the kids
as they jumped out of bed.
Off went the sheets
Up came the pillows
And out came the feathers
in billows and billows.
“Knock it off!” said the mom
slamming open the door.
“Not one little peep,
or you’ll sleep on the floor.”
It hurt them a lot.
You could tell by each face,
for they fought and they fought.
They didn’t care
if they slept on the floor.
“Big deal” Marty said
throwing pillows some more.
The mom hit the door
in a thunderous rage.
“Now don’t you wish that
you would’ve obeyed.”
“Smack,” went the sheets.
“Whack,” went the pillows.
The mom was part now;
she was right in the middle.
Then in a flash
Marty jumped on her back
Then Tommy hopped on
and picked up the slack.
“We’ve got her now,”
they thought in their heads.
The next thing they knew
they were back in their beds.
The mom had played a sick, evil trick.
She’d tied them down in their beds,
could they move, not a bit.
The mom left the room
with a grin on her face.
But still both the kids
just lay there amazed.
They both tried to think
about how this could be.
But they now had now choice
so they both went to sleep.

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"Bronco Buster" |-------------------------------------
That mom should have known what her kid was doing,
but he was smart.
She stood at the vending machine,
the lines and lines of food
staring and hollering,
"Eat me!"
But there's her kid,
that four year old redheaded bullrider.
He's sitting on top of the shopping cart
waving his right arm in circles.
He bounces up and down,
pulling and thrusting with his grip.
He knows his role
whether or not the mom ever sees.
He's a broncobuster.

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"California Rain" |--------------------------------------
Californians should make a group New Year's resolution
To change their windshield wipers
So that they'll be ready before it starts raining
Instead of setting themselves up
To be the brunt of all jokes in Seattle 's comedy clubs
When they can't remember how
To press the metals hooks together
Removing the old blade and inserting the new one
All the way to the bottom and then back up one notch
Snapping into place until next year
When the poor state gets laughed at again.

[back to top]

"Chauvinist" |-------------------------------------
In Starbucks I watch men
not in the way they watch women
but like a callerless maiden wondering
what kind of application to create.
 
That man, suitor one, leers
through the steam invading the morning air
and over the brim of his coffee cup
at each shuffling skirt.
He's attractive.
I wonder if he looked at me,
and what I looked like through
his eyes and
the steam of his cup.
 
Suitor two, half-ignoring his wife,
looks over her shoulder
investigating where the heels of women lead,
heels, stockings, legs, edge of skirt.
What need of men urges them
to search for what they don't want to find
but want to find?
The heels move and lead him back
to his wife's face, to his wife's eyes,
still telling a story
about mother and her new kitchen.
 
Suitor three lounges in the back
with a book, reading?
Eyes waiting for blouses
taut over chests to turn from hiding.
He ignores eye contact but
glances up to put a face with
the picture walking the runway in his mind.
 
I question if I desire callers anymore,
if my shape and form will get
any to view my resumé.

[back to top]

"Education" |-------------------------------------
My hand slips off my cheek,
and my head nods forward and back up
with a strong, slender strand of something
extending from the corner of my mouth
to the knee of my jeans.
The professor that I'm paying to
educate me
is still using the same vocal pitch
that he was before I dozed off.
My lower back hurts, so I lean forward
in my chair and rest my elbows on my knees.
I've missed six slides and
at least twenty blanks in today's handout.
The girl next to me text messages.
The two women in front of me pass notes.
The guy next to me still sleeps.
A strange environment indeed.
A lecturer and a hundred students
all passing time or trying
to learn.

[back to top]

"Fate" |-------------------------------------
Finished in the stall, I approach the sink.
Someone else has made a mess,
although I didn't know this on my approach.
The faucet handle holds some remaining soap suds
from a previous user who decided to disinfect.
Certain things ruin a day
and make a day.
I lean over to use the sudsy handle,
my pants touching so slightly against the counter.
Water, scrub, wring, rinse, flick.
Backing away, reaching for a towel, and
looking down with a frown and a wince,
I notice the waterline across my pleated khakis
begin to bleed and spread.

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"Gopher Hell" |-------------------------------------
Indeed, we had told Geoff,
the boldest hamster we knew,
not to burrow that direction
that the stories might be true
that there were endless networks
of claw-carved tunnels dug
by the adventurers of the by-gone ages
and that the labryinth of tunnels
was followed from above by a death ceiling
of a black inpenetrable dirt.
Gophers we knew personally had not returned
from under the black ceiling.
Geoff did not hear us.
He did not heed the warnings
as so many before him had not heard
or heeded.
He said he heard some echo of a calling
as of from Mt. Olympus or God
or Hades
calling him to the tunneled fields
to stake his claim in
the Annuls of the Gopher.

[back to top]

"Ha" |-------------------------------------
Grandpa used to say
It's better to be pissed off
than pissed on.
I need to hear him say that,
Right here in the locker room
 
I was so pissed off
I punched the referee.
I've been ejected.
I flung my arms and gave him the finger
And stormed out, throwing a chair.
 
I've been pissed on
And will not put up with it.
I'd apologize,
But I can still see him,
his middle finger stretched long
down the leg of his black pants,
And all I can do is laugh.

[back to top]

"I See Her on the Rooftop" |--------------------------------------------------
I see her on the rooftop,
her wind-tickled hair,
back curving like the moon.
I watch her a while.
The country air holds the freshness
the city folk only know after the rain.
All other persons it seems have stayed indoors
on this brisk autumn evening,
yet she bathes on the roof.
It is a flat roof with walls.
I turn the lights off in the room
that adjoins the balcony I watch from.
I watch her a while more.
She ties her hair up,
trying to catch it all together in the breeze.
She tests the water with her foot
then lowers herself into the water.
I want her.
I step out off my balcony onto the air
and walk softly and silently over the trees
above the sidewalks, over mailboxes,
and stop cautiously on the wall
that surrounds her roof and her bath,
on the wall that protects her.

[back to top]

"I Wonder If The Gull" |-------------------------------------
(I wonder if the gull) that habitually dances
along the shores of oceans
knows when it has landed on a lake.

In its buoyant feat
hers, it (must feel) that the soft ripples
are only wind-whipped,
no pull of the moon,
no ebb and swell for it to ride
to shore on white-capped chariots.
It must hate the dank, stag
nant waters and miss
the consistent salt-saturated
stirring.

But "Oh (the Rest)!"
It must enjoy the Quiet
as it Rests with other lost (found) gulls,
(in the Silence),
the Conversation,
the Calm,
the gentle Lapping
of the waves against its feat
hers(.)
It must enjoy it so.

[back to top]

"Love's Blue Pillow" |-------------------------------------
I wish that man with the cigarette
Knew that he had fire in his mouth,
that I can see him walking through the fog.
He is a floating orange ember,
a thin smoke path up and up from his hand.
There is probably more to his life
than what I see fall to the ground,
but I can't see it.
His face is gone now.
His mild glow has left.
A boot, his probably, covers the ember,
and for all I know the man is no more,
rubbed out.

[back to top]

"Identification" |-------------------------------------
I wish that man with the cigarette
Knew he had fire in his mouth.
I can see him walking through the fog,
a floating orange ember,
a thin smoke path up and up from his hand.
There is probably more to his life
than what I see fall to the ground,
but I can't see it.
His face is gone now.
His mild glow has left.
A boot, his probably, covers the ember,
and for all I know the man is no more,
rubbed out.

[back to top]

"No Calibration Required" |-------------------------------------
If my life was a well-timed clock tuned
by some master clocksman, never losing
time, never wasting ticks,or losing
them amid the counting, I might
make some use of this life.
Unceasingly they come, 360
degrees of ticking, too
many for any simple
mind to sift through,
to effectively calibrate,
to efficiently control, to
use. With success a noteworthy
goal, the rusted top rung of the
ladder, a well-raked autumn yard, it
seems there would be someone to help us
all with this time and calibration nonsense.

[back to top]

"Rebellion" |-------------------------------------
I feel uneasy at that cigarette,
the one that man smoked and tossed
into the bushes by the bus stop
I sit at.
The sign $1,000 FINE FOR LITTERING
records a time past when men
cared for the law and
nature and other men.
My mind drifts onto a cloud of thought
I think I have always wanted to sit on.
The idea grabs me, and my emotions
see the cup of cola in my hand.
Hurling it to the ground in front
of the man, the rebellion
thrills my blood and thrusts my foot
to the ground
to put out my cup.
Shockingly, he doesn't understand,
Probably because he didn't put out
his flame that he flicked
into the bushes.

[back to top]

"Refuge" |-------------------------------------
Finding ashes rising in the smoke from my adobe house
Searching for my family amidst the caravan of patriot bastards
Forced, with a rifle pressed to my temple, to burn my flag
Branded and introduced to my new ruler
Watching soldiers sift through and steal my treasured heirlooms
Burying my face in my naked knees to hide from night's cold death
Diving from explosions and unseen gunman
Running from hunger
Rising in vengeance with my homeless countrymen
I find the refuge of my soul and people in my hate

[back to top]

"Subway" |-------------------------------------
For hours every day
He just sits there
Watching people join him,
Watching people leave him.
The bench he sits on
Is in the center
With poles on either side.
Subway after subway train
People sit and join
Then leave him there.
Sketch pad in hand
He traverses their faces,
Each a perfect picture,
Life is in them.
Everyone is a picture.
Everyone is a story.
He draws page after page
Sketches face after face
Capturing them in time.
The subway purrs on
Then releases its breath.
People join him again.
Turning, he faces the
Bald man sitting down
He drafts the man's face.
It's so unique.
His eyebrows thoughtfully wrinkled
Another story to draw.
"What're you thinking about?"
He asks the man.
"Why do you ask?"
"I was just wondering."
The artist's tilted head
And his furrowed brow
Wonder at the man's
Cold, closed, calloused response.
 
The doors gasp again
People stand to leave.
The bald man stands
And faces the artist.
He coldly pulls the trigger.
The artist calmly slumps
Accepting of his fate.
He can do nothing.
 
For years he's drawn
Asked people their stories.
 
It wasn't very loud
Putting the gun away
He exits the train
Leaving amidst the throng Another picture in time.

[back to top]

"The Swing" |-------------------------------------
The sun has beat down on
and faded the sparkling coat of twitter paint.
Storms have torn at the roof
and thrown the loose shingles away.
The house is strong though.
 
The porch swing stands out,
bright white against the faded panels of the house.
Initials carved decades ago,
still fresh in the arm of the swing,
carry the life of the house.
Jokes and Laughter can still be heard
from the windows at night.
Joy and Love lie in the flowered letters of the doormat,
placed there the day they moved
into the house, years ago.
 
The evening sun reflects bright orange off the ivy
decorating the rail around the porch.
They have relished the sunset together each day.
The old man takes his wife's hand
and sets it on his knee.
They rock in the swing.
He traces the initials with her finger
and smiles at her.
She brushes silver strands from his forehead
and caresses the back of his neck.
Looking at the initials still fresh in the armrest
warms her.
 
The disappearing sun slowly leaves its sherbet trail to twilight.

[back to top]

"Waiting for Gordo" |-------------------------------------
Like the sound of a shattering beer bottle in a deaf man's ear,
it's an eerie feeling getting pulled up from the sidewalk
by the handcuffs on your wrists behind your back.
 
You understand the pain of the arthritic cripple in the crosswalk
grasping for the cane he's dropped,
as they kick you in the seat of the pants
to get you to walk over to the police car.
 
It's that rush-all-over-again-after-she's-left,
like the killing itself,
when they push your head down,
under the door frame,
into the jack-in-the-box.
 
The orgasmix of thrills and blood damming up in your veins,
it's like nothing else, except when you loose the cuffs
like no one's supposed to be able to
and sit there in the car
waiting for the door to open.

[back to top]

"We Call Him Josh" |-------------------------------------
I don't know if I should call him a man
but he rides a 3-wheeler down my street every day
with his head tilted
his short hair,
just long enough to fall to the side
 
His red 3-wheeler
with its white wire-rimmed basket
and pole holding up its yellow flag on the back
and his blue jeans and chain
and his ducktail
his tie-dyed, Van Halen t-shirt
and his bare feet
make for a good ride,
I guess.
 
One man gets so enraptured watching him
that he forgets he's watering his lawn
and floods the same spot
every day.
 
Older women walk to the curb,
hoping he will do something strange
besides ring that bell on his handlebars
as he rides past them
down the street
slowly out of sight
around the corner.

[back to top]