My Poem – Fictional Clarity

Fictional Clarity

I was usually lying when we talked,
trying to figure out what you wanted to hear.
It was my main form of mental exercise,
Keeping that mythical universe straight.
The real world was green when we began
And I was terrified of being understood,
Unmasked, and pushed firmly away.
We were an oddly matched set of candlesticks.
Dogs both, I read books by the freight car load,
You used them to dress a room.
You never played any sport in your life.
Your father was a monster. Mine was a Dad.
Your mother was a victim. My Mom was a Viking.
Your siblings got beatings. Was that really true.
Impossible to judge. A manipulation?
Your other specialty was to gift me a Delphi Oracle answer,
holding the mirror up for me to see what I wanted,
permitting me to stuff the fool’s gold into my pocket,
the one with the hole in it. The clarity of mud.

Maybe I was hoping to get caught,
Or gathering plot incidents for the novel
I was too damned lazy to write.
One day I realized one enormous truth
That explained a ton of moments of extreme unction.
You had million dollar taste and a sixty thousand dollar income,
Producing megatonnage stress in your life. And mine.
But then I sat down over a coffee and added up
Your list of deceptions involving
Your son and your other boyfriend.
And your best friend who drove you a little crazy
In her neediness, her long climb back
From a thermonuclear divorce.

We were in your bed cooling down like the desert slipping into night
When your other guy, the lawyer called
And you soothed him on the phone
Trying to erase his hellish day.
I sat on the other side of your bed,
Studied your back and the back of your head
In the shadows of your bedroom.
It was winter outside.
I listened to your sweet, understanding words.
Then I tried to think carefully to decode
The lies you must have been telling me.
How did we arrive at this fiction.
When could we put it back on a shelf


Poem – You are the Fellini of It

You are the Fellini of It

set me free
set the broken bones in my head
set the cup down
push me up the hill
push the door open
jump in
it is my dream
and you are the Fellini of it

all the women are ugly
the children are hungry
enough to kill for food
there are boys with AK47s
no, they are hockey sticks
no, they are candle sticks
and they are altar boys
and the church is a boat
and the devil is in all the water

the man tells me about his brother
in the hospital unable to breathe
unassisted and I remember
my mother with the oxygen tube
at home with her cat sitting
watching her as she slept
in the middle of the afternoon

I remember when you kissed me
one kiss for a world’s record or
at least my personal best of 31 minutes

that was before we counted up
every lie we had shared and then
the rest we tossed in a one way
short circuit. Wrap that up
for the Christmas tree, OK?

Poem – Love in 10 easy lessons

love in 10 easy lessons

 – William J. Gibson –

in elementary school on Valentine’s Day

the girls giggled and the boys got red faces

and everyone was energized and shy and bold

and spinning in our seats

was it all fun and good or maybe there was more

I wonder were we scared that we might

not get any little red hearts

would be left out

shame on you, Hallmark

how much love flew round the classroom

scraps of red paper

traces of liking

faces with smiles

eyes hiding worry

waiting for the jokes to land

a life time of love songs and romantic movies

toy trains full of imitative emotion

learned behaviours and valiant attempts

to hide from the disappointments

the boredoms, the ache of breaking, roller coasters

of ecstasy and loathing, kisses and kicks,

little red hearts pieces glued back together

again and again, careful with those scissors

they are very sharp

Poem – Valentine’s Day Dream Preview

Valentine’s Day Dream Preview

– William J. Gibson –

you showed up in a dream again

unbidden I swear

may have to wrestle Sigmund to settle that one


I hope you found a way to trust a man

to open your heart to him

and by so doing forgive your father

for drinking himself to death when you were eleven


I don’t know much about much

but I know that when you do your best

and it isn’t good enough

the tournament schedule loses its shine


and all the rainy days make nothing grow

Poem – Nothing to do with Zen

Nothing to do with Zen


This poem has nothing to do with Richard Brautigan

After the rain fell for a year
I began to notice puddles were nothing new.
You told me I would begin to realize these things.
I was feeling the great ache. A new version.
Upgradable to wisdom for a price.
Pray for us now and all the hours
until we reach a safe place.
The cat knows what that is.
When did I lose my last molecule of patience.
The snow was trying to be rain
And failing against my windshield.
we use words
to dissect our experience,
put distance and padding and forgetfulness
between ourselves and the present. We know.
We spent time figuring out the past —
     the outcome tax calculation
                the night before the filing deadline.
Counting. The annual
comedy fest evolves curiously.
You know what I mean.
A gurgle and a giggle and the pushing rush of all that
turned inside out

like your sweater that you rushed
to pull off,

the miracle of that everyday magic trick.
Strong hands and patient eyes.

And when the sun goes out
like an old light bulb when you switch it and it says gone

in a joke without a punch line. .
You nod like an old soldier in the front

     of an old fire    in an old chair
and the kitten attacks the dancing
fire flickers   on the black tile     before the fireplace
       in a home you knew.

So many obstacles, none of them
    created by anyone else.
Must be elves, no
          and not escaped midgets from the circus.
All my work.
    It is only love.

It is only joy and another roll
through the car wash for souls.
I have a coupon for two.


Poem – Right Now I Call It Love

Right Now, I Call It Love


I think of you

And my wrist watch begins to howl

Like the last angry wolf

In a bad cartoon.

This is no cat and dog fight

With punctuation marks in

Dialogue balloons.


There is a pin and we are stuck.

You are going through a difficult time.

It feels like you are sailing an ocean cruiser

Through a tunnel

And I am running ahead stringing flash bulbs

That go off after you have passed.

My Australian crawl is improving daily.

You keep changing blindfolds.

Simplicity is a small town in Brazil.


I meditate, drink Diet Pepsi, say things

Behind the wheel of my car

That Theologians could not catalogue.

I miss you at night. I miss you

At the damnedest moments of the day.


It is a hobby few are cultivating.

When I understand everything

I will give it a new name.

Right now, I call it love.

Everything will be all right. 

My dogs tell me this.

They know everything.

My friend, the orange cat,

Knows them personally.


In an earlier life, I was his cat.

And he was a zen buddhist monk

Or the most beautiful woman

With red hair and I would watch

The men try to love her.



Poem – A Thousand Cars Honking

A Thousand Cars Honking


I know nothing about love.

Love knows nothing about me.

The cat washes his paw. Rubs behind his ear.

Stops bathing, looks at me.

He is tired of my secrets. They are not secrets.

They walk across my face

Like the cat crosses the garden, moonlight indifferent

The insects talking of their love.


In the workshop of my heart,

My muddled mind, my soul builds love with wire,

Wood, paper, iron and copper, the feather fallen

From the crow, the pup’s baby molar

Glued on top, I turn it upside down and hum.

It must be love. I add two more staples and take up

The sandpaper, rubbing it smoother, finding a way.


You tell me about love. Past and present.

The repetition of love. The tenderness of puzzles,

A round of hide and seek,

The tag and race, the colours of summer

In your voice, sudden coolness of summer rain. 

I hear the thunder booming coming closer. 


It is not like my hammer.

Tapping in a few new tacks to keep the cover

From slipping off too fast.  Gifts, small

And many, moments inside the day.


I see what I can see and watch for the rest

When my mind lets my heart run.


You are a kite and I want to be the wind.

It is all slow dance, the same music playing

In our heads. A thousand cars honking

Racing by, blinding us with their lights.