Some nights I wait for the poems to arrive
like out of town guests with bald tires--
constantly checking for their arrival,
pacing between door and window.
Some nights I beg them to go, leave room in my head
for sleep. They're like a squirrel in the attic, gnawing at
something hot with electric. How can such a small thing
be so heavy, so unruly?
Most nights I just accept what is, what was.
Is that not how life is? A pendulum swinging
back and forth between letting in and letting go--
like a shiny ink pen, placed brand new in the back pocket--
what does it know?
He slid into the city bus seat
next to me: winded, flushed
in the face and looking halfway
between terrified and excited.
He was a boy of 12, maybe 13
and he was clutching something
in both hands, held against the
waistband of his pants. It was a
wrinkled green-gray. It could
have been a rock or a grenade
and just as I was about to say
he smiled and with a sharp
exhale, said "I got away."
With what? I asked.
That's when he held it up
triumphantly.-- A single avocado,
stolen from someone who then
chased him five city blocks.
"It's for my mother," he added
to let me know it wasn't some
random theft. It had meaning.
When I said nothing, he clutched
it tighter, gave a quick shrug of
both shoulders, and turned away.
And if there ever was a glowing gray
slice in the black and white karmic
pie chart of crimes, it was his sweaty
happy face. It was him-- him jumping up
at the last stop before the end of the line.
In a hurry, extra feet and a mind all over
the place, this time to give. To give, not to take
A Surrealists Wish.
If we're being honest
and if I could eliminate a few
things from this strange blue
world; barring obvious things
like hunger and cancer,
I would leave
most things well enough alone
except okra. No more okra.
Behind that, line dancing;
It would not exist in any
form, on any floor, not anymore.
I'd replace them both with gnomes,
gnomes that run around as common
and obvious as squirrels, hurling rocks
and the occasional tomato,
so at the end of a very bad day
we might come home and say
just hit me in the face twice,
on my way home from work.
It would be so much better
and each other.
Return of the Red-headed Woodpecker
How beautiful the red headed woodpecker was
the day he came
and how beautiful the next day
again and again
until he was not was not was not was not was not was not was not
It's Just The Way Things Are
After Every Tornado
the newscasters rush in
three deep in their van
to stand neatly next to
a disheveled, heartbroken
homeowner and hear those
golden words over and over:
It sounded like a train coming.
Never, not once
has anyone ever
hit by a train
It sounded just like a tornado coming.