escaping the clouds as the plane descends
toward my hometown by the western shore
nothing here to mourn, no way to make amends
no one meets me at the airport anymore
drifting through the crumbling buildings
blankets of fog shroud a concrete tomb
ashen streets filled with broken spirits
wandering through the rain and gloom
places once explored, friends since lost
childhood memories turn to haze
conveniently discarding, not counting costs
forgetting those whose souls I couldn’t raise
the lonely disembodied search the city each day
kicking through the ashes of everything I burned
ghosts surround the graveyard, pausing there to pray
in futile expectation that the living will return
pointless hope becomes despair
their dying souls reject the sun
the spirits vanish into liquid air
haunting days are finally done
Sure, Edward Scissorhands got all the attention, what with the topiary sculptures and the hairdressing skills. Life was more mundane for Edward’s less-interesting cousin, Jim Staplerfingers. Jim worked in a non-descript office building in suburban Indianapolis, and while he wasn’t invited to many parties, he was an office mainstay when it came time to bind expense reports. Collating and stapling was not very fulfilling for Jim however; he was frustrated at his co-workers’ nonchalance about the proper alignment of the staples in their documents, and he was tired of always being asked to put up flyers on the bulletin board. He had a hard time letting go of things, whether figuratively (his feelings of loneliness and inadequacy) or literally (putting down the Sunday paper was especially difficult).
Life changed quickly for Jim Staplerfingers when he met his soulmate one day in Office Depot. Katie Stapleremoverteeth worked in as a clerical assistant in the next office building, and when they came face-to-face amidst the aisles of office supplies, they fell in love immediately. Physical intimacy was understandably problematic, but they were young and creative, and with practice they minimized injury to their erogenous zones. Eventually they had a perfectly normal child with no obvious office-supply-related birth defects besides a penchant for chewing on sticky notes. Uncle Edward cut the umbilical cord.
coffee’s cold again
although I miss the point
of heating it up once more
there’s no more left to pour
thoughts are disjointed
as we sit upon the floor
future seems uncertain
look behind the curtain
to see there’s no one running the show
it’s up to us to decide
if love wins out, or pride,
and which of us will choose to go
rain streaming down,
it seems to want to drown
the feelings lost today
there’s no more debate
I’m resigned to my fate
as I watch you go away
showering one morning, using my shampoo
a universe was found in the ingredients there
laboratory experiments only known to a few
I never realized what was going in my hair
sounds like alcohol and wood
I didn’t learn much chemistry
I was never very good
at deciphering complex formulae
and chemical diagrams
ammonium laurel sulfate
perhaps it’s found in Spam
your name eats at my soul
were you planted by the government
for subversive mind control?
Acetomidopropyl trimonium chloride
propylene glycol, D&C red and blue
all suggest dark thoughts of suicide
were I to drink this vile shampoo
Tetrasodium EDTA, water (purified)
I think I want to run and hide
or maybe surrender and end it all
When I’m no longer obsessed with shampoo
perhaps I’ll study cologne
for now your ingredients remain unknown
A man sprouted wings, and decided to fly.
He thought about flying to the sun, but it was too hot.
He considered soaring over the canyon, but it was too desolate.
He traversed the rainforest, but he didn’t like the humidity.
He tried crossing the desert, but he became thirsty.
He joined the birds in migration, but their journey was pointless.
He flew through the canyons of the big city, but the people scared him.
He attempted to fly over the mountains, but they were too tall.
He passed over the ocean, but the air was too damp.
A man perched in a tree and began to think.
Why do I have these wings?
These wings bring me no joy, only disappointment
All they do is take me to new places and incredible sights
but I get no satisfaction from experiencing life.
Why do I have these wings?
I don’t need them.
A man discarded his wasted wings,
then walked into the river and drowned himself.
skies on fire
shining, glowing from beyond
no trucks or cars
just us, gazing in wonder
dazzled by your shimmering hair
reflected in your loving eyes
a broken spell
a wanting world intrudes
can we ever return
to our fields of light?
perusing the menu at Casa Paco
the first food group I encounter
the waitress said it’s better than the taco
I had no reason to doubt her
wrapped in a soft flour shell
the ingredients I savor
it was crafted very well
for me to taste the flavor
whether chicken, beef, or pork
shredded meat, the finest filling
whether in hand or with a fork
to eat it any time, I’m willing
mashed and refried into paste
the small nutritious legume
cooked and seasoned to taste
pause to swallow, then resume
queso brings me to my knees
with its fat hydrogenated
oozing when I give a squeeze
gooey flavor, much anticipated
as we leave I start to shiver
then an unexpected stumble
when my intestines start to quiver
and my stomach starts to rumble
hesitant to sit in my car
‘cause I don’t want to soil it
I’ll be wishing on a star
when I’m headed for the toilet
I know I’ll have to raise my voice
when at last I plead for help
tomorrow I’ll regret my choice
I won’t give good reviews on Yelp
in coastal forests
cedar branches droop in snow
even trees get sad
I have an idea how the music would go for this, but I haven’t quite fit the words to the rhythm. Regardless, I always hear this as a song rather than a poem.
we traveled halfway round the world
to close the shortest distance
the space between your heart and mine
we needed the assistance
of a city way down under, and
at least a glass or two of wine
they threw a birthday party for the USA
with fireworks in patriotic colors
but I don’t think we really cared
about the twirlers and the jugglers
and the high school band performing at the world’s fair
as we talked for hours in our darkened room
that night, we finally closed the distance
that morning we were lovers,
we ordered breakfast in
because it finally felt so right
we continued our discussion
underneath the cotton covers
debating the merits of vegemite
emerging late that morning
cause we were done pretending
the slipper found a Cinderella
but the rainstorm was unending
so we hid out from the weather
while we looked for an umbrella
as we drank our tea and promised to each other
we knew we’d finally closed the distance
in a clothing store across the street
you looked at something twice
because you said that it was pretty
you forgot the good advice
you’re supposed to take a second glance
when in a foreign city
the traffic goes the other way …
as I knelt beside you on the pavement where you lay,
in the end, we finally closed the distance.
snowflakes on your body
not melting on your frigid skin
protecting you in a layer of perfection
a quiet peace you’ve never known
crystals in your hair and in your veins
the warmth has left your pallid face
unblinking eyes went cold long before
pale blue windows on a broken soul
snowflakes falling, drifting, blown
lying in an alley, all alone