Friday, September 11, 2009

Of a Certain Sort of Pressure

My bladder throbs.
It throbs, bellows, burns,
groaning whispers. Whispers

"Ssss. Ssss."

Three cups of green tea, sloshing
bladder walls.

But there you sit, winking hair
and curly eyes. So damn engaging.
Mid-story, you make me laugh
and we are at a crisis.
Now or never or puddle.

I stand to navigate little
round tables. Gravity grasps
at liquid weight. Past the first
door, into the next, on the left.

I'm inside. Is this right?
Pinkish walls. Photograph of a
child tongue-catching rain drops--

Ah, I see the raised toilet seat.

I stand relieved at the raised toilet


There he lays, the gurney-bed,
head bowed down, weighted,
like a parched flower
creasing over a vase brim;
or perhaps as a piece of over-
ripe fruit--heavy, soft, pulling
inevitably downwards on
its stem.

He lays. He lays content
as compost. His heart is strong,
they say, Its beat a boom.
His mind is mush, however.

They feel betrayed.

The strong heart, the dull brain,
still carry on a conversation,
while sons and daughter and
hand-wrung mother sit silent,
in hard, plastic chairs.

There he lays, intravenous,
mind drawn deep within,
to some undefined empty space--
a void, devoid, unavoidable--
until the stalk grows brittle,
weary with the strain of rotting
pear. The sigh the snap.
A swirling fall to black.

The Red Duck

The picture shows a red
duck, swimming along an
invisible pond path. Its head
cocks intelligently to the side,
curious of something outside
the frame.

Imagine his thin legs and
webbed feet, kicking franticly
just beneath discordant
aboveward calm.

Trace the wavering V that
builds behind him: an arrowhead
pressed to his back, prodding him
towards some unknown. To what?
Discovery? Redemption?

Unknowable beyond the red
mahogany frame. Forever
undefined. Perpetually indistinct.
But still he kicks.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The old women form a circle--

Babushkas escaped from Stalin

To East Los Angeles--like buzzards

Around me: hunching shoulder

Blades, flapping neck skin,

The hopping excitement, the

Bulbous greed-stricken eyes.

Squawking claustrophobic crush.

Kissing lips peck flesh from

Ligament, suck marrow free

From deep, sluice lipstick-stained

Saliva, pinch skin to oblivion.

"Ohh, the little grandson of Moisi!"

I am bones; I rest in a pile

On the salt flats of California:

Baked brittle, old sock white,

And dry like cinnamon.

Somewhere a jet turbine

Flames a converted sedan

Into a cotton candy plume.

Rivets strain. Cracked rubber

Tires skitter off the sand into the sky.

A happy moon bobs in the acid

wash afternoon. I fall from above,

Land back on the rigid, oak, church pew--

I struggle softly to unzip my flame-

Retardant suit, with the cape and the blue

Stripe; the metal tear, conspicuous

As candy-wrapper crackles.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Fruit Flies

Ahhgh! Fruit Flies
in the oranges again!
They were stacked
so nicely--Giza
in the wicker basket.

I had a bar of Ecuadorian
chocolate to go with
them. 77% cacao.
Mmm. Right there!
On the coffee table.

You'd've sliced them
when you got back
this weekend, and
slurped the juice out.
The chocolate could've
slowly melted down
your throat.

But oh! Oh! Those
fruit flies mucked
it up. They're in there
now, screwing inside
your Welcome Home

First Kiss

Curt's first kiss
occurred in second grade,
in a schoolyard,
at recess.

Swooping red pig-
tails, puckered lips,
shrill giggles, the thin
swash of spittle.

He didn't wipe away
the wet evidence as
he sprinted. It

Hidden, between
the cafeteria and
a pine tree, he
curled himself.

The horror. The
. The ten
absurdly long minutes.
The bell.

The Cynoclept

Poodles are my speciality,
but I hunt beagles too.