Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Fair Lady

through gate and
lost in you my
carnival girl,
all laughter and wonder and awe,
with shouts of step right up,
three balls for a buck,
neon spinning dizzy through
shrieks and squeals and flashbulbs and
crackle pop calliope spilling
from the fun house from
the hall of mirrors from
the winking stars themselves with

things all and every like a state fair you carry
the brightest the fullest the best of the best
all blue ribbons in
blonde hair, blue sashes
on sundresses,
cornstalks high as houses and
wide brimmed hats,
from the top of the Ferris
to the mock up of Paris with
rickety rides and shady jakes pressing buttons
just dicey enough to ride just
solid enough to trust

and I am running around
too excited to talk too busy to
cry if I fall like a kid all
cotton candy fingered and
pop fizz flustered so alive you
wonder if there was life before if there is
life after but you don’t really care you’re so
rich in moments and in

you, my circus girl,
my peanutsawdusthighwire day,
every day,
smile like a midair no net somersault and held breath
that stops five hundred
hearts at once
and stilt men spider by tossing
confetti and clowns pour from a car while two small
so wide,
so wide,
and fingers forget and
a balloon slips up
and up
past the moon
into a great and grinning

[mid 90's. next week is july - yay!]

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Some days it just don’t pay to awaken
some stubborn rainclouds just refuse to burst
some days it shames me, how much I’ve taken
how something in me still feels such a thirst

Can’t remember just exactly how it started,
just that smile that you often wore
we set out to sail seas uncharted
we left our worries on the shore

Just like a kid inside a candy store
amazed to see such things exist
I guess I thought that there’d be plenty more
let the coins slip from my fist

I wouldn’t say you keep me up nights
but your laughter haunts my sleep
we chased shooting stars and searchlights
and caught nothing we could keep

Although I can’t say why
I think of you now
much more often than I ever did;
as the years roll by
and the lines get deeper
I’m finding things I forgot I hid

I crossed my brides and I let ‘em fall
I just went on ahead
when they came around to pay a call
must’ve figured I was dead

Kept their letters in a shoebox that I’ve since lost
I tucked their photographs away
I didn’t think back then to count the cost
and what I had I gave away

Although I can’t explain
I think of them now
much more than I can justify;
as the years roll by
and the pages yellow
it takes a lot more now for me cry

Rumination never did me no good
I never thought myself too wise
I’d just forget it if I could
rub these visions out my eyes

Though the miles to them can be crossed
the distance seems to mock the thought
the time between us now is simply lost
and can’t be borrowed, stole or bought

although I can’t say why
I think of them now
much more often than I’d care to say;
as the years roll by
and the clouds get darker
there’s things I thought I threw away

Here I am, a bit surprised I guess
at all the candles on my cake
and there’s been a few nights now I will confess
when I just lie alone and shake

But the seasons flow like teardrops off a cheek
each day is one more hill to climb
now and then I feel I’ve sprung a leak
a little more and more each time

They were the best, they were the worst of me
and like a crocus through the snow
they came like ghosts of things about to be
why the weren’t I don’t know

Although I can’t explain
I think of them now
Much more often than I’d recommend
As the years roll by
And the moon gets paler
I’m finding postcards I forgot to send

This is the way it always goes
or so I’ve heard the old ones speak
two doors open for each one you close
you get what you gave up to seek

Late last night a cold northwester
blew in hard over the hills
so I knocked off half a bottle
but couldn’t rack up any kills

Although I can’t say why
you come to mind
much more often than I’d like you to;
as the years roll by
and the lights get dimmer
I feel further from the guy you knew.

[adding insult to injury: i actually mailed this to johnny cash in '97 or '98. never heard back. go figure.]

Thursday, June 11, 2009


she stepped from the flame
and asked me my name
and all i could do
was look at the floor

afraid of her stare
that seemed to ask where
i turned away quickly
and made for the door

she may not have hurt
and my exit was curt
though somewhere within me
i heard somebody sigh

but my will is so thin
i was soon back again
looking for her
that would get me to try;

her hotpants on fire
i danced with desire
but desire went home
with someone less weak

so i bought love a drink
hoping i needn’t think
but she gave her logic
in a tongue i don’t speak

at the end of the bar
i dialed for a car
as dawn was preparing
to unfurl her clean sheets

then i hung up the phone
and i set out alone
as the night passed out drunk
in its dead empty streets

[early / mid 90's]
* titles were apparantly not very important to me at this time - or maybe i thought it was very cool and artsy to not have them - i don't remember.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Some Days Spring

Some days it’s spring,
some days there’s no such thing.

Perfecting portrayals
with better betrayals
we can’t hear the nails
of so long ago

Masters of fooling
we skated through schooling
but when life got grueling
we got up to go

Clouds brought the cold
we watched us grow old
and some grabbed ahold
of what slips away

The sun may get dimmer
the land may get slimmer
but each starlight’s glimmer
has something to say

Some days it’s spring,
and that’s everything.

[early 90's]

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hiatus (Kind of. But not really.)

So let’s say that for the month of June I have to take a hiatus. That would be cool, right? The world would keep spinning? Except I can’t stand the thought of not posting every Thursday, mostly because of how completely unlike me it is to have not missed a week, or seven, or abandoned the whole thing by now. But you know what I could do? I could schedule out the next 4 posts with some of those (at least 10 years) old poems I just dug out of those boxes of junk I’ve been going through. Actually, that’s probably not a very good idea. Then again, it’s not like I have a bunch of pride to protect, so I could totally do that. It might be painful, or amusing, or interesting, or not, but at least it would keep the streak alive. That’s not cheating, is it? (Yeah, right - like I am above cheating.)

Ok, so say I do my June posting in absentia. What about everyone else? I mean, I know I would miss their comments – what if they miss mine? They might think I’m getting weird or I’m ignoring them or something. What if they think I’m a jerk for not having the common courtesy to check out their blogs and let them know I was there? No, they wouldn’t think that. They’d understand, I think, if they knew that it was just temporary, something I don’t want to do but kind of have to do. If they knew it wasn’t anything terrible, just a bunch of normal things I have to address so I can keep my head above water, I bet it wouldn’t be that big a deal. And when I come back around in July and dig through all their stuff I missed, I’m pretty sure they’d forgive me.

I mean, these are some pretty remarkable people we’re talking about. Some pretty incredibly remarkable people.

with more gratitude than I could ever hope to express,