Thursday, January 28, 2010


Hold on
old man
and do not go -
the sun is low but has not set;

there still is snow
upon your stoop,
your floor needs sweeping yet.

I’d like to stay
but have to go.
Someone else
must clear the snow.

Hold on
old man
and do not go -
the sky is hung with twilight grey;

there still is snow
upon your walk,
and much we have to say.

I hear my name
and have to go.
Someone else
must clear the snow.

Hold on
old man
and do not go -
turn away that shadow’s reach;

there still is snow
upon your roof,
and much

you have
to teach.

Kiss me, boy,
before I go.
Take my hand
and watch it snow.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

3 Days of Rain


Woke up to the tuneful sound
of steady-falling
rain come down.

Like a friend who’s come around
who’s been away,
who just hit town.

Let the wiper blades keep time;
we’ll catch up in
the shimmer-shine.


Mid-afternoon; the gloomy glow
of sun diffused
by clouds below.

Like a guest who doesn’t know
the welcome’s worn -
it’s time to go.

Sorry for the mess and all –
hang on, I better
take this call.


Driving home; another fight
through flooded streets,
refracted light.

Like a rival, flashing spite,
gnashing through
the swirling night.

Sodden, sopping, soaking wet.
I am not done.
I’ll drown you yet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


in case you haven’t heard, jason over at clarity of night is having another short fiction contest. i highly recommend checking it out – always some really great reads.

since he's got a new contest, and since i'm currently buried to the point i haven't writen anything for almost a month, i thought i'd post my entry to the last clarity of night contest – technically not “new”, but new here – and this is the longer version, before i had to pare it down to 250 words per the contest rules. if you are a comparer / contraster, here is the – well, not short, but sanctioned version i submitted. (and don't miss the winner of the last contest)

So you let yourself in early
to surprise him when he woke
but the bed was made – unlike him -
so you stepped out for a smoke

and you couldn’t help but notice
as you wondered where he’d go
atop the trash, the empty bottle
of a ’64 Boudreaux

he once told you he’d been saving
for that sometime special night
and your final drag was shaky
knowing something wasn’t right

so you grabbed your phone and called him
but you heard it ring inside
and you found it in the kitchen
on the counter, right beside

broken bits of silver ribbon
and a scrap of shiny paper
and the breath you fought to draw
quickly vanished into vapor

as you glanced down in the basin
and discovered in the sink
a pair of dirty crystal glasses
with a foreign shade of pink

telltale lipstick in a crescent
like a smile, near the rim -
though the tears impaired your vision
you could piercingly see him

as the puzzle came together
faster than each piece could fall
and you retched onto the dishes
at the writing on the wall -

eleventh-hour client dinners
and the weekend business trips
when you simply couldn’t reach him
and the stutters and the slips

and you fumbled in a stupor
of revulsion, hurt and ire
and you tore and threw the necklace
he had given, and a fire

was still smoldering in cinders
in the hearth, and you saw red
and an earring on the carpet
which, of course, explained the bed…


In the rearview, from the freeway
dusky plumes began to dawn
like exclamation points that
both his house and you were gone;

in your ears he was a sparrow
on your neck, an albatross;
love may cast a
blinding brilliance
but in vino

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Red Herring, Orange County

a little black ragtop 325
drive like you’re late but you never arrive
peroxide and cowhide, some pills and a bible
protracted divorce and a judgment for libel

some silicone, some collagen
great taste in shoes but not in men
pull into a dark garage
teardrops on your d├ęcolletage

so you’re not the kind of girl
that would give a pig a pearl
as he talks your Secrets off
carves a notch into the trough

charm with smoky eyes and skin
on the sickly side of thin
one more glass of chardonnay
long as you don’t have to pay

have a ball and charge it all
little boutiques, at the mall
find the perfect purse to pair it
even if you never wear it

so you’re not the kind of girl
that would give a pig a pearl
but he’s got a place in Vail
says he’ll teach you how to sail

your son’s friends seem very nice
coming to you for advice
stammer shy but wrung and wound
usually when he’s not around

and your daughter seems embarrassed
that her mom is not the squarest
never brings her boyfriend by
never gives a reason why

so you’re not the kind of girl
that would give a pig a pearl
as he’s pulling off his tie
carves a notch into the sty

maybe you’ll go back to school
trashy novels by the pool
maybe boost the child support
with another round in court

and the makeup’s getting thicker
and the wine gives way to liquor
and it’s harder finding claimants
for reciprocal arrangements

no you’re just a savvy girl
knows the worth of any pearl
(as a hoof runs up your garter)
is determined by the barter