Thursday, October 28, 2010


When the frost is on the fencepost

and the birch has shed its bark

there won’t be a star to guide you

when it all goes dark

just a rasp of shallow breathing

just a rustle through the leaves

and a fly that’s caught and kicking

and a spider in the eaves

peer into an empty tunnel

slip a penny on the track;

it’s a long and lonesome whistle

when it all goes black.

When the creak is on the hinges

and you find the door ajar

and it smells of something sodden,

vaguely old and cold and far

you won’t need a star to guide you -

there will be a scarlet spark

in my eyes as I enfold you

when it all goes dark.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


is it brown or is it

it's not gone, only beholden
to a dark and dormant
grasses passing
like the reason

i once had
but can't remember
to see each leaf
as glowing ember
popping from some
phoenix roaring
'til its cinders
send it soaring

but ashy skies,
they only bring
a rush of mud and

might as well call falling flying;
fall's a wily word
for dying.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Summa Cum Lauder

Wasted days and wasted nights -

Freddie Fender had it right

backstops and blacktops

and Leilani’s smile,

living on Cheetos,

red licorice and guile

Bruce was dancin’ in the dark

while we were drinkin’ in the park

pink pearls and the girls

at the volleyball games,

Ronny’s Chevette with the

spray painted flames

like broken gods in local myths

don’t believe me, ask The Smiths

study hall and basketball

and freshmen stuffed in lockers,

couldn’t back it up with much

but we were first-class talkers

Joey knew just what to do -

I wanna be sedated too

filmstrips and friendships,

that row in the back,

strollin’ in tardy and

blastin’ The Knack

makin’ out when we got bored,

kiss me deadly, Lita Ford

spitballs and shortfalls

we’d never confess,

the fever that rose

with the hem of her dress

Fishbone was skankin’ to the beat

while we snuck out and down the street

wizard bongs and Zepplin songs

and all we couldn’t know back then -

like what I wouldn’t give tonight

to see Leilani

smile again.

[the poetry bus poem that wasn't - or almost wasn't - or was just really late.]

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Nothing gold
can stay, I've heard,
and poplars seem to know

all the ingots
in their arms
are for the letting go.

Leaving, then,
must be like gold,
a weight the heart must heft,

through a furnace,
through the flame,
'till leaving's all that's left.

As it's true
that nothing gold
can ever stay for long

so each note
must leave a throat
for there to be
a song.