Daily ablutions 

The silt of spiritual indignation 

Seeps into the pores, leaving a film

The eye of providence is a delta 

Where Styx meets the ocean of sorrow
The buttered skin of a quetzal

About to be roasted on a spit

Trading flight feathers for currency 

A Faustian bargain for the root of all evil
12 feathers for this phone and 30 for that TV

Dressing in leather to hide the pluck holes

And to remember that there are worse bargains

Frying pan or fire, no one dies in their sleep
The aspirant clocks out at the mine’s mouth

Pretending with sooty face and black lung

That the diamond called the American Dream

Is within gnarled and arthritic hands
Go home to hearth and family

Who dream of feathered boas and cruises

Climb into the steamy shower

Pine needle brush and loam exfoliant 
The handshake still felt

The sky a constant reminder

Ink and paper or keys and screen

Remember what it was once like
To fly

Ephemera

The imprints of little feet in sand

Around a bucket built sandcastle
Snow-covered trees, snowflakes on your face

You stand and look at your first snow angel 
Walking out into the field at dusk and

Experiencing firefly magic the first time
Giddy anxiousness keeping you awake

Wondering what Santa was bringing you
The perfect rock, the perfect throw

It skips across the water…finally
Knowing with the utmost certainty 

That you were meant to be a firefighter 
That tv show you watched with grandma

As a child, her laughter was the best sound
The cool night breeze off of the bay and

The best fireworks you’d ever seen
Sneaking around the grownups stealthily

Slurping the foam off their drinks until dizzy
A sunburn, the pain, the sleepless nights

The skin sloughing off in strips
Jr. High warm-belly-feeling from friends

Relaying info that your crush likes you too
That first self-induced, full-body-orgasm

Lightening in your veins…did I break it?
Bagged groceries all week with your best smile

The owner hands you your first check
Approaching high school graduation 

The feeling that the world was yours
Your hands grip the steering wheel 

You drive off the lot in your brand new car
You walk up to the counter, fingers touch glass

You ask where the engagement rings are
Filling out paperwork at HR

Five percent you put into a 401K…for the future
You keep the indicator covered by your hand

So you both can see if it’s positive together 
The Rent-A-Center salesperson 

Greets you with a smile and calls you Sir/Ma’am
Sitting across the desk, little arrow stickers

You initial for the 100th time…homeowner 
You place the beer on the counter

They take your money and don’t ID you
You hear a couple punk kids laughing

Your muffin-top the punchline, you’re Teflon
You let a bright-faced salesperson in 

You sign up for supplemental life insurance
You order a do-it-yourself kit

Catalog everything and make a will
A twenty-something smiles at you at the store

They move their cart and let you cut in line
Your manager gives you a little box

Inside is a pin commemorating your retirement 
The family reunion you have the place of honor

As the oldest in your family
All your loved ones eagerly visit you

As you lie in a hospital bed
You feel an immense amount of weight lifted off

Then nothingness
In the distance you see a light

A doctor pulls you out and cleans you up
The imprints of little feet in sand

Around a bucket built sandcastle…

Veneer

I’m sorry, do I know you?

No…not, do I know YOU?

But, do I KNOW you?
I know that you don’t know me

That’s right, you don’t KNOW me

Often I feel don’t even KNOW me
Introverts scream separately in unison

Don’t ask me about the weather!

Ask me about my dreams and aspirations!
The, “How about them Yankees?” 

Is the TAP TAP on the microphone

Is this thing on?
We WANT true, meaningful connections

We NEED to see aura, spirit, and heart

We HAVE no real idea what we are asking for
The devil you know or you THINK you know

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory

You want me to fix me?

Here’s a diver’s helmet

Some glow sticks

Spray lidocaine 

Aloe Vera

And a copy of the Rite of Exorcism 
They say it’s going to rain…

Park bench

Yesterday

I sat on your bench

I tried

To feel your resonance 

I didn’t know you

I saw you on my walks

Apparently no town 

Is too small

For homelessness 

You’d disappear 

During the day

Leaving behind your

Belongings

A ratty backpack and

Your tattered sleeping bag

Returning in the dark

To lay your head down

To sleep

The article said 

Your heart gave up
The fight

Enjoy your rest

As I lie in bed

Hating myself 

For never even

Saying

Hello

Line


Get in line

Toe the line

Walk the line

Fall in line

Take a hard line

Draw a line in the sand

Color inside the lines
Someone has fed you a line

So I’m gonna drop you a line

It’s time to be out of line 

Time to cross the line

That’s right…I’m laying it all on the line 

Take the line of MOST resistance 

We are on the frontline 

You may be next in line 

And that’s the bottom line
We are the creatives, so color outside the lines

Before you…flatline 

Just remember…

At the cellular level

You’ve changed

New interconnections formed

The web thrums

From conscious to subconscious 

It lurks like deja vu

Like the food that you ate

Is now a part of you

Microchimera mothers

Carry baby’s DNA in their brains

Symbiotic…parasitic relationship

The inoperable conjoined twins

Dormant virus waiting in the wings

Hepatitis in a Trojan horse

Rolls through the liver’s gates

I’ve passed through the blood-brain-barrier

A transfusion of illusion 

Go ahead and close the app

Shut off your phone

Power down your PC

Just remember…

I’m still here

Blemish

Early morning stillness

The rusted out dumpster

Behind the local grocery

Holds the promises of love

The tap tap of rain on cellophane 
Really mourning illness

The busted-out lackluster 

Remind with vocal sorcery

Old is the ominous ‘enough’

The apt rap of reign on ball and chain
A few black spots

And couple dropped petals

Instead of clutched to breast

You rot giving no pleasure

The picking and pruning’s love’s lost labor
A view lacks plots

A decoupled, cropped unsettles

It’s dead if touched to behest

You wrought gifting no leisure 

The licking and preening sloughs last savior
Take these discarded roses

They’re not perfect

These second chance tokens

No one is perfect 

And we all deserve a second chance. 

Summer

I’ve basked in the warmth 

Of summer days

A golden skinned child

Faced sunward 

Heliocentrically tracking 

The star’s arc

Childhood friends standing 

Tall as sunflowers 

Photovoltaically kinetically frenetic

Darting like hummingbirds 

We drank the nectar of youth

Denying tomorrow’s existence 

Invulnerable in our naïveté 

We walked the wire

Between boy and man

Eventually the rain clouds move in

And I learned to enjoy

The time 

To think

Sediment 

Take the tap

Hammerfist it into the base of my heart

Turn the spigot 

Drain the too-heavy-sludge, the sediment

Press through cheesecloth 

Boil my blood into syrup for your paincakes 

Wear good gloves

A single scratch and a mad hatter you’ll be 

Moments too heavy

They lay upon the cloth, dull like lead

My soul’s poison

Dry it in the oven’s heat until powder

Fill the urn 

Sprinkle it in the woods in a hollow log

Tethered I’ll be

Until the day the moss purifies the mecury

Then I’ll soar