Batteries Included

My thoughts are coded
messages to tomorrow.
I wear tin foil underwear
to get better reception
but she still said no.
The wind marches on
despite resistance
in some quarters.
All quarters are named George.
Mount Vernon. How often?
Does it hurt
to get your face
stamped on a coin?
Questions rarely work in a poem.
Only answers get anywhere.
I filled my gas tank with answers
but I’m still here.
The tires are round
but only work
downhill.
I would sled
but there’s no snow,
not even on TV anymore.
Stars hide
in the light of the city
and the cover of clouds
but blaze from billboards
and movie marquees.
There’s a jagged edge
to even the smoothest blade.
You can find it with fingertips.
My doctor suggests lithium.
I’ve eaten three batteries,
getting a charge
I’d not expected.

Micropoems

I lie in bed
dreaming
of others’ days.


Toucans call
from the jabuticaba tree.
The jungle deepens.


I am myself
with or without you.
But with you
I am more myself.


Moon bathes
in the river,
dries in the sky.


Morning sun touches
the shoulder
of a sleeping hillside.


Having no idea
where I stand
I’ll sit down.

I’ll find my way
to you
if you wish
to be found.
—-

The wind
reads my face
as braille.

The moon sighed
uncertain I should visit her
then rose complaining
I was not there
to caress her silver face.

Birds rose
as one
bright bloom.

They carve
their recollections
on his face
and note
he’s changed.

If not this life
another
I will find your love
flitting
branch to branch.

Winter wind
wraps the moon
in frost.

Tracking . . .

back through the undergrowth
I see the broken twigs
and bent grasses of thousands.

Any could have been me.
They fan out to many
points of origin,

of which one is home.
It’s less important
I can’t find the way back

than the immediate need
for shelter, food,
a welcoming voice.

I turn to find the future.
Each footfall
is true.

Despite @miridunn’s little joke, the word is footfall, not football. Sorry to disappoint fans of the game.

In the Garden

Even the bad seed
has a reason for sprouting
which sounds pretty good
when repeated
in the hothouse of the mind.

We tell our stories
until they seem right:
The sun was hot
through the glass,
I was waist high in compost
and not going anywhere
so I ate the gardener.

Now no one waters me.
I grow drier every day,
persecuted
for my stand
against oppression
by those who wander
in and out of my world.

Deus Ex

“Truth is stranger than poetry.” –Orrin Quinn

Truth is stranger than poetry
and life less tangible than dreams.
The moment woven
of theoretical strings
looses to unraveled
recollections
which each remembers
a different way.

The present
is tread threadbare
by anxious pacing
over purpose and design.

A child dies
with no poetry,
the famine scars
of distant lands
disquiet suburban
niceties. The same
bad players
hector using the same
bad lines, doing
the same bad deeds

and the fucks us machina
which rumbles overhead
eating lives
and burping disaster
would be disowned
by any good writer
as bad art,
a cheap contrivance
of improbabilities
shoved into the story arc
of opening, climax
and resolution.

A poem holds its own.
Though born of mist
it hardens to
a certain phrasing.
An atmosphere,
a breath of meaning
coalesces around
the cold core of simple words.

No matter how abstract,
a poem is the child
of one mortal mind,
a child who always
measures the same,
though our conversation
with her may range
over new ground,
carry greater depth.

She is a child
who outlives us,
who is always
beautiful.
———

Not sure if this is more a rant or a poem.  I do see beautiful things in life too, but this is how the poem bent.

Literalists in the Office

What day do you want me to come in and do filing?”

“Just coordinate with Margaret.
Whatever you arrange is fine with me.”

Margaret discards
legal assistance,
a rose clenched in her teeth
as we stride cheek to cheek,
heedless of manila folders
bulging with briefs.

Chins raised high,
one arm around each other,
the other thrust out,
hands clasped
in a battering ram
of dance.

High marching steps
past the water cooler
beside magazines stacked
on the low glass table.

Clients wait,
look discreetly away
or glare and tap
at their watch crystals
during our dangerous dips.

A tango waits
for noone,
tells by its own time
the coordinating schedules
of two arranged alphabetically
in the spun rolodex
of love.

Gimpel by Gaslight

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes:
but the Lord pondereth the hearts.

–Proverbs 21:2

Life is won by those
who swear forsooth
declare what’s truth
and back it up
with a steady eye
and firm right hook.
They never lie,
because the evidence
is in the fist.

The more subtle way
starts with furtive glance,
then never blinks,
never concedes
what you thought
it said, demurs
at dissent, dissembles,
perhaps to self
as well,
stares so long
the challenger folds.

It is as you say
in every way.
Since I think I’m right
I must be wrong,
as the scripture holds.