Nonverbals

He walked up and said
“I’m not much to look at”
with his slouched shoulders
and furtive glance
into their rolling eyed shoulder shrug
which combined
“we’re not either” with
“we’d still rather be talking
to each other
than you.”

A couple parries
attempted to repair
the inelegant entrance
but he was interrupting
more than he’d first known
so he blew

or fell outside,
a Jenga tower
with the wrong piece removed
so near the base
he might as well be
sawn off at the ankles.

As he dropped he thought
he recognized a recess bell
and the faint outline
of hopscotch boxes
on the sidewalk.

===
For Open Link Night 123

Father

I buried him
in my blood
and there he runs,
tumbling
through my heart
and brain.

Each day is a memory
of his forgetting
the inconvenient,
railing at the dead,
driving dogs to slink
from his hand.

Prophetic utterances rise
as blisters on my fingertips,
his rage a swirling vertigo
behind my eyes.

I know him chapter
and verse, the King James
of every small town
pentecostal church
within two hundred miles,
a Jeremiad scribbled
in a thousand spiral
notebooks, a curse
against all
who disbelieved him.

Time and space
bent to his view,
curved around
his planetary ego.

He courses through me,
flowering in mistrust
of all I know and see,
yet I scribble crooked lines
when I would keep silent
and let the visions pass.

Reading Other Poets

The ear
waits, alert
for the faulty phrase,

the one word
tipping
toward insincerity

or saccharine blush
in a bower
of pansies.

Mind
trims the “that”
that has no business here,

weeds the snarl
of ubiquitous,
blooming adverbs.

Heart
drowns
in minutiae.

Ego
reconfigures
Shakespeare

to pithy haiku.

A poem for dVerse Open Link Night