Friday, August 1, 2014

Family Condition

I have an extra toenail
it runs in my family
just a tiny sliver on 
the right pinky toe

No one would ever notice
but it’s there, 
separate, defined

I get it from the mother side
and in that line it’s
mother, grandmother, aunts
my sister
passed on through 
woman to woman
our most basic
and meaningful inheritance

Unlike the witches of old
we don’t have the full deformity
only the sharpest part
the little bit that
points, needles
stabs at us until 
we do something about it

Even I forget it’s there
most of the time
until I take a 
twisted step too far
out to the left
or run into something
I should surely have avoided
and then- a pain
a small, sharp pain
running down the outside
of my foot
and suddenly-
ah, yes now
there it is
my inheritance

The family condition
and saving grace 
all wrapped up in one

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Room #11, Windows Open

and now then light
the little lamps, the ones that
though they don't do much work
still need to be on

and look out past 
the church tower, past
all the thrumming of 
the porch, the paths, 
look beyond the two tall
trees to the right
and find the invisible line
that separates
sea from sky, or
at this time of day

listen to the French horn, 
the gull, the shiver of 
the branch by the window, 
the Canadians

come to know the way the 
palest blue, on the edge
of the farthest everything
rings true, goes beautifully
into the center, 
so that 
when you feel it come, that joy, 
to rest within 
your stomach, 
you're almost 
sick to it

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Let Go The Walls

packing him up for New York, 
in his backpack I find
a 9-volt battery, a bus pass, 
a dirty pair of ear plugs. 
and there he is. 

I spread them out on the bed. 

listening to him in the other room
putting on mixed up tracks, 
I hear him over there
and yet
here he is right in front of me
on the bedspread that needs washing. 

a spent battery that
his guitar pedal must have
used up months ago,
a crosstown trip 
he took on February 21st of last year. 

I miss him already. 

I spend hours memorizing 
the feel of his big arms
all around me
not just holding 
loving me,
loving even the spaces around me
just because they are
close to me. 

in the next room
he slows the pace,
switches to jazz,
and I suddenly remember
how we are all made of 
that have no boundaries,
how even the brightest minds of our time
can't explain
why everything doesn't just
pass right through 
everything else,
how we are all mixed up,
how no one knows why
we can't see it. 

and just like that
I find the way,
the first reasonable thread
that I can pull, 
the start of letting go 
that lets him be
inside my cells
all the time,
the way even his old 
bus pass
has come inside my body. 

he's always home with me. 

I let go the walls
and he starts playing Tom Waits. 
there is nothing else
but us. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

This can be your good deed for the day!

Hey y'all, my good friend Spike Gillespie is the author of the blog Meditation Kicks Ass, in which she skillfully navigates the internal landscape of distraction, grief, terror, anxiety, love and gratitude. You know, that basics. She has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help get her on her way to transforming the insights she's learned through the past year of her dedicated meditation practice into an honest-to-god book that we can all curl up on the couch with while eating an entire pecan pie and some jelly beans. Or whatever the fuck you guys eat while reading good books. I don't judge. Anyway, LET'S HELP HER DO IT! 

Because Spike is (aptly) known as the Human Facebook, many of you may already know her, and for you guys I have no need to explain her awesomeness. You already get it. For those of you who may not have heard of her before, I suggest you click the Meditation Kicks Ass link up there and do a little digging around that blog. I dare you to not find yourself within her words and be highly entertained. I double dog dare you. You can also hop on over to her other delightful blog about Man College, wherein she regales us with adventures of Thursday afternoons spent at a tattoo shop learning all there is to learn about manly things. And sandwiches. And fake dog poop. And one time the baby Jesus. In short, if you don't check it out, you're just… you're just not experiencing the fantastically hilarious and well-rounded existence that is literally at your fingertips. Seriously. It's time to start living your life, people. 

Every little bit helps, and she's worth every penny. Go on over and check it out, and spread the word if you can. Feel free to send a link to this page, or just one directly to any of Spike's pages, to anyone you think might wanna help. Remember, with Kickstarter, you don't have to pay until the campaign ends, so go ahead and pledge away, even if you still have another week or so before you get your illicit drug-smuggling funds back from the money launderers. You've got until April 3rd, and that's plenty of time even by the agonizingly slow standards of money laundering. I've heard. Not that I know that for sure. Just guessing. Wink, wink. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Like A Toothache

You will always be
farther away from me
than my losses

they are like
a tooth in my mouth 
you cannot be closer
to me than that 
than they are

what is lost to me
around my skull
makes ping-pong noises
that drown you out
at every hour 

nothing is close to me
you are all
too far gone 

I spend my days
tonguing my gums
distracted by
the ache inside me
hovering just above the hum
that is
everything else

what was becomes
the absence of what was
all there is
a tooth that can't be

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Apollo's Intuition

Outside the band's practice space
Apollo, the rambunctious doberman, 
paused overlong while
sniffing my pants
and then, suddenly still, 
he stood with his head 
sloped over my knee
for once not 
galloping around and 
tugging the war
his head silent and 
laid next to the smell
stuck upon my jeans
and I wondered
as I stroked his back 
if he knew
if he scented the death 
that had come upon us 
last Sunday
and was pausing his
usual play
to momentarily mourn with me
my own dog
who is no more

Sunday, January 26, 2014


bring in the pieces
lay them out and
let me see
what we have here

yes, that
thing you said 
six months ago
about rhythm

the branch by the mailbox
that forked more
to the left
than it should have

those three minutes 
at the red light yesterday
when the shifting light
brought the quiet down
and made it last

these dripping sounds
sliding down
the side of the house
while we lay together
warm in the island of our bed

the mysterious
missed phone call

the softness of 
last Friday
when nothing happened
at all

the painful shock
of my pounding heart
every time I think
the dog’s cancer 
is catching up with us

that one hot teardrop
pulled out of me
by someone else’s son’s
sparkling blue eye

and the icy wake
that comes after

yes, all of these
bring them to me 
spread them out and
watch now
closely, for this will
happen quickly
here, let me show you
how they fit
how they are all
the same