10.24.20 2am

poetry

sometimes the feeling of being so drastically alone
hits you in the stomach at 2am on a Saturday
after all the beer has been drunk and the people
you had spent the day with were all no doubt sleeping
in their various beds in their various houses
and you would almost prefer to choke on something
to take your mind off the throbbing in your gut
and the slight spin that your head is reeling in
but the lights are off save for the glow of your phone
and the loneliness would be stark and maddening but it
is softened by the last few texts you answer and cushioned
in the low growl of the furnace until the thermostat
is triggered by the temperature’s rise and that growl
finally
stops

Montana

poetry

You’ll wait for her
watching a single leaf fall
as the colors change,
blowing cold breath over cocoa
as the window fogs over
in January

Maybe every January

it’s been brisk each autumn
since before you could buy your own
but you’re off the bottle, now,
and even the summer sun can’t offer
any respite from the chill

and it’s so much colder

but you’ll wait
as the last orange bag is tossed
in to the open maw of a garbage truck
and the light jackets go on sale
at the vintage store
on Vine street

All Part Of The Plan

poetry

God stands with a paring knife
that has never been sharpened
so it tears when it cuts
through each of us,
through our guts and flesh,
as we are checked
for worms or for ripeness
or for whatever else God
might be checking for

when God makes his checks
we are left to bleed,
to clutch at our pieces
until we figure out
how to sew them back together
so we can keep on living
except the few that find
that the pieces don’t fit
together anymore,
or realize to their shock
that they never really did
in the first place

Sure

poetry

the color ran freely
and warm and thick
and so much brighter
than I’d ever thought it would

Oh and I had been so tough
and righteous in my ways
for after all mine was the truth
for after all mine was the real live truth

my hands grasped and quivered
trying to keep it in
but there was no stopping
the pooling in the low spots
and the running down the cracks
between the rough-worn floorboards
as paint that had been laid on
as reckless as I

Divinity 2

poetry

there was a torrent of frigid rain
cutting through the morning black
cascading over sheeted ice filling
every pore coating every surface
forging an unlivable Hell
and we lost our footing there
clamoring for safety scratching
frost from our eyes screaming
each other’s names in the tempest
praying to anything to hold on
but then the lightening started
and when the woods caught fire
on either side and I could see
the curling haze in the distance
I reached out for you blindly
but my hand found nothing in that atmosphere
and by the time the smoke had filled my lungs
I had already hit the frozen ground
and lost all of the feeling
in my extremities

April 9, 2020 Or, A Poem About Family

poetry

I remember ever scratch
on my parents’ dining table

I can see if I close my eyes
the chipped veneer
on my father’s end

the puncture from a project
by my middle brother
in the summer of ’03

I can feel my quiet frustration
at the grain not aligning
in the center
when the leaf is out
and sheer annoyance
that the lines don’t match
even when it is laid in
perfectly center

Ever stacked with clean towels
government paperwork
off-brand Tupperware full
of different kinds of cookies

a bag of fresh fruit even
within a few days of the market

and wonder at the dinner
that it could have held
but for a global pandemic
and a quarantine order
from the Governor
that won’t let up ’til May

April 1, 2020 Or, A Poem About Rich Men

poetry

The dust from our grinded bones
would settle in neat piles
under the chutes of great machines
rattling away through the night
to distill us in to the parts
best worth consuming
and my only hope, then, would be
to take the sickness with me
through each infernal mincer
over every hellish gear, so
by the time they found infection
it would bee too late for them
and they would suffocate inside
their own retched throbbing lungs
as the world spun fast enough
to fling them in to space
to die
the rest of the way

(Today is the first day of National Poetry Month)

King of the Mountain

poetry

I stood on the top of a snow mound
at eleven, hands without gloves
cold from the climb and face red
in the late afternoon light and I
watched as three boys made their ways
to the top where we would grip one
another and try with might and leverage
to cast each other down the mound
to hold the peak for a few seconds more
until another challenger summitted and
made their case to reign supreme but
not one of us had gloves and most of us
had rides home coming but I had walked
to school that morning so I would last
until the final bus had pulled away and
I would rule a minute more until my
beet-red hands started hurting