Rolling and Action

Setting the Stage


Take it in
Or move it down
Inside your brain
Swallowed sound

Of raging voices
Screaming truths
Convinced of lack
Inked with proof

A game of words
Pronouns defend
Lighted eyes
Deferred send

Now you see
Body real
Indulging full
The hurt you feel

A twist of truth
A curl of cuts
Under lights
Marks and ruts

In the veneer
Of… fine
And talk later

Good to relate
Walk in shoes
Laced to go past
And forward, a ruse

Lit with love
And real passion
Audio dubbed
Broadcast captioned

Back to base
Edit for use
See what’s there
In flesh, not obtuse

It’s a brilliant idea
Shy short on conception
Third act falls apart
Only basement perfection

Still a story to tell
Commit to these players
Immersed in this world
Of witches and sooth-sayers

Learning to trust
Willing to believe
The feelings will endure
A nervous reprieve

Rolling and action
only mean start
to the ones pretending
not the ones staged apart

Her Light

She is

not your spotlight

Focusing attention in the darkness

calling everyone to look

So you see

What it is you can do.

Not your search light

To guide you into harbor

when you’ve sailed your ships

Against warning

Into black and chopped waves.

Not to blame for

Being the siren who lured you back.

She was singing for herself

Not the mirror you held up

So she could see the faults

Not her hand that

Turned and burned you instead

The silence of your fury

Louder than the

Sighs of your disinterest.

Not your torch,

to frighten back creatures

You don’t understand.

She has her own monsters

creeping to her doors

and learning her language.

Carrying torches

Only grinds down

arthritic arms.

She put hers down.

She can’t do it

Too heavy.

The lights are too bright.

headaches are

far too dug in and planted

Photosynthesis the

Power line to


Her own screwed in



Mixed white and blue and


Not matching when seen back

in her balanced eyes.

Her palms aren’t

Scarred and fibrous

As as her heart

to hold the light bulb

In place with bare hands.

It’s low watt but


her fingers blister

fluid leaking


And she doesn’t have the grip

To twist

Your glass fragile


In place.

She is candles and

altars with incense.

Low glow and quiet alone

With her disciple.

One you whispers,

knowing a harsh breath

kills the flame.

Happy in the room

She left dark.

The sun rises tomorrow

Isn’t it pretty to think

So dawn soft

Smoothed hair

Hazy unfocused


Touched in shadows.

Chasing away the light

For just a little longer

Not needing to be

The brightness

But wanted to be

the still silhouette

Casting her own


From her light.

One More Tonight

I’ve thought about it

I’m ready.

I’m really, finally ready.

I know it’s scary but

It’s something I want to do

I’ve always wanted to do

Thought I wanted

It’s time.

I have to,


That’s what people do,

Isn’t it?

Can’t keep on like this,

Night and fading music

Empty glass and

Last one in the pack


I should pack

If I’m going-

But, if I’m not leaving tomorrow

I don’t have to wrinkle all

My clothes in a bag tonight.

I don’t even need a suitcase yet.

In fact, I could just pick up what

I need once I get there.

I’m sure I’ll manage.

I won’t need anything anyway.

Be so excited to get there.

That’s what everyone says.

Be so busy I won’t have time to


about anything else.

What I left.

Or didn’t do.

Far too busy.

Always so busy.

I was thinking about

that time, remember?

We were all there,

It was so late

everyone was laughing.

No one wanted to leave.

Some of them did.

We all have to.

Can’t stay forever.

Don’t want to be

The last one at the party.

Last one.

What about one last one?

For old time’s sake.

For the road.

For tonight and tomorrow.

Maybe one more tomorrow.

Tonight isn’t ready.

Tomorrow isn’t here yet.

One more.


Falling Smiles


That’s it.

Go on now.

It’s okay. It’s hard.

Try again

That’s not quite…

you have laughed before?


No problem. Start smaller.

How about about a smile?

Just at the corners.

A bit up. Towards the sky.

A little on each side.

Little more.

Maybe a little more.

You’re twitching.

Oh dear.

How else can I explain this…

Remember when something good happened.

Tell me how you felt. Feel what your face does.

Not like that.

I’m not putting this well.

Christmas morning?

Warm bath after being in the cold?

A hug on the couch?

Yes. You’re nodding. Yes.




Are you quite sure you’re not a sociopath?

No, no, I’m kidding.

Maybe it wasn’t funny.

I’m sorry.

No, please don’t be upset.

I only wanted to hear you laugh.

That’s not laughing.


Oh dear.

I’ve done this all wrong.



I’m sorry.

I’ll go.





Did you…


You did.

You smiled.

I guess I’ll have to keep falling.

Exposed Wire

The electric doesn’t zing 

Because the wiring is frayed
Changed the bulbs

Changed the switch 
No light 
The other one

Half of the circuit

Turning on

Turning up
Still dark
Still static
Only risking 

entrance, exit of 


being the conductor

not the dispersive
Peel the burn

skin charred 

from faulty connections
Turn on the light. 

Help and Hummus

Vanilla and Brownie Batter Hummus from Aldi.


Sometimes hummus is help.
It’s luxurious enough to be beyond
our everyday.
At least my everyday.
It’s exorbitant, decadent.
Sidewalk coffee or
an un-needed book.
When they’re all needed.
Almost as much as the help.

Sometimes, that’s all we offer ourselves.
An acceptable extravagance.
As if help is something to be saved
and spent miserly.
Only so much to go around.
Eventually no more in the bowl.

Sometimes we need more.
Help needs to be more.
If we can’t ask,
and it can’t tell,
we scrape our knuckles
scooping up the last morsel
left us.
Not feeling worth
another exchange,
us for a new opening.

Sometimes help is there.
Our doubt and bewilderment
don’t change that.
Until it does
and our pulling from the past
everyone not and don’t
chases it from there
to gone.
It showed up.

Sometimes help is delicious.
There for the sheer delight of it.
Plated in front of you,
served for your enjoyment.
Pushing away from the table
as if you don’t deserve
only wastes the sate
you could know.
Allow the indulgence.
Savor it.
Roll it over your tongue.
Lick the heat and
swallow the sweetness.

Sometimes help standing in your kitchen
can be as deserved as
the hummus on the counter.
Just as real.
Just as tempting,
as emptying
if you choose it.
To fill you,
inspire, conspire
to stoke your fire
for existing.
Take the help,
lick the plate,
enjoy the taste
as everything it can be
and as it is.

All I Know

If you could make it hurt,

I can handle that. 

Yell, tell

Bemoan my elective ignorance,

My intentional obtusity

Say I could find my mind

Detect, perfect what’s placed before me

Surmise and surpass if I would 

Not give up before I try. 

If you could not be nice,

That would help. 

The ice of nice is 

Deceiving, retrieving the heat

Buried in the cold

Is a worthy excavation but

Pricks your thumbs

And makes you come

Up with a million reasons

Long after the cold victorious 

To keep digging. 

To keep rigging the ropes

Around your throat

Help for the fall

Still hoping the ground

Never meets you. 

Did I ever meet you?

Did I imagine you?

Mold you from my flesh

From the icicles where my

Ribs were,

Condensed clouds 

For breath. 

I wanted. I waited. 

I loved. 

I love. 

So I cut. 

My heart the pick axe 

My brain the swing. 

Letting me out. 

Letting you in. 

The ridges crusted 

With years of unsalted 



Detritus of the survivor 

Of frostbite. 

Tips and toes still black

Where the tissues surrendered 

But the soul stoked the furnace

Of continue. 

Tell me, yell me. 

I love you. 

Stay alive under my snow. 

I here. 

For now. 

All I know.