Sink

Drowning above water

Meant kicking

Thrashing

Digging nails into

Anything close

Dragging down another

Sodden, macerated flesh

Too long wet

pierced by

Points of a disproportionate

Fulcrum

So desperate to lever

To survival

You pivot the hand saving

And push it under

Bends are the least

Of the pain

On shore

You gasp and gag

Guilty

Crying for the crime

Woman slaughter

Suspected

But the suspect

Isn’t drowning

But swimming

Deep

Safe

And sinking

Feels like such

An unexpected bliss

Arms around you

Able to life the weight of

You, wet

Or dry

Sinking

Feels like

The warmth in a

Room with a closed door

Sinking

Feels like

The most natural

Wanted

Hopeful

Risk you can’t imagine

Fighting

Waves of a softer sort

Such a

Delicious

sink

Pace

Where in the cadence

in the pace

in the place

does sorry fit?

In between a scream and a punch

Sinews are slight

Between clenched throat

Dug In fingers

No space to slip in

Behavioral condolences

I didn’t space 20 paces

To your none

And I know

I slapped leather to skin and demanded

satisfaction

Drew my gun first

And called out cowardice

So you couldn’t see

My quivering

But I’m not here

On this pitted ground

Alone

I followed when asked

And brought supplies

For the fight

Don’t call we unwound

For bracing for battle

When I only came first

With shields

I didn’t draw my sword

Until there was metal

I could taste

Because it was

On my lips

I didn’t put it there

But I enjoyed

The stinging cold

On my tongue

The blood it drew

disguised with wet warmth

The wintry war

Putting down arms

Putting them around

Each other if

There is any room

In the trench

For I’m sorry.

Erudition and Examination

 

 

And tomorrow we’ll

again

I hope

maybe we could

if you want

do you

you decide

whatever you want

whatever 

you 

want

Did

I

really 

take your breath away?

That’s

what I want

hand on 

your chest

feel it leave

lips inhale it past

I want 

to be dizzy

from the

exchange

ideas and air

I want 

the good 

on paper

to be good

from a 

beginning

base

bucolic seed

on cotton

theory

become practice

academic 

become 

not by the book

by the hand

from straight crisp pages

inked only by their

unknown printer

to fingers curled 

from their own experience

not empirical evidence

based in 

experimental experience

without theory

But I have a theory

and I want to experiment

learn

put hands on 

have

hands

on

interactive

erudition

by examination

and not

be found 

left

wanting

Reflecting Shadows

Looking out

looking in

looking through

rounded panes

myopic 

too long focal length

can’t see

shuttered out

light kept inside

if you trust 

the reflection

not disctracted 

by the glare or

the intentional flare

artist in action

accepting allowances

for fighting 

ugly gnawing 

inspiration

the upside down

turned round

picture distorted

to reality

can startle to 

stillness

of inconsequence

look inside

your lens

leave the impression

to the glass

shatters can 

be swept

hearts are harder

to brush aside 

to shadows

fill

your light

Elastic Limit

Elastic Limit

I’ve never heard you laugh like that
he said as we swung
from the end of our rope
tied up and together
working with one hand
for all of us

The ethereal dentist hears you smile
and will check
your teeth
for cavities
before you open your mouth
again

Pull your cheeks until
your lips crack
from neglect
as if you have time
when you keep losing
your balms
easy when you
carry so many bags

Stretch
and give
and ache
and will another inch
because they need it

It’s going to snap
and your skin will                                                                                                                                           bear the blister from the shear

Buy another chapstick
Stack another box
Load another worry

Pray the elastic holds

and the limits forgive

What’s The Difference?

 

What’s the Difference?

A mile?

A minute?

A Saturday out?

A look?

An imbalance?

A whiskey, then a stout?

What are the chances
across that table
among that smoke
and sound
that we found
what the other wanted.

Two
of a kind
of a pair
both at the table,
cards to the chest.

We finally showed them.
And they were…

Different.

Un-matched.

From different houses.

Of course they were.

Hearts
and spades.

Strings
and blades.

Shouldn’t you
fold
when the cards
don’t match?

Isn’t that how
you save your skin,                                save yourself

if you have any hope
of playing another day?

When you go in,
and in, and all in
again,
and there’s nothing left
if you leave it behind.

If you lose,
you can’t always start again
because everything
is everything
and you don’t even get
to keep the cards.

You want…

You want…

What?

Why did you toss your coins
and pull up a chair
in the first place?

What were you hoping to win?

Or were you just playing,
to see where they fell?

Smile and shucks
and flick the ash,
pick another gamble,
round up your cash.

I think it’s more than chance.

Because we don’t match.

Or maybe we do. 

It might be we’re the same

faces worn off

from the heat of the 

game. 

Under the varnish,

under the belt,

suites, signs and numbers

embraced as they’re dealt. 
But I don’t think so
We are the difference
that seems to make
all the difference.

What is the difference,
if we aren’t?

Is it rigged?

Up our sleeves and

behind our backs?

Can we still play?

Can we win?

Can we lose?

What’s the difference?

Stand

 

Stand

Good evening.

Please.

Come sit down.

No. Thank you.
I’ll stand.

Well…
here we are.

Did you want to-

Okay. That’s fine.

I’ll start.

Are you-

Okay.

Are you okay?

I don’t know.
Doesn’t seem…

I’m okay.

Fine.

How are you?

No. Thanks.
I’m fine standing.

I’m still
and I’m happy
standing.
It’s a lovely stand.
And I don’t want
need
to go anywhere now.
But I know
you’re not one
to sit.
Unless you’re
working,
writing,
making,
creating,
perfecting,
entranced
and I’m afraid

I’m not entrancing.

Here,
you’re
standing.
And I’ll stand with you.
But I’m not good
at standing.
Better at standing
than sitting.
Not a sitter.
But not good
at standing.

I need to move.
I like a path
sprinkled before me
to find me
back.
And I see too much
Pollock
to find the straight line.

You’re a sprinkle,
a splatter,
a far and wide,
see what you can
reach
where can you spread
your colors.

I want to spread
and I can’t
keep up
with your chaos.

A gift to watch
a joy to inspire
to muse
to see
as the first spectator
past the ropes.
But there’s a rope
and that means
I stand on this side.

My colors aren’t
ready yet.
Where we stand.

Where do we stand?

If I can’t get beyond the rope
I’m standing alone
agape
glassy-eyed
at your beauty,
careful of
the taped-off edges.
Laughing,
nodding,
pretending,
at descriptions,
words,
intentions
I don’t understand.

Stand.

I stand.

Staring across the rope.

Patron.
Genius.
Applauding on my feet.
Begging to be seen.

From where
I stand.

 

 

My novel Drowning Above Water is now available through Amazon.