Monday, July 29, 2013

Highway 1 Revisited

All across the nation
there's a certain vegetation,
the tender cultivation of
will get you one to five.
But rooted deep in our tradition
and gaining strength from prohibition
is the bootlegger's commission -
the scarce we shall supply.

So, get the dragnets woven
and fill the cells to overflowin',
but till it rains on the just and unjust alike
the fear of one last felony
will be eroded by necessity
in those parts of Little Dixie

where even the crow won't fly.

The Sunday Whirl words for Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cyclops Sky

image by Diana Matisz

moon eye.
Cyclops sky.
Earth forge turning,
grinding, and burning
rough pieces of the night.
Starlight put to the hammer;
the matter mixed with the flux and fix,
then quick cooled by the rush of the tides -
till she is eastern born, the blacksmith's bride.

An Etheree for Hedge's challenge at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I feared the loss of fire
so I curled coal on my tongue,
and I swallowed.
Now, I fear the water.

Sucking lemons from the rind
seeds and all
grew a grove inside of me.
Now, I fear harvest hands.

I built cities of my bones,
skinned the streets,
and named them for my daughters.
They fear their mother, now.

So, I wrapped my womb in wire
and called it Art
For the Busy,
Modern Man.

For Cory's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ark Types

When pussy's runnin' loose,
a dog is gonna bark.
When there's pussy runnin' loose,
a dog is gonna bark.
There's a dog been scared of pussy
since pussy roamed the ark.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


We wore our summer days
trimmed in typical;
NORMAL bold and blue
across our barely budding chests.
Surface dressed to impress as equally blessed

but for our wrists
tender cut
by shrill friendship strands.

Or, not.

For Get Listed at Real Toads

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Buck

The buck, throat cut,
bleeds dry about six.
Half-hidden in nightfall,
I redden a stick

and dampen the doorway -
a Sunday school lesson

pass over
pass over
pass over.

For Open Link Night at dVerse.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Locked Room

Our messes mesh well, don't you think?
Dirty plates in the sink and slates on the brink
of never being clean.
Your scrips for day and mine for night -
no unaltered time
to think

or be driven to despair
by a longing to repair
our tears and tatters.

These things don't matter

in a locked room
without a key.

The Sunday Whirl words for Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Penny Said

Penny said to Pocket Cross,
"I've an offering for your plate.
Lincoln always loved the Lord,
but I kept a separate state.
Still, in this khaki cavalry,
I've come to love your ways.
So, I'll be yours for all I'm worth,
if you don't make me change."

For the Sunday Mini-Challenge at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Friday, July 19, 2013


image by Margaret Bednar

A real woman rides

Cinnamon thighs
and hair 
Sun chasing.


Split skin.
Bared bones.
Red dirt teeth
and tongue.
Heart racing.

And, comes back

day and night
on her hip
and tasting

of solstice.

An Artistic Interpretation (summer) of Margaret's photo for Real Toads with a little rhyme, alliteration and synesthesia throw in for dVerse.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

For Papa

It was a ratty ass rent house,
but I wanted you to see
past the hip high weeds,
the crime scene carpet,
and the lack of working a/c
and be proud of me,
all grown-up and independent.

But, it was such a scorcher that summer . . .

that when you showed up
(all gravelly and gruff)
with a pizza and a window unit,
I got willing to settle
for cold air
and knowing that you loved me.

Talking heat for Poetry Jam.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Not Yet

I swore I wouldn't fall 
for the banana in the tailpipe
this time, but I did
cause he was just a kid -
stalked and shot like he was some wild jungle panther,
and what could be the answer to that

Sometimes, race cards are what you're dealt.

But, we're too politically correct these days,
afraid to call a spade a spade
(or a cracker a cracker).
No, we stand our (willfully blind) ground
and seat an all-white jury
that sees shady character under every hoodie
and criminal potential in an individual
just out, about, and walking black

even if he's the victim.

So, go ahead and take back your Skittles and signs (of the same old same old times).
We ain't all Trayvon Martin, yet.  Not yet.

If we were, these assholes wouldn't always get away.

Process Note:  I don't usually do these type of notes, but I thought that I'd go ahead and belabor the obvious; the wordplay here is deliberately offensive. My point is that in this country, we like to point to our moral outrage when someone like Paula Dean admits to using the n-word back when dinosaurs roamed the earth as evidence that we are a post-racial society.  Meanwhile, our racially biased criminal justice system incarcerates (and subsequently disenfranchises) blacks at nearly six times the rate of whites.  But, that's not sexy enough for news, is it?

Anyway, this is for Izy' s movie line prompt at Real Toads.  The first lines of my poem reference Beverly Hill's Cop (" . . . and we're not gonna fall for a banana in the tailpipe.").  The last line references the statement George Zimmerman made to a 911 dispatcher before shooting and killing Trayvon Martin.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In Cognito

The priest was a dilettante and dabbler.
The watchman - a babbler and thief.
The painter poxed the light and sketched shadows.
Prayer and poetry were both left to me.

I crafted her curses to verses
until the ink pot ran dry,
but the lines for confession held nothing
but spit in her father's eye.

Rank saved her skull from the hammer.
Blue blood bought a gentler hell.
And, the name of her love in Cognito
is a kiss, shared swift, beneath veils.

For Open Link Night at dVerse

Monday, July 15, 2013


I'm gray
and sane
as stone.

the downs.

I traded
such highs
and lows

not to burn
when you come

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Where We're Kept

Bottled like wine.
Labelled like specimens.
Tossed in the attic
like a knock-off Van Gogh.

Shelved like a book
that's too rare for reading.
Urned in fine dust
too dry to take seeding.
A semi-stitched wound
that dare not risk bleeding.

is a loss of control.

For Fireblossom's "Passion" mini-challenge at Real Toads.
Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Blinded Proper

Poor thing.
So unstructured.
What could he have been
if he'd been
blinded proper
like me?

Poor thing.
So cluttered.
She can't go where I've been.
She's chained
to her map,
but can't see

the equator snake off the side of the page
as the latitudes loop
and the longitudes stage
a laughing rebellion
that plays out
beneath the notice

of those who won't know us
and our wild, wondrous strange.

For Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Scarlett's Pantry

My stash of dark chocolate
is in the pantry
between the applesauce I bought for the child
(wrong flavor, but kept anyway)
and a little jar of instant coffee
(in case of emergency, break glass).
There -
behind the candy canes
(ghosts of a Christmas past)
and the marshmallows
(big ones like I used to roast before everything burned).

I learned from my Mama to make something
out of a half pound of nothing and a can of mushroom soup.
Lord, that woman could Shake and Bake!
I was years gone into on my own before I could face
another tuna casserole.
Now, my tuna is stacked neatly can on can
next to a sample of something or other a nice man
at the grocery store gave me for free.

Let's see; bottled water, marinade, enough hot
sauce to give a full city block the trots . . .
baking powder, flour . . .
got chocolate chips,
but I don't bake anymore.

I just settle for one of those rice cakes
(every flavor known to man)
that I tell myself are just as good
as bread (they taste like a dead man's hand).
I've got the celiac, you know,
and it's an unbuttered bitch biscuit,
but I can still suck/lick
black olives from my fingertips
or slip into my chocolate stash for a bite or ten,
and as God is my witness,
I will never be hungry again.

A Rhapsody attempt for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads.  I don't have to tell anyone that those last lines are from Gone with the Wind, do I?  Didn't think so.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

True North

We go together
like buttermilk and bourbon.
I'm a mossy girl
from both sides of the tree.
You can slip your fingers in the folds
of my map
or spin my compass.
You'll never find true north with me.

For Open Link Night at dVerse

Monday, July 8, 2013


Firefly, firefly
caught in a Mason jar.
Firefly, firefly
the night only goes as far

as the glass
you can't get past
no matter how you flicker.
The glass
you can't get past
though you flicker on and on.

I can candle you some company.
I can firelight you a friend.
I can coax a star to share its shine
or invite the moonlight in.

But all you ask
is broken glass
with every flicker.
So I fade back
into the black
and watch until your flicker's gone.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Experiments With Kissing

We experimented with kissing
in every patch of shade,
combining and twining our elements and tongues
into an alchemy of almost

that left me trembling
above you like a cesarean sky
and begging you
to break the water.

But, you were scared of storms
and always fled me
for the safety, shelter, and shackles

of respectable,

A Nerudan style sonnet for Kerry's mini-challenge at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Touring Holland

via Photobucket

"Don't all these tulips
make you want to stick your finger in a dyke?"
Baby giggles hot and wiggles hotter,
but I just let the comment pass.

She always turns to sassafras and ass
to get past
my evidence of God.

For Hannah's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Disney was "Dumbo or die!"
Here, we quest for dragons at dawn.

For me, a vacation
is just a change of location
since my obsessive inclinations
tag along.

For Words Count at Real Toads