Friday, February 28, 2014

The Woman At The Well

He saw six men in my eyes.
Yes, I had lain and loved.
Perhaps that's why I wasn't the kind
to deny a dusty tongue
a share of the sweetness sung
from the bottom of the well.
And, he could tell.  

He spoke of quenching thirst.
He never mentioned shame or sin
or treated as a curse
the tender heart that I'd held open
for so many - now, including him -
Love or living water; I was practiced at belief.

A work in progress for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Primitive

She paced herself alive
out of the painting;
naked breasts
thick oiled

and blue veined.
I tried
to anchor my eye
to an abstract,

but mere shapes
and shades
couldn't contain her
milk heavy weight.

I had to bare
my meat teeth
and bite.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I'd be willing to trade a piece of myself
to be graceful -a gazelle girl - the kind of girl

who makes it home from the store
with the eggs unbroken and her hair in place.

You know, one of those girls with kissing
fresh breath even after an onion burger laced with garlic.

I'd trade another piece of me to stop
dreaming of tests I haven't prepared for . . .

in courses I haven't taken . . .
in languages I don't speak.

Or, at least to start dreaming
of passing and being fully clothed.

And, I'd trade a piece (not a big piece, just a sliver)
for an easy, photogenic smile

instead of the high, hard stick-up-the-ass expression
I've worn in every family album mugshot since junior high

gazelle girls snarked all over my crooked teeth.
It was fourth period Spanish, just before a test.  I can still smell the Dentyne.

Some of the Sunday Whirl words for Open Link Night at dVerse

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Best Work

I do my best work
by darklight;
in the albumen of an egg;
in crystal shatter silence;
without the company of conscience.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter Of '76

Photo by Margaret Bednar

It was a night in late December
when the ice had hold of the river
and every shiver of wind broke trees
like alabaster bones

that a gypsy braved the briar
to reach my hearth, my fire;
and I could not deny her
refuge in my home.

Over coffee, she gave voice
to indigo and noise;
with luck, she and the boys
would set the Hessian on his ear.

Then we let silence find us,
and all that's endless bind us;
closed the door behind us -
Georgie Washington slept here.

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads (I used the word list).  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mix Tapes

You were just another lover I never had,
slipping me bad
mix tapes and hoping - what?
That "Don't Know What You Got"
would get you in my pants?
Not a chance, babe.  Not a chance.

For Corey's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Before I Had Money

Before I had money,

I had a spine
straight and true as a section line
from stiff neck to strong, unbroken back.

I had hands
capable and constant,
chapped and work rough,
with red dirt crescent moons under my nails.

And, I could fail
when I had to.
I could fearlessly fail.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Put on
your favorite brand of birdsong.

Meet me
between the cardboard sheets.

I have
two hours worth of stardust.

Make a wish
before I'm obsolete.

You keep me
contained in your collection.

as the future and out of reach.

Sacred as the stones
you've styled contentment.

Foreign, flesh and blood,
and obsolete.

For Kenia's Get Listed prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Hyenas hunkered
at their keyboards
snouts pressed to the screens

hunt and peck
and mean it.

For Open Link Night at dVerse

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bring The Black

come quick;
I've been spotted -
without my social face
locked firmly in its place.

I laughed too loud and now
the bile ripe aftertaste
is birthing bitter words I can't get back.

Camouflage, come quick
and bring the black.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It Was A Woman

It was a woman who first walked
across the surface of the moon.
She stepped in drill bit stilettos
and struck  green cheese lava fondue.

Not her thing, but her kids think it's cool.
It was a woman who first walked
along the bottom of the sea.
She drifted down through the water

in an ovum shaped submarine.
Found dirty dishes in the sink.
It was a woman who first walked
the weeds beyond the garden path

just to see what God was hiding
behind the curtain in the back.
And when apples tasted of facts,
it was a woman who first walked.

A quatern for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Rabbit Bard

Luna and Shaman Rabbit by Toril Fisher

Silver skin moon,
whetstone in the sky.
Sweeten the hickory spit.
Sharpen the hunter's knife.

White, my tender belly.
Red, my fearful eye.
Silver skin moon,
whetstone in the sky.

Inspired by Margaret's prompt at Real Toads.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Jesus, Willie Nelson, And Me

Near a structure
of stricture
of scripture
I bury my toes in the grass

and consume
the perfume
of the righteous
but doomed
as they slowly shuffle past

through the glass jowls
and straight to the bowels
of Sunday's see and be seen

where pressed in their pews
they'll wonder who let us in -
Jesus, Willie Nelson, and me.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, February 9, 2014


The snow seems sad to be melting.
It's loose and limp as an old woman's skin,
and it's secrets
are a wet whisper
in the palm of my glove.

February is
an inconstant love -
uneven in its light.
But steadfast
is the suffocation sky.

A sketch (sketchy?) poem for Claudia's prompt at dVerse.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Georgey and Esther Attend Couple's Therapy by Lisa Graham

he says.
"There's nothing to be scared of."
I think he's a fool.

I look
because there's everything to be scared of,
and seeing is all
that can save me.

For Grace's challenge at Real Toads.

Friday, February 7, 2014


My motherboard melts
like a self-immolating monk,
and I feel as if I've lost
both God and Xanax,
The coffee pots brews a strangling.

Soundless, I sit with my organs
arranged in alphabetical order.
Held to the laving light,
r's roll through every etching.
Sadly, I slept through high school Spanish,
but Juanita comes on Thursdays.

Por favor, Juanita.
Por favor.

For Marian's prompt at Real Toads

Thursday, February 6, 2014


When I hear change
hit the dresser,
I bless the dark
and pretend to sleep

fetal curled
face to knees

like I was born yesterday.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

There's No Place

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write . . ."
-  -  -  Virginia  Woolf

"I'll settle for a pen that no one steals."
-  -  -  Mama  Zen

There's no real place,
just a space in my head
between the elephants to juggle
and the chicken to fry -
sometimes, I write a poem there.

There's no play of light 
or white, wind swayed curtains -
just a sudden seed of something
tendrilling up 
through the concrete everything.

It's not a room of my own,
it's just a space in my head -
bare and spare,
but for my breath and my beginnings.
Sometimes, I write a poem there.

For Kerry's Challenge at Real Toads
Still being edited.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dreaming Down

dreaming down
dreaming down
past all praying

dreaming down
dreaming down
where are the words

dreaming down
dreaming down
well west of waking

still haven't heard

For Open Link Night at dVerse

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sugar The Stone

Sugar the stone I lie beneath
and wait for weather to come;
then, when rain falls on the rock,
see that the sweet waters run

sure straight down to soak the ground
and seep to my mossy lips
so even held fast in forever
I can taste your kiss.

For Open Link Monday at Real Toads

Sunday, February 2, 2014


A girl doesn't get to pick her father.
Her shadow waits
blind at her birthplace,
and her stars are skied.
But I

will not make a fetish of cauls
or small, bad seeds.
A girl doesn't need
to pick her father
if she is father/mother/sister to her self.

For Kerry's prompt at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ode To A Boy

Turn him towards the hands fluttering
like a flock of stolen song birds.
Let him see the scores of house lit faces.

His hymn is a haunting
in the iris of each eye.

Ist est nicht schön?
Ist est nicht schön?*

Is it not beautiful?  Unfortunately, I cannot seem to get the umlaut keyboard trick to work.

Beethoven began to lose his hearing when he was 26.  By the age of 46, he was almost completely deaf.  Still, he continued to compose. In 1811, after the premiere of his brilliant Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned toward the audience so that he could see the applause.  Unable to hear, he wept.

For Hannah's prompt at Real Toads.