Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Can someone throw me a line?
I beseech you! A line, please――

I thought I could swim.
I thought I was ready

To test these new waters,
But now I’m sinking.

My limbs have tired out
from fighting the currents.

Now I float here, motionless,
My efforts for naught.

Oh, for a life preserver!
For a sign of hope!

Come and save me!――

Too late――

I’m done.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It’s hopeless, my dear――
I still think of you.

Sure as I sit here tonight
I cannot deny it.

Try as I may, it seems
I am unable to suppress
My desire...

Still, I know I must try
To silence it, for both our sakes.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

February 10, 1982

It’s bright! It’s cold!—
I don’t wanna get out of bed!
I’m not fully awake.

I’m surrounded by strangers, naked no less.
There’s a mirror set before me—
Everyone sees the seven-pound blob I’ve become.

Someone in mask, cap, and glove
Takes me, cleans me, wraps me in warmth
Though it’s not the warmth I knew before.

There is one whose voice I recognize;
She holds me close, smiles at me.
She waits for me to open my eyes...

I’m not ready to wake up—I need more time.
Give me another three to six decades...
Then, maybe, I’ll understand why I’m here. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

December 1, 1995

It’s a few weeks to Christmas.
I peek into my little red stocking
And see a lonely lump of coal.

Surely, Santa didn’t give me this.
He’s busy double-checking his lists;
The sleigh’s still in the shop. No, no――

I think I know these prints, these
Black smudges soiling my sock.
See, Santa never leaves a trace;

Even when he dishes coal,
He does so with a silent grace
Not this appalling ruckus.

It appears I received this ugly stone
As a going-away presentand yet
I had only arrived not long ago.

My holiday will not be happy;
Before long I may cease to believe
That reindeer know how to fly.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Persephone and Hades (revised)

I pick flowers one morning in my valley
As I walk on to begin another day.
I have never known any pain,
Under the umbrella of my mother’s love.

Diem perdidi! My days are lost
To rusted metal and screeching wheels;
I shall never know the world again
For I have left my dear Olympus.

You drag me far below the Earth
And lock me away with your dead,
Reteaching me the concept of love
And building for me a dungeon of sheets.
Three years pass; I know the cost of a cat
And in exchange I pay with pain――
Three-fourths of the year, incapacitated!
My days of youth and joy have now died.

Four more years—the brooding season returns.
My young belly swells once again.
By now I beg to be free――
But alas, slapped silent! So I write it down.

You keep me “home,” feeding me books
And a pantry of sour arils;      
I again see light, two-thirds of the year,
But under the distortion of haze.
You claim yourself divinity
And tell me to worship sex;
My girls become your altar boys
And I, your temple prostitute.

Has the cold heart of Hades become aflame?
Have you finally seen the face of God?
You have now shed your devilish mask
And released me from your shadows.

For eighteen years I forget the Sun
But in her place find two brilliant lights;
They shall shine on, now and always
Among their divine sister stars.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Purge Scenario #3

Alone, in the dark,
Outside of your house...

I’m screaming.
I’m screaming...

All falls silent.
Fall silent.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I’m standing before you.

I’m standing before you
In some static dimension.

I’m standing before you―
Inside and outside of myself...

I'm standing...I’m peeling away.

As you command, I’m peeling away,
Removing my layers, one by one...

My walls, my barriers――

As I peel away, you see it.
You see the grunge, the skin of dirt.

You see the truth. You see it――

You’ve seen enough. No―
You’ve seen more than enough.

But it’s not want more.

So I continue on, discarding
My last line of defense.

You see everything. You see my――

I swallow my breaths...
I’ve been exposed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A few notes... (4.12.2011)

I thought I'd give a few notes on some of the poems I've posted so far...

Purge Scenario #1 (4.10): This is the first poem in my series of "scenario" poems, referring to a thought technique that I had used before with unfavorable fantasies about people I either didn't care for or wanted to get over. I call my efforts "purge scenarios."

*"Written verse," of course, refers to my poetry drafts; "black pearl" and "Dell baby" both describe my computer.

December 7, 1998 (3.31): This poem describes a bullying incident in high school.

In Defense of the Superwoman (3.16): I had gotten tired of online trolls picking on Alicia Keys, one of my favorite artists. So I wrote this poem in her defense. I don't intend for anyone to agree with me, only to hear where I'm coming from.

Persephone and Hades (2.21): By now, just about everyone's heard the survival story of Jaycee Dugard. This is my tribute to her. In the poem she is the speaker, her words directed toward her captor, Phillip Garrido. I thought that the Greek myth about Persephone's abduction fit perfectly.

*Diem perdidi is Latin, meaning "it's my unlucky day"; literally translated, it means "I lost the day." In the poem, I was playing on the phrase's literally translated meaning.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Purge Scenario #1

At an ungodly hour, in my dusty night garb,
I drift into my usual waking notion,
Which takes me to a place foreign to me
In the weeknight’s cemetery hours.

I see you, in uniform, approaching me,
Singing to me a familiar selection
Which here makes sense, while dancing
In a way that just makes you look like......

I’m pulled into a place that I may have seen.
You’ve undone yourself, surrounded by
Scantily-clad women in colorful adornments.
Your newfound audacity amazes me.

You shove me into a nearby chair
And force me to listen as you sing
Of the non-necessity of spoken language
As your concubines dance around you.

Before me I see my investments—
My written verse and my black pearl.
You take my verse and tear it in two;
My Dell baby you grind to dust.

I rage, and scream, and cuss, and attack
But my words are muffled behind your notes.
Your helpers pull me back and away
As I guarantee your immediate death.

Before I can break free to keep my promise
I return to myself and my own dull reality,
Laughing at the thought of my secret boldness,
Hoping this adventure will distance us.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


While window shopping at the mall
I stop by a jewelry display case
Where something catches my attention――
It is a set of silver keys.
Shiny, beautiful little keys.
I am obsessed by these keys.
I don’t know why, but I like keys.
Lately there’s been something about them…
Something that gives them importance.
I guess it’s what they signify.
Keys, to most, mean access―
A way in, a way out.
With keys we open many things――
Locks, doors, chests and drawers;
Hearts, souls, our wildest dreams.

Keys can also set us free――
From prison cells and rusty cages;
From the confines of our own madness.
Maybe I’m seeking access to something―
Something that’s been denied me for years,
Or something I myself have denied.

Or maybe I long to escape,
To break away and be free…
Or, perhaps, to set something free.

Whatever my desire, here I stand,
Admiring these trinkets and their sparkle,
Thinking to myself,

Gotta have one, one of those keys.
But my money isn’t enough. See?—
I need a way out. I need access.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Love Scenario #38

We’ve disappeared together―
Vanished, you and me.

We’ve abandoned our lives
To escape for a night,

Out into a field of darkness
Under the moon and her stars.

We give in to our passion
Upon a blanket of wild grass.

For a moment we gaze into the heavens,
Overtaken by the vastness of space.

Our sweet throes are accompanied
By the chirpy ballads of crickets

And the warm, whispering whoosh
Of a summer night’s breeze,

Which caresses the canopies
Of the nearby willow trees;

We retreat to their shadows
Once the open cools down,

Resuming our rendez-vous while
The moon peeks in at us from the sky

And the fireflies entertain us
With their illuminating tangos.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

December 7, 1998

You don’t think I remember,
But I remember everything.
I remember breakfast—

It was served ice cold
And the taste was unbearable.
The aftertaste was worse.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Inquiry

At the bus stop there’s a girl,
Blonde with red streaks;

She says a man at the stop
Asked if she dyed her hair

I find it amusing that
I understand the question.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Love Scenario #15

Today we give someone a birthday—
Her very first, one of many.

Behold: This warm little love ball
Who has effectively stolen our hearts—

And your eyes, and my nose,
My hair, and your smile,

Both our colorful personalities,
Our hopes, our dreams. All of these—

They came from us, and here they are
In a divine little package, given by God.

Our little package, full of surprises
To emerge with each passing year.

We touch her hands and feel her heart;
We look into her eyes and see her soul.

I see you hold her and not let go—
This is what I’ve been longing for.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Procession

Today I lay a dear friend to rest.
I proceed along Bardstown, dressed in black,
Toward the final resting place.

Along the way I glance out the window
And happen to spot you on the sidewalk
Accompanied by a group of unknowns.

I come to realize that you, like I,
Have chosen to don the funereal shade.
Did you know of my affairs?...

Of course not...but perhaps
You are attending your own procession,
Marching solemnly with other mourners.

Maybe we each have something to bury—
Perhaps we wish to bury each other
And lay our past to rest.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


What is this?—it appears
The sky can’t hold itself together.
The sun bleeds red; the
Clouds are on fire.
Inferno everywhere!

Cracks in the heavenly blue
Reveal the black of space;
Through this I see the planets
Aligning, the stars around them
Exploding and collapsing in a collective nova.

The moon absorbs the sun’s blood
Like a celestial gauze.
Back at home, I look up and
Could swear I see a flock of pigs
Soaring over the Ohio…

And no one sees this but me.
If one had, they would have supposed
That the world was ending.
But I know the truth:
I don’t love you anymore.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In Defense of the Superwoman

So what did she do?—
Did she take a wrecking ball
To your dreams?

Did she burn your fondest memories
And put her own in their place?
You must think she’s

A cuckoo bird
Who kicked your eggs
Out of the nest

While wearing nothing
But a trenchcoat and
Red stilettos.

She’s not so immodest as
You insist she is.
Have you even caught her naked?

Stripteasing and
Dry-humping for him
Atop her baby grand?

Or worse—
Sticking fragrant rose bouquets
In her forbidden regions?

No? But my, wouldn’t it be juicy!
Too bad for you, for a Superwoman knows
How to kiss the sky—

No need to fondle the dirt.
She can rise above it
And touch the sun.

Can you?...

Monday, March 14, 2011


I see an abandoned rose;
Its stem is brown and thirsty

Yet its folded face maintains
Its vibrant rouge.

And so is my love for you—
Malnourished yet ever resilient.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

April 29, 2008

In the hall, after class—
I confess my unfortunate sin
To a tattered priest in a down vest.

No prayer as penance,
But instead a dismissal:
“The love you seek is not free.”

These words, they sting my heart,
Tearing away its flesh
Like a slab of hot ice.

Disheartened am I; nevertheless
I accept my penance
And all its torturous ways.

Three years would pass, with
My hands bleeding from my love rosary
And my flayed heart festering.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


A mile, a mile, a mile a minute –
My thoughts race, rip and run
(Will you stop it
With the radio static already?!).

Wind whips in my face;
My heart begins to race.
The eyes lose their focus
And I become a zombie—

Undead and “about to die,” with
A headache to last a thousand years;
The warmest day turns bitter cold
Within the second. Then—

I come alive again
And I fall to the floor.
My mind comes rushing back
With solemn reflection.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Must you misspell it?
Must you, must you,

It’s really quite simple:
Five letters unchanged
For twenty-nine years.

Must you feel the need to
Crack it, stir it, mash it, and
Mix it with unnecessary flavors?

It wouldn’t taste right.
It was made authentic, with
A distinct flavor all its own.

Different, yes.
But never complicated.
Different rarely is, turns out.

Name the atmosphere, then
Tack “en” to the last letter—
Won’t take much…

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Thirty-Seven Cent Store

What will it be tonight?—
Coffee, muffins, tea...

Perhaps I’d like an apple or orange…
Or a shoulder to cry on.
I need something to keep me from the night.

At night…the city around me…
Slows down…becomes…silent.
It’s a slow, silent, lonely place.
The night is lonely.
The city is silent.
Silence and loneliness dance together.

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 10, 1994

A field trip has ended;
The children have returned to school,
Glad to be relieved of their lessons.

Not quite the end of my day—
This is just the start of a celebration.
A cake and a dancing elephant wait for me at home.

I notice you going inside;
An item falls from your pocket.
You don’t bother to turn back.

“You dropped your bandanna!”—
This echoes in my head
But never reaches my lips.

I know you find me unfavorable.
I act with silent kindness, out of fear.
(Neither you nor I know what we want.)