Monday, June 2, 2014


They say depression is repressed anger
but it makes as much sense to say
that anger is repressed sadness,
since anger is so much easier,
making it someone else's fault
and not my own.
A weird kind of power
comes from this,
an energy to move against
the forces of gravity,
the forces that win in the end
because, like soldiers
they take their marching orders
from somebody else.
So I keep pushing
for as long as I can
to maintain an upright position-
to lie down
means that I'm willing
to give up early,
and I'm not willing
to give up at all.
Meanwhile, the footsteps
going up and down the stairs remind me
that in spite of all
of my useless protestations,
I will soon be moving,
moving as I have always done.

A Fair Exchange

Here's kind of a "found poem" made from random statuses, generated by Status Bot, which scrambles words and sentences that I have actually used in prior Facebook statuses and comments:


I traded a little jaunt into the latter showtime
of the vintage cars in the Vashon Highway in the sky
though I still think Seattle will do for a week of studio.
I traded a tarot reading for a guy
wearing a skirt and red tights,
hoisting a baby in one arm,
while snow was falling at the light coming over,
to get very far from tofu to take antibiotics.
I traded little paper cups and then went to tell them
that pot brownies sound like a good point,
while we were there at last.
I traded a regulator, because I can't remember.
I traded a vasectomy a long time ago.
I traded a sweet little swimming pool, though,
while looking around for mementos
of my own wanton self indulgence.
I traded a delicious meal of antibiotics.
I traded a benign child's beverage, dolled up with this photo.
I traded a couple of swims in a newt.
I traded a situation eerily similar to whatever I wanted
to consciousness without pain.
I traded a lot like a long time ago, already.
I traded a shock to me,
the moment has twelve houses,
and all of a quarter inch of money, even.
I traded a backpack, though, and Holland,
15 years ago still the clip,
soon to know that 54,000 people are here visiting.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cleaning Out My Closet

I had a dream about you many years ago,
or maybe it was only someone
who bore you a strong resemblance,
I can no longer remember.
The door was locked,
but you climbed inside anyway
by pushing open the transom.
I failed to engage
the tiny piece of metal that held
the clasp shut, and there you were again,
laughing as you squeezed your body
through the tiny opening
like a supernatural movie villain.
It was more irritating than terrifying,
but I knew that to let you in
would be the same awful mistake
that it had always been.
You'd sit on my floor,
break my toys carefully
and deliberately, one by one
while telling me that you were only
going to take one sip
of my glass of soda, so could
I please let you drink just a tiny bit?
I'd always say sure,
because I hated to see you thirsty.
You'd gulp down the entire glass
every time,
and leave me the backwash,
then apologize for your thirst.
That's your rendition
of our story, the one that never changes.
In the revised version,
I tell you to get your own soda,
and you disappear,
leaving me alone with the dolls
and all of the other unbroken toys
that I never asked for in the first place,
and then I fall asleep,
leaving my door unlocked.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bitter Shot of You


Well aren't
you just
a little
kick in the teeth
a shit boot heel 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Poem Two: Weekly Theme: Safety


Standing in the heated room,
doing yoga at one hundred and three degrees,
I contort my body into as close
to a perfect arc as I can get
with my crooked spine and half frozen shoulders
that slowly thaw in the humidity
of the carpeted room, while sweat
rolls down my body onto the floor.
The windows fog with heavy droplets,
and the teacher keeps saying.
“Be safe.  Do what feels good
for your body.  Don't force anything.
You don't want to injure yourself.”
I have to laugh, because I know
what danger really is.
Danger has come too easily
for most of my life,
and I've welcomed it at the door
with a bottle of wine and two glasses,
flung open my arms and embraced it like a lover.
Danger is staying at the bar until 1:45 AM
and then driving twenty miles over the speed limit
to make the 2:00 ferry
on the other side of town,
but missing it anyway, and sleeping it off on the dock.
Danger is loving the person you shouldn't love,
driving past his house and craning your neck
to look at his window
from the freeway, just to see
whether his kitchen light is still on.
Danger is hitchhiking through Mississippi in January
with a seventeen year old boy
when you are only twenty,
standing on the overpass with your thumb sticking out,
and no money, with half an ounce of marijuana in your backpack.
Danger is eating the whole pie,
crossing against the red lights,
defying the authorities,
dangling off the cliff with one hand, and laughing.

Danger is putting all of your eggs
into a basket made of air
and running as fast as you can with your eyes closed
and then shooting yourself out of a cannon
with a bayonet in your teeth,
and surviving, and then doing it again
because it was so fun.
But in four years, I'll be sixty,
so I listen to my teacher.
I push gradually into the pose,
and ease off slightly when it begins to hurt.
I don't want to injure myself again.
It takes too long to heal.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Weekly Theme: Safety


Starting the day in safe mode,
I press into my chair by the water,
knowing I will only hear the waves
for a few more days.
none of us own anything,
not even our sanity.
All of us are renters,
our lease is much too short.
someone is always going crazy on the internet,
sticking their hands above the waves
for something to grab,
but everyone else is distracted,
and the person either swims or drowns.
I don't expect much assistance,
and this is to my advantage
as I help myself to more coffee
while the gulls scream behind me.
I am one of the fortunate,
as all of us are,
or we would be,
if only we were relaxed enough to know it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Day One: Foolishness

Okay, I skipped the first of April, and today is Unofficial Make-up Day.


The fool
has the opposite
of Stockholm syndrome-
though he loves
his oppressors
because they are human,
he doesn't listen
to a word they say.
They are merely
the dogs at his heels,
as he keeps his eyes fixed
on the road, and the stars.