Friday, April 30, 2010


In his dinosaur pajamas
he fights invisible foes
jumping from sofa to floor

In his imaginary attack
he defends our castle
from invading pirates and pigs

In his little twin bed
he vigorously holds sleep at bay
until an instantaneous silent surrender


Unfurl your fingers
Unclench your jaw and learn to
Smile with your life

Thursday, April 29, 2010


There were nights when he was kind
when he smiled and pretended I was
actually his wife, and not some 19-year-old
girl he'd knocked up accidentally
and married out of duty.

There were nights he wasn't so sweet
when he'd sweat and scream as if I was
the reason he was so angry, and not just
some child who'd accidentally
become a dutiful woman.


Southern Comfort
Comforting a friend
Friendly women
Women's lounge
Lounge singer
Singing along
A long cab ride home


When Southern California
sees clouds in the sky
and the drip-drop of rain
begins splattering the sidewalk
like a Pollack painting
I wait for puddles to pool
so I can splash ankle-deep
coating my feet with cold
and suddenly wishing
I had dry socks

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


A tribute to Dorothy Allison, an author whose words are so precisely
sincere and honest and crisp that they slice straight to my core.

Dorothy came from a long line
of women who gave themselves
to grease-covered Appalachian men

They were high school girls who
perpetuated their misfortune and passed
it to a new generation every 15 years

They were girls who gave themselves
to boys whose filthy fingers fumbled
with the zippers on their jeans

and the clasps on bras that covered
the fresh buds that they pawed at impatiently
with rough, callus-covered claws

They planted their seeds after three
or four pumps of pleasureless procreation
leaving their offspring to stand at the end

of the ever-increasing line of poor
Appalachian bastards whose family trees
were as mangled and tangled as the gnarled oaks
the Allison clan once climbed

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm getting old

A link to my PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge drafts from this year and last. Some good, some bad, some terribly ugly. But hey, you've got to start somewhere, right?


Daddy said he loved her
as he pushed his way
between her legs
in the dark stillness
before Mama came home


Some days are good
Others are just good enough
For me to get by without
wishing they had been better

Monday, April 26, 2010


She could count on one hand
the number of times
she'd given herself to a man
and he'd given something back

She could count on one hand
the number of times
she'd walked into town
and they hadn't whispered behind her back

It took one fist to shut them up
one finger to tell them what they should do
and one tear that would betray her
that she'd wipe like dust from her eyes
with the back of her hand as she counted
the lonely steps and kept walking


Once I
watched as two
birds flew from the third
floor ledge of my house to their unfor
tunate demise in the rush of five o'clock traffic

Friday, April 23, 2010


Tangled in the sheets
Until bliss becomes exhaust
Sleep finds us smiling

Thursday, April 22, 2010


An Earth Day poem

Do you remember, mama,
the days when I was young
and you spent hours playing
with me as I crawled on hands
and knees through your grass
skirts, jumping on the hills of
your hips and snuggling into
your meadowy mane

I still remember, mama,
the scent of fresh citrus
that clung to your skin, clean
and crisp like an ocean breeze,
filling my nostrils as I nuzzled
into the nape of your neck,
protected and warmed by
the heat of your love


The usefulness of a French Fry
is often underestimated
until his masticated demise
he can do so many things
aside from raise your cholesterol
or blood pressure

when ketchup isn't forthcoming
and a knife cannot be found
the humble fry comes in quite handy
in restoring the natural flow, as processed
tomatoes naturally gravitate toward
processed potatoes


Jiminy Cricket
warns me that
frivolity and fun
may make me an ass

Conscience or not,
I think he's the ass


According to the women
who whisper on street
corners, at cafes, and
behind cosmetic counters,
the life to which we
20- and 30-somethings
should aspire is plastered
on magazine covers,
gossip blogs, Facebook
photos, and billboards
selling something I will
never attain and don't
even really care to

Looking back

The prompt for this poem was "looking back"

I once was a goddess
who ruled from on high
who sent men to battle
and heard them all cry
when their crops began failing
and their children left home,
their women didn't love them,
how they'd bitch and they'd moan
that life wasn't fair
and they certainly deserved better
"goddess won't you help us"
so I made their Earth wetter
and their plants began growing
and their children stayed to play
their women kissed them softly
as next to them they'd lay
and remember they were goddesses
who'd also ruled on high
until their husbands pushed them down
with some Eve and Adam lie
and they fell from Mount Olympus
with their eyes forever shut
to the divinity they once held
and the role of temptress-slut


To sit still
on any given day
and watch your thoughts
run through your mind like a
Wall Street stock market ticker tape
at the bottom of a television is harder
than one would think. I think too much, and
that's the problem. The background noise, the
chitter-chatter of my brain's constant static as synapses
fire and race from nerve to nerve, send a flurry of fantasies
and to-do list items to the blue-black screen of my meditative mind
which simply doesn't know the meaning of blank.

There's something about Bob

An ode to a different Bob this time.

According to Bob
the only way to get
through life is by
taking baby steps

Baby steps onto the
bus, baby steps onto
the elevator, baby
steps down the aisles

that we find ourselves
wandering, putting one
foot in front of the
other until we reach

the can of beans, the
book at the library,
our seats at the ballgame,
or the place we say "I do"

Weird science

Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.  ~Edwin Powell Hubble, The Nature of Science, 1954


The alchemy of turning
alcohol into golden moments
has been practiced for
centuries among the
least scientific among us

They experiment at local
pubs, smashing lips and hips
together in inibriated
embraces that lead to
a petri dish of disease


The science of beer commercials
makes me thirsty for a life lived
poolside in a bikini and body that
I've never possessed and surrounded
by an ethnic smorgasbord of fascinating
and surprisingly undrunk peers who smile with
whiter than white teeth and clink frost bottles
together at this endless party of pretentious sexiness


Three thoughts on deadlines:

I rush to meet you
flushed by the haste,
yet secretly thrilled
by the challenge

My eggs are expiring
and I don't give a damn
the only man I've ever
wanted I yet met
and I can't imagine the
need for another child
if and when that time comes

I think of you sometimes,
knowing that our time
has long past, but still
wondering what might have
happened if we hadn't set a
deadline for our all we
wanted for ourselves

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Is this love that I'm feeling?
I'm not sure, Mr. Marley
Perhaps you can enlighten me

I've shared my bed and my bread
And the roof above my head
And didn't shed a tear when he said

Is this isn't love that I'm feeling?
I'm not sure, honey
I'm just not sure


I'm hungry
for the pancakes
you used to make me
on the mornings when I
laid in bed beside you and
the dog until we both whined
for breakfast


My street is blocked off
and red lights flash
and bounce off of the shabby
houses of my neighbors.

I've been drinking and
singing at a karaoke bar
with my friend and am unsure
why I can't park on my street.

A police officer waves me by
with his flashlight, looks at
me like I'm stupid when I
ask what has happened.

His face quickly changes
when I tell him I live here.
"Which house?" he asks. "Third
one on the right," I reply.

"Park here," he says, and
escorts me to the scene where
people line the sidewalks
and three large fire trucks

are wrapping up their hoses
and finishing their jobs,
just as I start to realize
all that I have lost.


An island of calm
floats somewhere in my
overcrowded, overworked

I visit there once
in awhile, on days
when I remember to

Never Say a Commonplace Thing © 2010

Blogger Templates by Splashy Templates