Venture

I once fell in love.
I once found a prince.
He stood on a beach
dark against the rolling surf,
full with the universe.

I once flew into
daring rough hands,
mute, lucky, held —
an odd fish silent and ready,
silent as hope.

“Why couldn’t you be a woman?”

In rowdy hands
I wiggled the signs,
did my best to become
sexy, curvaceous, something —

but slipped lonely-homeward
back to the sea that rushed for me.

*

Miracle of Life

“You came out talking.”

I hold my breath against this metal world,
this chewy phlegm and snot-dripping contraption, 
close tight my eyes against the green-gowned monster
and think:

“What the fuck!  Deceiving womb!”

Sweat and salty tears now on my cheeks —
why is she crying?  Narcissist.
I was the one ripped into a rotting cell that tasted of —
is that excrement? —

birthed into man’s horrendous hall,
his macabre theater of death and religion.
And she’s crying?

I scream.
(Was that the “talking” you heard?)

*

Note:

Coming home from college for the first time, I told my mother what I’d learned in my philosophy class: “Your fifteen minutes of passion condemned me to death.”

Her response: “Sounds like your philosophy teacher needs to work on his stamina.”

“Doctors”

New doctors are like puppies.
They have to play with all their toys
and can be wildly cute.
Fresh out of obedience school,
all they know is rules and cutoffs; 
they cannot yet lay by the fire
because they are the fire
and have trouble being still.

Old doctors, like old dogs,
aren’t so eager.
They know our secret heart,
the love we’ve spent against
coming back

and smile
as we wave
So Long.

*

Lake House Memory

The coffee pot sticks a little
to the warming plate.
Sliding-glass door’s a bit rusty.
I love it cracked open,
lake-smell gets in,
grass and summer rain, 
trees on the breeze — 
maybe the morning doves
will come again.

It’s good to feel stiff old shag,
see stacks of books we’ve partly read,
stacks and stacks. 
Your grandpa’s kitchen table,
Ruth’s worn chair,
dusty Mantovani on the player.

Paintings hang crooked, 
curl on paneled walls,
fading in memory and slow-days,

that other house, the city one,
already forgotten.

*

Sea Wall with Mountain in Background

“Do you love him?”

We walk the Sea Wall.
He studies the sound,
Grouse Mountain, green-black 
cross-hatch of hemlock and fir.

      “No.”

“Sure?”

      He talks past water
      lapping round rocks,
      love near water
      breathing distant trees.

“Because it’s okay if you do.”

      A canopy.
      I love this place.

“I love that mountain.”

      He loves the mountain.
      Vancouver.
      He loves me.
      All that love.

“Two trees in a forest, eh?
You and me.”

      Side by side,
      friend I love; 
      side by side,
      roots entwined.

      “Yes, you and me.”

*

More poetry HERE.

And if you’d like a short story, click HERE.

Eternal Coast

She ate cotton candy and 
watched Seattle seabirds hold 
steady in nondescript
movie-sound
and almost forgot the scar
he stretched around her heart
before she died.

Now, a thousand miles down-coast,
California oceancoast,
glass house above sunset sky — 
that’s where she’s always been,
soft blanket, now, soft light — 
a story she likes, 
a dusky sea — 

her intransigence now just a word 
describing another mother,
someone sad far far away.

*

More poems? They’re HERE.

And then there are the BOOKS here.

Two Trees

I couldn’t help it, leaving.
It  must be the way I’m made.
They spoke God,
said I'd wreck my soul
with that abomination —

so I chose the other tree,
blue-green against the same sky,
splashed its dark on my face
and fell sound asleep

as they raged beneath
an equally good tree
preparing for my salvation.

*

If you like this, try some more here.

A collection or two? See Books here.

Late-Night Lucid

What you discover
after —
after the battered “Yes, okay”
to your heart’s direction — 

is that all of your guns
that once shot enemies and fools
are now trained and aimed
at you.

One Last Chance
to apologize
to recant
to come home.

So you write another poem
as familiar bullets 
speed toward their mark.

*

“Quick!  They’re coming for you!
Call down your god!”

Oh, buddy, if you only understood.
My god runs towards me,
bayonet in hand,
trying to scare me off,
see if I turn.

“Some god!”

Yeah.  My god.
As I take a run at him.

*

Like these? There’s more — all collected into a NEW BOOK! Click here!

So…what do you do? A Collection of Poems

Spend a day observing people. 

Most of the time, it’ll be boring. But if we’re lucky, we’ll catch a glimpse of something we’re not meant to see. Pilots leave an apartment window open while waiting for flight attendants to arrive. We see their desperation. A man in a breezeway doesn’t think anyone is upstairs when he tries to get his dealer off his back, all while his little girl plays. The fratboy next door doesn’t know someone can hear everything — and wants him anyway. A whole political party shows its true colors. 

These poems are dedicated to who we are when we’re on our own time — to the strange, laughable, heartbreaking, dangerous ways we do ourselves.

Want a sample? Click here.

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More poems? Click here.

Or maybe a short story.