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.

*

Witness Stand

Of course we box our bodies,
bury them underground,
cold and silenced.  Alone.
Or burn them gray,
all evidence scattered.

After a lifetime as ours,		
why allow the thing we’ve 
starved and carved
hated and baited —

used abused accused
assailed curtailed veiled failed
jailed — 

to testify?

It might never get off the stand!

*

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LA Tourist

“You know how you tell a native
from a tourist?” asked the damp guy
not-nursing his scotch.

			Why do they always talk to me?
			I shrug my shoulders.

“Tourists talk.”

			I shrug again, 
                        leave twenty on the bar,
			check the phone — 
                        finish the bourbon, find the keys,
			slide the ball-cap on backwards,
			position steel-rimmed sunglasses, 
			hit the mirror,

			and leave.

                       Tourist.

*

If there were other poems, they’d be HERE.

Unable to Explain

While I wait for the light,
wonder which words to use —
whether “immature” or “innocent”
best conveys America —
an unfortunate unhoused woman 
dies on the sidewalk cuddling 
garbage and a teddy bear —
her last moment unhinged:

it is too much, too much,
this humanity;
so she passes it on
to the passersby — 

who sit in traffic
with closed-up windows
thinking “Poor Soul”
thinking this is so sad
thinking at least she’s in a better place

unable to explain.

*

Sometimes it’s nice to sit with a book. Check them out HERE.

DayDream

I imagine you shocked at my lifeless body,
dead on the floor, carpet stained with me.
You don’t believe it. You think I’m playing.
I’m not. It dawns on you I’m over.

I hear your no no no, just
like you did when the dog died in your arms — 
see tears slide down your abandoned face,
feel your torment love confusion hate.

I miss you more than my self,
know the price of life is death,
pay the cost of love with loss…

just as customer service asks for my credit card.

*

Want something a little lighter? Explore more poems HERE.

And yeah, there are books. Good books HERE.

Shimmering

I tried to run just like them,
the gods of track whose ankles worked
as they shimmered before crowds,
High School Heroes of ambitious dimension.

I plodded desperate for legs, 
then arms, then breath 
up the curious street of my youth.

My feet slapped ridiculousness
as wild elbows jabbed wildly
at dreams I didn’t fit — 
lungs wheezed 
vapid sissy-fire before 
an incredulous emptiness —

I bent without a friend,
alone on the side of the road,
and thought:

“Speedos are way-sexier
than this!”

*

There’s more. Just click HERE.

Sailing from Salem

The desperate horde
hanged the mighty witch high —
as she watched from behind,
laughing, musing:

“If I’m as mighty as they say,
and so well-versed in 
dangerously Dark Arts,
do they really think —  
can they really believe — 
this is over?”

And so the mighty witch
swayed in nature’s caress, 
seeding her folk with everlasting
consequence

before moving to California.

*

There are STORIES, too — HERE.

Yes, Brother

When I ab and sunglass,
trim, talk low-and-slow — 
pose an aging, faithful body
against sunning sand and waves,
breathless for perfection’s attention,
I know:
Brother, you’re not for me.

When I’m empty, yet still scrape 
this darkening shell for one more 
acceptable pearl;
when I pray dimmed sea-light and
dusky stars right my crooked face,
I know:
Brother, you're not for me.

But if on this patient winter’s beach
we wander from books to pasts,
honor quiet scars and funny ignorance, 
sandy jeans, faded flannel shirts
warm against the LA cool;
cheap beer;
if you ask for another, eyes 
still on the page, and laugh a bit
at my dancing disbelief:

Brother, my answer is yes.

*

Poems, the good ones, are small stories. See other stories 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.