Just, really?

I thought to myself as the guy cut me off:
Just, really?
Under my breath when sauce fell on my cuff:
Just, really?
After the tango, but before the rally:
Just, really?
When I mixed peanut butter with some jelly:
Just, really?
Is there a reason I repeat myself?
Should I keep talking, or should I just shelve
my queries, my complaints, my hopes and my fears?
What would you do, if you had all these years?

Wake up and look who woke up!

Get up, go to the mirror, splash water on your face, look up, there you are! Look at yourself in the mirror! Tell yourself, I love you, self! and everything will be okay!

Lisa listened to the record with a scowl. She hadn’t thought this would be worth her time, had told her mom as much, in fact, in the record store, while they were looking at the twelve-inch square cover, considering its purchase. Her mom had said, Give it a shot, Lisa, come on. Don’t you want to feel better? Lisa had shrugged.

Listening to this inane record, though, she wished she’d said something to her mom, then, saved her some money. Because this was utter shit.

Later, Lisa went to bed in the dark and dreamed about nothing in particular. If she had to describe her dream, she’d have said it was gray, mostly. Just dust swirling around on an overcast day. After an interminable amount of time, she woke up, blearily. She went into the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. She thought about the record. She opened her mouth, but no words came out. She sighed and bent down to the sink to get a long drink of water. She left the bathroom withouth looking at herself again.

Vintage diary

I found an old red page-a-day in a thrift store once and I bought it to write my own year in. But when I opened it I found that someone else had penciled their life on the pages: little things, like appointment with M—- or rain today, things that didn’t matter after all these years that’ve passed. They didn’t bother to write their name in the front either. I don’t know who they might be or where they might’ve lived but I know that on September 3rd, they had a doctor’s appointment, and on July 13th, their sister had a birthday. Their looping script, Spencerian style I think, means they lived in the first half of last century, but I’m not sure other than that. Of course, I don’t have the book in front of me. I’m actually not sure where it is. I’m making all this up, to be honest, that is, everything but the fact that there is a red diary somewhere, it was written on in pencil, and the person who wrote it is probably gone now, with only their one year to commemorate them.

The wind

From the wind’s perspective, everything moves backward. What theories has it landed on for the way its world works? Nothing is still but it, everything is temporary. Does it know that on some days it dies, that when everything is still, it stops existing? Or does it simply pick itself up somewhere else, passingly curious at the change of scenery that moves past too quickly to really note the difference? Everything, to the wind, is a blur. Nothing is permanent but itself, the sole ruler of its life. The world rushes backward over its hair. Does it find the rush refreshing?

An attempt to build a house out of my cat (a little while)

Its skull will be my bedroom,
its tail the den, swishing for
my entertainment, better than a TV.
Its nose will be my kitchen,
smelling fish and milk and other things
that cats like; I don’t know
what they are. There are other parts
of a cat, and other rooms in the house,
but I don’t want a one-to-one
correspondence: it is strange and gross. So
I’ll leave it at this: my cat stalks
through the house of its own making,
silent hunter of balls of dust and
shadows, while I sit in my house, silent
partner, captive, in my own way, prey.

And am here to sing my heart's content to Him in a church,

I am standing at the altar in the narthex near the window
and am singing out my heart’s content to God inside this church
the notes wind out my throat and curl like smoke against the ceiling
and languish there, thinning out and coating like a paint,
like a gold leaf, maybe, or a patina
of nicotine above the bar, of algae blooms on the lake
my words, they go no further than the inside of the ceiling
than the borders, than the shore of this world, filling up
the space within me like a snowglobe, or balloon made from latex
from a rubber tree in South America, divorced from its home
to sit underneath flickering lights, mercury-filled, listless,
waiting out its time until it’s picked up off the shelf
or the store shuts down, forgotten, bankrupt, lights turned off,
the shelves still full, the building broke for something else

A tree on fire

Moses only got a bush, and here I am
with a whole tree. Though palm trees, I
read once, are actually great big
grasses with leaves of lies. That’s
what the thing I read today said they were.
I’m not sure it was lying, exactly, but
just minding its business. A palm tree
doesn’t care what it is, I reckon. But
what do I know, either? I know I’m looking
at a tree on fire, smoke billowing, I
think that’s the word I’d use, billowing,
like smoke does, that’s the word for it.
The leaves curling up like prayers.
The whole thing cracking, a whip to beat
the penitent, orange and black and dead.

We're all a lot more comfortable

if you could take your shoes off at the door
and drop your coat by the shrapnel in the corner
if a giant bat would come and grab you by
the shoulders carting you away to its nest to feed
if you could chew more quietly or with your
mouth closed or stop talking while you’re doing it
if the sun boils all the oceans and the rivers
overflow the pots and noodles wash into the sea
if you could ask before you take the last of
the ketchup from the fridge to make your sandwiches
if the world screams into madness under ninety
watching eyes while we are folding all our clothes


I’m slowly becoming a functioning human
I’ve hopped in the oven to get fully baked
Going in circles is no way to cycle
My life is a yard, the leaves need to be raked
I’m slowly becoming a person who knows how
to think without spiraling out of control
To reclaim my past and look out at my future
’stead of spending my time hiding out in my hole
I’m slowly becoming, so slowly becoming
A long, lonely tune is this life that I’m humming

Storytime - Part 5 - The Stars

The stars were shining, snug in their black sheets,
when the clattering started. It was a quiet
clattering at first, and far away, but it got steadily
closer and closer until, after a while, it sounded
right on top of them, just over the covers, going
like a freight train, or what they imagined a freight
train to sound like, having seen them snaking their
lonely ways across the surface of the earth, far below.
Or that’s what the stars thought would happen, if
the clattering would ever actually get any closer.
It was going very slowly about moving, and they couldn’t
be sure it was actually getting any closer, after all,
or if it was a sort of trick of the ear, like
the Shepherd Tone, which they’d read an article about
one night, while trying to get to sleep. Little did
they know the clattering was the inevitable sun
come to snuff them all out. That it had happened before
and would happen again for a very long time indeed.