Chapel

Find something blue 

She’ll be all doe eyes

Weeping deer crowns

Chestnut deep

In oversized gown

She trips over the long hem

Over glass and black car shell 

Over gnarled, overturned tree

Forbidden jump rope giggles

Wild rabbit witnesses

Stop at the bough alter

In bare feet and mud smudged knees

Makeshift plank chapel 

Blossom cross nailed to its peak 

Pulped painted ground leaves 

Follow Autumn’s heel

Gas station lily in her hair

Ascension on oil slick 

Forming vatican of cardinal grosbeak 

4 foot child bride veiled 

Kool aid for dessert 

Honeymoon in the Motel suite 

7/11 soft serve

Photo by Grant Whitty on Unsplash


Published in The American Journal of Poetry (July 2020/ Vol 9)

http://www.theamericanjournalofpoetry.com/v9-fauna.html

‘Nother Dumb Corona poem

Humans evergreen and hibernating 

Enclammed in concave spinal cords, eating

Hunched over hot-white blasting computer screens 

Mirrored like iridescent, plastic beetle wings

These bug shells lined up, dried out on the window sill

The common house spider, butterfly, silverfish

Clawed up in static pose and pawed at by kittens 

Leg raised muscles cry atrophy— placating

Slick crack; an exhale everywhere from beer cans 

‘Nother day like the last, and the other before that

Sirens sound

Echoes rouse 

People from their homes to the streets

Shielding their eyes

As they step out for

The first time, seemingly

I turn over 

And peel away in gummy slug spit strings 

Look back over my shoulder 

The mattress made a mould out of me

Photo by Lavi Perchik on Unsplash

Rabbit Vultures

In the garden 

There’s forever clover 

The hutch is still 

No sawdust raining 

An empty house 

No kicking, thudding 

No bundling of bedding 

No sneeze- or chew of weeds

An empty house  

With the door open

Cloaked starlings sail 

In the black bloated sky

Him palming tarot cards 

His false face armed 

As crooked as it was before 

Carving symbols into my childhood wall

The smell of the brick 

Evens the score 

As crooked as it ever was before 

Pillowed in the road 

Shallow, sharp huffs

And a rigid spine 

Blooming bob-tail bright

Ears tumbling round 

Beaded, Wakeful eyes

Glimmer on sight 

Glimmer in the headlight 

Pillowed in the road 

We lie head to head on the ground 

In the clover 

Vultures overhead circle

We can only blame each other 

Photo by Martina Vitáková on Unsplash

Guts

Evils inherent 

That darken doorways at 2am

That kept kids up at bedtime 

Begged the nightlight til age 10

Evils inherent 

Bury the cemeteries in earnest

Cut our diamonds routinely 

Unscrew sharpeners 

Berry blood beading

Resting cleanly on the surface

Evils inherent 

Shackle our ability 

To see what you see while cloud gazing 

Shackle our chemistry

Settle – stagnate accordingly 

These guts fall out 

Strip yourself of your clothes 

Kick shedding to the floor

Pull back fat, Peel off skin

The wetness and heavy 

Hits wood with a splattering

Tender tendon, muscles screaming

Blue veins balled up, leaking 

like angel hair noodles

From lunchtime binge eating 

Retreat to cocoon shells

Discarded and dry 

Put your wetness inside 

Meat still on the bone like

You’ve been eaten alive

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

The Night Walk

The mushrooms surrender 

Their spores in lunar glow 

Foxes sidle in the brush

Teeth grate on stolen marrow

Supping nectar as we walk down

Lured by a rising song from a flute 

Carrying in the crook of your arm 

Some thousand wildflowers in a basket

We’re drunk on absolutely nothing but cherub spit 

-halted 

Faces darken 

By a structure 

Suspended

Edges over

Hot steam bursts

Spit and cough 

Cogs grind

Relentless

Industrial blue whale 

Leviathan god

Slick like oil spills  

It shoots out

From back passages 

Brown, churned up meat 

From bodies it disposes 

Forest floors 

             Like carpets 

                     Lift away 

                           In 2D shapes

                                Eyes are closed 

                                     Skin is tight 

                                            It pulls at the nails 

Questing for nothing

Now sullenly given 

Moon swallowed tenfold 

Dogs chase rabbits in heaven 

Photo by Bruno Thethe on Unsplash

Maladaptive

Red hair wet and matted eyelashes

Heavy with water 

From the lakes of my summer

Reviving sparkling sodas 

And bouncing off of the sun in eyes

That turn malt green in the light 

Snapshots only looked at twice 

Once before and once again tonight 

I hold grudges 

Like a safe holds its gold

Like a tray holds its ash

Like you held Canon corpses in your hands 

Perfect Amber cylinders 

Perfect fucking winters 

Living deaths of connections while 

I rip off nails from their beds 

Using childhood techniques 

And teeth tearing mastery 

To drip down inside me 

The salty iron honey

Nights I’m alone 

Nights that I’m done 

Breathing

A sponge for the earth

Contracting 

Heaving 

Soaking up the bleeding 

From nails that grow 

Back malformed 

I think it’s time to wash myself of you and I 

I’ve never wanted anything more 

Than to have both a painted manicure

And to have no fingernails at all

Photo by MILKOVÍ on Unsplash

Stages of grief poems

For you, wherever you are 

I hoped you weren’t afraid 

When you were cast out into unconsciousness 

Like a satellite knocked off its course

(We all have to be eventually)

I hope gravity pulled you to a gilded gate

I hope that you weren’t as afraid 

As I am when I catch myself waning

Under fine aged compulsions 

Drink from the bottle ‘til it’s empty 

Carved yet another bloodied tally 

Haven’t crossed the line to your bedroom

Where the bed touched most every wall

Still chrysalis in dusty pink silk

Pills next to analog clocks 

Medical bullshit on the bedside

Morphine next to full water jugs 

Next to incoherent notes scribbled 

Written only a week before

Nonverbal – didn’t know if you could hear at all

Smaller than an acorn 

released from the largest oak tree crown 

Thinner than the baldest branch in winter 

Hair softer than the softest down 

Wednesday night 

Mark the day 

Anticipate rising to drop

The sun arches over

Pull your limbs up like roots

That had you bound to soil 

That wouldn’t nourish 

Now heaving with tumour

Gunpowder used up

Just a shell of the bullet 

I’d blown the dust off of your cut glass collection

And in all this time, it still hasn’t settled

You’d said to me 

“I’m gonna beat this” 

With such stubborn will 

That when I looked at you 

You only saw you 

Back in the reflection

I held your hand in mine

Cause I would choke if I spoke

And If I choked you would know 

so I didn’t 

And so 

Now people who had no reason to speak to me tell me they’re sorry 

You’re gone 

I’ll never see you again 

And that’s just how it is

On Losing grandparents

Can I say words at random

Like daisy chains or boughed path

The spongy split of river logs

The hospital bed whirring to rise 

The drip – drip – drip – of fluids in vein 

The lovers in the yellow glow of their date 

Can I say words that don’t make a difference?

Like Birthday cards or bald street dogs 

The red rising of pheasants from the tree

The quiet passing of days and months

The chaotic flurry-swarm of disrupted moths 

The dead promise of possibly, maybe 

White, electric chemotherapy 

Can I say words that make me sad?

Like the slackening of skin on dove bones 

The solid lakes that bed rest the swan 

The heavy sky dropping penny sized rain

The childhood song Alzheimer’s forgot 

I missed you before you were gone

Spring cleaning 

The palest stems of wax that’s dripped 

On the tops of yellow radiators

Dusted collections of crystal glass

Packed up in paper and boxes

Black mildew-freckled curtains 

Are lifted from their hooks 

Super-market flowers wilt

Before they start to bloom 

The cordless vacuum huffs

Uproots the trodden carpet 

They take pictures of the hallowed-out rooms 

We make it home ‘fore Spring has ended

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Summer Child

A season ticks over

Severed heads of clover are exposed nerves of teeth 

Cut/ Slice/ divide/ peaches for the pies 

Sweet sunlit child 

Puke your guts up at night 

Make empty 

Feel whole 

Feel worthy

Feel warm 

Summer evaporated a stagnant pool 

She blots away colour with her rose-tinted bleach

Skin blends with the blue-pink, Barbie bedsheets 

Unstick- disconnect- pull away like snail spit

Put on ointment, Aloe Vera, for sun damaged leaves 

It’s 4-

Hugging knees back and forth 

Skin degrading off the face of an old rocking horse 

Baths for dolls, where inside, the blackest mould grows 

Stuffed bears next to beds, standing like soldiers

Clovers 

A stray Tomcat 

Sunning his spots 

Ladybugs bouncing

Under sprinklers

Showering plant pots

Photo by Ahmed Zayan on Unsplash

Two headed lamb (Polycephaly)

When they slid out 

Of Mother – a double oddity 

“We”

She cleaned them over

Of green and pink slime, 

Needles of dried grass,

Amniotic sac

Their spines that entwined 

Split off into two minds 

Heaved into life 

Squinted at Mother’s eyes 

And when they collapsed 

Trembled sticky 

Til they stopped

Men took them to London 

In brown paper

Boxed them up 

She and her are enclosed 

Behind a glass case 

As Crown Jewels 

Four Amber eyes 

Hardened to life 

In imitation meadows 

Gazing at neighbours 

Of jackalope

Winged horse  

Dodo bones 

Their curled white fur 

like portrait cherubs’ oiled

Sunlight’s a halo on their alien mould 

A bell and a bow tied ‘round their neck like dolls 

Pressed together like flowers 

In bible page folds

Grass is plastic 

Light is bleaching

Dust is damning

Stains are dried in  

But their hollow stomach 

Swells to life 

Whenever a child’s eyes widen

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash