freelancer

I am a loser but only part-time;
other-time, there are those who know
I am dependable and true,
other-time, there are soft lips to greet my own
and kiss, slowly gliding the slope of my neck
and coasting past my
bellybutton.
I am a loser but only part-time;
only the time I sell for others.
In the time I keep for myself,
well,
hell,
has anyone ever won so much
in so few hours?

Dearth

vast and unforgiving,
hardpan and caked clay
beneath the rustle of sands,
the swirling of their dresses and shifts;
deep, deep, deep is the water and
here is nothing; day and night,
lifeless and predictable as
the rotation of a foreign planet.
Here are my deep and shallow places;
my sands and my dead seeds,
here I am, standing in the thirst,
here I am, digging for promises
and rumors.

Hope is worse than knowing;
tell a man there’s gold in a hill and
he’ll destroy the hill, the hill will destroy him,
and nothing of note will be found.
Tell a man there’s nothing here,
nothing,
and he will move to green prairie
and ignore those deep, deep,
deep waters.

Landmine

you pulled me out of the muck and
stripped off the dress;
fingertips probing at haphazard wiring and
unstable charges; lobes and
webs incomprehensible at a glance,
and worse to someone who knows
what should be where;
there is no architecture to this jumble.
there was no guidebook followed,
only crazed instinct.
Slicing this wire, that wire, may save you or
send your teeth flying through your skull.
But this is what you wanted,
this is why you pulled me from the muck.

botrytized

Not all rot is ignoble;
in fact, there is a rot that
pierces through the skin of grapes,
once-good grapes,
and, from within,
makes them sweeter;
such grapes will wither
but,
if picked at just
the right moment –
will yield the finest wine.

Downstream

bless each day
that carries me further away
from your fingertips, your
soft lips,
bless each day
that carries me downstream,
memories drowning in my lungs,
and dying in their way.
These memories bleed out from
so many wounds,
clouding the water and
drawing mean eyes,
oh,
bless each day that carries me further,
and bless the day that these wounds close,
bless them all,
and damn them, too.

Ancient Law

The chattermarks of dead men,
rich men,
gnawing at every trunk and stem
feigning grief and biting, biting
delicious mouthfuls, delightful helpings,
ripped from the mouths of babes unborn,
“Oh!”, they say, “Oh! Oh!
There is not enough to go around,
has never and will never be enough!”
they say, they say, their teeth clacking against bone,
jaws working to tear and swallow all the meat
of this world,
more meat than is needed by
any world at all.

powers that be

Empty threats from empty men
flood out from a high tower;
empty thrones and empty crowns
hold falsities of power;
and man has not invented yet
a crop that blooms when fed by lies,
but wealth is close, and power closer:
and power does or power dies.

type of man

What kind of man do you pretend to be?
just another retelling of
a recording of
an echo of
a shout?
What kind of man do you pretend to be?
the pigment on the parchment,
the pretense of shade?
What kind of man do you pretend to be?
or, worse, what type of man
do you pretend not to be?