oubliette

and here are them
alive in darkness,
who refuse to light a candle
for fear of casting shadow

Classy Place

No such thing as a dress code – if
the king of England
or of Pop
walked in
without a necktie, do you
think they would be denied seating?
One could hope, one could hope,
but we can party here or
in the alley,
with rats and raccoons as celebrants,
and it’s likely a sight better time
with a plastic goblet of boxwine in
a basement full of friends,
than alone in a rented tux
in a dining hall full-up
with carefully folded napkins.

good thing

Somedays a good thing
will peck on your window,
begging to be let in from the cold –
and somedays you see it
a little thief,
and others days
a beautiful beast –
wild, alive, a good thing today,
more beautiful in movement than meaning –
and if you are not quick to
open the window,
it will flit
away

God-Fearing

Not an absence but
a wriggling slime-slick beast,
wrestled, but never pinned, at a county fair –
Not an absence but
a longing for somewhere,
The idea of a place crumbling
when you find yourself there –
Not an absence but
the finding of abundance
of comfort, surety, and care –
Not an absence but
counting the take
and wanting much more than our share.

frightful

this army of ticks and fleas
leaping and skulking,
finding purchase in long hair and
skittering on the skin –
how i itch, how i itch
from phantom legs
that brush the back of the neck,
such a small and horrible sensation
to know myself as only
some crawling creature’s food.

a basket case

It’s not the chill today,
(is it?)
that has nestled me in such
comfort
it’s not the blanket,
nor the purring kettle
(is it?)
the furnace slowly sputtering
long-lost line and lyric
(is it?)
This life is the spoke
each moment weaves through –
look and see
what lovely things are held within.