Meditation

I’m not sure what to think about so I think about nothing,
and then everything, and worst of all-
What I need to have done when I’m done meditating.
I try to think about everything and so I think about nothing,
and the thoughts slide away like rain dripping down a dog’s
red back. I don’t think these thoughts are me anymore;
but they are the wax that feeds the candlelight. The
small motes crawling on petals, the smell of burnt air before a storm.
The little things, inexhaustible and irreplaceable,
which are not a part of something grander, yet,
are.

Bluegill

Call me the bluegill,
call me the bass,
plowing the waters
where the herons pass.
Pull me from my home,
or the fields, anyhow,
let me flop helpless,
away from my plow.
I’ll shake and jump
and spill out my rage
flex my fins at the knife
and forfeit my wage.

A Rose With No Other Name

I dreamt of a rose that grew dissatisfied
with the trickle of blood drawn by a thorn
and willfully grew great fangs
like a smilodon or other prehistoric thing
and tore at throats, rent skulls in half and
splattered brains on carpet like cracker-crumbs.
I only guessed at the name of this destructive beauty
and as I awoke, wondered if a rose fed on gore
perhaps smelled sweeter?

Spokes

The sun dips down past another day,
Nothing new to feel,
Nothing new to say,
Another empty riddle that I tried to solve,
Like a big brown rat crawling in the walls.
I never kept track of the reasons I frown
A glass of water and the meds are down,
Not sure why bother when the end’s in sight,
You can argue with Death but can you fight?
The wheels are turning from bottom to top,
And I just hope they don’t ever stop,
It’s as likely I’ll be in the sky as stuck in mud
Either covered in glory or slick with blood

Returning Home

This town has the best Taco Bell in the world
Because there are no viable career paths for a 36-year-old woman
outside of the only restaurant, the Taco Bell. This town
has a hospital where all the doctors graduated in Michigan, or New York,
and all the nurses came from money and got the degree because, well, why not?
This town used to have a ceramics factory, the best in the world, but that
burnt down fifty years ago, and the clay-rich bones
sit in an empty lot collecting rain, a ruddy X marking the very spot
where the hopes of a generation were burned
This town is rich in blackberries, catalpa trees
and wild onions;
this town is poor in everything else.

Recurrent Harm

When you took me in your hands
put pressure on my eyes
I tried to feel anything, I tried
not to lie.
Maybe I was born like this,
or changed with the turning season.
Maybe it’s just fate
Some people are alone for a reason.

There are dogs that will always
bite a helping hand –
Until someone calls the dog-pound
Or there’s not a finger left in the land.

Advice From An Old Man

Buy shorts when the snow’s falling
and sweaters when the summer has hardened blossoms into fruit.
Always use an oven-mitt if you aren’t sure about the heat
and brush your cups with a long handled-brush, or they might just
burst.
Never ride on the back of another man’s motorcycle,
and always walk into the wind when you’re on a deer track.
I wish I could tell you something about love,
or something about the way you ought to live,
but being old doesn’t mean you know anything about love,
it just means you’ve survived a while.