Sunday, May 01, 2016

Skin

(National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

Tug you close
in the morning
news murmuring on the radio
me murmuring in your hair.

Wrap those arms around me,
hold me in the early sunlight
just pushing aside the curtains
in our warm little lover's room.

Skin to skin, but baby, I gotta go,
when the daily bread calls.
Still, joined at every joint, every pore,
every cell, we are, together.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

This is My Heart

(National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

This is my heart:
it is made of clay
and bits of leaves
and the seeds of bitter melons.

Hold it cupped,
Like an offering,
Because it is.

Breathe upon it,
and it will beat,
for you, one-two,
one-two.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Love

(National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

Love
Does not reside
in the heart
like a box
that only opens
once
per
beat.

Oh, no, it is in
the marrow of my
leg bones,
the hinge of my knees,
the way both tremble
and shudder
when you exhale.

It is in the sinew,
the soft belly under my navel,
my fingertips and calluses,
in each strand of muscle
that stretches,
and pulls
Us together.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hear Me

(National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

I am that wicked creature
that is not man,
but Lilith's daughter;
I come now to say unto you:

I am the knife in your night,
the dragging step on your dark stair,
the bell, the book and the candle,
the midnight striking in your clockless room.

I am the low-flying bomber you don't hear coming,
I am the human mislabeled as man's rib,
I am the disregarded, deep inside your defenses.

I am the banked fire and the luminous fury,
Every catcall is fuel for my flames.
You have never seen me coming,
Because you never thought to look.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Late Blossom

(04/27/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

The cherry blossoms
Have fallen all but one: Late,
nestled, at the heart.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Oh Girl

(04/26/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

Oh, girl

I got the gun,
still warm in my hand,
and powder residue
gonna send me to the chair.

Oh, girl,
Oh, girl,
Oh, girl, she dead on the floor
And me dead with her.

I thought:
She betrayed me,
Broke her promise
To be true,
And what promised me,
She let loose in the sheets
of some other man.

Oh, girl,
Oh, girl,
Oh, girl, she dead on the floor
And me dead with her.

I could blame Iago
But it's me what done it:
Took to doubt like liquor,
And pulled that trigger.

Oh, girl.

Monday, April 25, 2016

When It's All Gone

(04/25/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

When it's all gone:
the warm divot of the pillow,
the scent on the shirt,

When it's all gone,
when there's nothing left
but your pain, your loss,
the tears in the back of your throat,

How can you let that pain go,
when it is the last piece of your love,
so still and so precious,
left cupped in your hands?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Civil

(04/24/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

There is a muddy patch at Gettysburg
That has eaten the names and lives
of countless boys in uniform.

The earth beneath the rows of cannons
is drunk on blood and valiant speeches.

None can tell the color of their clothes any more.
Soldier and foe look the same when they're dead,
Spoiled together across green farmland that now only dreams in red.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Silence

(04/23/2016 for National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

If you are quiet enough,
you can hear the books
conversing amongst themselves,

They rustle sentences
to each other made of paper and cloth,
trade witticisms,
anagrams,
and drop verse on the heads
of the shelving librarians
who don't duck quickly enough.

Friday, April 22, 2016

People think writer's block is a metaphor, but it's not

(04/22/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

It's a big wooden block,
perched on the floor
between me and the page.

You can see the grain,
patterned in loops and swirls,
that you can follow with your thumb.
Beautiful, really, but still a block.

You have to come at it with a sharp knife,
sharper than the one used to gut poetry
from the belly of the carp that lurks in the pool of your mind,
gulping verse.

Whittle it along the edges,
Distract it by humming,
Round it with your hands and blade until the corners smooth,
and your palms know the feel of it, inside and out, and it knows you
Better than your mother ever did.
Then: push.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Silk

(04/21/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

Smooth,
winding silk,
snug against
mercerized cotton.

When I use it to pull
our mouths to one another,
I can feel the
lift, the tug,
every moment
building toward
our mingling breath,
and the way your lips open before me,
so sweet
and so tender.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Government Center, Boston

(04/20/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

Clustered in a pack of six
around the seventh,
stood down in the hole
twisting that damn pipe thing
tirelessly,

The road crew, for one moment,
look so solemn in their day-glo vests,
as if, at any second,
the chief amongst them
will lift his head
and proclaim,

Brethren, let us pray.
Here rests Down-In-The-Hole Jerry
Gone on to his penance,
Fer not bringin' the donuts
Like he was supposed ta'.
Help him, O Lord.

Amen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Photograph

(04/19/2016 for National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

The photograph is of a man
baring those teeth still in his head.

It is the picture of a man permanently hunched,
Crippled by the weight
of existing in a place
where he be no man at all
but a Jew, a deviant, a gypsy,
a category for eradication.

The photograph is of a skinny man who will die soon, no doubt.

In the photograph, he is bent,
Holding up the stripped-down body
That journeyed ahead of him into nothingness.

His dreams have reduced to the muted yearning
For someone to remember him when he is gone.
To say his name fondly.
To say, Jakob, he told that funny story,
You know, about the piano tuner and the rabbi's daughter?
He was a humorous man,
Who was kind to animals.

Surely, the blue number on his arm
visible in flashes as he tosses
another body into the pit,
to be buried in lime and forgetfulness,
is the least of his burdens.

The photograph is old.
But, when you hold it in your hand,
Remember him: Jakob,
Who told funny stories,
And was kind to animals.

Monday, April 18, 2016

l'odalisque

(04/18/2016 for National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

Never presume
to know the thoughts
behind the painted smile,
the coy tilt of one shoulder,
the bare back with its elongated spine,
and lines inviting the viewer's touch.

Even the Mona Lisa,
Though she gaze straight at you,
Keeps her secrets.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Apple

(04/17/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord Challenge)

The apple that lured man from the Garden
Was not a Fuji, full and juicy,
Sending rivulets down Eve's naked throat,
Bursting with knowledge and flavor,

But an idea,
Made dense flesh:
Of horizons to reach beyond,
And limits surpassed.
The harbinger of epiphany can take any shape.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Tulips

(04/16/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

I.
Each
bloom
A careful
exercise
In sunlight.

II.
Texture
of silk
to the touch,
and
joy
to the eye.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Weight

(04/15/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

Every time I walk away from you
I miss you desperately
By the time I reach the stairs.

The freight of my love
grows thicker and more weighted
Every time
I suffer through a goodbye.

Soon I will not be able
to even turn
away from your closed door.

The Real Walking Dead

(04/14/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

The walking dead aren't zombies, they're ghosts.
Messages, of your life, unlived. Undead. Un-anything.

Turn the corner and there sits a regret,
cross-legged in the hallway,
with mournful eyes,
and a little potted plant in her lap.

Close your eyes at night and the closet door
will swing open
so all the times you didn't say "I love you"
when you could've,
will tumble down from the shelves and land
thump-thump-thump
on the the thin carpet.

The dark abyss at the end of the basement stairs
hosts the voices of all the December holiday calls
you never got around to making;
The good luck in all the red envelopes
you never got around to giving.

No matter where you go, your ghosts follow you;
Shooting will not save you.
You can't burn them, or drive fast enough,
to get away.

Trying to Write a Sonnet

(04/13/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

My poem has betray-ed me
It wanders all day and all night
My mind, it seeks a higher plane
Yet, distracted by bright Net lights.
I find myself, an hour later,
Surfing back to that blankest page,
To escape again, then vis't here,
Where the Internet comes to rage.

Lo, I must learn to pace
Myself, and reach my peace
Before I put pen to
Page. For there is much I
Have to say, if I do
Set aside time, and try.

The Relationship

(04/12/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

We lived together,
With separate bedrooms,
defined spaces for each of us,
a Personal Domain(™).

People thought I was strange.

He kicked me in the stomach,
And fantasized about 'teaching me a lesson', at a party,
When he thought I was going to embarrass him.
He told me later he was disappointed when he didn't get the chance.

Not strange at all.

He let me support him
Put him through school
Work seven days a week
Then got angry when I came home tired and made myself a drink.

No one thought that was strange.

I left behind dirty dishes while he was out of town,
I was too tired to clean them.
I vacuumed the carpet,
Paid the rent for a month after his scheduled return,
Just to be sure,
He didn't get hurt, or inconvenienced too much,
By my departure.

And I'm the strange one?
I'm the strange one.
Eager and afraid,
In the same breath and verse.

With Apologies to Pablo Neruda

(04/11/2016 for National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

With Apologies to Pablo Neruda:

I cut the flowers.
I laid waste to the green strip of suburban lawn under my window;
I torched the trees and watched the dark smoke pollute the sky,
Inch by insufferable inch.

Dear God,
She came.
Spring came,
Red like blood and poppies;

Demeter's daughter,
Laughing and vicious,
Like a young lioness,
Fresh and ready for her hunt.

Spring came,
Dear God,
Spring came with a vengeance.

Night Light

(04/10/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

In the morning,
The nightlight starts to look unnecessary,
pale rainbow of color shifting slowly,
Plugged into the wall outlet.

In the afternoon,
It is worthless,
Compared to the streaming shafts
of bright sunlight through the windows.

In the middle of the night,
It is the only thing that holds back
The monsters and terrors from
Under-the-bed and Closet.

Even Monsters

(04/09/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

Even monsters cry
for lost children.

That is why they eat them:
To find silence.

Elastic

(04/08/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord Challenge)

Are souls elastic,
Do they bounce back,
From wound after wound,
Resilient Indian-rubber?

Or are they stiff,
Brittle stuff,
Prone to leakage and breakage,
And explosions of shards across the floor?

Itty-Bitty Crack

(04/07/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord Challenge)

There's an itty-bitty crack
in my heart
where the tape has frayed

Since you left me
that's the only thing holding it
together

I keep running,
chest tilted slightly back,
up,
forward motion pressing the cracks shut

I dare never stop.
It's all momentum and masking tape.

SMS

(04/06/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord challenge)

Me:

FYEO

Luvd u 1st

not best

1st

You:

New phone, who dis?

Kuchi

(04/05/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord Challenge)

Kuchi (mouth)

Wet
Words
Drooling

Kuchibeni (rouge/lipstick)

Red
Round
Rapacious

Kuchiyakamashii (sharp-tongued/nagging)

Don't tell me
I'll tell you
Sit still
Tongue and teeth gnawing
Sit still and do as I say

Kuchizuke (kiss)

Kiss me
Wet
Red
Tongue and teeth
Kiss me.

Eryon

(04/04/2016 National Poetry Month HitRECord Challenge)

- Eryon -
Jurassic - Early Cretaceous

Spiny Lobster of a body
I'll hurt you if you get too close

Five pairs of legs
Normally hidden
Under my carapace

Love me from afar, maybe
Don't love me up close and tender

I'll hurt you
And leave you
In my spiny wake.

- Xystridura -
Middle Cambrian

I lack definition
Fused into fewer segments
than daring Paradoxides

Cowardly I lurk in the seabed
Watching you
Swim away

- Rhizopoterion -
Cretaceous

Silicate,
Glass-reinforced,
Transparently
Alive.

I am the sleeve
And the heart
visible upon it.

Indocte

(04/03/2016 for National Poetry Month challenge on HitRECord)

I love
with
clumsy
hands
prone
to dropping
hearts
including
my own.

 Sorry
for
the mess

Here is the Truth (HitRECord Poem Every Day Challenge)

(04/02/2016 for National Poetry Month)

Here is the Truth:
Raw-edged,
Alligator toothed.

Here is You:
Thin-skinned,
Abraded away,
In Truth's grip.