Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cold Sliced Imagery

Away from your home life tangential to your soft skin
you are a voice heard above the sounds of the wounded

forget life's cold sliced imagery
forget the prevailing breeze
unless it pushes your smell out from under my fingernails

past the grayness of Cleveland to the horizons of Chile
or Poland or some other land estranged by purse and case load

you asking for little more than what you deserve
from a common man
a stranger with passports to travel

in between days, you
a compromising patron holding minks untethered

knowing that if my singing gets too loud
to grab shelved rings of gold and empty glasses
always welcomed to join in.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Let The Clown Finish The Act

If I loved you any more, if I loved you anymore
I would care about the dark circles under your eyes

and the shame to your father
for destroying his strong family name

commending your violence, on cut-and-run day
I resigned as your deus ex machina

replacing your economics of deceit
and the lack of topography in your voice

with gate-crashing reminiscent of the Tracy Awards
a most acceptable anesthetic of choice

far removed from the days when I would cry alone
aware that if I were your addiction

you would have known
right where to find me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The History of Us

"I call ‘stranger'" as a seating assignment
tells a lot about the passenger on the bus

you had no idea that at that very moment
that you were a whisper caught and released into the wind

another degree of separation cut from a slice of social
strata grinding in tectonically skewed nonalignment

whatever God watches over the powerful brought
you into the conversation as an example of raw beauty

a cleansing November rain, a pure oboe phrase
a scaffold out of the underworld

of that one day among the bocage when strangers
dissolved into a discourse of porch dancing.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Man In The Volvo Singing Opera Music

While the rest of us waited at the corner
for the traffic light to turn green

each in our own way
buffering sounds
of yelling hotdog vendors
layers of cab horns
reggae music blasting from the suit shop

a solitary man sits in his car
with windows rolled up
in a cocoon of cigarette smoke
opera music filling his atmosphere
him singing along
insulated for these brief moments
from a world that commands his every move

I glance from the side and notice that he is
the doorman from my building

when I return home that evening
he is smiling as he opens the door for me
as he always has, only
now I know the reason why.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Breakfast With Nine Black Alps

Drop what’s in your hands
the bones you’ve collected have details you didn’t anticipate

“prison doors sound like wedding bells
as you ask for change at the wishing well.”

what moral compass
who the patient zero

of fireworks and discovering Auschwitz for the first time
shivering under a bridge in a cold rain
this is a portrait of your finest hour

framed by a chilly November morning
as the sun breaks through the Youngstown fog

while a lady wearing trash bags as shoes is seen reading
letters written the previous night under the glow of a streetlamp.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Dress Rehearsal

In my most private moments
I write scenes which show that I am
no better than those who came before

past muffled gunshots
crowds applaud the caged canary singing
tone deaf to those who would rewrite my chorus

the orange palette of an Ohio autumn
each leaf a smile of mathematical inconsistency
commanding and decisive

an integration of time and dance
of genuine good offices
with a cover intended for others

I watch leaves paint a park bench
falling on stilts of unequal height.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Exchanger Of Souls

Deep inside my storefront cemetery
you scribble your last
will upon my walls

I then grab your most prized possession…
pocketing it

knowing that your soul
won't need it much longer.