Saturday, September 7, 2019

that knowing glance

will you remember the moment
we shared today on the library steps?
you exiting while I was hurrying in
our eyes briefly syncing as we each maneuvered
to avoid a collision with the (obvious to us)
"homeless" couple, bickering on their way to the sidewalk

we exchanged that knowing glance,
a visual smirk,
that on the surface reflected a bit
of “Oh well, what can you do?”
but actually obscured
our shared, hidden,
smugly arrogant agreement
that we are glad we “know” we are oh,
so much better than “them”

Monday, April 29, 2019

la de, freakin’, da

I just heard the news

you got your M - F - A
well, la de, freakin’, da

your commitment to the craft has been cemented
by amassing unbearable, unending debt,
to be endured through a string of dead-end jobs
enabling you to write poems that confuse the masses
while sucking up to annoyingly presumptuous critics

you've got that stash of words
that few understand and fewer use 
to be meted out one or two per poem

faded, forgotten chapbooks
will litter your home, car, and backpack
as you anxiously anticipate the next time
you will see your name
in some obscure, yet thereby elitist, publication
to impress your parents and
be read by those few, now distant, friends 
you met while at school
to get your M - F - A

Thursday, March 21, 2019

maybe nowhere

the shortest distance
may have been a challenge
but was always the preferred
and expected path

cutting yards, hopping
fences, dodging traffic
stealth and timing
were imperative

movements adjusted to
ensure avoidance of hawk-eyed,
cranky, blue-haired neighbors
or the occasional police cruiser

to race or meander
going wherever, whenever
or maybe
nowhere at all

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Y're Out!

Porter was a mean somabitch. Old-timers said he made Cobb look like a choirboy. Put two in the hospital, one ‘bout died. Suspensions, Anger Management, 12 Steps, maybe he got religion. Commissioner said, “Last chance!”

Vegas had a line on how long he’d survive. Late August, he’s flirting with 400. It’s baseball, the world of redemption and miracles.

Blazing, sweaty afternoon. He’s up in the eighth, one for three. Swings early at first and low at the next. Ump calls third strike and is ravaged by a flailing bat. Benches freeze. Cops wrestle Porter off the field…for the last time.

extra info:
My micro-fiction (short, short story) placed 3rd in the Cascadia Weekly 2019 contest (March 6, 2019 edition). For details and more stories follow this link: Cascadia Weekly Fiction 101

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Worry No More

I’m turning 65 in a few, too short days.
Another of those seeming inevitable happenings,
a lesson in the passing of time,
the stages of life,
and, oh yes,
a reminder of my begrudging lack of control.

I stand at the intersection of, “I don’t want to die”
and the certainty that, “I don’t want to live forever.”
You know, trying to choose between my fears of pain
or that dwindling “quality of life” business.

One thing I ask. And I hope it’s not too much.
If there is any possibility,
please, don’t let death have its way
while in the midst of this political sewer.
I mean I’ve got kids and grandkids.
And I’d like to think I could have the peace
of leaving them in a better place,
with a whisper of hope,
when I say that last goodbye
and cross over to that place
where I hope to worry no more.

February 2019

Read at SpeakEasy 23 - March 2, 2019