Snail Woman/Made of Sand

f7fad00178064806e7d9dd94461b5882Atwood said woman made of sand, I say snail woman
She carried her world strapped tumpline canvas thick
So heavy her brow wore down and now it’s feathered

The snail woman packs her things tight and tidy
In coconut shells and acorn caps and a bowled hand
Yes, they tip but glued they shake like ground seed

The snail woman moves faster than you’d expect
Across the sidewalk and yard and men and years
You never know where a shoe might crash down

The snail woman bops under her diaphanous shell
She stuffed pillows and blankets and cobwebs inside
There’s but a sliver of her body left in the mishmash

The snail woman reached the fence the other day
No pockmarks or marble holes to ooze through
The shell frayed like sand, Atwood knows best after all.

Banana Liquor in Mentone

Write about the first time you danced with someone you loved –

Right where his wings should have been
Hair traipsed, blond feathers brushed
My fingers tickled against football shoulders
Hills of bulk flattened as he laughed

Pinked words flew by steel train tracks
Such physical creatures are the young
Fluttered lashes and nothing of my mind
A cosmic joke, perhaps, for bodies to sing

Under the kitchen lights when outdoors
Authority looks on, ice-eyed and weary
While lovers sway, chest to chest, hearts
Aligned in shallow waters like tadpoles

Perhaps a cosmic protection, instead
Life preservers to the blade of experience
The moon bright enough to cut a path
And our eyes swathed in its silver smoke

Hope is balance in love as we age, for that night
My being leapt out as an unleashed spirit
And perfumed the kitchen with desperation
Which he consumed like a starving child.


32, Lost at Sea



It’s hard to say
The beauty here
Does not thaw me out
I try new things
Pry open my mouth
Stutter words
I’m still frozen
I’m still pushing
Through bramble
and sapped pine
Listening to
the seachilled wind
Stood at the sound
For something
To live for
than others

New Years Day

Every New Years is cleaning day.
As the sun rises
She wakes to the pines and iced windows
A woman pained
Parts her eyes and stretches a swan’s throat
Eyes deadly sharp
Prepares coffees the partner never remembers
A nighttime decision
She drinks deeply and will ignore the dust.
To fill deep waters
The littered counters and clogged sink will wait.
Float in her mind
Energy percolates as she faces the mirror
Choices rendered
The screws are right under her parted skin
Logical progressions
It doesn’t hurt to remove them, the nerves
Exercise employed
might be dead. The screws lay in her palm,
Therapy completed
The head comes off, lefty-loosey, a child proof
Prescription Written
med bottle. Now she’s backward, and must note
Medicine bags held
righty-tighty. A minute or two is all it takes,
attempt to be happy
cleaning day is swift when bleach is employed.


I read all the Bukowski’s. He, impossibly, he
She is a fly on his back, waiting to uproot joy
Wishing not to relate so to his murky stream
Filthy accusations, a broken bottle to her
Large breasts, she, impossible, she notices
He was beat with a strop, I remember, I
We share pockmarks on our pasts, We
California Oranges, split love, Drinking, Us
We share a common History, Left Behind
Betting on the horses, dive bars, Dirty Streets
Haze in smog smog smog. There is no
Happy ever after, only lingering nothingness


“Inspired by Raymond Carver”


Early morning, when purple reigns
Slunk, slinking out of bed, feather
Light touches, a new day to inhale
My toes against the ground, to Savor
Coffee and warm carpet

It’s Washington in May, and Green
Everything breathes, heavy fuchsias
From the watchmaker and hanging
Baskets full of bramble, pitch Pine
Luminary orb, stretching trees

The dogs are hungry, little mouths
Yawn, Paul with his hammer, thump
The sun opens her arms and powers
On the world I stand, my feet bare,
That purple drawn into me.

Stinky mouths and bleary eyes
A teenage son says little, wrinkles
His mouth bent down to hold his tongue
From spilling out his love of night
Shadows the morning’s beauty


View from the Road (5/9/16)



I was born encased in concrete, the ocean spread
Before me she turned tricks in a carnival show
The bad family blues a rotten tune, tricksters
Hung her upside down, toes suspended in anger

I illuminated the beach and turned the page
It wasn’t enough to brighten the the long road
and I became a trickster myself, looming near,
A haunting refrain of the past, circular gaps

Southward she reached, her arms a perfect arc
The sky a canvas of aubergine, monolith sun,
Cinched eyes, blackened smog hung to the IE
A bowl of fire and smoke, a road from the ocean

Is Concrete my North way, briny shell homes
Closed-cone pines light the path, ocean salt
In my bones. Trickster mind, pitch soot lungs
A long road ahead, a path behind me undone