Thursday, June 24, 2010

Steganography I

"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December"
J. M. Barrie


Two days in, they gave your brain
room to breathe, and no matter

what mom said,
I always knew I'd seen the missing

crescent of your skull.

missing is the wrong word;
it sat on the bedside table

at the bottom of a mason jar,
some child's mischievous grin,

a narrow, bitten moon resting
nonchalantly against the glass,

out of place
but incontrovertibly

present, a slice of rind
screaming for the orange.

Prompt: I want to write about ______, but I don't know how.
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Friday, June 18, 2010


Part of the comfort of stars
is the marching procession
of empty between them. I resent

when you tell me not to look
at your finger as it conducts
my eyes. Its dull details––

scar from a compound fracture,
tendons that disappear
into walnut knuckles––

are more present than
the dim shining of the distant
and praise-hungry sky.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Pantoum 1

I forgot to tell you the gun was loaded.
We crossed the street. The corner store
that hummed a fluorescent tune
greeted us as friends.

We crossed the street to the corner store,
pushed forward by desperation
greeting us as friends,
and shook the change in our pockets.

Pushed forward by desperation,
past impatient, nervous,
we shook the change in our pockets
like windchimes in some August

past. Impatient, nervous,
my memory fading on little cat feet,
like windchimes in some August,
we walked into the corner store.

Memory fading on little cat feet,
humming a fluorescent tune,
we walked into the corner store.
I forgot to tell you the gun was loaded.

*"on little cat feet" is a line taken from Carl Sandburg's "Fog"

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Friday, June 04, 2010


Claudius' temples burned
after the application of electric eels
to treat his headaches, but they say

it worked, and who are we
to doubt? Blood-letting helped
treat typhoid until someone decided

to give patients bed rest,
blankets, fluids, and found that
we are capable of healing ourselves.

Egas Moniz won the Nobel Prize
for lobotomies. I measure the morning
with steel calipers and hope for the best.

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