Do Not Go To Open Mic Night

She rings honey around her ears
to attract fragments of dialogue
Peels paper skins off whispers
to suck out sweet ideas
Hides a paring knife beneath her tongue
to slice adjectives from nouns
Rolls the crushed fragrance of sentences
to smoke and inhale the essence

She is a scam word grifter

The hint of her finger’s touch
can lift a poem out of the ether
swindle away its metaphors
into  hidden pockets of her memory

She is a sharp in search of flats

Master of the short con sleight of mind

Put her name first on the signup sheet

Maker her sweat for every word put on paper

 

Copyright 2019

 

THE GIFT (August Postcard Poem 2017)

Late at night,

he retreats to the basement,

empties his pockets

of tiny glass spheres.

 

Upstairs,

his wife and daughter

unravel their dreams,

weave them together,

discarding the disease.

 

He works all night,

stringing globes into balance,

flicking them at random

just to hear the sound.

 

He is creating his wife

a windchime,

forged of their daughter’s laughter

so the night breeze can serenade her

when the dreams start to fade.

 

Copyright 2017

CHILDHOOD IS GRIMM (August Postcard Poem 2017)

He had always wondered

about Little Red Riding Hood’s mother.

 

What kind of parent dresses a child

in a cloak reminiscent of a matador’s

invitation to danger,

yet alone hands her a picnic basket

stuffed with smells

that will draw every beast in the forest?

 

Little Red is a magnet for tragedy.

 

And what kind of mother

sends a naive child,

who easily confuses a costumed wolf

with her grandmother,

alone into the woods

to walk the gauntlet of death?

 

And the savior woodsman,

who hacks the wolf with his axe?

Does it not seem odd

that he is so close at hand?

 

He turns the page

as his daughter demands another story.

 

This one is Goldilocks.

He will never get to sleep.

 

Copyright 2017

ONE LAST MOMENT (August Postcard Poem 2017)

On the corner of Fort and Ferry,

on a late Tuesday afternoon,

the hydrangea bush near the statue

explodes into bits of poetry.

 

The hydrangea is ancient,

overgrown,

pushed through time

from ornate to eyesore.

 

Neighborhood discussions

favor substitution

of a young pink azalea.

 

So he cuts blossoms

out of blue-velvet paper,

writes metaphors

of beauty and love,

dignifies the neglected hydrangea

with one last moment of life.

 

Copyright 2017

NO SUCH LUCK (August Postcard Poem 2017)

Some are born with it

welded to their souls,

others step into it

like discarded gum.

 

Big luck is the big thing:

casinos,

lotteries,

the stock market

 

Why bother playing

unless the promise

reeks of motherlode?

 

Him?

He protects the habitat

of the elusive minimal luck.

 

Once as common as the cold,

minimal luck suffers

from habitat encroachment,

its survival dependent

on diving into dark corners:

pennies on sidewalks,

deposit cans left in parks,

treasures unearthed on trash days

 

Once he had worshipped the ordinary,

never realizing how soon

it would become rare.

 

Copyright 2017

ACT OF REPRESSION (August Postcard Poem 2017)

The fist of judgment pounds the front door,

demands proof of identity,

presentation of papers.

Revelation of the truth, the whole truth,

and nothing but the truth is demanded,

even if it is counterfeit,

glued together with lies.

 

She never leaves through the front door,

sensing the trap.

 

Her documents are false,

written in code,

bearing the seal of no actual origin,

the brand of refugee

tattooed on her soul.

 

She was never legally born,

a pariah in her own skin,

wearing a disguise to camouflage the sin.

 

She has learned to caress the right one,

while yearning for the wrong one,

disappearing out the back door,

a spy in the war on love.

 

Copyright 2017.