All in Poetry

My Old Man and the Sea, and Me

A blackened city looms ahead
With foreboding consequences obvious in the darkness.
Behind us, a bright sky and calm waters and the time I feel we used wisely.
“We would have been home if you hadn’t been so anal,” my old man says.
“It’s better to fix and fully prep your vessel in port,” I reply. “Helps us avoid trouble at sea.” 

The wind arrives in furious fashion.
The knots speed up — they tighten and strengthen.
We’re under motor but that don’t matter none.
The tiny and mighty storm has found our little vessel.
We might as well throw the wheel overboard
For all the good it’s doing.

The Sinking of Uncle Joe

And, Hey! Uncle Joe worked with Barack Obama!
He’s got black friends. He’s not a racist. Just ask him. 

And he’s not a close-talker or a personal space-invader.
Just ask him.
He’ll put his hands on your shoulders and whisper:
“Hey, now… I’m your Uncle Joe. Remember Obama?” 

Then, sadly, and unexpectedly, before you can answer or squirm away
He’ll say mostly to himself with disappointment, “Yeah… me, too.”

look there instead

look here, they say,
but no; i want to look there,
my focus firmly fixed upon things
not so crowd-gazed. 

look there with me —
glistening, intricate mosaics
painstakingly crafted
in the arches of the museum stairwell,
unnoticed in the upward or downward rush
to view the expected. 


More and more I understand wanting to go on a bender
Get away from it all
Away from all the stuff that needs to be dealt with
All the petty, mundane, routine, inconvenient,
never-ending, time-consuming minutia of daily life

I Wrote a Letter

I was married and happy and not looking. But I went out on assignment to help him cultivate his fields, and something wild coursed through me. Something not cultivated, at all. I ended up writing him a letter:

I want to fuck your farm.
I want to curl my toes in the brown clay,
mash the wet soil under my arches,
squeeze the juice out of the squirming underground
and watch it bubble up out of the mud,
and over my heel,
and out from under the balls of my feet: musky.
insistent. warm like arterial blood.