Saturday, November 21, 2020

Previously Published in Epigraph . . .

To Spin Or Not To Spin

Static transporter taunts me
infinitely across a room of mirrors,
reminders of necessity.  Cold
motivators of perpetual movement.
Door closed, the only out is miles
away and in the exact location.
Prisoners present, assuming the position,
wait for instigative whistle.  Detonation
of energy, blur of sneakers, knees, 
sweat.  Somewhere blisters form, calluses
burst.  Nothing stops
but thoughts.  Body is reduced to motion's 
machine.  Automated
muscle memory propels past will.  Desire
to stop, exhaled repeatedly.  An hour
flies into another signal.  Release.
Door re-opened.  Legs hesitate, stumble,
begin to remember the feel of solid ground.

Previously Published in Envoi Poetry . . .



I am not vampire.  I do not desire
to taste or feed.  Disgusting
sacrilege.  I worship the vein,
the sacred vessel embracing brilliant
blue corpuscles.  The accidental cut,
oxidizing blazing red rivulets.  Running
ruins to be remembered, retracted
as effigies of the essence
of everything.  Renfield's eloquent
echo:  The blood is the life.  The blood
is the life.

Previously Published in Envoi Poetry . . .

Building a Braintrust

in a wallless house.  I borrowed conceptual
confinements from the depths of my past.  Disappointments
cling, lending their shallows and shadows.  Falty 
furnishings for future guests.  Guess
their solid
                 arity dissolved with my conscious.  Objections
to pre-conceived ideologies have been wavering
through the windows.  I recognize
their wanderlust.  Breadcrumbing
has no place.  Here,
the company line in mute
                                         able parameters.  Mark
your moments in chalk.
The outlines are soulless but significant.
Every body [of brilliance] must have a believable point
for provability.

Previously Published in Envoi Poetry . . .

The Chase

I tie a word to a kite, string
it, chase it       over
                                and through
sky's river.  Rushing
clouds batter, edges fray, fade.
Body begins to lose
ground.  Refusing 
                              the pull
                              of gravity,
I pen a new law, send it out
into the wind.  They meet, mate,
match wits.  Neither wins, but the idea
     slowly                     back
                                         into my fish.

Previously Published in Ends of the Earth . . .

Tasting Feathers

felled from murders
of crows, I am Raven.
Beast of black.  Imagination's 
carrion.  I devour flock and
flight.  My vision,
crossed caws cruel.  Talons
torture, tearing tendons and beaks.
An amalgamation of claws defines
my throne, still bleeding.
I reign in their dark
echo, as a self-
appointed god.

Previously Published in Em Dash Lit Mag . . .

Hearing Loneliness

In bed I lie, feigning
sleep.  My mind, ever alert, begins
to pick apart the night.  It starts with
          a drip
I cannot bring myself to stop,
merges with the metronomical ticking
of an alarm clock that has been
rendered unnecessary.  The not-so-
static noise of TV infoercials, that sad
semi-silenced soundtrack, a constant
din lulling me into complacency.  Groan
of over-sized springs, my side of a double
bed that knows no form
other than my own.

Previously Published in Em Dash Lit Mag . . .

Baby Turtles and [Busted?] Condoms

The perfect surprise:  soft green flippers
peddling past my toes.  So determined to get
their goal.  Like you, my serpentined seraph,
so feral in your pursuit of . . . everything.  You
desire the universe.  Forcing your own parameters
over and through the norm.  I am just
another niche you style.  Placing me
on a shelf [re-]labeled:  contained.  I forget
to mind that you forgot to aerate my lips.
I embrace the staleness of this slower suffocation.
Preferring its welcoming numbness
to the consummate barrage of [in]consistent
image projections:  your full frontal flashes
confronting me daily.  (Come nightly they haunt
me.)  Until I too am reduced to [focus on] a pile
of discarded . . . tissued . . . knocks.

      *Em Dash Editor's Choice Award -- June 2013

Previously Published in Electric Rather Literary Magazine . . .

Intersecting Planes of Concern

A blink (I think) is the problem
to the solution of time
plus salt minus thought
devoid of (not divided by) skin.
Maybe sin should be squared.
(The little two not the shape.)
In the interest of chemistry.
Never geometry.  I failed
that function when my slipper broke.
Glass.  All over the classroom.

my point:  the silent irony of unshed blood.

Brilliant isn't it?
Plath would be proud.
If she could configure
the dimensional ramifications
of her death.  (Though there are
a few who believe she did.)  What
a blustering cluster fuck
that would cause.  Over cock-
tails.  Here's to the ghost,
the bard and the muse.
The only equation that never
comes up false.

Previously Published in Ego PHobia . . .


Hollow prophet, guiding
violation of pure expanse
of white.  Ink smears
presence.  Permanent,
stains as deep as blood.

Previously Published in EgoPHobia . . .

I Happened

upon a squirrel in quiet
contemplation of his universe.
Yard and tree holding
limitless possibilities, a fascination
I know all too well.  My breathing
must have disrupted his concentration.
Tiny furred head cocked my way
for a moment, tilted
in adjustive comprehension, returned
to original point of focus.  I 
was already assimilated as background,
temporary noise, disregarded.
I envied this rapid-fire assessment,
yearned for the ability to decipher
trivial trash from true treasure, imagined,
for a moment, it was my paws
poised in prepatory flight, yet standing
frozen and fearless, in appreciative awe.

Previously Published in EgoPHobia . . .

With Apple

I become Eve to your Adam,
though you have no discernable signs
of having recently lost a rib.
I bite anyway,
pierce red skin
with foreshadowing teeth.  I hold
my breath.  You take
my hand and for a moment I wish
it had been poisoned.

Previously Published in Down in the Dirt . . .


I Hate

          waking up an hour before my alarm; forgetting
to put coffee in the filter, turning the pot on anyway; watching
the perky morning news(?) caster with her maniacal
smile and hair that never moves; waiting
for the traffic report that will inevitably re-route me
miles out of my way.

          crunching cruet de tat at my desk
as I work through lunch in hopeful attempt to climb
out from under the pile of folders, notes, to-do lists
threatening to bury me alive; the incessant chings,
dings, rings of electronic communications waiting
for response.

          squeezing in a run on a belted human hamster wheel
to counteract my increasing waistline tht has absolutely no
regard for my constant attempts to count calories; my limited
closet and budget that makes the former a necessity.

          finally climbing into comforting embrace of pillow
and bed to find no hope of sleep on the horizon; that my mind
won't shut out yesterday's drama, today's catastrophes, 
or the possibilities of tomorrow's crises; that right
at the precipice of complete exhaustion, the muse deigns to visit
and remind me of the price of daring to have even one
selfish dream of my own.

Previously Published in Down in the Dirt . . .

Squirrel Hunting

I was fourteen when my father decided
to take me with himm.  I had passed my test,
got my license the year before, but had never
shown interest in shooting Bambi or any
furry forest friends.  "It'll be good
for you," he explained, appealing to my logical
nature.  "Practicing on moving targets will
only make you a better shot in competition."
Finding no flaw in this logic, I reluctantly agreed.

Next morning found us, crunching
through leaves in the back woods behind
our property at quarter-past-ridiculous a.m.:
We took up perch on felled tree and waited
for four-legged furriers to appear.  I was already
tired, bored, rapidly losing interest.  I found
solace in peeling bark from our sentry seat, crumbling
fallen leaves, dusty bits to feed to the wind.
By the tiime I discovered the patch of mushrooms
that puffed when I squeezed them, my father had lost
patience.  "I believe you are a good enought shot,"
he said, pushing me back in the direction 
of the house.  "I think I am the one who needs practice.

Previously Published in Diversion Press Poetry Anthology . . .


is a girl in pigtails, holding a balloon.
Untainted by the pric of life's pin-
point marksmanship, she skips
down sidewalks, intentionally avoiding
dangerous cracks.  She ponders the shape
of random clouds, mentally wills them
to morph into something friendly, fluffy,
forgives the few that burst into summer
showers, allowing her to sing in the rain.

*inspired by Never Stop Dreaming, artist Osnat Tzadok

Previously Published in Disembodied Text . . .


The Game of My Life


got sidetracked, misplaced, somehow

mislabeled, ended up in a Chutes and Ladders box.

Condemned, I progress daily, moving

at little more than snail’s pace, hoping to delay

the next taxing climb, the struggle to hold

with overly callused hands, the reaching of summit

that only leads to another inevitably regressive










Previously Published in Disembodies Text . . .

The Road to Abstract Road


is under [de]construction.  flagged

by DETOUR →  →  →  →  →  →  →



                                                   leading nowhere,

but the scenery is

stunning, if off

                          color and out

                                                  of f    c      s.

         o    u

There is method hidden


                      The journey is in

making your mind





Previously Published in Deep Water Literary Journal . . .

With Blood

a pact of silence is set,
my own.  I am not
worthy of tongue touching thought.  Too blackened,
my insided have boiled themselves bast basic
bile.  An attempt at absolution,
failed.  Memories playing like horror
movie trailers, continue to push through the residual
rubble, stacks of steaming silt smolders, refusing
to be cleansed.  Their stain festers still,
in every crevice.  Calmly consuming recovery's 
warriros:  sorry, regret, remorse.

Previously Published in Deep Water Literary Journal . . .

The First Taste of Poison at Dawn

The apple bleed through the desperation
of her grip.  Where
was her head?  Beneath a forested bed, 
two blackened beans are planted:
one to grow; one to sew.  The eyes
of misdirection are in her favor.
A bargain (and a needle's tip) is struck . . . 

One final thought rises with the sun
to bless the thorns blooming through her palms:
is it more than the proffered sleep
[g]ripping the edges of her mind?

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Previously Published in Decades Review . . .

The Loop

Maze of wooded trail, wrapping
interest into the middle of nowhere,
we explored like children, (re)discovering
the joys of bike riding and random turtle
crossings.  Played hide-n-seek
behind the 100-year-old tree
whose name I cannot remember even after reading
the historical plaque at its base, eroded, irrelevant.
More important the arching branches, stretching
in bowed bounce, touching ground before returning
to the sky.  Here we climbed, swung, jumped,
before retreating to blanket spread miles above
roots.  Fell
asleep in the warmth of the shaded sun
and each other's arms.

Previously Published in Dead Snakes . . .

Vote Clothes

for pills.  Yes, pills.  All pills.  No pill
uncoated.  It is a cruel world, 
and we should not have to suffer swallowing
gritty edications.  This is the 21st Century,
we have electric
cars and satellite everything, my tongue
should never have to bear the bitter
indignity of a naked pill.

Previously Published in Dead Snakes . . .


My temperature rises at the sight of blood
drained.  I am
inexplicably drawn to the pallid
gray of freshly rotting flesh.  More
malleable once rigor mortis fades.  The cold
touch calls me.  I cannot
help myself.  Only death can
release me.

Previously Published in Dead Snakes . . .

The Skin I Choose

to wear is soiled.  Smudged,
scarred, and scarcely identifiable
as my own, I hold myself up
before the sun.  I sparkle.
Alive, the pieces of me are print
[ed/ing] with visible soundings
of you.  Wham, blam, bang.  A touch
crashes like shotgun.  I am 
blue and silver and solidly under-
estimated [as a target].  Bullseye!
Bullshit!  I am waiting for the sin
to dry.  Shake it off.  I'm a lizard baby.
Nail me to the wall.  Just
understand, there is no guarantee.
Tomorrow's scales already smell
of the same stain.

Previously Published in Dead Snakes . . .

My Brain is Fried

Sliced on angle to keep
the flavor in, it wilts in bubbling
puddles of butter-flavored Pam.
Losing color (and calories?)
with every prolonged minute of this
forced interaction with onions
(their stench alone, shading it green).
A flip finds the other side
crispy and crackling with exacerbation
at being overdone.  It always believed it was
more sunny-side-up-smiling-eyes, feels
cheated of its chance to drool
at point of puncture, mourns such mock
metaphoric death as it drops, 
an unceremonious plop,
onto chipped enamel plate.

Previously Published on Dead Snakes . . .

Sifting Out All the Impossibilities

I am bubbling (over?)
with ideological idioms of breath
and breast and blood.  Where
am I in this nightmare's rampage?
Trampled or triumphant
hold the same space.  And
both are too abandoned
to separate my shadow.
Let alone my resourcefulness
regarding misunderstanding.
The whole scenario is misguided
(at best).  Beastly.  Bleeding
amongst exhaustion's drippings:
Discards over dreams.
(Now that's a house worth folding for.
Or) Falling over.
The biomathmatical calculations
take on a captivating glow.
Is it power or pyre?
Guess we'll have to wait
and see what flavor the ashes flow.

Previously Published in Dead Snakes . . .

Set . . . Match . . . 

The level bubbles red (stop) not
yellow (pause).  Flip
the flag.  The play
[ing field] has been empty.  4 years
of silence = emotion
                                  al evolution.
You call it disengagement.  But that is
another equation.  Entirely
inappropriate, I begin to disprove all
constraints consistent with
[your] gravitation
                             al pulling.  I am
all thumbs and thoughts, scraping
erasures over blanks filled in
with zeros.  That is a history
worth recording.  For posterity,
I pose in contemplation (mostly
for the cameras).  In reality,
I am immune to every gradient
pheromonal influx of this relation
you title:


Previously Published in Dead Snakes . . .

My Brain is Not Awake

Still tucked beneath down
comforter in a darkened room
without blinds, it waits
for its umpteen millionth injection
of caffeine, knowing it has grown resistant
to rejuvenating effects.  My body, on the other
hand, is waist deep in work.  Sinking quickly,
a ship without a captain, continues 
muscle-memoried motions.  Immune
to all forms of shaking and alarms, it refuses
to function wihtout infusion of wind and sun.
Briefly I contemplate jumping from office ledge
for sheer shock value, settle for a five-minute
break at cracked window.

Previously Published in Dead Snakes . . .

The Road to Egg Road

is cracked, and adamantly screaming
that it came first.  Ranting, it rages, rising
to temperatures that surely should scramble
the brain.  Focuses only on building
roadblocks specifically designed to keep
that incorrigible chicked from crossing.

Previously Published in Dead Snakes . . .

In the Wavelength of Light

red is the longest color, a primary,
bold, blazoning in shades of look-at-me
daring.  Embracing natural undertones
of expressiveness, it has become the face of
danger.  Nature's warning of venom's presence,
man's signal to cease progression.  Yet its allure
remains.  Tangible desire drips from its hue
as its shades our eyes with images of love.
Hearts and roses give rise to depth, the heated
center of passion, sex.  Lipstick and lingerie
resonate with resilient ability to incinerate
all male defense.  A fitting tribute, a reminder that 
while biting the apple may have caused the fall,
Eve must have looked good holding it.

Previously Published on Dark Edifice . . .

Inherent Knowledge of the Damned

She swallowed the cartilage
he pulled
from his own shoulder
with a quiet smile.
that she could withstand
his worst.
Now that she had tasted
his best.

Previously Published in Danse Macabre . . .

It Spreads

Cold [by contact].
Floating/touching . . . the eyelids
contact with blood.  It can
powder the air.  So infective
it's neuroinvasive.  Travels the nerve;
invades the system.  It amplifies
explosively in the brain.
It kills.  In about two days
it makes crystals in the center
of the cell.  It damages
the areas that control emotion
and violence and feeding.  People
attach themselves and eat their flesh.
It is not . . . natural.

Previously Published in Danse Macabre . . .

Corner of Skin and Viscera

The knife waits for no one.  Hesitation
is not a vocabularic formm its teeth have
touched.  Its orations are baser:  puncture,
slice, flay, these are the blood
                                                y dreams
that drive its handle.  Hard against flesh,
the hilt sings in the ensuing shower, reigning
vein historically on key.  The melody never changes.
Dark hints of dirge reverberate to infinity.
But the flare occasionally lilts, depending on texture
of skin, map of motion, or intentional time-
table allotted for organ removal.

Previously Published in Danse Macabre . . .

Smelling Consumption

Caustic carnal fog
released.  Containment
of would-be corpse pieces, breached.
Visceral liquids imbuing fabric
and false wood.  Cracks
in stucco stuffed with entrails.
Bits of bowel leaking, bound to ceiling
fan.  Prints of predator painting
portrait of primal greed.  Lust for
life, literal litter crusting the floor.

Previously Published in Daily Love . . .

Sharing Silence

has consumed this bed.
Overthrown desire.
And left needing
stuffed beneath a pillow
for some forgotten wing.

Still he stays.
At the edge.
And never touching.
The shared decision.
The shared division.
In place between us.

We are so alone.
He can see
the temperature fall.
With my breast.
And he kisses me.
In the dark.
As death
opens the door.

Previously Published in Daily Love . . .

On Bended Knee

I knew
who you were.
Before you spoke.
When the light still danced
at your back.
Around you.
Marking you black.

And I felt your look.
Burning me.
As you passed 
through my hands.
Into the fires
you raised at my feet.

At my palms.
Carried face up
in the moonlight.
And read me.
My scars.
These sacred sermons.
Are a legacy
of a dirty-haired angel.

Previously Published in Daily Love . . .

Dynasty of Broken Arrows

You replaced the sun.
Outshone the moon.
And took your rightful place
as the spotlight
in my dark world.

But like any distracting star,
you fade.
Tired and complacent.
Capable of wonder.
Yet filled with the desire
to burn.
A black hole.
In my eyes.

I need you there.
In that empty cage.
You are my prize:
an endagered species.
That no one wants to save.

Previously Published by Dagda Publishing . . .

Corner of Web and Fly

Spider eyes wait in watchful shadow,
unblinking.  Monotonous monocles
fixated on death-walk dance.  Tiny wings
land for rest, end um embedded
in homemade glue cocoon.  Eight-
legged climb later, drained of more
than flight.

Previously Published by Dagda Publishing . . .

Pirouetting Umbrella

Tarp of tulle, twirling
skirts in motion beneath arms
tied in imaginary knots.
Kama-Sutraic choreography,
the grace of enjoinment, descends.
A colorful canopy of
discernible pointe.

Previously Published on Cyclamens and Swords . . .

With Birds

of prey pecking at my window: raven, hawk, 
eagle. I recognize the progression of aggression
trying to draw me over the pane.  Dividing us, 
fragile panels of vision.  Invisible
obstruction allows ocular connection.
I discover my own
desire staring back from feathered masque.  I lean
close, press my nose to mirror beak.
Cursory staredown.
Neither blinks, neither can.  At midnight
we both break, scream and caw, greet the hour
of fabled tales before the beast retreats
into the dark.  I calm
my breath and wait for the next.

Previously Published in Cyclamens and Swords . . .

The Seagull had a Random Bikini

top clutched in its beak.  Men that were half-asleep
in the sun suddenly found motivation for motion.
Pulling their offspring, their girlfriends, their wives,
into the charade and the waves, they follow the footprints
backwards.  Eyes straining a little too obviously, most are left
to continue the search alone.  A few miles up the beach, a child
struggles to pull towel from suitcase tucked in trunk.  He is
completely oblivious to the ruckus he caused, and the gathering
of mindless men pooling behind his parent's car.

Previously Published in Crisis Chronicles . . .

From the Alleys of Starvation

This dark does not make me
blind.  Just a pattern
ed window or wall.  Maybe
two.  Built [divided] and 
labeled "blue."  (How blasé.)
Prints of desire
are stacked to form a 3-
sided cell.  O' feigned pain.

Drama is the true art(ist)
in this demented scene.

That I am stuck (stained
planed and trained) in for 
this anesthetized frame
is a testimony to my elusivity.
Or was it my electricity?
Either way I am the conduit
against the luminosity.
Hit me. Flick me. Switch me.

Pressure is the key
that mark the stage.

Previously Published in Crisis Chronicles . . .

The Psychological Entanglements of Two Warped Souls

Spin whispers around
my mind.
It-me in
blind gossamers of
misdirected belief.
My eyes
their glimmer
and knowledge.
them all [over].
them black.  Black.  (K)not
the into a fine blanket.
I will fall through
my own holes.
[and] understanding will form
from my form
                       er resurrection.
Go. Glow. Grow
From the shapely shadows
of our segregated kiss.

Previously Published in Crack the Spine . . .

Without Bullets

the gun is a vacant hollow.  Bastardized
bud vase, avante garde, paper-weight-
door-stop-glorified-rock rotting in a box
(no longer locked) on a dusty shelf, in the back
of a closet, mournfully reminiscing, desperately
missing the cavernous explosion, echoing retort.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Previously Published in Counterexample Poetics . . .

 Playing for the Ashes

ignoring the pain of departure
is really
introducing new urgency
be the first
hold that finesse
it'll be fun
to see
the body's natural pharmacy
cut into nothing

Previously Published in Counterexample Poetics . . .

Ice Your Device

Close your eyes and picture
the blinking light.  Do you feel
anxious?  Impatient?  Natural
(an example of being plugged in)
of your happiness, constantly you?
Fun things are happening without
this habit.  Stress. Damage.
Real-life relationships.  It's tough
to connect sitting next to you
(you keep checking for texts).
You don't have to live completely
gadget-free, but to cut back try
going out with friends.  Read a book.
You'll see things you never noticed
when you screen.

Previously Published in Counterexample Poetics . . .

 Behind the Beat of This Alien Drum

The rhinoceros spins along a row of elaborate flowers
in a [hesitant] moment's waning moonlight.
A midnight two-step; the bee-by flutter
of an untouched horn three shades lucky.
I rub the place where it stuttered
hoping to osmosize a sa[m]pling of karma.
Its aboriginal texture is confusing; my fingers
play it like Braille.  Bleeding themselves
across indecipherable scales, I worry[bead] this tree
line aura.  Heavy as smoke, I am
dying with its breath.  I
                                       dive through a random
streak of sand.  Come out clean
of everything but the ghastly image
of a mustached cigar being
swallowed by a sure-footed swish
                                                         of a tale.

Previously Published in Counterexample Poetics . . .


Spring Training

you're not a baby anymore
enhance your natural radiance
take a personal day
no blues here
what to wear
                       samba dancing
                                                 kung fu movies
boundless treatment benefits
new lift new life
turn in to the next level
it's time to warm up to winter

Previously Published in Counterexample Poetics . . .


Action Addict

express yourself
be an armchair therapist
with hundreds of thousands of burrows welcome
the chat room
scary but necessary
after breath becomes more apparent

how to read during the war
now this might be a good place to welcome a romantic getaway
a most interesting pair
try it                feel it               believe it

Previously Published in Counterexample Poetics . . .


You Asked!

Great big yes!
The program: to be
a body who loves
a warm-up.
At least flexibility moves.
Evolved, we've incorporated
everything.  And with new
choreography and music,
never have a chance
to get bored.

Previously Published in Counterexample Poetics . . .

Doodle Do

Forget whistling.
Try scribbling from the kingdowm
that those mindless better remember.
More information:  putting pen to paper
actually keeps you focused on wander.
Use creativity to boost the right side
of your brain . . .
                            solving you.
                            Outside the box.

Previously Published in Convergence . . .

 With Infidelity

lingering at the edges of
a bed that may or may not still be
ours, we play at normalcy (whatever
that means).  Not touching as we make
menial conversation about our day's 
banalities.  Both afraid to cross
that intangible line we have drawn
down the center of our lives.  Finally,
a word is whispered, the latest lie.
It hovers above us for a prolonged
exhale, a moment
we both force ourselves to swallow
in silent dark.

Previously Published on Convergence . . .

 Goth Barbie

is tired
of being forced to play
dress up in frilly little skirts and rainbow
colored tube tops.

She overdosed on pink,

came to and ran
for the nearest Sharpie.  It took four
to kill the nightmare blonde
of her hair, and one fine-tip one
to complete her new tattoo that screams
my name does not mean stupid across her neck.
That poseur Ken thinks it's hot.  But she carries
a switchblade now.  He's keeping
his distance.

An old safety pin contributed
all sorts of new piercings to her face
and ears mostly.  Her body plastic was too hard
for anything more . . . controversial.

She'll never pass inspection

at the airport metal detectors.  She'll have to skip
vacation, which is fine with her.  She prefers her skin
in whiter shades of pale.  And Calypso music
makes her want to vomit.

She finally moved

out of the Dream House and into a studio
apartment over a mechanic's shop.  She bought
a crotch rocket.  Started painting
everything black.  She scoured
thrift shops for new used clothes, all 80's
retro t's and ripped jeans, and almost lost 
her mind when she realized her feet
were ruined.  Permanently disformed.  She caved
in and bought high-heeled combat boots.

Now she sits for hours in her half-way house
styled bedroom. In front of the mirror she convinces 
herself.  They will not beat me.  I will
find a way to scrub this simple
stamped smile off my face!

Previously Published in Concho River Review . . .


With Witchcraft

breath (shortened and struggling against this
second-hand corset), I begin the spell
I could not translate.  My mouth
barely manages the proper Latin pronunciations
I found folded and faded, stuffed into the back of A History
of Magic, bought at a yard sale.  Days later
candles struck, flaming at points of a crudely drawn
pentagram, I wait for the enchantment, whatever
it is to move me, change me, kill me.  Or maybe just
prove me wrong.

Previously Published in Conceit Magazine . . .

 Her Blanket

is the equivalent of baby kryptonite.  She is helpless
in its presence.  All activity stops when contact is made
with soft pink plushness.  She cannot resist
burying her face in the fabric, clutching lone embroidered corner
like a life raft.  Instantly, her energy is drained as she wraps
herself in its comforting embrace, quickly slipping into dreamtime.

Previously Published in Conceit Magazine . . .

 River Runs Beneath Me

Rush of Seine, Rhine, or
[insert famous river of choice here] echoes
under my feet.  It shadows me, 
whispering possibilities' alleviation.
I test rails for support, find none,
drop like the rock my heart has become.

Previously Published on Conceit Magazine . . .

On a Fence Between Two Deaths

Feline tenacity at its finest.  The black cat
that doesn't seem to belong to anyone, and yet
is far too comfortable in the neighborhood to be a stray
decided to take a nap on our lawn lounger.  All hell
broke loose when I took our dogs out.  The cat screamed,
ran for the fence.  The dogs raced to catch hi, the older
managing a mouthful of tail fur before claws
claimed top of fence as base.  The cat hissed distempered
disdain down at the menagerie of irate mongrels
still carrying on their charge of attack.  With a tail flick,
returned to jump to assumed safety of the other side when
two larger hounds chimed in, their attention now fixed
on the midnight pussy about to land in their laps.  The cat
hackled haunches, arched his back into almost animated
proportions, a suddenly acknowledgement of potential
for actual danger.  No longer the arrogant aristocrat of stealth,
he followed the canine catastrophe on both sides, moving
his head as if watching a tennis match.  Claws out
again, though this tie clinging instead of mocking, he inched
along to fence connection, the third option, an abandoned yard.
Finally able to descend, he disappeared into welcoming arms
of safety, the camouflaging green of overgrown grass.

Previously Published in The Common Line Journal . . .

The Shadows of a Swing Set

echo the emptiness of the playground.
Sun's progressive hour elongates stillness, the lack
of fingers gripping chain in fear and thrill.  Strange
immobility swallows innocence, 
replaces potential laughter with a howling
more fit to flourish beneath the moon.

Previously Published in Epigraph . . .

To Spin Or Not To Spin Static transporter taunts me infinitely across a room of mirrors, reminders of necessity.  Cold motivators of perpetu...