High on Perfection
The prosodist dwells in the literary fountain,
with deep-throated roars of rising anger
splashing through waves of free writing,
fighting against streams of consciousness
reading aloud for foreign stones that trip
his tingling tongue, prying corroded spondees
off the pages, his mouth twisting as he spits
them out with rhythmic pounding, juggling
them with trochees and pure pearly iambs,
soft as lambs.
Last of the Wild (A Tanka)
The winter wolves wait.
Hoping for the sleeping rain
without fear or blame.
From Genesis to today
disappearing like frail ghosts.
The Salt Lick
When the time comes, he will probably
sprinkle just enough pity and proverb
upon our wounds to heal the breathing
rift we choked with myth and fatal exposés.
The antidote for allegory is not truth
but more allegory.
This is what he does—with flourish.
One good deed deserves another
and so we gather around the salt
lick for another night of fable,
poetry, and ballad to heal our souls.
Once I was a daughter
with infinite innocent sleep
playing dress-up and walking on air
until the day I woke up.
Then I did what every poet did—
composed untamed rhyme
from prayer to prayer
like a solitaire ceremony,
rewriting my memory
without knowing why.
The Fragile Inn
The morning clouds scatter over the earth
like a vapor, chimney smoke hovers then
grasps the curling tendrils and sets sail.
Men of dust are moving about with hushed
voices saying, “the grave is never full” and
“it’s a sad truth that folks gotta move out to
make room for babes moving in.”
The little guy, moaning for a strong hand
to reach down and save him, runs out the
door to bury his smile in the vacant flower
box. His sister sits on the front stoop with
Goodnight Moon and their mother’s treasure
box on her lap looking brave in her black dress.
Every time you trip along a country road
warmed by your torn sneakers, dusting up gravel—
ears buttoned up with too much/too little sleep,
gawking at nothing serious, your eyes too soft
with hallowed tears, humming some old hymn for comfort,
as you wander onto the two roads diverging—
Every time you drift in the dark,
allow yourself a little mischief—
Wrap your arms around the grief
and dance until you love yourself
for the first time.