scar quadrille

scar–that shine on my shin from a fall
off my bicycle
the red curve under a belly
that birthed children
and a calligraphy of scratches

these are proof of passage
through a world
that marks us forever in blood.

Posted in dverse poetry prompt, New Free Verse | Tagged , | 36 Comments

How the light gets in

for LC

I was going to list your loss
as the topper
to a very bad week–
first America
and now you

but your words
listened to with eyes closed
say you would have waited for this

eager, open to the possibility
of more direct wrestling
with angels.

Maybe this crack
in my skin
in my heart
in my hope

is not me mourning

but simply opening
to incandescence

I would rather live lit
than broken.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Lackawanna, burning

Bethlehem is burning
it must be a metaphor
for this city
this life
this politics
sending ash into eyes

almost like  smoke
other older factories striped into sky
at scheduled intervals

but this black startles
seen from my ridge
20 miles away
a line of charcoal
interrupting a watercolor sunset

we roll up windows
and drive through it
the stink and haze filling streets

memory is toxic
especially breathed deep.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , , ,

100 kA over 80 seconds

I have no patience
for saints
or ministering angels

Instead let my life
the work and power of it
be testimony enough

fast and deadly
as lightning in a June garden

Posted in life, New Free Verse | Tagged , | 2 Comments


Senseless and repeated
loud as rounds in a magazine
shot empty

After, my ears ring
as lips move, shaping
the same arguments

A Chinese water torture of lead
roughening skin past feeling
beyond a tendency to bleed

to a point past caring
but never to acceptance.

Posted in New Free Verse | 2 Comments

I’ll not number your wrongs against mine
measured in sterile clicks of abaci
some might call forgiveness
this walking away
from counting everything

Instead of seeing
a deep weariness of keeping track
and surrender to the weight of each
colored glass bead
no longer strung and framed, but freed

and falling in a rainbowed hail
to spread over everything

no longer reigned in.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Requiem for an appliance

Something standing in a house
eight years unmoving
should be family–
those people
we cannot move easily,
stubbing toes
sometimes on their hard edges
& them without the grace or ability
to apologize (it was our toes
kicking them after all)

either way
something should be said
about the fridge dying
besides a complaint
that the beer is warm as piss
as the scrapper wheels the corpse
out the door, like maybe
thanks for all the ice cream


At Dverse, it is all about doors, and I reworked a piece about something wheeled out of a door 😉

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , | 52 Comments