Wednesday, September 4, 2013


skedaddleski-DAD-l  , verb;
1. to run away hurriedly; flee.
2. a hasty flight.

off i go to drink again, 
drink again, off i go to drink 
again, drink my cares away

cares away, cares away 

again i go to drink again
my cares away i go

Monday, September 2, 2013

pari passu

pari passuPAH-ree PAHS-soo; Eng. PAIR-ahy PAS-oo, PAIR-ee \adverb;
1. with equal pace or progress; side by side.
2. without partiality; equably; fairly.

the tortoise and the hair
blood out of bullet holes
rain from the cloud-topped sky

the pear from the tree
rolls down the hill
to the country road

your truck wheels skip
I yelp from a mouth that is mine
certain you hit something

the pieces of the pear
shot out at the sides
the heart of it thrown

into the gutter yarrow
the sun will bake the rest
pear juice moistens the concrete

I lay my head on your shoulder
concentrate on your one hand
maneuvering the wheel

we are anchored in our seats.
your knuckles hold tight.
there is nowhere to go but down.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


gynarchyJIN-er-kee, GAHY-ner-, JAHY-ner- \noun;
rule by women or a woman.

breasts, legs, neck, belly, we rule
by more than these. hair toss, eye

lash, nipple button: more than these
even. a suggestion of hips and you are 

gone. we have two sets of lips to tuck
yourself into. who is man, then? a rib 

bone, maybe. you are all too willing 
bones for breaking and more-making.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


pittance PIT-ns  , noun;
1. a small amount or share.
2. a small amount or share.
3. a scanty income or remuneration.

Pity so much that is small is overlooked
the paperclip the shadow the strand of hair
that tickles your shoulder the way I
tickled the hairs at your neck do you 
remember that or the way our fingers 
touched the way notes are passed secrets 
exist at the rims of our fingers and who 
we've kissed and how and where and who 
was near that bartender that one time
she knew in that small way she tipped
her head to look away such small things
can be so important pity these moments
pity those moments gone by pity
small numbers that represent years
those small numbers represent years
three sixty five is not enough and yet pity
it would never have been enough.

Monday, August 26, 2013


quincunx \KWING-kuhngks, KWIN-\noun
1. an arrangement of five objects, as trees, in a square or rectangle, one at each corner and one in the middle.
2. Botany. an overlapping arrangement of five petals or leaves, in which two are interior, two are exterior, and one is partly interior and partly exterior.

If I am partly interior and partly
exterior, what does that mean for the trees?
Sure, they live longer; their skin 
needs to be that tough. They know it isn't 
safe to reveal their beating hearts though 
they are pumping more blood
than you or I. And each leaf
that falls from their branches is more
than a loss. They cannot even stoop
to pick them up again. These parts
lay on the ground and disintegrate
and they cannot even watch. And then, 
from within them, they must feel
new ones sprout, push themselves out,
glittering and soft. None the same and yet
all of them known. And the green
would make the tree weep, if it only could.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


gibbous GIB-uhs  , adjective;
1. Astronomy.  (of a heavenly body) convex at both edges, as the moon when more than half full.
2. humpbacked

A humpbacked moon does turn 
its back on us at night, huddles 
its shoulders. a dull shade and a grin, 
while he hides the bright bulb.
What the sun must think of him: 
lover no longer known. She shines 
because there is nothing else to do, 
nothing else for it. Were they not
always doomed? For instance, 
it is always the moon with you. 
And river water. And the eyes 
of street lamps and so many stars. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Return

by Frances Richey

What do you say when you've forgotten
how the grass smells,
married to the dark
soil crumbling in your hands?
When the sun makes a bed for you to lie in?
When a voice you've never heard
has missed you,
singing down your bones--
it's taken so long to get here.

Now I'm breathing in the mountains
as if I'd never left.
And when I go inside
I'm surprised to see a lime green worm
has landed on my shorts,
inching his way across a strange white country.

He stops and rises,
leaning out of himself--
a tiny periscope
peering from the glow of the underdream
where there are no symbols for death.

He looks around.

I place my index finger
at the tip of what I guess to be his head,
though I don't see an eye or an ear,
or the infinitesimal feet
as he crawls across my palm--
a warmer planet.

Lately I've wondered
what hand guides my way when I am lost.

I can't feel him
though I see him rise again,
survey the future, flat
and broken into five dead ends.
I curl my fingers to make a cup
and carry him like a blessing to the garden--

What will happen next is a mystery--
to be so light in the world, to leave no tracks.


by Beth Ann Fennelly

Though we vacationed in a castle, though I 
rode you hard one morning to the hum
of bees that buggered lavender, and later
we shared gelato by a spotlit dome
where pigeons looped like coins from a parade--
we weren’t transported back to newlyweds.
We only had a week, between new jobs, 
we both were pinched with guilt at leaving Claire.
When, in our most expensive, most romantic meal,
you laid your sunburned hand upon your heart,
it was just to check the phone was on.

When the trip was good as over--when the train 
would take us overnight to Rome, the flight
would take us home--I had the unimportant
moment I keep having.  I wonder if 
we choose what we recall?  
                            The train 
was unromantic, smoky.  We found a free
compartment, claimed the two bench seats, and eyed 
the door.  Italians who peered in and saw 
your shoes, my auburn hair, our Let’s Go: Rome, 
soon found another car.  And we were glad.  
But then, reluctantly, two couples entered, 
settled suitcases on laddered racks, 
exchanged some cautious greetings, chose their spots.
Then each one turned to snacks and magazines.
The miles scrolled by like film into its shell.
Night fell.  Each took a toothbrush down the hall.
Returned.  Murmured to the one he knew.
The man beside the window pulled the shade.  
We each snapped off our light, slunk down until
our kneecaps almost brushed.  And shut our eyes.

Entwined I found us, waking in the dark. 
Our dozen interwoven knees, when jostled, 
swayed, corrected, swayed the other way.  
Knuckles of praying hands were what they seemed.  
Or trees in old growth forests, familiarly 
enmeshed, one mass beneath the night wind’s breath.
Or death, if we are good, flesh among flesh, 
without self consciousness, for once.  
five years husband, you slept, our fellow travelers
slept, scuttling through black time and blacker space.
As we neared the lighted station, I closed my eyes.  
Had I been caught awake, I would have moved. 


by Carl Phillips

There's an art
   to everything. How
the rain means
   April and an ongoingness like
   that of song until at last

it ends. A centuries-old
   set of silver handbells that
once an altar boy swung,
   processing...You're the same
   wilderness you've always

been, slashing through briars,
   the bracken
of your invasive
   self. So he said,
   in a dream. But

the rest of it—all the rest—
   was waking: more often
than not, to the next
   extravagance. Two blackamoor
   statues, each mirroring

the other, each hoisting
   forever upward his burden of
hand-painted, carved-by-hand
   peacock feathers. Don't
   you know it, don't you know

I love you, he said. He was
   shaking. He said:
I love you. There's an art
   to everything. What I've
   done with this life,

what I'd meant not to do,
 or would have meant, maybe, had I
understood, though I have
 no regrets. Not the broken but
 still-flowering dogwood. Not

the honey locust, either. Not even
   the ghost walnut with its
non-branches whose
   every shadow is memory,
   memory...As he said to me

once, That's all garbage
   down the river, now. Turning,
but as the utterly lost—
   because addicted—do:
   resigned all over again. It

only looked, it—
   It must only look
like leaving. There's an art
   to everything. Even
   turning away. How

eventually even hunger
   can become a space
to live in. How they made
   out of shamelessness something
   beautiful, for as long as they could.