November Poem 12: Marina (Part 9)

That night, I didn’t drink. As bad as I

Wanted to. As bad as my life seemed at

The time. I just looked at the paint on the

Wall. And there next to the raised bead where the

Shipwright had welded together the two

Sheets of steel was a raised lump in the paint.

Pressing my finger against the lump, it

Deformed with a slight crunch. It was my fault.

I had been neglecting her ignoring

The rust near the waterline. The blotches

Dripping down like fat tears of blood. In the

Morning, I would address the problems with

A needle gun and a few coats of paint.

With love and hard work she would forgive me.


Marina (Part 8)

Marina (Part 7)

Marina (Part 6)

Marina (Part 5)

Marina (Part 4)

Marina (Part 3)

Marina (Part 2)

Marina (Part 1)

How I Write: a Walk Through

November Poem 11: Sunday in the Park

Black and white flocked on the green field honking

And scratching lazy through the grass. Mother

Sat by and watched (or didn’t) as she was

Posing for hundreds of pictures in her

Long dress and sun hat hoping for the one

Lucky one from that perfect angle that

Makes her look prettier and a hundred

Pounds lighter. Out in the field, her son, the

Angry fat kid tried his best to hit the

Geese as he lumbered toward the flock and heaved

The ball in an arcing directionless

Toss. Her fat kid with a football chased the

Flock into flight. Haphazard and frightened,

They were all getting some needed exercise.

November Poem 10: The Heckler’s Veto

I walked out on the stage and choked down the

Blood filled consciousness of style. The red

In the faces of the people in the

Crowd. The halos on their crown. The yelling

In unison to overpower the

P.A. But this language serves. And willing,

I forgot how I fought through the echo

Of these cracked bricks of wall to have my voice

Heard. My religious rhetoric couldn’t

Belie fart fetish inconsistencies

To discuss the blank painted few and the

Furniture decorations revolving

Completely around far chicken and the

Ways that these things disprove the narrative.

November Poem 9: The Creeping Vines of Verse

I needed to write for my daughter and

The blood on the porthole that was covered

In Neosporin. But that style of

Writing comes from the black volcanic beach

Sand in the decorated card that I

Always keep in my vest pocket on the

Days that I feel the need to dress well. But

When real men come down to real writing it

Is time to get some man style robot-

Suit sleep to calm the clink and chunk offered

By impulse sensibilities. Sure I

Could brainstorm a stand of trees that clicked pay

Now on the creeping vines of kudzu in

Autumn nights, but who has  time for all that?

November Poem 8: Marina (Part 5)

(Sorry, I wrote this one out of order. I hope you can handle the confusion.)


When I was on the street, Jimmy had been

The only one that still had anything

To do with me. He’d give me a few

Dollars in exchange for odd jobs that he

Could no longer do. The work gave me time

Away from the bottle to think things through,

But mostly, I came for the pictures of

My daughter. My wife and I had named her

Marina in Jimmy’s honor because

He had worked as a fishing boat captain

Before he knew about the MS and

Was forced to retire. My daughter held

A prominent place amongst the lot of

His pictures if not always in my mind.


Marina (Part 8)

Marina (Part 7)

Marina (Part 6)


Marina (Part 4)

Marina (Part 3)

Marina (Part 2)

Marina (Part 1)

How I Write: a Walk Through

November Poem 7: Marina (Part 8)

I woke up to throbbing pain and matted

Blood. I rinsed my hand and the new bar of

Soap in the sink and then began to rub

The bar against the ragged flap of skin

On the back of my hand. I watched the white

Bar streak red before it began to build

Up a pink lather. And I watched the blood

And soap and water drain. And I was done.

Now, I had been sober for more than a

Year. I met with my ex-wife again. She

Called for our daughter who wouldn’t come.

That night, I looked out the porthole and saw

A drop of blood that I had missed, and I

Watched the moon shatter on the windblown waves.


Marina (Part 7)

Marina (Part 6)

Marina (Part 5)

Marina (Part 4)

Marina (Part 3)

Marina (Part 2)

Marina (Part 1)

How I Write: a Walk Through

November Poem 6: Marina (Part 7)

I looked out the porthole and pressed my hand

Against the wall to stop the blood. The wall

That I had scraped and painted for him. For

His dream. The dream that he had left in my

Hands for me to squander. And here it was

My blood painting the walls. But the view out

The porthole remained unchanged. The lights still

Shone their spotlights on the docks with their boats

Tied and floating on the soft rise and fall

Of the water in the protected cove

Of the marina, and the moon still hung

In the sky painting its reflection on

The water. And then I thought I knew why

It was that Jimmy had so loved the sea.


Marina (Part 6)

Marina (Part 5)

Marina (Part 4)

Marina (Part 3)

Marina (Part 2)

Marina (Part 1)

How I Write: a Walk Through

November Poem 5: Marina (Part 6)

And when Jimmy died, I failed. Many God

Damned times. Overboard and adrift drowning

In the ocean of drink. I failed back to

Drinking so hard I thought I would never

Come back up for air. But the boat was there

Like a life raft with those portholes staring

Like two steely eyes, Jimmy’s eyes, staring

Like lighthouses guiding me away from

The rocks. I couldn’t take their saving stare

And one night drunk and angry I lashed out

At those portholes, and the bottle in my

Hand sloshing with the dregs shattered against

The wall. The glass cut deep into my hand.

I leaned my head against the wall in pain.


Marina (Part 5)

Marina (Part 4)

Marina (Part 3)

Marina (Part 2)

Marina (Part 1)

How I Write: a Walk Through

November Poem 4: Marina (Part 4)

And damned did we both know it wouldn’t be

Him, not for much longer. And that last time

He was in the hospital I made him

A promise that I would find a crew and

Get the boat working. And I knew that the

First step was to find my daughter again.

My ex-wife wanted me to be able

To say that I had been sober for a

Year before I could see my daughter but

Only if she wanted to meet with me

Again. Because, my wife said, drinking had

Made me mean and our daughter suffered at

My hands. But when you’ve spent years on the street,

Failure is always one cheap pint away.


Marina (Part 3)

Marina (Part 2)

Marina (Part 1)

How I Write: a Walk Through

November Poem 3: Marina (Part 3)

As I painted that boat and as he got

Weaker, I got stronger. Despite the booze,

I got stronger. And when we got that boat

In the water, he let me sleep on board

Under the condition that I get my

Life together. And I tried. I started

A.A. He waited, parked in his chair on

The dock taking in the ocean breeze and

Watched me take off bag after bag clinking

Full with old bottles. He said now the crew

That he sent to meet me wouldn’t be put

Off by the mess and alcohol reek.

He said I needed these people. He said

I needed someone I could call family.


Marina (Part 2)

Marina (Part 1)

How I Write: a Walk Through