October Poem 36: If You Don’t Remember Willie Nelson, You are Him

And while we two were left for the cleaning

Lady through a sweet chocolate parting gift

Of croutons over red wine. A job well

Done. And candied marmalade orange rind.

Willie Nelson had run off with a whipped

And runny cocoa-anything. Although

Mushrooms followed ribs and the magically

Unopened case of Bud light folded meat,

He could take the cream explosions while

Having to hear the tone deaf bursts of song.

The bursts of song that made him think that his

Womanly long hair gave him Sampson like

Strength in the musical arts. Without art.

Without strength. Without a musical ear.

October Poem 34: Enjambment of Pesta the Princess of the Plague

Nature is a woman standing outside

An open window blowing the breeze through.

Do you think her life does not extended through

The screen? Do you think she is just broken

Off to begin again on the next line

Sterilized by your four walls? But you know

She will come through and when she does, will she

Come upon her cart with rake to gather

The dead like so many leaves of fall to

Leave the few to escape the tines or with

A broom to sweep them all like dust gathered

On the floor of an empty tomb. You know

Life brings plague on the wind and none escape

Life alive. But you want to be the first.

October Poem 32: The Roadside Layover

The girls came back to the rundown hotel

Room with an apple and a banana

And an eighteen pack of cold Bud Light on

A night that was already soaked in booze.

They said, when you are travelling apples

Are like freshly juiced oranges, floral

Against the sweet acidic reflux of

Prepackaged junk food. That is why they keep

Them in plain sight of the attendant. They

Know someone will steal them. He thought about

Their words as he sat at the foot of the

Bed and ate that banana. And when they

Had changed into their swimsuits, he watched the

Ducks parade to the pool for tonight’s swim.

October Poem 30: Furious Finals

The sleepless night ached inside of you like

A methane pool waiting sharp and shiny

On the forehead. Your brow wrinkled and wrapped

Wringing through thoughts like sweat soaked hand towels.

Absorbent eyebrows wet and sagging like

The frown dripping down and drawing dots on

The multiple choice test sheet. And yellow paint

Cracking against yellowed teeth chewing

The pencil. Teeth browned by the multiple pots

Of pure concentration poured straight through the

Funnel of your coffee cup cram session.

You and your friends finding new knowledge. The

Night before then becoming mere hours

Before the final was set to begin.

October Poem 26: Cloaked in Darkness

You flap for open water to give you

Enough speed for your low angled assent.

The fluorescing against the unexposed

Film. And the new chemical exposure

Of early childhood impaled below

You. And the hallucinations to save

Yourself and the end of the Indian

Summer. And poetry is the last thing

Going to sleep. You can blend abstracting

Imagery in an elegant poem. To

Mine out the abrasive and in-your-face.

And attempt similar tactics to hear

The dry bones clacking like old walking sticks.

The path that turned sharp into the darkness.




October Poem 25: The Specter of the Nue

Thin wisps of black smoke lay low in the fields.

They disperse almost as quickly as they

Formed. Their haze in the tall grass that has gone

To seed. The smoke gathers thickest in the

Brown grasses that eventually die back

To black spots of earth bare like life in the

Old house with the odd shingles hanging loose

From long years of wind. She couldn’t help him

Or leave him now. But she can watch from her

Perch in the branches of the unkempt wood

Abutting the old property. She could

Float through the weeds and up out of the ground.

She could watch and choke him with her fumes. Cursed

To make him suffer for the love she holds.

October Poem 24: The Roentgen Effect


In the red light of the basement dark room,

I have seen Death dancing. A dim specter

In the dark. A shadow skeleton that

Might not be there. Arms outstretched motioning

Me forward. He has shown me photographs

Floating in the chemical vats. Floating

An accident of exposure. Floating

An artifact of suffering. Of black

Limbs solidified in among the white

Trees of an early snow and short sleeves. Drifts

Piled upon the autumn leaves. Weakened.

Unprepared. My son and I chasing that last

Bit of beautiful weather with a small

Burned out fire and Death dancing us on.

October Poem 23: The Curse of Old Raw Head

Black and white headed goose sliding slowly

Across the pond is there mourning in your

Call? Why do you linger so long in the

Stagnant waters near the abandoned farm?

Where is your flock? Did they venture too close

To the marshy end where the old dock stands

Mostly sunken and half hidden in the

Muck and swamp grass? Did you fix your stare through

The gaps of the warped slats to the shadows

Under the dock at the dripping pile

Of bones? You were the one, weren’t you? The

One to hear the slosh and suck of his steps.

Did you see the fates in his dead black eyes,

Or just the dripping maw of old Raw Head?
















October Poem 22: El Cucuy into the Dark

Did you see the light outside the window?

Was there a man in the street wearing a

Black hood with an evil light behind his

Eyes, little one? Did you see him? He had

A flaming censor hanging from a pole

Hooked like Death’s scythe. Don’t look out the window.

He has already faded into night.

But if you must, do you see the neighbor’s

Roof? Do you see that small shape in the dark?

You can almost make out the eyes of the

Owl blank like two holes in a skull. El

Coco, Cucuy. The disembodied

Head. He is watching, my son. Licking his

Bony chops. Have you been good? Yes, I hope.

October Poem 21: Approaching Baba Yaga

The bright lights of the stadium lit the

Field leaching everything into shades of

Grey stretching long shadows from the cars

In the gravel lot like the pulling out

And across of the utility knife

To serpentine over the guide line. The

Family walked the paved path along the

Thicket of brush toward the shadow of night.

What could they want out there in the darkness

Beyond the bushes in the mist over

The creek where the mosquitoes bite twice as

Thick and the shadows hold whispers? Is it

The woman in the woods and the house on

Stilts? And do they know her terrible price?