The clouds drift slowly lit by the falling
Light of the evening sun. The green of
The trees fading toward silhouette while
Maintaining enough shades of green to keep
The eye working like a painter blending
In the cool part of day when bugs come out,
And children come in. At least when children
Were still allowed to go outside to play
Before times of mass-communication
When we didn’t know what we didn’t know.
When we didn’t have a constant window
Showing the red-faced people with their signs
And their people behind the podiums
Baiting us with the words they want to say.
There is a man standing behind you dressed
All in black with short sleeves and long black gloves
That go halfway to his elbows. He has
A blade in each hand, and he wears goggles
Just in case your blood sprays him in the face.
And your buddies? Don’t expect them to help.
They can hear your screams. They will be running
Wildly in the dark. You can see them
Jumping at every sound, afraid of their
Shadows. They feel it, too. The skin crawling.
The hair standing up. You shouldn’t be here.
But you have heard other ghost stories, too.
You didn’t believe them. But you didn’t
Feel their breath on the back of your neck then.
How would you like a spanking new cooktop?
Slick black surface impossible to clean?
Thirty-seven different function buttons
With independent, indecipherable
Logic specifically designed to make
You hate every minute of time you spend
Monkeying with the infernal device?
Is that a scratch or is it something cooked
On to the surface? The recommended
Cleaning solution will not get it off
And don’t even think about using a
Blade on it. Not unless you want to void
The warranty you spent so much more on
Than you ever thought you wanted to pay.
If you visit Murder City in the
Waning days of Fall, mind your Ps and Qs.
He stalks the darkened city streets, between
Buildings, through alleyways unseen. He waits
Behind you should you break the law. He lives
In the back of your mind and the corner
Of your eyes. Dressed all in black with a red “M”
Across his chest. His blades glint in the dark
Before the villain is disemboweled.
Murder Man. The hero the city has.
Your mother told you never tell a lie,
Never break the rules, never break the law,
Be good, and always cross at the crosswalk.
Take heed, or the Murder Man will get you.
My love is like the southern summer breeze,
Slow, sticky, and smells like a chicken farm
Gleaming read and dirty in the distance.
Her hair is like a garden of vegetables
Bald except for a few struggling plants
Fighting off beetles and worms and root rot.
Her mouth like a sprawling field of bluegrass
Ringed with a fence of teeth, a few weathered
Planks still standing after the others fell.
Her body a sturdy line holding clothes
Of fading unmatched colors hanging off
Like all of a homeless man’s belongings.
And her mind is like poetry written
Ringing of the men who don’t understand.
The girl. I knew her a little. She was
There for a while. She had a young child
With autism, a boyfriend (not his dad).
She was there. She was gone. She had been sick
And dropped out of school. But I had known her
Enough, or she had known me. She had read
My writing in class. She could recognize
My characters when they moved one story to another,
When my stories were bad and no one cared.
I never had heard what happened to her.
I never cared. If she had finished school.
Or if she had nothing to show but bills.
I may never think of her (or her me)
Except for a moment in the mirror.
Did you find your solace in Black Sabbath
Even when Ozzy Osbourne was shriveled
And bowed by the passage of time? When his
Countercultural influence had been
Killed by the unending multitudes of
Corporate cash grabs? Did you realize too late
That the world is blank and Godless, and the
Antichrist hangs himself in effigy
Stuttering incoherent and staggered strings
Of expletive laden bleeps as he is
Doomed to repeat himself in the bowels
Of reality TV rerun hell
Can you still bang your head knowing that the
Music of death is now called classic rock?
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
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.
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.