October Poem 48: Poetry as Playing with Fire

I write poetry to chisel faces

Out the stone emotion of words. I

Use the grain of the stones to chip away at the

Language with flint and steel until sparks fly.

Until heat sparks flame in the tender of

Verse. To burn down the page. To scorch the lips

Of the faithful. To anger the mind. To

Light to flame the mountainside brush. My

Poetry is a lithograph of words

Set on stone tablets to print to pages

The rules of language bestowed only to

Be broken. To set the dictionary

Of lies that will bring forth ideologues

Who will try to hold your feet to the flame.






September Poem 49: The Red Field Guide

Dressing your kill on your knees. The last leaf

Falls. The story ends. Your wood shed. A roofed

Pile that you built. Old pallets, scrap wood,

And an angled flat roof you covered in

Left over scraps of tile. Your cabin.

Warm from your seasoned wood. It had been her

Present to you. Or your present to you.

Your dream. Your refuge from her. From never

Ending shitfits. Angry that you cooked your

Own meals. Angry that you invited her

To eat. Angry. And why? Because of your

Mannerisms. Because her father did

Something. Once, before you knew her. Something

Like nothing you had done. Blame without end.




August Poem 43: Blowing Smoke

Take a deep breath. Deeper. Take their smoke in

Your lungs. Become them. Become carriers

Who could be rendered with sparks and smoke long

As scraggly brush blown off the burn pile.  Long

Of the yellowed cotton filters. Burned out.

And the butts everywhere. Burned out. Scattered

With these used up people. Dotted. Frayed by

Their time in the dryer. Hand around the

Black lake. Willing all find their way carried

Brains like piles of clean clothes. Thoughtless heaps.

They smell of diffuse cigarette smoke. Like

Mental peanut butter. In line for the

Illness. Blacks your fingertips with each touch.

With the paper gone. Dissolved. Washed away.

August Poem 37: Melissa Click

Over cooked. Words and fire in the pan.

Preaching truth to power. Not brown enough.

The schoolyard fragrant with words and wind as

You were hoping it was. The doe eyed gal.

The joints. A grave. Oil and flour all

Medium heat had worked. Not brown enough.

Just toss in the vegetables. The oil

To the fire. The doe eyed gal with her

Muscle. Fragrant. Flagrantly so. Don’t

Walk away. Peaceful in our safe space.

But threatening to burn. Not brown enough.

At a point where Asian reporters have

Contracted white privilege. If you’re not black,

You must know that you are not brown enough.

August Poem 31: Do You Hear What I Say? Do You Notice?

The partial eclipse. A humid day in

August when your eyes sting with sweat as you

Pile more trash on the fire to find

The cutting edge. Do you know how bright and

Opaque in nature and work? Does your skin

Know how to find the answers? Does the

Ash fall down like snow melting into the

Sweat in your eyebrows? Does each drop mark you

In long streaks? Does the lily in the field

Fill your lungs? Burn your eyes? Does the bee know

The angry communist to be happy

When she has subjugated the world? Will

I notice? Does it matter? Do I care?

Doesn’t the bullfrog song lull you to sleep?

August Poem 10: Rise and Fade

They of the long death.

Those bringing the death carpet.

The sulfur people.


They are the strange ones.

Ash and bone and polished shards

Woven in fabric.


They wear their beliefs

Like the gathers of their lands

Taken from the earth.


Chanting they swing. Their

Noxious censors billowing.

Staining the skies black.


Stagnant as Latin,

Sattva Casetti was dead.

Eighty-four and smoke.


The chugging machine

Of subtextually.

Her birthday or near.


We experienced

Fulfilling of prophecy

Ending the Red Death.


Covering bodies

In ash and fragrant spices

That burn and consume.


Smokes that rise and fade

Lifting the spirit, the dead

Giving safe passage.

July Poem 23: The Chugging Machine

Were lit, it would curl out in a ripping

Unevenly achieved moksha forth from.

And even broadly the universe would

As the dog that stands in a hill of ants.

Sparks, smoke, scraggly brush. The chugging machine.

Jokes at work without getting fired for

Black and red ripped ends. Smoke it as if it

Were angry fire that ants unblinkingly

Allow. Homemade sausage native of weeds

Punctuated by work as numb plants that

Swarm up my leg stinging me around pine,

Oak, and sweetgum giving way to red fields.

But when sparks and ash spewed thump-thump-thump from,

Brahman was the sound sparks and ash don’t say.

July Poem 22: Dirty Dotted Chunks of Information

It was too harsh. Books banished, weeded, and

Smoke escaped one’s free words. Sad strands of smoke

Rose from the diffuse cherry. And the smoke sucked

Fields of weeds. A big bunch of these bad boys

Swept their own ink. They had smoked it like weed

Out the end of bad taste. The color of

Your teeth after you smoke twelve packs of Cools.

He was sure the weeds had needed a cut.

From early wood fire, and plants. Wet clay hills were

Suspended. The peels were hard to keep lit

When they held planes as fat as forest fires.

Gang violence replaced mineralized Mitch

For us. The bright color of fire ants tell

Dirty dotted chunks of information.

July Poem 17

I was losing track of the conversation.

Pliny the Younger and I were quick

To rip down the flier

Before it was his turn again.


Flames full of over the top action.

If you want the flame to run, paper burns faster.


Tommy lit a match and dabbed the story,

The commandment, and turned it in his fingers.


Daughter pictures thought they had

Set trees up in the way but instead

Arranged them on the floor where they were

Made into a possibility of the other side.