Saturday, August 19, 2017

Madison & Vine


the literary life
is cast in bronze
on the sidewalks
of our great city
for the dead

the living sweat it out
feet to the pavement
scrapping day by day
with albatross dreams
and stolen lunches

then stumble
on the crutches
of park strolls
breathing in
life’s poetry
before spilling it
imperfectly (always)
back on the pilfered page


Monday, August 14, 2017

Night at the Carnival


shoveling fried food
into my mouth
while surveying
the passers by

 —a young parade
of summer delight
to test the men
of Friday night—

but such is this disguise,
ourselves unwell
but artfully wise

and somewhere
dark beneath
a silent warrior’s
sword unsheathed

showing no mercy
the verse unleashed 


Sunday, July 30, 2017

For the Werewolves


I sweat each day
To earn my hide
To burn off this shell
And reveal the wolf inside

By work and desire
Embrace trial by fire
And make ourselves worthy
Of the life of blood and iron


Friday, July 21, 2017

Father’s Day at the Carnival


a tinkering sun glints sharply
from spinning rides,
small feet scamper
on dry grass
through laughter and chaos
to an unhinged carousel
with a wink
from the leathered carney

clasping sweaty little hands
to thunder past
the shady barkers,
hurtling headlong
into years
of everyday madness
and new adventure
of whatever comes next 


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Grit City Sunset


still at heart
this is a gritty city

sweated out
on packed
train cars
where our petty travails
are mocked
by pastel majesty
of sunset

the red-pink
skyblood of pride
slashed across the westward sky,
a reward
for myriad dreamers
cobbling new lives
one hard day at a time,
ready to bare
their threadbare souls
to strangers


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Mud Soup


churning churlish
under canopy of trees
at the quiet park
summer streets simmer
while temptint rain

the only Dad here
hiding under a sweaty hat
trying not to gawk
at the fit mom
breastfeeding

and the cool dirt
speaks to me
when the girls pile it
to build their castle

we endure all shapes
of absurdities
to give our blood kin
an edge,
grateful we no longer
have to kill for it

the girls
make their quiet father
mud soup
I pretend to sip it
—delicious—
as I wait
to unleash their ambition
upon the world


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Righteous Fires in the American Mind


Our land,
born from multitudes
of blood,
cannot slip peacefully
into old age.

Like these fireworks,
we flare brilliantly,
a shining white hot light
for all to see,
violent,
ending in charred carnage.

History is our loving scold:
Independence is the love of danger
and the thrill of the hunt.

Let us make kindling of our fears.
Let us rattle the slumbering minds
with our fire at the ready
and our gunpowder dry.

If our end is in madness,
it will be righteous and strange.