playing with fire

the past is a dark hallway
echoes
vague shadows
full of monsters

it calls

we try not to listen
but it insists

living inside us
inescapable

we tell ourselves
future is coming

maybe
maybe not

it isn’t real
it doesn’t exist

the past is
a match burnt out

the future is
unlit
all potential

we exist in
the flame
the only place
where there’s
light

Full

fully round tonight
a ferocious grinning
all-encompassing gaze

she bleaches the stars
makes them tremble
burned away
every hint of cloud

sharp
steely-edged
luck-bringer

round and fat
full, not hungry
she needs nothing
from you

find a woman
like this
a fortune
hidden in plain sight

hang on for the ride
count yourself lucky
do what it takes

you lose her
you lose

The Sacred
is not always
someplace else.

Maybe never.

Maybe holiness
is sanctified
by presence

like the sound
of that poor tree
falling in the forest

Take care, for you are
standing on holy ground

if there is anything
holier than Earth
plus Life

show me

I feel my stupid lips
numb
and/or
tingling
with the emptiness
of you
I suppose it’s
how it has to be
but
that doesn’t help
not at all

morning, first thing

song in my head
a thought of you
sun tapping on the glass
get up get up
Muse whispers
in my inner ear
there you are
thought you’d left
my soft and useless heart
harnessed to a typeface
drag this chariot of words
into the day

today
she is mute
that Muse

I cobble together
letters
syllables
space

my head aches with it

I hope hopelessly
that something
anything I string together
makes a thing

whatever is worth doing
is worth fucking up
occasionally

such a strange little
comfort habit

I connect my eyes
my hands my brain
try to connect
language
squiggles that talk

then pour it out
onto an ethereal
plane of existence
for strangers to see
or not see

come back, Muse
this is hard

song in my head
a thought of you
sun tapping on the glass
get up get up
Muse whispers
in my inner ear
there you are
thought you’d left
my soft and useless heart
harnessed to a typeface
drag this chariot of words
into the day

Parasite

I live on a planet
that will kill you
if you stay on the surface
too long

some people are homeless

planet is
blue and brown and green
getting browner
less blue and green

too close to the sun
though the planet
and the sun
have stayed put

I help infest a planet
that was just fine
until we came along

we burned things
dug things up
killed everything in our path
parasites

it wasn’t just me
it was all of us

poor old planet

sacraments

the distant sound of
lawnmowers
closer in, cicadas
dogs panting

sneezy fresh
smell of cut grass
hot pavement

watermelon
and
lemonade
the body and blood
of the summer gods
juicy and sweet

hammock in the shade
an altar of sorts

sweating, half-naked men
sun-browned faces
sudden flash of teeth
grin or grimace

late slow sunsets
the beach at dusk

Perseus sends down his sons
summer boys
for human women

lie out on a blanket
past midnight
catch a falling star

a full moon peers in
my window aligns
with this slice of sky

she stares with
indifference
she is full
not hungry

I do not know
what she eats
but I know
I am empty

surely no
connection

white dresses
so pretty

but if it's a choice
between food
or clothing

I will roll naked
in the clover
every time

juice dripping
down my chin

note from a nucleus

a given:
the well-read
have spent much time
alone

here and now
spurns us

we befriend
ancients
or contemporaries
at a distance
hobnobbing
with ink and pixels

nuclei
within our own
cell walls
built of
tears and sighs
or confusion
or all that and more

becoming permeable
an act of rebellion
or acceptance

the walls are there
distant inky companions
are reticent
but remain

in or out
the walls are there

it's a strange moon tonight
half-hid behind
a tousled blanket of clouds

frowning and mottled
like an old woman
awakened from her sleep
for irrelevancies

there never was
another night
but I remember
a slender moon-sylph
a fat, pregnant mother-orb

here and now
a crone submerged
grumpy in her bed
half in half out

she whispers down,
"this had better be good..."

series

I eat with a big spoon
directly from the carton

I wander naked
through the house
singing made up songs
from an unmade bed

Falling asleep in my chair
watching silly old movies
all hours
my dog follows me to bed
worried but accepting

I leave the bathroom door
wide open
and use up all the hot water
leave the seat down lid up

lights on all night if I want

But
if I had the chance
I would
compromise

I want that chance

two bottles

we speak fluent
drunken typo
from miles away
kilometers
have no need
for obfuscation
couldn't say it
if we tried
we have a Pact
no lies
no sorries
just truth
and safety
I am a safe place for you
you are indeed
a gentle man
in vino veritas
trust and honesty
and two bottles
of wine

if I could draw
I would draw
nothing else

your heart-catching
vulnerability
your courage

that stance

but I can’t draw
am left with nothing
but these words
that bubble up
from deep down
and demand
expression

your utter beauty

I see you
who you are
in every line
of your body

the look in your eye
the way the light
loves you

me that has no right

guiltily wishing
you were my
odalisque

I'd spend hours gazing
saying things
just to make you
smile and blush

I see
and know
your utter beauty

fucking Zeus
Great Jupiter's Balls

he had no pants
to keep it in

no problem
with bestiality
as long as he
got to play the Beast

a swan
a bull
a golden shower

any goddam thing
that happened
to cross his mind

modeling
sexual incontinence
for the rest of us

definite
daddy
issues

school's out! barefoot days
dewy grass, sky like ocean
benevolent sun

solstice

yolk

toast is good
good on its own
good in context
toast
is a force for good
in the world

mostly I only
make it
in case I break
a yolk
yolk is precious
the loveliest part
of breakfast

most beautiful
maybe
I am in your life
just in case
somebody
breaks your
lovely heart

I have never
been old yet

I look at the calendar
and laugh
incredulous
that can’t be right
it must be
broken

there was another
century
I was little then
shudder to think
this cruel world
thankful
not to go back there

this bigness
some protection
camouflage
the perfect disguise
for shenanigans

but old

maybe there were
some years
maybe they mean
something

not to me
not to me

Show more
Writing Exchange

Writing Exchange is a small, focused community for poets, bloggers, and every kind of writer. This is a place to share your stories and #smallstories, talk about writing, and get to know other writers here. Learn more about us.