Tuesday, July 31, 2012

the uselessness of poetry

bad grammar and a lack of punctuation
don't help in a college application
it ends up in the circular file along
with the rantings of other deranged poets
those who write incomplete sentences
annoying and incomprehensible
how useless is poetry
much less those who write it
they neither build rocket ships
sell stocks or clean floors
much less teach grammar to inner
city school kids
poetry oh completely useless
your books crowding out stephen king
novels bookmarks stationery
how to books but what a relief
to read poetry with no attempt to
understand such gibberish letting the
words flow across heart
making it beat just a little bit

Monday, July 30, 2012

Making it up as they go along

he has no idea, nor does she
too young to know
unconsciously he shifts his chair towards hers
like an ocean wave drawn to the shore in the late afternoon sun
in his nervousness he jerks
knocking his iced coffee onto her pants
a long pause, terror in his heart
she laughs
he promises to take her home to change pants,
go to the laundry to wash her jeans
for now, it's a path
they will make it up as they go along
just like the rest of us.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Poet's Uniform

We wear pajamas to read the Poet Laureats on a papasan
or sit at our desks watching streetlamps flicker in the darkness.
The steam from tea rises in the cool air as the heat has been turned
down; everyone is at work in heated buildings where the company pays.
Ten minutes or an hour, several hours, our feet snuggling into
pink slippers with hearts on them, somewhat dirty after searching
for strawberries in a late summer morning where we pause to
watch the birds bathing, students jockying for parking spaces
only to throw their empty Subway bags out on the curb for me
to pick up later, still wearing mismatched pajamas.
to write takes expansiveness, a looseness, a silence, paisley
pants with striped tops, glasses held together by paperclips.
we write, no one notices, they do not understand the useless of
poetry, how it makes us feel less lonely by one.

The last line is taken from Kay Ryan's own words, a woman who never took a single writing class and is a renowned poet and Poet Laureate. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Grape Nuts and Raisins

the grape nut and raisin girl is home
reading the nutritional information
on her almond milk
we comment on how slim it is
and bleary-eyed head towards our
respective beds
in mine, he is gently sleeping.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I just didn't like it

I liked the M&M's
I didn't  know that ellipsoids packed more densely than spheres
but I missed the grain boundaries and the activation energies,
I missed the heterogenous versus homogenous nucleation,
supercooling and Gibbs free energy.
I didn't like the talk I said over his objections
that the talk was really good, very interesting.
Clearly I had an attitude problem, I just didn't like the guy,
that was the real problem, he said.
OK, I didn't like the guy or his talk and
why isn't that ok?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

wedding plans.. one day one day

when, they ask when they hear fiancee fiance
when, he asks her some day she replies between 2 and 7
years it's only been 7 so far why the rush and what
would it look like anyway no white dresses and officiants
nothing that doesn't look like us after all with
what, he said but bikes and him riding slow so she keeps up
and he looks for a new job since he's bored
with dogs and friends and yes bikes, and somewhere
fun so when when they ask when they hear fiance fiancee
we'll let you know, we'll let you know.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Being good consumers

plastic in hand
show us the coolest, latest, lightest, fastest
the slickest, chic'est, no matter the cost
we're here to shop
we're good Americans.
yes, that's the best, the brightest
and that one, we need that one, too
and yes, we forgot we need a gadget
that does this and that and the other
way, too
here is our plastic, we're here to shop
in the land of the free and the brave,
love live plastic.

Monday, July 23, 2012


they chirp in chorus
who then is the leader
the one who starts first
the others rubbing their beady eyes
after an afternoon nap, just
starting to think about chirping
and there she is already at it
so they join in, glad to be
able to follow
leading is always so

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Watching the Flutist

I pulled out my binoculars to investigate
more closely how those lips worked,
whether she actually was breathing or
was she a stunt flute player, in disbelief
I saw she was a real human being playing
an impossibly difficult passage, her face
was not blue and she looked relaxed
in her diva orange gown and stilleto heels.

Viviana Cumplido Wilson playing the North American premiere of Weinberg’s Flute Concerto No. 1 at the Colorado Music Festival.

Friday, July 20, 2012

In Memory: Aurora shooting

in memory of those who died.
for those who suffer
for those who are alone
sitting on a bed whose sheets
will never be rumpled.
for those who witnessed
darkness at midnight
who never came to see this
who left seeing something
they wished they had never seen.
For you, we feel great sorrow.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Big Sky

we were drenched in sweat
oppressive heat, mirages in sidewalks
and he said
yes, but I love the big skies
I looked up and the clouds
were a myriad of forms
thunderheads and cirrus
cumulus and cottage cheese
and blue, lots of blue
I realized I had stopped looking
at the sky, and the sun
floating in immense blue

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

White Teeth

the old have yellowing teeth,
grey where their hair falls to each side
brushing her cheek, or bald, the loss
of each hair a personal failure.
Clairol, hair replacement or bleach
all do their fair share to hide the inevitable
march towards getting older, running
marathons away from reality.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Into the Wind

I watch them run in
like we used to, seeking new treasures
in pink, blue, purple
round, with legs, eight eyes, rubbery
things that twirl, balls and jacks.
Then I walk by, there is no small hand
in mine pulling me in
to explore new wonders.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Where is my Dad?

Where is my Dad, the one with all the hugs
who doesn't mind when I lick his legs, even after he just showered?
Where is my Dad, the one who gives me treats even though
I know I need to lose a few pounds; we grin at each other
secretly because we both cheat when She isn't looking and
blame our excess weight on her cookies and bread.
Where is my Dad, the one who drives me to Coot Lake
and doesn't mind when I am all wet in his car,
who lets me ride shotgun, even all wet and muddy
and love me anyway?
My Dad is the best, where is he?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Reviewing Proposals

he's packing the camp stove, the tent, a six pack of cold beer.
I am sitting in his black chair at the computer reading about lunar regolith.
the green cooler is full of cherries, his favorite yogurt and some Granny Smith apples.
the second monitor has this annoying waviness that could give anyone a headache.
the dog is moping already that she is not going, I am moping, too.
first the road bike, then the mountain bike, the sleeping bag and inch thick pad,
this chair is way too big for me, I perch on the edge with a straight back
he asks if I want to go have lunch before he leaves, I stare at the screen
and say no.

Friday, July 13, 2012

people watching: too many middle aged women

dyed blonde
short skirts
dressing younger
than their daughters
ankle bracelets
high heels
is this liberty

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Littlest Library

Amongst towering ash, maple and oak trees
perched on a stone wall stood the littlest library,
there were no fairies flitting about turning pages
or dropping pixie dust, just dogs chasing squirrels,
people walking by as it was normal to
stumble across free books on 6th street
such a beautiful little library, open to all
no library card required.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recycle your children

I'm not sure how but it sounds green and I know they would approve;
Do they get tossed in the recycle bin or are they compostable;
the City is so fussy that way.
Or does it mean reduce and reuse, kind of like a Freecycle sort of thing
where we parents can post our children and trade, like items in a yard sale
that sell for cheap, providing just enough cash so you can go to another
yard sale and buy someone else's cast aways.
Did an angry parent write this at dusk, or maybe by flashlight in the middle
of the night, a black marker stashed in their pocket to be thrown into
the creek later, throw away the evidence of having written such a terrible thing.
I'm not sure what it means but it's a bit late for me,  they have flown the nest
and sometimes, I really miss them. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

The tired poet

she's tired
her fingers too fatigued to follow a line
her legs lament walking to the living room
even her dazzling eyelashes droop.
she can't write tonight
though waiting for her, I write
for both of us.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Now what

cats are supposed to run from me,
the fearsome Portia with gleaming teeth and a growl
to make anyone or anything shake
yet this one rolls on the sidewalk in front of me
or rubs her back on the post in front of me,
there is no terror in her eyes!
What audacity!
yet what do I do then with this cat
and the other one who shows such lack of
respect for my gleaming teeth and growl,
my lunge and tugging on the leash,
I smell her and find myself speechless
and confused.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Drown the
ocean waves in Mozart,
interrupt the crackling grumbling
on the left with Beethoven,
why the one that doesn't hear
except the imaginary, why not
something lovely instead, turn
up the volume so the ocean waves
can drown themselves and the
grumbling old crank can fall
into a silent sleep full of good

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recovery from Lasik

I made the pizza, cracked open the beer.
He sat on the porch swing.
She jumped in his lap to offer assurances
that he would be able to walk her soon,
sooner than he dreamed of,
sooner even that I dreamed of, as I grabbed
the poopie bags for the third time today
as we headed out the door.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Freedom from fireworks

it's official
there will be no fireworks
in spite of Buddy's death,
he will not bark and chew windows
where he is now and
we hoped to watch
together for the first time
holding hands
enjoying independence
from the anxious and
instead we hope for no
more fires.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Lie on the bed or lay down your body
like a heavy load with angels wings,
your mind like a steel trap ideas escaping
into dreams through metal jaws
they lull you to sleep
lie heavily to save your skin pressed
against the mattress, the same skin
that faces the world in freckles
legs bare to the sun, so much of you
hidden like the lies that rise from
within spoken into once clear air.

Monday, July 2, 2012


finally rain
capturing smoke
igniting sirens
drenching gardens
finally rain
drops dancing on highways
blowing through open car windows
strangling toads
gasping for their final

(I had never heard the expression "toad strangler" for a heavy rain until tonight)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Back to the heat

Even the breeze on the bike doesn't cool
and so we escape in air conditioned cars
with the windows rolled up.
the garden waits and wilts, the
bike disappears looking for cooler
weather, never to be found again.