Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just because I can. I can't decide what's more sublime, the lips or what comes out of them. Feeling this though. Get on this train now while there are good seats available.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Everything's better with Bluebonnet sonnet


Eschewing your bare neckbone
in the pot of that sweater's softer tone,
Almost barely, just below the tine
fondly tuning the top of a spine
maybe says your mouth, although eyes shine
Shall we better these times?
A bead of sweat on a never neck
cursive script moving immaculate
as periwinkle gloves on porcelain piano keys
a bottle's fondle, the screw top of a moan
a waffle's crinkles, maple's brown embrace
tongues tell the stories, but lips make the face,
dry rub on a rib, butter on a roll
neckbones in gravy, hot biscuits in a bowl.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Almost Blue

Looking back through my drafts, I found this interesting poem.


melon call ya-
seams such suite Tsar roe
sum thyme

OK, maybe it's not that interesting, that's why it stayed a draft. Here's another newer draft. This came about from a rhetorical question Jonathan Smith asked in a Facebook comment, that I took as a writing prompt. I said I wasn't going to write anymore poems like this, I made a mistake.


Like water running
from what law,
past whose room?
Towards what jagged drain,
from the drowsy
mouth of what jug?
A gurgle maybe,
from a vowel
resisting violet,
the sigh the moon makes
as it curves into its
scimitar self,
wearing lipstick
two days in a row,
but not for you,
highest heels fading down
the hallway of last hope.
Like hearts of icebergs halving,
or what you said you wouldn't say,
being not left of leave,
wright of the almost wrought,
a paper clip
sliding off a multipage report
on possible triggers,
wobbling like
wounded ducts.
It sounds like you
not understanding
how "busy" she is,
almost like the first wrinkle
on Chet Baker's face,
like her hand
on a well muscled shoulder
like the last puff
on the myth of Marlboro,
like man down in penalty time,
A soda sound, pop
of flame, surging smoke
from the hole
the moon leaves
every misted morning,
not quite the kiss of cotton
from God's cleanest
tablecloth, more
like the first
sugar riff
off the Devil's
purpled lips.

Another revision

Here's a failed poem from four years ago. I decided to give it another shot.


While the band took a break,
someone pushed
a jukebox button.
A sax riff swirled,
exquisite as fog
in an open field.
The piano rumbled ominous
acorns of malletheads bounced
off a tightened tom
into the open well
of a dark bassline.
When the tune ended,
I walked over
to read its name.
"Alabama" by John Coltrane.
I stood stunned
in a corner of the club,
thinking this song
the most sad
and beautiful thing
I'd ever know.

Last night you paused
in a doorway,
hair furious
over an exposed shoulder,
lips freshly glossed
and fraught into a frown.
You asked if I had
any last thing to say
before you turned . . .
I thought of our first kiss,
your tongue
the outstretched hand
of a drowning woman,
you whispering
"You can take me, however you wish,
but never have me."

I scanned those eyes,
the surface of a dammed river,
a willow frozen in winter.
I come here now
humming "Alabama,"
to speak three words
I never thought
my lips could form:

I was wrong.

Noun or Verb?

I totally stole this short poem from an anecdote by Sean Thomas Dougherty, so I'll dedicate the piece to him. If you've ever hustled pool or been hustled, then the last word has multiple meanings.

Poem Off Four Rails
(for Lemonhead)



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Taking care of business

Had a crazy seven days with ridiculous emotional swings caused by getting some really good and really bad news in close proximity, several times. I'm pretty even keel normally (although all my girlfriends have claimed I was the moodiest man they'd ever met) so these kinds of swings are way out of the ordinary for me. Whatever, I'm still here, still grinding poker, still scribbling lines of poetry. One of the swings involved my heart getting dropped like a porcelain plate onto a marble floor several stories below. Fun times, fun times. I know what you're thinking, more grist for the mill. Except I'd sworn off writing broken hearted love poems (stupid poet, should've sworn off getting my heart broke), so I'm not writing about this, I've been there and done that, as I'm sure most poets have. I know it's really bad form to pass up some excellent inspiration during National Poetry Month, but whatever. Instead I'm gonna post a revision of a poem that was just an exercise when I wrote it, but now rings pretty true. The details are all fiction, the emotional details are all fact. One thing I will say, I learned so much about myself and dealing with women during this last three years (and got some really good poems) that I almost, almost, (almost) feel like I owe this woman money. Dealing with her forced me to confront some lifelong issues I've had in relationships and work on them. And believe me I was working, like a Jamaican with six jobs working, but in the end I just had too far to go, too much to learn, too much to try to master. But it's been mad beneficial for me, changed my life so much for the better going forward. Anyway, the education was invaluable (thanks Miss Prissy), but there's still the problem of all that shattered china on the floor. So here's the poem (which is connected to her in a tangential poet way), enjoy.


floods the room,
on a flash of moonlight,
the interrogative of night rising.
He feels taut strings plucked
by hands soft enough
to wreck religion,
hears sharps and flats,
the alternate fingerings
of her signature,
feels indigo ventricles
improvise emotions
they can't contain.
Sees the saucy hips,
the twin legends
of her legs,
that cryptic tattoo
the tresses braiding rumor
and myth. Sees
how she pimped mystique
into solo and chorus
inside a blouse.
Her skirt flashes through his past
like Billie's final sigh
inflating hopeful lungs
in a haunted torso.
He hears her halo
tilt to kiss the curve
of the ear, chords born
from the marriage
of catfish and cornmeal,
from lacquered brass
and that last goodbye.
He checks her thick thighs,
how they resolve into
an ankle's passion
for expensive bracelets
and the foot's five types of finesse;
the sweet tonic of each toe.
The daughter of possibility
and pain, an onyx angel
skips like a rock across
his river, conjuring
the holiness of dragonflies.
Only he knows the nickname
hidden like a curse word
under her scarlet tongue.
How can he forget those lips
whose low moan caressed
his neck all night,
when their prints
burn bright
on his throat?


EXTRA, EXTRA BONUS (for Maxwell or Sade fans)

Monday, April 09, 2012

Not just another poem about unrequited desire


The sun lays
like an orange lozenge
at the back of the ocean's throat,
as these two girls
huddle, snack and giggle
across from you
on a nearly empty bus,
as the driver wends
his large wheels
across this sandy island,
you too can imagine
what that almost woman
on the corner by the 7-11
in his tight dress,
lacefront blonde wig
and too large feet
hungers for;
not to be eyed
like the last fried wing
in the bottom
of the bucket,
but to be held
in the mouth
like a chocolate truffle
freed from
its tightly folded

Sunday, April 01, 2012

NaPoMo 30 Haiku/Senryu

Well, it's that time again folks. National Poetry Month. And like the last couple of years I'll be trying to average a haiku/ senryu a day for the month. On my Facebook page I'll be posting a haiku/ senryu a day also, but they won't be mine, they'll be some of my favorites and will have some points of discussion/ criticism as well. The first ku is a shout out to a poet friend as well. I'll keep updating this until I have at least 30.

Morning sun-
a single Lemonhead
on my tongue

Spring rain
Falling on the roof
falling off of it

Aint no sunshine
hope she'll be happier-
Spring day withers

as she approaches-
peeking at my hole cards
then folding

Moonless night-
Tonguing where front teeth
once were

Grande Earl Grey-
beard grayer

Ocean breeze-
the side of my tongue
salty snack

filling the beach
in the shadow of the crane-

Across the beach
Bulldozers moving sand dunes -
Ocean waves them back

boy dozes on towel-
bobbing in the summer surf
another buoy

the ducts of Trayvon's eyes-
Spring downpour.

Ebony sky
full and shining above-
her lips

April drizzle-
folding a poem into
a small hat

Spring Equinox-
my glass half full of

April morning-
spooning hot oatmeal
off my pants

April sunrise-
my finger in the cleft of
her peach

April sunset-
Roof of the Lorraine Motel
too red

Drooping power line-
below a crow's clenched claws
Nikes swaying

Slight drizzle-
an alleyrat lapping
an eggshell

the power line

Pretending not
to notice her hand in his-
waning moon

In the mirror
practicing an evil eye-
full moon

Glint of sun
on the sandy beach-
her eyes

woman's giggle-
surf surging across
April shore

shoreline curving
out of the morning mist-
Melinda's mouth

The following poems aren't haiku, but were originally 5-7-5 poems that I thought were haiku when I first started. These are revisions, so some of them now have less than 17 syllables;

Stars are tiny eyes
waiting on a womb
to open

Her almonds
my sharpest glances cannot

A wise man builds
the walls of a house from stones
thrown at him

flicking his wrist
the DJ rocks and wrecks shop
heads bob like Marley