29 April 2011


Like a blur,
Body races to its peak,
Top form,
Fast twitch,
Bone mass.
Cells divide and duplicate.
Neurons stretch like lonely fingers
For partners in the electric darkness,
Insulating with organic armor,
Maximum potency.
Full growth.
Process complete.


Flesh recognizes
Its obsolescence,
Tears away,
Droops and stretches.
Synapses drift apart
In clouds of staticy black ash
Like galaxies expanding into the…

There is no cure
For what is no sickness.
No antidote for mankind.
The reproductive robot
Powers down.

New machines
Cannibalize the old.


I remember learning the difference between maturation and aging, and that the body doesn't die because it's worn out, but because its served its single biological purpose. Day 29. Probably at Writers Island


She thought she bought a stairway to heaven.
But she knew that demons
Don't look down
Image from Mrs eNil
Could disguise themselves as cherubs
And unmask at any moment.
So she clutched her rosary beads
Tightly with each climbing step.

She thought she bought a stairway to heaven.
But things that seem
Too good to be true
Could stab like a rapier
And leave torn flesh for a reward.
So she tread lightly
And watched her back.

She thought she bought a stairway to heaven.
But when she peaked at the landing
There was a dangling doorway
Dead ended at the wall
Like a Winchester mansion.
She wondered if the ghosts of her kin’s past
Meant to haunt her dreams
Like a midnight specter.

So she kept awake
With her kerosene
Ablaze in the lantern
On the landing by the doorway
Open to reveal only
Tidy rows of bricks and mortar.
Then she remembered how she died
And how her stairway stopped
So far from heaven.

So I needed a poem for Day 28. Then I heard Stairway to Heaven and thought, "Why shouldn't I put that in a poem?" But I thought, for some reason, that the poem should not end well. I didn't know that the poem's protagonist had died until almost the last stanza. I started by just trying to make something that sounded creepy. It kind of fits Poet's United Thursday Think Tank theme, so I'll post it there.

28 April 2011

Painting the Dawn

The sun came early today,
A dawn’s eager workman.
He stretched on
His overalls and painter’s hat.
Squeezed a rainbow into a bucket.
He dipped in his bright brush
And blew a kiss of every color
Down a solar breeze
To his rocky canvas below.

He wet the oceans aquamarine
And yellowed every daffodil.
He painted the cold tundra
Blind man’s white
And coated the granite mountaintops
In thick crusts of gray.
He peered over gold-rimmed spectacles
To admire his temporary masterpiece
And spied the moon
Rounding the hemisphere,
Topped by a tilted artist's beret.
Her apron packed with dusty charcoals.

Image by Dave Hitchborn

My day 27 entry is based on Tabitha's comment (my 5 year old) this morning about the sun painting a flower.


With hair that flips back
And such an empty giggle,
Men take you to their hearts
As if you’re harmless.
Then your hidden quills
Stab them from the inside.
Blood pools
In the space between his innards
And never even hits the ground.

My posting got behind. This is supposed to be for day 26. I'm so romantic!

25 April 2011

Sink or Float?

I could love water
If I were like Plato in the cave
And I thought that
As my diaphragm
Pressured all that liquid
Through my bronchioles
Bubbling the ends of each alveoli
Puffing my lungs with H2O,
That it was just the idea of water
Overtaking me in waves
Gripping my body down
Like angry Poseidon
Sharpening his trident for my arrival,
Grinning at my flailing limbs,
And not a heavy wet death
Amassing in my terrestrial lungs.

My water
In its ideal form
Would massage me in security.
Lift me in a damp caress
Atop white-capped shoulders.
Present me with the respect
Of a gray-bearded sailor,
Whiskers adorned by an old tusk tobacco pipe.

I could love water
If it didn’t squeeze my chest
With fifty fathoms each time
My toes barely tiptoed the sandy bottom.

I could love water.
But I don’t.

Image from Tiago Fioreze

This was to be based on a Big Tent Poetry prompt about floating. I chose to write from my inability to float. I'm not so fond of swimming, But I actually love that water-if I'm not directly in it. Boats are great. So are life vests. Oh, day 25. 

24 April 2011


Shine your guitar
Image from Pic A Day
Bright as an electric bolt 
Flashing superheated to the ground.
Light up the atmosphere
With six steely strings.
Switch the humbuckers to crunch.
And dial the tone
To the top of the spectrum.
Vibrate photons to my ears
In colors that can only be heard.
I’ll close my eyes against the static
And see each note
Close its long fingers
Around every nearby sound
In a stranglehold
That chokes them 
Into silent submission.
Until there is nothing left
But the laser-light guitar shine
And the hot hum of
An analog amplifier.

Ok. I love to write poems about music. And I love rock. I've written a few songs inspired or even based on RUSH music and a few Hendrix poems (I'm a rocker). This poem is more of an homage to metal, or as close as I have yet come. Posted at the following: Sunday Scribblings, Jingle's Poetry Potluck, Writer's Island. The picture is from my sister's blog (which she hasn't updated in a year). It's actually a picture of her husband's amp. He's a pretty bad-ass guitar player. Here's something new for me--a video on my blog. My brother-in-law's band. Click it if you like (sound quality isn't great). Oh, I'll take suggestions on a different title. Though it does reference a song that rocks pretty hard.

23 April 2011


The first course came French,
With wine and small portions,
Undercooked for my American tongue.
My bleeding appetizer competed
With tales of her first spelling bee loss
To see which would spoil my appetite

“I’ll just—I have someth—“
I rush to the bathroom
Leaving my lie unfinished.
She can do that for me.

The attendant reaches
A warm towel at me,
But I only want
Directions to the back door.
“You want to leave through a back door
Before your main course.”
I can see his thoughts,
Wondering if
I’m avoiding an empty wallet
Or a dark-haired harpy
Who won’t shut up.

“Are you ok?
You left so—“
What the hell is she talking about?
“Yeah, I flossed.

I don’t drink wine that much
In expensive French restaurants
As a prisoner.
Incarcerated by an archaic tradition.
“I think it’s a great first date too.”
What’s one last lie
Before I stab myself with a bread knife.

“Who’s your favorite comedian?”
Her eyes told me
She might be in love
And that she might be
On the interesting end
Of a restraining order.

I throw my plate at the window
For a distraction.
As soufflé smears down the glass.
I have just a second
To gulp my Bourgogne.
I throw my empty glass
At the cheese on the window pane
And make my getaway.

Day 23. I wrote this poem, or poem-like thing from a prompt at Big Tent Poetry. Decided I'd write with a bit of a lighter tone than I had been doing recently. Also entered at Writer's Island and for the Poetry Rally.


shadowy figure
Image from bitmask
Don’t be afraid
When my shadow
Blackens your window
And blocks the moonlight
Like the ghost of a midnight cloud.

When you hear
The footsteps of my obsession
Circle your lawn at night,
Close your eyes
So my blurry form
Won’t frighten the corner of your eye.

The Doberman at your bedroom door
Didn’t bark because
He knows it’s just me.
Your eyelids open
To wipe away last night’s dream.

There’s no startle in your tired eyes
As they begin
To make out my face.
I know the shake of your head
Means “go away”
As your pillow invites you back asleep.

You don’t need me to tuck you in

Day 22' s entry came late. This is from thinking about my oldest daughter and how she always tells my wife that she will never move out and she wants to live with mommy and daddy forever. Many of my friends have children that are grown and moved out. They don't always seem that happy about it. I don't know how I'll take it.

21 April 2011


At The Cohen Brothers party
Image from jasonEscapist

Every rose its thorn.
But petal and point chip to
Identical mulch.

Day 20.

20 April 2011

Metal Emotions

What I have for you,
What I carry for you
Deep inside my gut,
Every moment attracting more magnetic emotions
Like an electric coil
Hovering in the scrapyard.

Heavy iron and steel
Clanging to the core of my inside.
They weigh me down.
Thunder with every barefoot tiptoe.
They overflow my stomach.
Take over my lungs.
My brain.
My blood.

Ferrous fragments in every cell.
And you control the current.
Programmed your robot.
Flipped the switch.

For some reason I wanted to write about something heavy. I was thinking about physics formulae and wanted to make a poem that could have a lot of momentum (mass x velocity). So I needed a lot of mass. It went somewhere else, and I know the notes are ridiculous. Look for it at One Shot Wednesday.

19 April 2011

sevenling (The cameras did)

The cameras did their step-by-step rerun
But didn’t capture the guns unholster.
Just the deadly metal kiss of velocity.

Only a cameras time-shifting shutter
Can stop a gun's brood as well as a body.
And a kiss for show won’t diminish the blood.

Kiss your pistol. Say “cheese.”

Day 19. Tried a sevenling. I got the idea from Brenda at Beyond the Bozone who got the idea from The Chop Shop. Yeah, I tried it. Turns out I apparently have a thing with guns right now. Don't plan on posting/linking/submitting this anywhere. But I'm at day 19.

18 April 2011

The Unluckiest Pig

Image from Magpie Tales

I would eat man’s food
If I could chase it down,
Choke its last wind away
In a whispering gasp,
Tear away slabs of flesh
With my hunter hands
And chew the blood-raw meat
At its still warm carcass.
But my muscles don’t ripple enough
To make me that sort of man.

I would be a vegetarian
If I could forecast the seasons,
Till the black earth,
And love the land
Like a brother.
If I could turn seeds into beings
That rooted firm
And reached up with beckoning branches
Like salvation.
If I didn’t care
About the dirt under my nails.

I would be a vegan
If I gave a damn
About anything that much.
If my body
Was truly a temple,
Even inside
The endless lengths of my bending intestines.
Or if I was appalled
At the barbarism of my own omnivorous teeth.
But I’ve got
Other things on my plate.

Let Alpha-Male
Eat his fresh kill in a loin cloth.
And let Mr. Green Thumb
Wonder at the bounty his toil has brought.
But don’t expect me
To squint through my spectacles
To inspect every ingredient.

I’ll have my eggs from any old carton
And sausage
From the unluckiest pig that walks by.

Day 18 is from a prompt at Magpie Tales. This poem is not meant to offend or antagonize anyone. It just states the sad truth, that I have no spectacular morals or beliefs that are strong enough to affect the way I eat-except for KFC. I won't eat there. But anything else pretty much goes.

17 April 2011

Burning the Blueprint

Image by Will Scullin
I had a master plan
And a blueprint.
A manual to my life
With illustrated instructions
Step by step.

The pieces matched the pictures.
Everything was there.
Everything was in order.
I didn’t assemble
A single screw
Without studying  the sequence.

Then you asked me,
“What are you always reading?”
Didn’t you have a blueprint, too?
You just did

I had planned for everything
That might have happened.
But how could you have happened?
I had no contingency for you.

I should have known
When you walked around the dark
With candles instead of flashlights.
That my blueprints would burn quick
Like a magician’s flame.
And that you would giggle at the smoke.

This was written quickly as my day 18 poetry attempt. I used this week's prompt from Sunday Scribblings. Probably look for it at Writer's Island too. As I said, it was written quickly. I'm not as pleased as I would like to be, but I think some parts are salvageable.

Infant X-Ray

She’s already ill,
Feverish, and dehydrated.
She’s sat still
Through icy cold stethoscopes
And pin pricked toes.
Dressed and undressed and dressed again.
Now, it’s off to Medical Imaging.
Radiology must have become archaic.
Another pen to fill another form.
Another waiting room,
And she is sick.

When I do enter,
I wish I hadn’t.
“Her buttons will interfere
With the picture.”
Undressed again.
And I’m staring at the seat,
The tiny, little saddle.
I hear her crying.
It hasn’t stopped.

 I read the word
Etched across the implement.
“Sit her down,”
As the technician hands me lead armor.
I don’t want to wear it.
“If she gets irradiated, so do I!”
I wish I said it, but instead,
“Which side is the front?”
As I lower her wiggly diapered bottom
Toward the saddle.

“Hold her arms up”
Instructs the technician
As she clamps two
Baby-shaped forms of plexiglass
Snugly around my terrified girl.
Fear is easy to distinguish in her screams.

“We get a better picture if she cries.”
And the technician disappears to her control panel

First, an explanation of why I am posting my day 16 poem for NaPoWri month on the 17th day. I was sick and in bed all day. That's a pretty goo excuse, huh? Now, the poem. This is a poem that I started a year or two ago.  I turned into a completely different poem, Incidental X-Ray. I wrote it after my 6 month old daughter had a chest X-Ray. It was an absolutely horrible experience. This poem is another very personal one, and it's also different because it is a straight narrative. It's basically a biographical story. Anyway...