THURSDAY NIGHTS

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Formerly my Fridays

With “the girls”

Now, part-time

Poet

Teacher

Vain fool

 Driving home still

The same

Wine-happy two glasses on

The edge a lonesome reality

Truck cab filled with

Some inane tune

Not Aretha, Stones, or Hendrix

Those here-to-fore

Post-cultural anthems

Not even Motown’s

Grooved soul strong invoking

Memories of sweaty

California nights

Dancing on perdition’s

Edge  – no

This impractical

Tune made me glad

For winter  & windows

 Up sparing others

The sound of my voice

Emboldened with spirits

Singing from a seat on the

Fringe of bedraggled dreams

Twenty-two miles

Before I engage

Sobering cold

Doors

Reality’s reluctant usher

 

THE SECRETIVE MS. PEESKINS

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Ms. Peeskins on her favorite perch

Haughty, stretching

Guiltlessly warm

I tell her one day I’ll refuse

To put wood on the fire

See what happens then

She keeps her head to the window

Looking for a bird in the snow

Ideas of catching it melt to fancy

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She’s looking at me now,

Really, I am just caught in her

Tractor-beam, cat scan,

Surveillance of the room;

Goddess of things as they are

She is not the longest lived pet

On this busy country road

Where for many years

Michelin and Goodyear have exacted their

Bloody brand of animal control

Unless a piece of firewood

Falls off the wood carrier

Hitting her, she’s safe

She knows this

But

She won’t tell me

She has put on weight this winter

As if her body swells

With secrets of the house

But not my secret

My apologies for this poem

She hates it when I tell her

Even she is material

Ms. Peeskins cares

Not a whit for poets

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She knows

The difference between

Firewood and those uncut trees

The trees that shade the summer graves

Where the bodies are buried

A Love Letter to February

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It’s late I know

But the challenge was there

Write a love letter

I love you because

From 15 – south

Comes warmth

Even as the wind howls

Whipping Persephone

In lustful agony

I think it’s love

For I forgive

Your harsh cold

Dashing happiness

On the ashes of my

Invincible summer

And

I do love your silence

Not a sound from

Letters marching freezing

Over snowy mental-scape

Defying order

Scratching for purchase

Among the warm sacred

Hoping to build

Images in minutes

I know I should hold

You at arms length

You have mastered

The look

Into my eyes

Pacifying  desire

With a 40˚ faux spring

Senses in turmoil

Deaf to the rumblings

Of interrupted cruelty

The ultimate head-fake

The warm hand

Cold heart

The 40˚ offering

Happiness

Even as you run away

Laughing and sunny

Hiding behind

The cold equation

Of the season

February,

I am blinded by degrees

Of hope

Even as I know you

The Butcher

Of Beauty

God’s Cavalcade

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There is a man who lives up the road

He walks 20 miles a day for milk

Bread, cigarettes, peace

He talked a while ago

About the upcoming

War between the haves and have-nots

I wondered if I should be afraid

But that was before his son threw him

Off their porch

Breaking his arm

Explanation became evident

In the bruises peeking through

Constant self-deprecation  on

Those zero degree mornings

As he sat, my passenger, and I

The ride he prays for in winter

 And I wonder what he dreams

At night next to his heartless wife

In the trailer, in the one room

That’s not his son’s

I wonder what he has other than

Complaints about the empty wall

That used to hold the rented flat-screen

That was sold by wife and son for $100

 His type is legion

30 winters in this god-forsaken landscape

And I know creation is a joke

Free of will

Free to suffer

Blows to the sacred empire

 God loves you?

Tell this to the walking man

The thin stick of humanity

Face lined like a map going nowhere

At two miles an hour

Tell him he’s one of Jesus’ children

Take him to Rome ensconced in luxury

For his silence for

I have yet to hear him curse

Rail about his scat-littered life

This socio-diversity for god’s pleasure

This constant cavalcade of misery

 I can see it as he trudges past my porch

Hunched deep in cold tattered jackets

He is blind but for his need for milk

Bread, cigarettes, and peace

LOSING MY RELIGION

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Torn mad between

Disbelief and

A final cloud-soft

Happiness

A Christian hoax

That hides the knife

Stabbing me everyday

Headlines broadcasting seeds

Of human decay

 Oh, sweat mead – me

Drink and forget

That you once believed

That your mom was Jesus

One who performed the

Loaves and fishes miracle

Every night of your youth

 Forget that your devout

Grandmother died blocks away

From the Church she attended

Religiously

No black-robed middleman

Walked the distance for her

Forget

 Forget the sweet-soft theft

Of innocence

Forget

That you have to

Walk from this room

Unguarded now

With only darkness

Assured in afterlife

Forget the child who

Wants her pretty

Mom happily warm

Forever after

And

Forget the idea of reuniting

That was her – uncommonly disheveled

Ashes humorously weighted, heavy –

Your last vision to imagine

Her gray dust – scattered

But not lost

POWER TO THE WORD

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I stand before my class struggling

For the forty-dollar word to replace

The two-dollar one

That inadvertently slipped my lips

You know –

Those words that tell

The skeptical you’ve been there

Done that

Read that and

Know that

The words that have worn smooth

My rugged road from Compton

Words that speak in a sub-text of

Silhouetted meanings

Engendering the dreaded

Compliment “articulate”

As if I could speak

Any other way

But, it appears I can

With a way of words plentiful

The two-dollar variety

Like my cheap shoes

Supporting me in the beautiful

Velvet (mom-made) dress

Of childhood

My two-dollar words

Work (happily) in poetic dungeons

Fooling no one

Hooded in simplicity

Laboring, as they do,

Under the

Trappist Creed:

Give up everything

Give up everything

REQUIEM FOR A STUPID PLANET

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This cold planet

Stupidly hosts

The souls who would

Heal

Next to those who

Would burn

The planet freely giving

Its resources

To those serving

Greedy gods

Who stand in unctuous profile

In chambers pleading

For the right to continue

Cardboard hearts

Trafficking

In forests and flesh

And art needs this?

Opposition to be?

Today,

As the sun

Barely pokes above

The horizon

Art is no match

For one who dares

Find love

Among the human detritus

Simple success equals

A head-down

Dragging life along

A trail of paisley confusion

Faces drawn on terror

As we hold hands (love?)

Marching off this cold

Stupid, stupid planet