The Undefeated

To be left with nothing
is something –
To be left
to feel the rain
The touch of the sun
To ponder the better
that is bound to come
and I have it all
according to some
yet all I want
is to run


To escape
my tormentor
But where I go
he goes He knows
me He is me
An evil dwarf
beneath the
synaptic bridges
of my memories
daring me to cross
from the past
some days

Days like today
with the rain and gloom
seeping into the room
turning me against me
and I say

let it rain

Let it cleanse
the wounds
of the undefeated

Of I

The great seawall
dispersing every surging
wave of me

It’s a Wednesday in September

And the leaves thinning
now like hair in the
September of a man’s days
Finally weary of
summer’s heavy-handed
advances they call to
Fall – and give
themselves to her
Whispering cannonades
of bright colors
Shrapnel of harmless
confetti conveyed away
to a far away place
by some Divine grace
Nothing taken for the trip
but a whole and simple faith
A sublime state
few mortals attain
We kick against the breeze
Fight the natural Fall
Far too evolved
to leave
as the leaves
But there’s no hurry
We had today,
didn’t we?
And every given day
fairly dripping
with poetry

The Alliterati (or Carl’s Day)

Carlton C. Cruckshank
cracked open a cold can
of caramel colored
and chugged it
like a champ
then chastised
all the chumps
too chicken to
challenge him
for his cherished
cola crown but
Chief Constable Conroy
told him to
chill as he was
causing consternation
among the children
and Carl, chafing
at being chided,
carefully clasped
his cola chalice
and carried it
to the county
of Chitwood –
because he could

The End


Playing solitaire
in the desert I lost
the two of hearts
in the sand
beneath the bones
of a long abandoned
swing set jutting
up like the ghostly
bones of Chernobyl
so I sat silently
The sun branding
my arms with scars
I had lost
An unwinnable farce
without two hearts
joined and strong
Even the scorpions
paused their

So . . .

I don’t write all that much
due to long intervals of
not giving a fuck
and liquorice black
depression that creeps up –
or maybe not up but in,
or maybe it just sinks
down around me like a
cloud without wind
But there’s profit
to be had from
sadness, a spendable
commodity in poetry
where joy doesn’t
pay as well
as trips
across hell
and see? It
carried me
through this poem
and that’s swell

Once, No More

I remember Earl’s
growing up
A dump where
you could buy
five burgers
for a buck
then pass through
a doorless door
and spend your
quarters and
your luck
at the smoke
swaddled pool tables
stained with beer
And a few times
mom sent me there
to round up dad
who didn’t fare too bad
for a one-handed man
Then there was
Double D’s
alone on a hill
outside of the town
where I live now
Steamed crabs
by the bushel
Ashtrays on
picnic tables
and lots of
biker muscle
always hanging out
A certified dive
that thrived
Long ago bulldozed
Imposed upon by
the drug scene
of a Walgreens
And a Walmart
And a Target
And a PetSmart
I should have
captured some
pictures but
I figured
nothing would change
Everything was going
to stay the same
and never go away
I’m still guilty
of that fantasy

Hair pulled back
Dress zipped the same
A clock wound
too tight
for the poor fellow
she’s with to read
the time right
He’s glass eyed
The dating app lied
One or both fakers
That Member’s Only
windbreaker can’t
save him
She stands straight in
stiff-lipped silent pain
A shame that the lovely
winery bears the strain
of this awkward date
Everyone looking away
Sipping hesitantly

Strolling Through a Friday Mind

Standing over six feet three
and one-hundred 95 pounds
I’m all elbows
in the shower
Hard to know what
I’ll knock down
Bent wings jutting
out like a raptor
riding a thermal
sans elegance
and grace
But I can
place the beans
on the top shelf
and peer over most
everyone else
at the mall
so a banged up shower
is a small
price to pay
And what is it with
the long introductions
to poetry books anyway?
I came
to read
the poetry not
about what it means
That’s for me
to glean
The literary equivalent
to banging my elbows
before I get clean

In Truth

All we need to know
is whispered
by the leaves
of oak trees

and all we need to see
to believe
becomes clear
when a hawk
takes wing

A soul can’t be discerned
over the din of
trifling concerns
All the clutter
we place first
creates only
a dearth
of hope