The beauty of a swear
is in its bite and sting
a subtle blade between the spine
that kills when it sings
but to say it too often
to overuse such a swear
has little more meaning
than spitting hot air


From Now Till Morning

Faceless angels hovered on the glass
before the sunlight broke the frost
and bulbous pixies dangled on the grass
before the morning dew was lost

Here, at daybreak, the clock begins
before the dawning of a new age
and here, with nightfall, I pretend
that timelessness is only a cage


Lucy Sings the Blues

For Celena. Always magical.

There was an old courthouse where I slept
on a bench beneath the apple trees
that lined the great stone paths
to meet our king
who sat highest in the court
the Judge of Judges
reporting on the sins of men
and the adulterous women.

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the curvature of disconnected sets

turn the corner
the radio down
the windows up
turn the picture
till it looks right
turn the car
the key
the other cheek
turn the snow
to wet streams
and damp moss
turn the signal on
the signal off
the wireless fidelity
still not linked
from one screen
to another
turn up the volume
the brightness
turn back
the seconds
now frozen
like winter frost
on chapped lips
turn back
the minutes
to the moment
you saw his smile
turning the corners
of your mouth
to meet his

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Change and Resistance

Should I pull back before I place the drop
of blood upon this silver plate
should I let the red swell tight to syrup
or turn it into ink? Pondering resistance
the aerodynamics of cardinals and bluejays
caught between sunbeams and storm clouds
is this whisper loud enough for you to listen
or just a child calling a dog god, or god Bob
because he doesn’t know the names of places
should I drop a letter in the mailbox
stir a movement calling out for change
as they push me to the side and drown me
do they wither in their loneliness or steep
like bitter tea leaves, do their hearts cry
for one more day of the routine that kills them
because it’s all they know of life?