Category Archives: Original Poetry

Untitled on Purpose III–Poem #writing #poetry

Untitled on Purpose III

Sunset brings to me
A new mind changed from
Old like night to day,
The people in my head
Swimming frantic blue
Backstrokes through ever
Muddy waters of
Yesterday. Dimming
Light and fading strength
Run breathlike from my
Home, tumultuous
Beliefs already
Flowing from my own
Cretaceous scaly
Rock. I want to be
Drunk all the time to
Dull the hairsplit knife
Edge in my brain. I
Have lost something that
I never knew I
Had. I don’t even
Know its name.

Seasons–poem #writing #poetry


Facing industries of
Discontent in the fall
Of a plague year riding
Engines of coherence
And unjust compromise
I wonder if the sun
Can light the way or melt
The cold and deadly touch
Of human permafrost

On Halloween we dress
In masks to cover our
False faces giving thanks
For things we never lived
Through and take for granted
Fat men in sweaty red
Suits ring charity bells
While rich men throw pennies

Spring is a green mother
Summer a furnace that
Bakes cookie cutter men
Coalblack apathy eyes
Asking if anything
Changes with the seasons
Why stand stuck fast in a
Snowbank fried by the sun
Simply because you will

Missing Pieces–poem #writing #poetry

I haven’t put up a poem in a few weeks, so here’s one.

Missing Pieces

Take away the pain
Of sleeping with you
In your shushed absence

Take away the bums
Starving children’s ghosts
And legless warriors

Take away the gnaw
And the sin in their
Stomachs and their hearts

Take away hope of
Waking up with you
Of hungers banished
Of the end of death

And you have someone else’s world

You’re Doin’ a Heckuva Job–poem #poetry

Here’s the poem I read at Monday’s “Poets Picking Poets: Poetry and Pastries” event.

You’re Doin’ a Heckuva Job

The current shoves us toward
The wards and tin-roof neighborhood
And jostles hungry orphans as they
Wade across the streetcar tracks

While down on Dauphine pictures snap
And cell phones left on vibrate wake
The tourists fresh from Omaha as
Traffic drowns on Poydras Street

From above we must resemble
A child’s sandcastle half-built
Ramparts crumbling in high tide
Motion of inevitable breach

And I remember when I didn’t vote
When plywood nailed to windows seemed like strength
And councilmen found other pressing needs
As mayors fought for looser liquor laws

We wade upstream to higher richer ground
We stop to help a toothless woman die
Her grandson wails a dirge as we adjust
The lie we tell ourselves in bed at night

And know we own the water at our feet
The children’s dreams that none of us would save
The barriers that we never quite forgot
The shields we always knew would fail

And believed in anyway

Arkansas Possums–a poem #poetry #writing

I am completely swamped with grading and won’t have time for much new material, if any, until after final grades are turned in three weeks from now. In the meantime, here’s an existing poem from my younger days. Can you tell where I grew up?

Arkansas Possums
For Miss B and Mister L

The August night skims
On a million wings,
Vampires who make love
Malarian position.

The moving storm drops
Cloudy pods of light,
Fitful sparks against
Dusty, ancient Mason jars.

The humid night wraps
Tight about the Earth,
A bitter fisted
Salute to her nothingness.

Young boys panther roads,
Search back seats for love,
Dropping fifths and pints
In weedy summer ditches.

Possum smashed to dust,
Blood still fiery bright,
Solitary waste
On hellish backroads,
Transfixed in gravel,
Its surprise like a buck deer’s
Round spotlighted eyes.

Poem–Analogy #poetry #writing


My life is like
A set of lost
Car keys

To so many

To others who
Use it

Find my life in
The cushions of
Your couch

Or in pockets
Of your heavy
Old coats

Drop it in your
Pants until you
Need it

Where it will be
Waiting whether
You know
It or

Untitled on Purpose IV–A Poem #poetry #writing

Here by popular (well…occasional) request, another poem from my files…rather dark. Thoughts?

Untitled on Purpose IV

Standing on vague borderlands
Foot in each country
Can’t see the landscape
Teetering on a great wall
The wind changing directions
Nearly makes you fall
American dreams
On one side on the other
The burn ward of hell

Screams–A Poem #poetry #writing

Written after a fight with an ex, and the requisite beer binge that followed…


The ex wife screams
Eugene O’Neill at me
In south Rhodesian

I scream at her
A Gertrude Stein For Christ’s
Sake For Christ’s sake For
Sake Forsake

And neither one
Can comprehend the one
Who’s talking but that’s

An Old Poem #poetry

Here’s a short one I wrote WAY back after my first divorce. I don’t know if it’s any good or not, but call it a look at one moment in time, lived in another life.

At Night

Sometimes I miss you
At night when the lights
Are out and I fail
To see who is not
Here though I still hear
Your breath