Frost Free

and filled with distinction:
a standing rib roast
a rack of lamb

minted chicken salad
clams Hollandaise
and some entire beast

en croûte.

Here are all the
edible creatures
of land and sky

and sea. The exterior
is seafoam green and all
cool reassurance of

permanent plenty,
banishment of want—
everything that was
needed and not had,

now procured,



PAD Challenge prompt: ____ free. If it’s Tuesday p.m., be sure to check out Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.



Incomplete, Unauthorized Episode Guide to The Love Boat

Captain Stubing awakes on the deck of a cruise ship.
How did he get here? What has he become?

Guest star Charo eats some bad salmon, is forced
into close quarters with Doc Bricker. ¡Ay, dios mio!

Hour-long closeup of Isaac, staring into
the middle distance while wiping a martini glass.

Vicki wonders what life is all about.
Ah, well. Time to hit the disco.

Certain promises are made
by guest star Betty White.

Julie, having no other activity ideas, directs
the passengers—including guest star Charo—
in a production of No Exit on the Lido Deck.

Some ugly lady and some ugly dude almost break up,
but then they look up at the stars together and decide
that’s a whole lot of empty space up there.

Gopher. We haven’t seen much of him yet.
He’s been living deep in the ship’s hold,
lining his nest with cast-off cocktail dresses.

Chlamydia sweeps through the Pacific Princess.
No one is spared. (You knew this was coming.)

Guest star Art Carney, clearly confused, keeps
delivering lines to some imaginary waitress character
named Alice. The regular cast rolls with it.

What is this all about? Nobody knows anymore.

The ship runs aground, and this bunch
must somehow form a family.
Various things are made from coconuts.

I suppose you could call it that.
A version of love, sure.

Two people die while dismantling the Princess,
overcome, at last, by her toxic gases.



If it’s Tuesday p.m., check out Open Link Night at dVerse Poets. Today’s PAD Challenge prompt: Love poem/anti-love poem. (I think this is the latter.)





I’m sorry about your saddest moment.
I’ll send you a cake with an accordion on it.
Do you want some dead roses, too?
I’ve trained these bottle-fed kittens
to mew your name in chorus.

I don’t know what else to do.
I don’t know what more you want
from me. This is not a contest
of suffering. (Your face puffs up
when you cry. Did you know that?

It’s not very attractive.) Well, I’d really
rather be going now. I have places to be,
and clothes of yours to borrow, a life
of yours to go out and live
to the fullest, dear—




So, I’m doing the PAD Challenge, but I was really not feeling today’s prompt, which was to write about your happiest or saddest moment. I feel like I’ve done both of those to death — or, I guess, one of them to death and the other to birth. But anyway, I’ve done them — and didn’t feel like doing them again. So I invented this horrible, horrible persona. Like, the worst friend you could ever have.

Hey, if it’s Tuesday p.m., check out Open Link Night at dVerse Poets. There’s probably a lot of genuine happy or sad stuff there today.




in which you never see the thing
in which the thing is a shark

or a shadow of a shark
a shadow of its former self

ocean floors have a way of concealing
as if it’s all so much light and shadow

to say nothing of fins
to say nothing of




Using one of today’s prompts from Robert Brewer’s PAD Challenge. If it’s Tuesday p.m., check out Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.