Some, I forbid. Oak, metal. Why stay like a gilt tiger hat?
What farthest deeds to the marina
negate mere language? Men like effective
fair trade in sighs and love.

And a water star for vanishing
over our sternest furlough,
an oak rocket in Heimlich benediction.



For NaPoWriMo, Day 23. I haven’t been explaining the prompts here lately, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t direct you to this poem.



Dirty McCormick

McCormick refused to take his bath.
He ran out naked, to see the stars.
One thing led to another, and he
decided to lie down, just stay

outside for a while. His father
brought him sandwiches. His mother
brought him a pillow. His little brother
brought him his favorite rocket ship.

No one cared that McCormick was dirty.
No one cared that McCormick was stinky.
They knew he’d come back inside …


And he did come back–several days later.
He thanked his father for the sandwiches,
his mother for the pillow (he forgot to
thank his brother for the rocket ship).

He told everyone what he saw–how the
moon licked his bedroom window at night,
how the possum ran along the back fence,
how the sun scrubbed the stars from the sky.

He showed them, too (and this was the
most surprising part) what had happened
as he lay there for all those days and nights.
Would you believe it? McCormick bloomed!


Felt like sketching him, for some reason. If I were to do it again, I’d have him holding something over his bits and pieces. As it is, I just drew extra dirt. Also, please tell me Shel Silverstein didn’t write a poem about a dirty kid who blooms, and I’ve subconsciously replicated it here. (This is for NaPoWriMo, Day 22, by the way.)


You, There

You, there, dreaming with your dick in your hand
here on April 21, 2014—all the trees just beginning
to bear down with their menace of bloom—

did you know that you look just like Marilyn Monroe,
or, if I squint, like Albert Einstein? But you’re no genius
of flesh. You live your life like a Hostess Sno-Ball,

soft and pink as a pair of testicles. Fuck being soft!
Let’s you and me just do some blow, watch the river
rise to kiss us like some simpering bitch. Clark Street

makes me sick with its tiki bars and celebrity chefs,
all that noise. Did you hear that Brad and Angelina
are going to have twins? I read it in Walgreens at

Clark and Lake, that taint of a corner. Imagine
his cock in her pussy again and again, just like
in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the movie that started

everything and nothing. Maybe some fucking
blue octopus from Australia will come over,
swim up all their assholes, kill the entire

grinning fam damily. But I love you! Do you
love me? I remember going to Disneyland
when I was five, the submarine ride with

that goddamn giant clam. And a mermaid—
maybe it was you. I don’t think we should
get high after all. I don’t think anything.

“Be well,” said the cashier at Walgreens.
“Be well,” said my hash pipe, settling itself
against my inner thigh, “if you can’t be good.”




For NaPoWriMo, Day 21. Questions? Complaints? Hey, read the prompt and click over to the list of requirements.



My lemon tree. The pool.
Avocado-colored everything.

Black wrought iron, bar stools
at my kitchen counter. This is
California, where I followed
my parents, had a husband
and three children, and now

a divorce. I wear my hair big.

I pretend to be younger than
I am. Leslie knows the truth,
but I don’t see him often, or

his wife and children. I can’t

help it that I was always
Mother’s favorite. She calls
me Phyll, comes over a few

times each week. She knows
my children well. Leslie could
have had all of this, too. He
chose to stay in Ohio when
our parents moved. That’s
right—he chose! And now

I see him bristle when
Mother brags about my

children, treats his like

the visitors they are. Well,

we all make our choices in

life. I chose a lemon tree, am

happy to have everything

that came along with it.




For NaPoWriMo, Day 20. Sorry it doesn’t look as Ryu-tastic as usual. One of Ryu’s quirks is that if you copy and paste, it doesn’t autocorrect the font for you. Sometimes I can manage to type directly in the WordPress window, and sometimes I can’t. WordPress users … Have you encountered this with your theme, too, and if so — any workarounds? Thanks!


Unequal Bittersweet

Sparse dove! What is in your Lazarus jewel box?
Do you know what is under your Peruvian hat?
O, my false cup-and-saucer, why are you false?
I wear the heavy bonnet of your deceit; it is
a ghastly miter. Even now, I would be your
Strawberry Top; you could again be my
Woody Canoebubble. The old names, our
old love, under this incised moon–no longer
this shoulderblade sea cat, unequal bittersweet.



For NaPoWriMo, Day 19.


Change in Going Far

At home again, back on this couch.
My eyelids droop; I am a grouch.
When it comes to travel in a car,
I’m not so sure that I can vouch

for refreshing change in going far
and stopping in some hotel bar–
to piped-in music’s thumping beat,
crossing the lobby like a star.

Nor having different things to eat,
no vegetables but lots of meat.
Now I’m back to peace and health,
but, oh, that detour, short and sweet!



For NaPoWriMo, Day 18.



Hotel Sick

Distant traffic and occasional trains as my

daughter lies beside me in a messy bed,

her face almost as white as this duvet,

her dark eyes burning. The heavy, choking
scent of hotel cleaning products, cut through
earlier by vomit, cloying and sharp. My eyes
ache too, and I wonder if I’m headed for
headache times and stomach flu times

myself. Someday, this will be a story:

Remember when we went to Springfield
and you threw up a bunch of times, in the
bathroom and also at the Lincoln Museum,

in the front row of a red auditorium before

the show that had those strobe lights, smoke,

and shaking seats? Someday, this will be a
story. Someday, maybe we’ll come here

again but not do these same things.

My daughter lies on her side, awaiting
the promise of TV on my computer—

this one, the one where I’m typing now.




For NaPoWriMo, Day 17.