Perfect: April 2015 PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 27

Looking back on it now,
I wonder if those fat rainbow shoelaces
were the best gift I ever received,
arriving as they did unbidden
from an Easter Bunny I didn’t even
believe in anymore. Bless my mother for
stockings and baskets for nonbelievers,
admission of magic after fairy time was done,
fat rainbow shoelaces for 10-year-old girls
in the ‘80s. Perfect. Just perfect.


You and I Will Know: April 2015 PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day Seven, and a Program Note

Hold me closer, Tony Danza, tell me
what’s on every last bit of your mind.
Call me a taxi if I’ve said too much

on the talk show you still host, even now,
in the darkened conversation pit here
in your apartment, under all the

framed photos of you and Judith Light.
People say I look something like her,
Tony, and the other good thing is

I’ll never make you ask it, the question
that defines and haunts you, years later.
You and I, dear, you and I will know.

Also, I’m pretty sure I’m going to miss the next three days of the two challenges I’m doing, and will catch up later. I have some travel coming up, and while I can write under those circumstances, it’s often not the best.


Out into Nothing

It’s a long day
when there’s a freeway
down the middle of your heart.

Falling vampires in the shadows.
Good girls are made to be broken.
Is that your name written in the sky?

What carries you away?—Jesus?
Elvis? Horses? Your boyfriend? Or is it
all the bad boys of Southern California?



I wanted a fall song, and somehow I ended up with “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty. There’s more to it than I remembered—lots for me to work with, and a real sense of place.


Make Another Man Sing

Uncle Charlie is the one man who weeps
like a dove lapping at cream. Feel it:
the power of love in his wings,

the steel wings of his DMC-12.
“Tougher than diamonds,” he says.
“Tougher than diamonds, and hard as

a dream.” It’s like a train, the guitar solo—
to a time before credit cards, when he
was poor, but everything sufficed.






After “The Power of Love,” by Huey Lewis & The News, as requested by John Allen Richter.

My base was this one — because if you’re going to watch this video, you might as well watch it with the full intro. And then I watched this one because I’ve decided to allow myself to consult the lyrics of the songs I’m writing about. And then I finished with this one, which is just the song, minus lyrics and lengthy preamble.

Requests? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!


Lies in Your Eyeliner

Damn it, I’m the guy in shades,
and I will not have this masquerade,
these costumes and red lipstick,
these ladders of night.

This mattress brings no rest,
only steam from the radiator
that lives in my mind, fills
every moment with its heat.

Oh, no. You stamp my visa
again and again: DENIED.
Oh, no, you keep me here,
in a hallway of violins.

You deceive me; I wonder if
there are lies in your eyeliner,
lines of your story that you keep
inside your hat. I keep my lines

to myself, behind these bars.
I can’t hurt you; don’t be afraid.
Give me back my switchblade—
I want to show you my visions.



Inspired by Corey Hart’s “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night,” requested by my friend Malissa. Do you have a request? Let me know in the comments!