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.


Reality Show: April 2015 PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day Six

And Greg in his Johnny Bravo suit
tells you how he’s really not all that


without his five siblings,
three of whom are really


(but no one seems to talk about that
beyond the first episode or two)

and really, if you want to get
right down to it, all of them
are actors, and at least

one of them will hate another one
someday, and several will write
insiderish books that contradict
each other on a few key points.

But now, all of them
gather on the Astroturf lawn,

assembled in pixels on your screen
as if waiting for you to acknowledge
just how real they are—sometimes,
more than people you know.

Sometimes, more than you.


Our Palm Tree House, Our Hammock

Gilligan, could you bring me a coconut?
I want to make us a whole new world,
one where our rescue doesn’t depend
on a plane, a UFO, a message on the

radio or our telephone wires
made of baling twine and birds.
Gilligan, I’ll wash your red shirt
for you, mend your sailor hat so
you’ll feel like a sailor again,

even though I hope you’ll want to
stay with me in our palm tree house,
our hammock. Look! I made a flower
out of flowers and put it in my hair.


Game Show Heaven

After so many decades in your living room, the game shows never forget: America is watching.
–Josh Noel, Chicago Tribune

If heaven is a game show, I like that.
That immortal shout of existence,
like a large and enthusiastic tornado.

How quaint it all seems, this sobering
dance party, this razzamatazz that
offers no insights. A glass of wine
relaxes me, whispers that I am still

young and pretty. Young and restless,
a colorful swirl of movement and frenzy.
Someday, I know, the puzzle will be
thrown out. Joy and tension, conquest

and defeat, all will dissolve in the jokes
and boogie music from the hidden powers
above. The mere truth of being here,
entering this wonderland at last, is

enough to drive you a little crazy. We
stand and sit, clap, clap more, clap
louder. We wait for lightning, to hear
our name, the invitation: Come on down.



For NaPoWriMo, Day 28.



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.)