Musings on a Single Topic #2


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What are phantoms made of?



The mist from lava dropping into the ocean


open doors

blowing curtains

words spoke softly

dim lamps with antique shades

beaded curtains

crackling branches

padded steps on a wood floor

lost loves

good advice, in retrospect

dappled forest light




historic markers

a large single stone, out of place


a single light aimed at an object in a history museum

the human-shaped indentation in a mattress or pillow

a discarded book

a discarded musical instrument

his favorite song

her favorite song

his favorite psalm

her favorite psalm

long hallways

an empty house, filled with furniture

sleep paralysis

a child’s imaginary friend









Der Blauen Kunstler


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When you paint a house

on canvas

it must be blue, for this

is the color of home.

The soft robin’s egg edges of motherly

relationships, the deep indigo

of sleep and dreaming begins

at your hand. Reunions, a pale sky

of ephemerous greetings

and embraces. However wayward

the color of distant foothills

and city lights are,

home remains blue.



Musings on a Single Topic #1


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What is left behind?




Paper clips and candy wrappers

Friends from high school

Friends from college

A car, in the parking lot of a bar, when you’ve had too much to drink

A CD, a favorite one, in 1998, in your ex’s car

Doggie bags full of leftovers

A credit card

A debit card

A driver’s license

A penny in the “take-a-penny, leave-a-penny” bowl

Parents, when moving out

The open road

A pile of work

Notions and preconceptions




Any semblance

All my belongings

My naivete


A mid-life crisis



Rainbows, wherever I go

My best recipes

A 20% tip, at least

Notes of appreciation

You, to clean up this mess

You, to do all the washing up

The laundry, in the dryer

The laundry, in the washing machine

Directions for tonight’s dinner

The rolling hills of our last stop

Some unfinished work

A letter

Panic and destruction, in my wake

Half a pancake

Half a waffle

None of the french fries

A cigarette butt

Empty beer bottles

A mess

A wreck

High school sweethearts




Grower Hope


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Holding this blueberry

in my hand, I do not know

where it came from

or how it will grow.

The ground is too shallow

here, stained with saltwater

and filled with debris. Skree

is really all it is, no place

for this tiny thing to root.

I must be delicate,

otherwise its blue will leave

a mark on my palm

that may be hard to remove.

I shuffle rocks, slate and shell

until I find soil. My nails have

collected the earth. My skin

tightens from the drying soil,

but I dig a place

for this tiny specimen

and wait for next spring.

Making the Night


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Stringed night

Moonbeam notes

Play along

Crowns and crests.

Billowing darkness,

So rich I could grasp

And fold the warm night

Toward my body, having

It for myself. Lyric leaves

Whisper, sowing my mind

With drowsy songs

That open my

Skin to every breeze.

Forest floor, papered,

Over time gathers

The lunar composition

That streams southward

Through the canopy.

I can hear this. The sound,

The velvet, crackles against

Distant window panes

Asking to be let in.

Dampen yourself, it says.

Let me lay

Alongside your body.





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I say a prayer
This plate of rice
And question whether
I am worthy
I know this is not
What prayer is for.
There is no comfort
In silence.
And the wintering
Of my bones
Is the only answer
To my questions.
Short and hard
Are my days,
The design of February.
Within me, these questions
Feel distant
And contaminatory.
All I can do is feel
The fading warmth
Of this meal
And chew slowly.

Recording Device


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I can feel the beat.
You walking through the door.
Me listening at the door.
The slightly humid room you would like to escape from.
The air conditioning kicks on with a sputter
as you turn it down
one degree at a time
like a safecracker.
The shirts folded where you left them:
in the basket
and the carrots simmering in butter.
Where did you come from today?
The rugs under your chair
I’ve never seen and the music
I turn on in the evening.
The pots I put away while you fold
paper bags and wonder where
to put them.
The boiling water and the remote control
‘s silent adjustments.
The jacket on the chair, both chairs
and the shoes by the door.
The knife against the plate,
ice falling on the floor.
It broke into multiple pieces before you could catch it.
The paint flaking along the windowsill
where the tree branch taps every November
to let you know that Winter is near.
Your teakettle with the ivy decoration
and your laugh during Futurama.
A Doritos bag, when you want to be healthy
and a deep sigh when you do not.
The cat scratching and summer beatles
at the doors and windows.
The doorbell and the ice cream truck
‘s bell and the oven
letting me know the biscuits,
the cookies,
the cake,
the chicken
is done.
Refrigerator in B-flat
and the consternation of all our electronic devices.
Hail in Summer and rain in Spring and
each neighbor saying hello in the way they know how.
Reminders spoken about
swim lessons,
thawed meat,
bath times,
and clean clothes.
The music you sing in the morning
mainly to yourself.
Popcorn on Friday,
pancakes on Sunday.
Gathering coats, hats, purses, and bags to leave for the day.
Paper towels torn from their mates
while the cat watches.
Birds through the back window and the
squash growing thick by their nest.
That is not my noise,
that is my beat.

Midnight Snack


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Kitten calls are the way to find out nature is in your living room. It wakes me at 2am every night. Bladder and cat food, like clockwork. Between popping the top off of the purina bin and glancing at my own nighttime reflection in the dining room mirror, I begin to wonder if I am in fact alive. The reflection is solidly there, but during the night, after the day, before the alarm, I am not solid. In fact, should I bump into the table on my way out of the room, I may not respond and instead watch as my particles come back together on the other side.