Friday, March 27, 2009

for Timothy

the fiddler on the corner takes minor
chords and bends them to his will
as we squint in the sunshine,
he because he makes a living,
and i because the music
is amazing and it's warm
in february
and i must soak in as much
as i can before it flees -

feeling like gypsies, camped out
on the concrete,
listening, watching
the heat and shine
dance off his flashing bow,
and i wonder where
home is, when he goes.
the beer i abducted from
the fridge at work we
split, talking of school
and its hypocritical
the irony
of educating someone
who still cannot make a way
with all their skill.
but it's okay, ale
in the warmth of the sun
cool and delicious contrast
to the stones
of the streets,
the concrete beneath
my feet as i walk away,
a jig
dancing its way into the air

Thursday, March 19, 2009

february snow

falling so thickly in
large clumps it
would be magical but
the street slushes it
as soon as the flakes
meet pavement.
just a little too warm
on our ground.
so it runs
and drips off the building tops
and down the rails
for the streetcar
in grey ribbons,
which might have once
held a spark of the
mysterious blanketing
power of pure powder like
what trapped us snug
in our houses
for a week in december -
the thirsty old brick
laps it up
like sandstone,
and darkens.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

personals section

and yes,
we really are that lonely
and desperate for connection,
you'll see it in
our faces, smiling too hard in the photographs
and our overly-optimistic words,
knowing even
as we write them
the types who read these ads
for a brief connect of some kind
will be skipping
down the paragraphs to the picture
or the part where i tell you
my bra size
so any person genuine enough to tell me
something that isn't pretty
i will drop a line,
if only to say,
your ad made me smile

the pathetic loneliness that comes
from our insular social patterns - to work,
to bar, to home and from and repeat the
same motions until
all we know
is the constant momentum
and a nagging sense of something
essential missing
when i page through
looking not so much for
someone to date or fuck,
as much as
the hope that someone
who finds me appealing will continue
to do so,
once pixels
become flesh, and blood

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the difference between

outside the snow blankets everything
like a crutch
and it will fade,
by morning,
in our constant rain.
meanwhile, i'm resting my head
against the windowpane, not
as drunk as i could be, and not
as drunk as i ought,
holding the last beer of the carton
and wishing
the snow would cover more
than just the tops of cars, houses
& fences so i could feel justified
in sleeping through the next
few days
without appealing to the excuse
of mental illness
which, at this point
seems a lie
as i can't seem to find
the madder side of me, even with
a little prodding.
can't decide if i miss her more
than dulling myself with medication
is worth, or at this point
whether it matters at all.
so i watch this snow blanket
cover us, it's 3:47 and all
i think is that somehow i must
for surely
everything will face
and i'll be left wondering
if i ever even saw it at all

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

waiting for winter to end

the snow silhouetted in
the streetlamp falls
thickly, but won't stick
so i know
tomorrow will have
only slush
and grey concrete
dingy wet sidewalks made treacherous
by what will soon
turn to rain, or
maybe just fade away.
so i'm waiting for the streetlight
to blink out, and
obscure everything
it might illuminate
in shadow.
and i'm wishing
for the dark to come and cover
what i am sick of seeing.
even the trees bow under
the weight of the wind
that keeps the snow dancing waltzes
in the air as if
when the lights go out
their world, too
will sleep

Monday, March 2, 2009

what lies beneath

i don't break words,
i shatter them
and meld from the shards,
scrape the shrapnel out of my scars
and pile the dented vowels
into a heap of things that could be whole, but

the consonants get left behind,
like younger siblings of famous folks
smug on the rug, smiling nastily
at the vowels trapped in their tower of fragments
they don't try to fuse, anymore
tired of dismemberment, and
the vowels' persistent inability
to commingle

they no longer walk in stride.
disintegrating into the silence
most define their lives by, the
taciturnity that turns
and bites at those who try
to demolish it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


i am 'heart'sick
and cuntsore
of talking about love
so let's look
at what's surrounding
the 'finery'
bearded men on the buses scraggling trash bags
of empties behind them,
beer in incontinent dribbles.
the college-educated
working some deadman job
with holes
in their shoes& knees
of their pants patched
with scraps -
i mean, contrary
to popular belief, this ain't quite
no fashion statement
it's called poverty

around us our neighborhood sports 'storewideclearanceclosing'
signs, yes
and this is what's left
for us.

at the mall a delicious pen shop
houses a man who works
in three-piece suits&
looks like Sinatra did, forty
years ago,
and he remembers my name
every time
i'm by.
i wonder what he is thinking in
that deserted shopfront&if
there's anyone
for him to go home to.
i want to ask him out for drinks sometime, but
maybe that would be creepy,
coming from me, or maybe
desperately lonely, which
i am
and when i smile at strangers on the street,
it's because i'm wishing i
could make some sort of connection with anything,

the bums that root through garbage buckets
for bottles or cans with a 5cent
and i would wonder about where
they go, but
i already know
they huddle neatly in sleeping bags
on burnside
all along its accompanying bridge,
squatting out a life
over a river