I was at Pink’s Hot Dogs
on the set of a reality show
working as an extra
when LeBron announced
his return to the Cavaliers.
I read the article repeatedly
on my sun-tinted phone screen,
its own small gospel.
In my Ford in the evening,
I sat in the Ralphs parking lot
wondering if LeBron
can come home, why can’t I?
Then I reasoned
Akron’s prodigal son’s return
means more to a city
who does not know who I am
than I mean to a city
who does not know who I am
and until my name
is plastered on blue
signs welcoming weary travelers
The Birthplace of the Poet
then why can’t I
is the relationship
of an alignment
of some celestial sneeze
into a birthplace of stars
or the bloodline
between who you were
where you grew up
and who you still can become
(originally published in RAW Journal of Arts, Spring 2018)
on my scalp
in your laugh
on our tongues
(originally published in Gnarled Oak, Summer 2017)
At the foot of the staircase to the stars–
in the back of the line of actors drunken
from delusion (I’m going to make it),
each of us with hands full of hangers,
heads full of the fame
that glimpses a star, a familiar face,
how we chosen ones flicker
on living room screens
of friends and families–
a blip, a blur so brief
we were almost never there at all.
(originally published in The Piedmont Journal of Poetry and Fiction, Winter 2017)
(originally published in Jet Fuel Review, Spring 2017)
It was tough to leave for work this morning,
collie’s silhouette usually at the top of the stairs
a shadow slinking, eyes glowing.
Your heart nearly stopped flailing its arms
as it sank deeper and deeper into the ocean.
When you watched Silver Linings Playbook
you saw your dog in the face of Bradley Cooper
those dark eyes shining in the greater darkness–
driving home with the key stabbing the ignition,
you drove wanting anything to please you.
It wasn’t in the trees or the swaying lights
or the Post-It notes crumpled in the bagless bin–
no, collie ran in circles. You reached for a treat,
your heart compiling sand and blowing glassworks–
collie on set with Bradley Cooper, his eyes
on her galvanized eyes and all she wants is ham
you’ve never seen a ham this juicy and
why am I excited about ham and
collie with her eyes makes Bradley
see the ham, want the ham,
want the ham like never before.
(originally published in Nude Bruce Review, Summer 2016)
Never touched her mouth.
Abandoned in the green room.
Leads me back to a twilight daze
when winding up the knowledge
would propel you into a frenzy
without ever touching lips.
I smoke her fingertip into
dark clouds and remember
the accumulating snow
which falls, now, as tiny ashes.
(originally published in Oatmeal Magazine – Issue #8, April 2015)
Unease hangs on fame trees
bespeckled by drooped prop lights
as I leave Valeria in a bus
like she belongs, as if anyone belongs
anywhere, who’s to say what’s right
underneath a moon who lies
every night, concealing
lighted portions of herself, hiding
dusty cratered skin
as dark places in
of empty spaces
while mannequins remain
tucked behind glass,
wearing gold; exquisite, fit,
staring, wanting, vacant, stuck, cold
in their grim, posed smiles just beyond
(originally published in NEAT., Issue 5, September 2014)