Last Memorial Day

We walked to the Cultural District to be
at the jazz festival & basked in the sax of Nubya

Garcia beside men on mushrooms grooving
underneath eternal heat, sweat in the air

everywhere. It was a rare off being free
to roam in the spring-summer-autumn days

of Lone Wolf. This year, we seek public stairs
down the warehouse side of Liberty Avenue,

past the church turned brewery & power
plant we nearly lived across from. Above’s the plentiful

hill with blue water tower, where we pretend the mayor
lives inside its steel blue dome with all the rich hidden

in the hills with their crow vision. The community
pool is empty. The boring streets to drive through

are the interesting ones to hike with uneven brick &
ramshackle storefronts never noticed. Here’s a record

shop for anarchists. In this decrepit year we look to fill
my head with chaos to make sense of the field around us.

We have been walking & walking the sunset magenta
over Bloomfield Bridge yet summer seems a year away.


(originally published in Selcouth Station, Spring 2021)

Blue Digger Bee

do blue digger bees buzz like honey bees do
or like jazz from tinny speakers
the city night starves for jazz
just a little touch finger on palm
yes I am over your plaid cheeks
like physically my eyes are exhausted
the out-of-order escalator will move no further
yes we waded in pastel watercolors
soft peal of wetting paint
temperance of modern rain
kestrels singing in forever air
tints of cerulean debasing the feather coat
deftness of a painter’s hands
what loneliness in the canvas will glimmer in a gallery of twenty-first century still life
that is real
the mixture of white and black paint stain so entwined in the fingers gripped by brush
the challenge of how do you make this Vietnamese-man-sitting-alone-at-a-table as compelling
as a bucket of salt dipping from the sky
I think of a plodding pizzicato on a yellow glass harp
children in red shoes lining up for a king-sized carousel
our teeth are the strings on the replacement years from now
somehow the present is pregnant with the future
somehow my mouth is fanged to nearly ask
fingers hold music that has not been heard
arpeggio flower petals drifting in the wind
umbrage in the gutters
fingernails recycle them into leaves
the digger emerges from sand
and creeps back into its widowed sepulcher

(originally published in Prong & Posy, Issue 2)