My horoscope this morning:
You will swallow your pride
to give in to someone else
Take a brisk walk
and concentrate on reasons
The stars led me here.
I intended to quit
my job this morning
and found three chickens
in celestial alignment
it would be to walk
and walk out
to wherever the path
ends. Over the ledge
into the greenery
to live off the land
where I would
lay in the grass
and stare into
the night sky
you can’t tell
me what to do.
Light years away
from my current
life. To break
of monotonous days
when I want
to be jazz.
A roost of stars
light to lead
me back but I’ve
no good reason.
(originally published in Good Works Review, Winter 2020)
the cat purrs, content
on his own, clawing my blanket
that rests peacefully and soft.
meanwhile, I entertain fantasies
about quitting my job again–
every day, the drab walls
say nothing to me.
the squeaky chair says
too much. another paycheck
arrives, not enough to sustain
me past the day’s bills. I work
for the grim reaper, ghastly
and gray, worm-smile rotting.
there is a scythe to my head
when I sleep that I set the night
before but I can’t even sleep
long enough to meet it.
the cockroaches share my bed,
and I know they will make it
out of this alive, whether
nuclear war or work.
(originally published in EgoPHobia, Winter 2018)
I have given up on adulthood this time
at least not trying to pay bills
every electronically white-licked envelope
arrives the kiss of a faceless reaper
but I’m not playing that capitalist game
of unending rain filling plastic
cups the days that spill
on plain tile to move
the needles of hairs
and dirt I never
knew was missing
(originally published in Foliate Oak, Spring 2018)
Can’t even sustain myself with the hours
I work to make myself; a waterfall of dollars
and dreams splashing off wet stone. I hold no
heart hostage but my own; the heart holds me
hostage through beating, my breathing
a slow decay. In aging I prove nothing
to the universe except that I exist;
through the office, I prove I do not.
Despite the hours, the blood and bone
monuments I erect, then forget–
the steady draining of days worth
not enough to get me by.
(originally published in Sheila-Na-Gig Online, Spring 2018)
In the bask of computer light my boss
says watch for leaks in the room.
I know now what to pray for. Thunder
burps and rain’s radio static steadies
on the roof– a beating applause
that, for once, recognizes all the good
work I’ve done.
(originally published in Unlikely Stories Mark VI, Fall 2017)
(originally published in Santa Clara Review, Spring 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)