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 walk waiting for the clarity of nature to upend my core
having forgotten again another grand idea I had the night before
the rain-soaked sidewalk
& deep dent on a passenger door
a two-story house I think is too tall
too wet bricks and white columns
each window a translucent universe of past
raindrops & the universe everything ahead of you
out of reach past the physical
the American flag waves in the wind
black sedans drive to a hair studio
talk show hosts spit they just
& my dream once was to be on television
& in Los Angeles it happened
my face on mom’s television
but otherwise forgotten
still signals invisible waves
here I am a field the scribbled wandering
eyes & a blue jay makes a home in a tree
& me in the days I become
when I look in any mirror
(originally published in Botticelli Magazine, Spring 2018)
We can work on puzzles all day,
watch the patterns move
from one color to the other.
Block colors twist in gradients
until blending into something else.
The sun removes itself
from the scene, shifts
behind a cloud,
creates a change in light,
a block of bricks on a building
slightly darker than the rest.
(originally published in SOFT CARTEL, 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)
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)
look in the mirror
that’s the ghost of you
a fraction of a second ago
I look into my lover’s eyes
and she seems alive though
I know we’re wilting
together when we hold
hands the action is
a time traveler
our atoms providing
the illusion of touch
but what of the heart
does the beating keep
us breathing or the
faith that we might be
my head rests
on your chest
echoes of eternity
I am both part of
(originally published in Hamline Lit Link, 2018)
I add more
I add more
(originally published in Misty Mountain Review, 2017)
A shadow figure outside the Ford’s locked door.
He jiggles the handle
hey can you drive me to Santa Clarita
I said no I have been drinking whiskey
which was a lie
he said let me in
I did not
When I wake for a walk in the middle of the night,
clothes bunched on red benches under streetlights
like someone had been there
I call my ex
I can’t stop thinking about you
shadows float from her eyes
understand: we lived
in the cave of each other
under orange streetlights
blankets hang from headrests
to drape me from the world
(originally published in The Nottingham Review, Fall 2017)
Gates clot with distance: other thickened loves not directly related
to active devices are increasingly important for post-fabricated
hearts to facilitate not only process control, circuits, electric life,
but also accuracy of simulations critically dependent on parasites–
your fundamental process parameter.
A thinner gate enables smaller, faster transistors to critically affect
hearts: techniques were developed to provide accurate values.
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy: you materialize as light
witches on. Auger electron spectroscopy: hold the sun in its light.
Secondary ion mass spectrometry. Transmission electron microscopy.
And the meaning lost in poetry.
And you I lose in visible light.
(originally published in The Icarus Anthology, Summer 2017)
If you drive a car whose
combustion confuses fuel
for air, the engine will quiver
along smooth concrete.
At certain speeds, a clanking
rotor is similar
to the natural cadence
of heartbeats in embrace:
amplitude becomes a deafening
in the stillness of night.
Let a rotating machine of mass
be mounted on a stiff spring
to fix support. The pieces
must move vertically in
a single degree of freedom
even if the rotor is unbalanced,
its hypnotic center missing
one valve’s intake,
forgetting the other’s exhaust.
(originally published in Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts, Summer 2017)