Poetry Break

I attempt to translate the goo in my brain into something both palatable and relatable
whilst contemplating my grim employment prospects. Zigzag, zigzag go the roads
in a city I never expected to inhabit. Pittsburgh’s hills are steep. I expect at a certain
acceleration at an erroneous angle my Ford Fiesta will slow-motion backflip and
scrape the top side metal against the gravel and I’ll drop to where I started. You
ever read Catch-22? I keep picturing the pointlessness of the flying. The missions,
day-to-day. Figure eights inside the clouds and never further. I can’t with supervisors.
Hierarchy, don’t tell me what to do. I will, though. Mop, drive, fetch, catch, good
little doggy
. I can barely keep my tongue in mouth. Can barely control my saliva.

(originally published in On Loan From the Cosmos, Spring 2020)

do you know these streets

I do I deaden them walking
I talk them alive in the spit
of my thoughts specks of

gravel in my brown leather
Clarks not made for distance
I say to a neighbor hello

and that’s it before I leave
for another neighborhood
Friendship park you can

move in loops and loops
around the brownish green
in view of hospital whose

restroom I use no one cares
what I do everyone is sick
I don’t care I am too my legs

burn with lethargy though
there are days I want to yell
at dogs who do nothing

wrong I want the freedom
to lick sandpaper barks
of trees and keep a butterfly

between my teeth until
something inside me says
feast or let go

(originally published in Northwest Indiana Literary Journal, Spring 2020)


you stepped in dog
poop on your birthday
but still had a good birthday
we walked through windchimes
off golden sidewalks
& drank a vat of black coffee
free from a corporation
so desperate for your loyalty
all our other friends
reached into their pockets
to blow out their rewards, too

(originally published in The Daily Drunk, Winter 2021)

Grandview Heights

I need this walk through the suburbs
    summer heat has me a certain way
    lovers have me a certain way

I need to clear my head with the zen
of weedwackers droning, an SUV’s blur and
whoosh, lawnmowers torturing the grass–

white noise, white birds, white hybrids.
walked with white sneakers in the mud
last night drunk in the rain through an alley

(originally published in RASPUTIN, Winter 2020)