Caw!

The stuff that comes out a bird's mouth.

Poem 20150630

the heat is a vampire
and the humidity the spell
of a strega bent on revenge
sapping the energy out of my bones

the morning started out
so promising with the overcast sky
the june gloom
but too soon turned vile

and now like some gazelle
its marrow exposed by hungry lions
i wither on these plains
in this heat

Poem 20150629

the snake gets called out
for being
subtle
crafty
cunning
depending on who’s translating

adam and eve just
took advantage of his offer
recognizing in it
a kindred spirit
an alimentary canal
that slithered on its belly
consuming and expelling
everything in its wake
an ouroboros, a midgard serpent

the whole human condition
wrapped up in a constantly renewing skin
desire and rejection moving us forward

fear and anger and compassion
like arms and legs that sprouted later
and tried to pull us in different directions
many masters of a single-minded
eating and shitting clockwork

Poem 20150628

i went fishing one weekend
with my father
and two men
half bothers from a previous marriage
either one old enough to be my father
one had children older than me
but this was trip with only a father
and his sons

the four of us rose early
and the water stank
heavy, wet and thick
everything rotten in the river
rising in a fog

but worse
smelled bait my father swore
stank so bad
that the catfish
disgusting bottom skimming fish
that they were
would smell it
and be drawn to his hook

he had kept it in an
old mayonnaise jar
in his closet
ripening for months
it was pale yellow
like thick spoiled cream cheese
swimming in an oily ocher bath

they like to eat smelly things
he said

i caught a fishhook in the finger
but don’t remember catching any fish

my father and his older boys
talked about tijuana
which was close to where we were fishing
and the mexicans crossing the river in the middle
of the night
and i remember seeing a girl
not much older than me
in a dress printed with red flowers
who looked afraid
but i couldn’t imagine
of what
since i had not learned to be
afraid

and when the trip was over
we took an ice chest full of fish
back to my brother’s house
for his wife to clean
because apparently
that was how it worked

Poem 20150627

stretch

the tissue screams
with the slightest pull
brittle with disuse
and soft from abuse
divorced from its
predestined purpose

no pain
no gain
–they say

and the snapping of tendon
and breaking of ligament
bear witness
as the fibers tear
and mend

scar tissue makes
the best muscle

Poem 20150626

FrIdAy HaIkU

resting in my hand
the perfect summer fruit
sweeter in my mouth

Poem 20150625

outside i saw the moon
well half of it anyway
hanging in the sky
like it belonged there
like it owned the place
not even a whole eye
to watch over the world
in the darkness
but i think it will do
for tonight

Poem 20150624

we are the men made of paper
we scribble our lives
in permanent marker
on our arms and legs
until it bleeds through

we yellow in the sun
are stained by a parade
of coffee cups
we are folded up
tucked into back pockets
forgotten like grocery lists
and sent through the washing machine
and the dryer
and turned into little paper bricks

forensic scientists and archeologists
will puzzle over us
if they can decipher us
we paper men
in a thousand years
they will conclude that we worshipped
only ourselves

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