Old Friend on the Patio

it took reshaping the lawn
into something a family could admire
to hack through the underbrush
of silent years–
sawdust in grass
a dull branch brown

 

(originally published in The Borfski Press, Spring 2017)

Advertisements

To Never Return to L.A.

I hiked through the backwoods of Yellowstone
wondering why my life did not change
with every step. That beauty could
become so manufactured. Looking over
another massive canyon– my third in the west
in three days– what’s so good about it?

You could fall into adventure, sure.
You can fall into anything.
Love, of course. Art.
Self-loathing.
Escape.

I drove aimlessly for three months,
watched landscapes lose their painted strokes.
The bristled edge of sky inside me turned
and dried, brought me back to deserts I camped in

on the side of the road many freezing nights,
my breath the hot air on windshield,

blocking my sight of stars,
those lost things guiding me
that smog made me forget.

 

(originally published in The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Summer 2017)

Space Junk

After the breakup, our phone conversations
become space debris, steel pieces hardly
discernible hurtling haphazardly at five miles

per second. Where do the scraps go?
The gold taste of summer will impact the brain
and puncture, enflame. We wish to assist

the start-ups who seek to construct
machines to eliminate wayward spares
of satellites trapped in the gravity of a body,

propel its dust into the atmosphere to burn.
We drift wary of small artifacts
from failed missions to emerge

in the distance of night to strike
and make split into fragments
we will never assemble again.

 

(originally published in Allegro Poetry Magazine, Spring 2017)

Slow Bullet

My father often mourned
the mortality of grass. I never

want to grow accustomed to the mower’s
tornado roar then limp drawl

that crumples summer’s green
into bent xylophone. I wonder

every morning why I’m there, or here,
and never sure where I ever

relinquish my shed skin for dust
blowing out into the wellspring of time.

 

(originally published in The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology, Summer 2017)

I Used to Film the Ocean

& I’m talking to this
video student at OU
who still dreams

but I’m jaded
& her boyfriend is jaded
‘cuz we both lived in L.A.

& he’s the type
I tried to avoid
that sneering type

who is “always correct”
supreme confidence
& cockiness

he shows me his art
a painting of a blue
stick figure hanging

on canvas
the best thing I’ve ever done
he says

but in no way does this
represent
my finer works

 

(originally published in #thesideshow, Spring 2017)

“A Man Bears Beliefs as a Tree Bears Apples”

 -Ralph Waldo Emerson

pleading with a red delicious begging god for good
even though I cannot process Jesus I still chew and
spit seed and you walk over the guts of me with your
shoes on sidewalk in the sweltering August of laying
in grass whispering love between dandelions so much
we’re sprouting from dirt in ugly ways all thorn
and bloom overgrown with each other there are
no gloved hands around anymore to pull us out

 

(originally published in Bluestem, Spring 2017)

Simple Machines

Force plus distance creates the want.
Machines make work easier to do:

pick up the phone and call her.
A sloped surface can move the heart

from one peak to another by decreasing
exerted force per beat while increasing

the distance over which the want
can travel– a simpler way to have

without the work of wanting.

 

(originally published in Randomly Accessed Poetics, Spring 2017)