Monthly Archives: June 2009

Forty Poems in 40 days-sputtered out at 35.

Well, it was a noble experiement. And if moving and the busiest work week I’ve had in like, ever at this job, and an out of town trip all conspired to zap me short of the finish line, I still learned something. Namely that, despite what I have long believed, one does not have to passively wait for the Muse to arrive to do poetry. It can be practiced on demand. Maybe not always prettily, but it is possible. Good news for stuck poets everywhere who want the kick-start! Below are entries 21-35. You can find 1-10 and 11-20 in previous entries.

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Two shakes of a lamb’s tail
Urban Dictionary:
Where did the phrase come from?
Answer Girl:
No one seems to know.
Her dark matter:
One who has seen, sees readily.
The Maven’s Word of the Day:
Visualize those little tails
constantly thrashing
back and forth.

Book of Love
Who, they ask
(understand, despite
my coming disparagement
of it,
that it remains
a damn fine question)
who,
who wrote the book of love.
Who wrote it?
We ought to ask:
Has anybody ever read
the motherfucker?
The world has
by and large
seems to have
left it on the shelf.
But you and I,
You and I…

Meeting Abbey’s Mom
Curtain pulled to one side
staring out morning window
with the cat.
Hand on doorknob
deep breath before opening
warm flannel
deep bosom hug.
Amused smile
sideways glances
holding her hand.
Hearing of
embarrassing childhood
stories
now warming
to possibilities.

Do it now!
Turn down the dog
Switch off the cat
Floss your pants
Fluff the driveway
Put on your groceries
Unzip the TV
Slip on your car
Make the garden
Water your bed
Fold the eggs
Whatever word is given
Act don’t think
Do it now

Concrete Poem
one square
gray
with hints
of silver and white
smooth plane
marred by chunks
scratches
and lumps of age
spotted with pads
of squashed black
sticky gum
white splatter
left by
passing bird
and green-yellow scrub
growing at the margins

Ergonome’s 12 Golden Rules for safe keyboard use #11 & 12 work well for life in general too
When you travel
from Home,
don’t resist
natural movement
When you’re not traveling,
Rest at Home

Church Street Café
Back when it was Muddy Waters
this place
used to be
a train-wreck,
each pitted, scarred table
a coach carrying
a choir of whores
who gargled
waterfalls of scorn,
their filth lodged
in every crevice
of the cracked,
blackened brick wall.
When it was renamed
a gong must have struck
in some eternal realm
sparking a baptism,
the whole place born again
as a respectable haunt
of laptop computers
and advertising execs
talking independent film.

Morning commute, 28 Fort Mason
Bank of dirty brown-gray cloud behind
Stonestown pull of the magnet from the
journal clasp on the pen ivy-choked parking
lot fence work crew shoveling piles of tar
into hole in the road hedges look like an
80s rapper’s haircut San Francisco Masonic
Center glares through lack of windows
Taraval Vietnamese place orange green
red splash of color on the corner Sunset
lettered avenues a sea of pastel houses
squat peach Jiffy Lube guards Noriega’s
slope down to the sea growing crowd of
elderly Chinese at the front of the bus
broken by lone Russian newspaper reader
“wet paint” sign by the barrel-chested
green trash can on Judah chipped paint on
a forlorn tan house between Iriving and
Lincoln thick green trees on either side of
the fast route through the park clear smell
of eucalyptus through the window blue-suited
crews watering & pruning he rose garden at
Fulton the girl on at Balboa long straight
blonde hair mass exodus at Geary as always
California connection to Chinatown finishes
off the stragglers white arrows point toward
narrow lanes green walls climb the side
toward the tunnel flickering halogen light in
concrete tube on the other side tall trees in
the Presidio like matchsticks white clock and
red lights on the toll booth steel gray bay and
red thrust of bridge up into foggy
disappearance ivy ripples in the wind at the
turnaround Coast Guard ship clipping white
trail through the Bay Palace dome with white
city dully gleaming in background light is
transparent here at the stop.

ST:TMP
The first twenty minutes
always makes me cry
With the medal cast
on the burning sands
The Golden Gate
And the shuttle
with the admiral
circling the ship
like a lover
approaching the beloved
with hushed reverence

Changing Viewpoints
We are flat, and
it moves around us.
We are round, and
it moves around us.
We move around it,
in epicycles.
We move around it,
in ellipses.
We move around it,
in ellipses, determined by
the force of gravity.
We, and it, and millions of others
are all gathered together.
Billions of others, all gathered
together in a giant pinwheel.
Our pinwheel just one of billions.
Just one of billions
all expanding outward
from a single point.
From a single point,
that’s a quantum fluctuation.
Quantum fluctuations
are influenced by observers.
It moves around us?

This seat is mine motherfucker!
Surge of adrenaline
and leap to the feet
from the crappy side-facing seat
as the bus slams to a stop.
Launch down the aisle
icy stare-down of the old man
bounding my way,
proceed
with no regard
for little old ladies
boarding in the back.
Slide in to the last forward-facing seat
for the long ride to come,
panic finally subsiding.

(untitled)
from pointing straight up
to shriveled
can happen in six seconds flat
when she pulls a gun

Ode to Sinatra and Sean Combs in Hell
I see k.d. lang
on TV screen
singing with Tony Bennet
and I like her less.
What’s she doing
with that thug?
Then I realize I’m confusing
Tony Bennet
with Dean Martin
and I like them both again.
And really
I only feel that way
about Dean Martin
because he palled around with
Frank Sinatra.
So maybe
he’s innocent too.
Regardless,
my contempt for P. Puff-diddly Comb
and his whole genocidal crew
remains undimmed.
I guess I just don’t like gangsters.

Every day in recovery is like this
The bee on my shoulder
buzzes.
It is his nature,
he means no particular harm.
I move to swat.
It is instinct,
I contemplate it without malice.
Pausing,
I use the umbrella strap
to brush him off.
A new day has dawned.

Singing the lease
walking from room to room
checking the fixtures
your ghost was on me
like a rabid Pomeranian

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