Monday, September 10, 2012



 Mostly, but not always, my poems are some sort of response to the image on the card I'm sending. Little stories emerge. In transposing the poems from where I typed them out after writing them to here, I keep wanting to edit things. I muttered about line breaks in a previous post. It was a lot of fun working with these cards (the ones with the text on the front).

The other day someone
introduced me as
“Jesse’s mom” and the person
I was being introduced to
asked how long I’d been
Jesse’s mom and I
replied since about
two minutes after
he was born for that’s
when I noticed this identity
theft by a tiny person
who couldn’t even talk.

It would not be good form
to ask what he’s measuring
in front of that spiffy
striped suit. Maybe he thinks
that’s how long the sandwich
will be that’s waiting for him
at lunch back at the house.
Maybe someone should
tell him it’s the size
of the billy club his wife
just picked up to help
with the housework.

She danced beneath a moon
moon caught her unawares
played with her as if
its light was a string
that tied her to the man
across the room who was now
her husband, her significant
other, her old man, her
numero uno and who was
it put on Peggy Lee’s
Is That All There Is
and why was she still
dancing alone with the moon

It was the little decisions
that got her down
lower than a limbo dancer
a nervous snake
a mark on an unstudied-for exam
she eeny miny mo’d
she tossed coins so high
they went into orbit
she broke sticks, lined them up,
forced strangers to pick one
and still she didn’t like
the answer she got
so she served guacamole

“Cash is for amateurs”
she said, not caring
that anyone who knew
their Louis Vuitton
would know the fake one
on her arm could only
be bought with cash,
the underground (or,
in this case, street level)
economy reluctant
to accept credit cards.

The day he wondered aloud
whether to wear shorts
or long pants in November
in Canada she knew
he’d been perfectly molded
into the unthinking man
she always wanted. Now
she could get on with
important things
—inventing interesting lunches
for she knew he’d never make his own
and how else to get him
to eat liver

Were we ever that young
he asked, quickly stuffing
some unsavory yet
quick to emerge memories
back into dark crevices
of his mind.
Sure we were, she replied,
don’t you remember?
How did you think
those kids who
egged the cars got here
in the first place?


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