Tag Archives: poem

Nov. 15, 2002; if your name was Toilet.

Looking through old typewritten papers I keep finding these odd ones typed on the back of really strange photocopied magazine adds; in 2002 I am working in the library at the Univ. of New Orleans filing old magazines; my boss; Hurricane Florence; had me photocopy to archive millions of these strange adds. I would keep a copy and take it home to use as poem paper. This poem paper just happens to be an ode to Eliot.

The smile is of content, of radiance in acomplishing
an open book breeze slicking back your hair
fanning you.

You could see with your glasses if only you had eyes.
and your clothing will never become fresher, never un-mothed,
like mothers tells us, 'stop picking at it'

Let your pocket blow it's own nose
the world lays top sided and languid outside your windows
a slight blue of where 'now' will take you

However, there is falsity to this world,
perhaps it is mirrored without you near
or backwards (I'm sorry, i see xxx only rings on strings)

but still i return to that x madening glare
you seem to me as if you are the breeze, and the book is blown over by you
yet still, somewhere in the darkness you are dreaming, of wasted lands

You arex spotted upon stripes round that neck, 
some striating your collars perpendicularing your apple, & most are hidden
because of your overly properxxxx aproach to looking to much like you.

Smiling, breathing, blind, hearing, smelling, and holding on to life
yet walking, you may not do, never again will you promanade your way
threw my park, nor my chess game,

xxxxxxx i remember someone once told me why you added the S to your name
because backwards,
it would have spelled toilet.

Poem on his birthday…

Dear Brother,

Seven years? Is that right? Today is your birthday to turn 35 and you’ve been gone for 7 of those years now. I remembered that silly poem I wrote for you the year after you died – I shared it with few people and was happy when it came to mind yesterday talking to Amanda. Everything is still good here, things seem well with Chad; I think you would love my fiancé; I have a great career that I worked hard for – you’d be proud of everything. Happy birthday.


March 1st and the underneath
of beneath the grounds is a’rumblin.
Benjamin stirs in his made-for-a-Jew
coffin twixt two trees and a road.
Arise brother dear a rise!
From the zombified dirt and goth wounds
of the too many girls that will cry
and bleed over your grave tonight.

Shake them their maudlin pathos
and reach an ashy hand
from your cremation-tin-can
horror movie style with a half bent finger
and please – flip them the bird.
Happy Birthday is the word on your seventh birthday
elsewhere, celebratin’ with the Ghosts
and drinkin’ down your spirits.

For tonight I shall drink down your spirits,
with 2 shot glasses double fisting
some Moodswing Whiskey stumbling
over the upside down shovels
that I’ll use as stilts, like a Scared Crow
wobbling through the graveyard
my drunk fists’ll be dirty
from the digging up and digging down with you.

March 1st and the underneath
of beneath the skies is a’fumblin’
through blue hues of drug dazed
and hands balled at our chests.
Benjamin breaks loose the stitches
and vomits embalming fluids
burns off the doll suit and cuts loose
with a scream and dances the Skeleton Dance.

Owls hoot and the wind wails
as dust upturns from the foot stomping
of Zombies in their birthday suits.
Eating the cake of headstones,
getting stoned and boozed from graveleft libations
cawing into the night an Izibongo
of spirit guides while gliding into the shadows
to be seen only from the corners of our eyes.

Happy Day to the dead
and happy is our dead this day
for Benjamin turns whatever age his
ageless soul lets him; and since I still
have life left in me to breathe,
I’m blowing out the candles for you all.

My Lisp’s Mistress…


According to pediatricians, when I was much younger, there wasproblem with my tongue; the frenulum was “far too short” and just, “had to be cut,” so that later in life I would speak like a normal person…

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So then – as a teenager with impacted wisdom teeth about to go in for surgical removal, the doctors decided, “yes, this should be a fine time indeed to get rid of that pesky frenulum.” After surgery… Well… I’m sure you can imagine – 4 teeth pulled and a piece of my tongue removed.

Of the few people that notice that I do have a slight lisp with my voiceless dental sibilants (in particular the letter ‘s’) you not only did not make a joke of it but instead showed me how much you loved it. Every /s/ I spoke seemed to pour out of my mouth and into some aural erogenous zone that would elicit from you some kinetic necessity to reach out and kiss me. You are the mistress to my lisp…

My Lisp’s Mistress
    For Amanda Blair

Her fingers skim the skin
of my jaw she says,
“something in your smile,
some – thing perhaps – slid
from your tongue?”
She focuses, indexing
the sulcus of my
chin and says, “some
unveiled vestige of
Phoenician history –
a sin passed when
unused, unpoured
forth from that soft
palate,” her thumb
tip traces incisivus
superioris fastening
phalanx with philtrum
sealing orbicularis oris
to colonize my alveolar
ridge she sighs, “mine!
My salix lips –
my sibilant hush,
my lips-sentry
of Semitic shin,
polydeuces of Greek
Sigma and San as
unspeakable siblings,”
she presses sedulous,
against my pursed mouth
leaning into my cheek,
collapsing into a respiring
command, and whispers,
“I want to hear you hiss…”

Approaching the Villanelle… Cautiously…

Of late I’ve had encouragement to explore darker and more personal expression through poetry, sculpture and general corporeality; the results haven’t been the, so to speak, easiest for me to come across.

We are here to, as Brené Brown puts it in her talk on vulnerability, connect with each other. What else is there for us besides this, ultimately?

I’m reminded of the last stanza in the Herman Hesse poem, “Late in the Night…”

Grieving over a wasted life,
scraping the pits of memory,
taking my only comfort from the thought
that, forced to live, we’ll have the luck to die.

Of course it is not unusual for me or any other artist to have had, or presently hold, the insatiable ability and drive to relate to that sentiment and wish, consequentially, to “take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing: end them. To die…

The openness I have been utilizing in my recent explorations of poetry has brought me to a very shadowy place; one year ago, this month, I had a medication error that drove me to psychiatrically dangerous places that did physical damage to me and emotional damage to my loved ones…

Briefly, an accident when I was a teenager caused a broken clavicle and whiplash to my spine; physically growing from then and into my twenties it was apparent that my spine was having difficulty remaining where it should. At the end of my twenties the constant spinal pain, numbness, tingling, loss of mobility etc. became unbearable, I took to seeing many neurosurgeons, physical therapists, yogis, chiropractors and pain specialists.

I found great relief in Vicodin and soon thereafter, physical therapy which indeed did save my life from what seemed to most likely be painful until I would, “have the luck to die.

It was last year, September, October and November where my doctor had decided to try me on a steroid in hopes to reduce the inflammation in my thoracic spine; the damaged discs were too close to the spinal cord and they were unwilling to inject the steroid into the area as a result. I was given two courses of a steroid called, “methylprednisolone,” and, as it turns out, “roid-rage,” is a very real and terrifying thing.

Throughout these few months I channelled a lot of my disgust and anger into a set of poems written as suicide notes. Had I had any real intentions I’m not really certain, but I did, when my memory and thinking became clear again, find about 7 poems numbered as, “Suicide Poem 1-7.”

And now, having said encouragement regarding openness even if it is darkness, I have decided to tackle a poetic form I’ve long since loved with the content of one of those poems.

It was numbered as, “Suicide Poem #6: Remember Me as a Time of Day,” and was fairly lengthy; I cut it down to a decent size and, after a lifetime of failed attempts, feel I have written a successful villanelle. This is poetry in its most therapeutic sense…

The title, and one of the rhyming lines, comes from the song that played endlessly on repeat for  hours and days at a time. I’m certain it did contribute to my mood greatly. Play the song while you are reading the poem – it will easily set the mood right.

“Remember Me as a Time of Day.”

Remember me as a time of day
as heartless, vain and as appalling
while, prostrate, I to forgiveness pray,

forget not that fire; whom I betray.
At autumn’s frost, as leaves are falling,
remember me as a time of day.

Remember me through April and May
and through my haunting mother’s bawling
while, prostrate, I to forgiveness pray,

“forgive the dreams I’ve led astray.”
And when nostalgic grief is calling –
remember me as a time of day.

Remember the worst that I portray
through lust, through spite and senseless brawling –
while, prostrate, I to forgiveness pray,

“live not this life another day
and slay those ceaseless voices galling;
remember me as a time of day
while, prostrate, I to forgiveness pray.”



Post thought…


It occurred to me just now, while walking the pug, that the success of a villanelle rests in the repetitive lines being statements, requests (remember me as a time of day) or demands (do not go gentle into that good night). I am now forced to think how repeating questions would function in a villanelle.