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Monthly Archives: October 2014

The New Food Movement invited me to dinner,
As it often does, to discuss politics.
I was very hungry, and hoped for a banquet.
The evite conjured urban farms and rooftop gardens,
Little heads of lettuce grown without soil,
Nourished by plastic streams of water
Circulating the droppings from tilapia.
I love tilapia. It tastes like whatever it’s cooked in,
Like some aquatic tofu, but with texture.
The New Food Movement talked about P-patches,
Family farms, community-supported agriculture,
Permaculture, monoculture, enzymatic culture,
The culture of community and family under attack
When we trust assembly lines to make the meals
Served at bread lines to former farmers.
The New Food Movement wants us to get to work,
Wants dirt in our nails and land in our bones,
Wants children to know where food is grown,
Wants everyone to be a farmer. Skyscrapers cascade
Grapevines and condos cultivate arugula in
The world of the New Food Movement.

But I’m hungry now and the New Food Movement
Serves only stale rhetoric. The salad is made of leaflets
The entree is a cold serving of revenge. I can’t starve myself
As I wait for this bountiful future, so I stuff myself
On chicken nuggets and Round-Up resistant corn flakes.
My stomach is full, but somehow I feel like
I’m still going hungry.

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A roll of the dice.

Is it chance or the release

of inhibition? They say flip a coin and you’ll know

the decision you already made.

They say things happen

for a reason.

She always called at three am.

They didn’t tell you that.

They didn’t tell you that you’d wonder why

me?

She’s crying because she’s drunk

and picked a fight with her pregnant roommate.

Because her roommate is the crazy one.

Because she needs to move out

right now.

Because you’re the only one who understands,

not that you do. But you did kiss once,

and ever since she called or just showed up

when she needed you.

Always three am.

She wakes you with a phone call from the Tri-Cities,

half a state away, so you get nervous.

Only this time she don’t need you,

but a play on what you would do

if she were with you. Every time

her heart broke she called you.

You keep the dice in your hand

because you know this is a gamble that won’t pay,

but you always wonder.

Because you know what she wants

may start in your pants but ends with a ring

that isn’t worth the payment plan.

 

When she called you the last time

you were driving a U-Haul

full of the things belonging

to a girl you didn’t love.

It was daytime,

but she called anyway.

Three broken engagements in a year

and she’s stuck in Los Angeles.

 

It’s three am she must be lonely

but she doesn’t know you anymore.

She’s back home in Pasco

and her high is fading,

so she drives to Columbia Park,

plays Russian Roulette

and loses to herself.

Now every time you roll the dice

her eyes look up at you.

Is a day off school in my hometown.
So I took my truck to Chuck’s point
to hunt buck. I strapped that buck to
the back of my truck, then jumped
bumps down hill and dumped
The hunk of former buck. We cut chunks
And froze a feast for weeks. I couldn’t help
But thank my luck for the buck hunt day
When I could have been learning geography.

Dear Readers,

This is very much a work in progress. Because I am pulling from classical myths and baroque art, I wanted to spend some time getting all the images in before I returned to the prosody. This is mostly a listing of those images. Haven’t written a piece that required research in a while, and it’s nice to get back into the old stuff.

Thank You.

 

Daphne:

 

In bed we lay admiring the canvas of our skin

fingers tracing marks like the lines of a play

so long in memory the recital feels dry.

Mine seem silly and always self-made:

a gravel scrape on my knee, the chunk of chin

that once shut down a skating rink, or

my forehead’s constant reminder

not to back-flip in bed. Each one worn

as a badge of boyhood done right.

 

Your left hip bears hash-marks from

the burning grill where you “fell” at five,

stretched to spider webs by twenty more

years of living. From there your laurel tattoo

grows up your spine to blossom around

the cigarette burn left by the same babysitter.

 

I thought I carved you from the stuff of my dreams,

some sort of ephemeral marble masterpiece,

shifting and translucent with abalone eyes,

ears like pink pearls that catch the light

in a thousand tiny shimmering sparks.

My baroque beauty, I thought you were mine

because I dreamt about you, because

that’s how dreams work.

 

When I wake, you’re still here

breathing in a way Bernini would never see,

with a life long-lived before my dreams began.

I want to hold you

but you’re already half gone to bark

changed before I ever met you by burning hands.

The theme is resilience, and your burns now

shell your skin. Your pursuer was no lusty god

and so he’s rooted instead. You may be ever

green and never fading, but lines untraceable by

fingertips run deep.