The Pleasure of Sad Music & Rain

After the Homecoming parade

After the hyper smiles stretched across painted faces

And the swiped clean devils

Retreat back into their moneyed facades

No one’s out on Sunday morning

At 7:00 am.

The rain — spitting, cold.

Few leaves on the ground

Curl around their disease spots like cigarette burns concealed in a palm.

The Smiths in my ears — old friends, so good.

Probably the best thing all day;

Almost home.

After summer’s cheerful sunshine

My heart’s hidden sorrow needs a gloomy Sunday morning

And the deer who notice me

Before I see them

Pause, alert in a pack of five

Leap into the denuded woods …

First Snow

Give me a morning of solitude & snow
Michigan — my childhood home
Give me the quiet beyond my noise
Give me ridiculously skilled guitars
Give me muted sunlight & early dark
Give me tickets to the 12 & 6 o’clock
Front row when she’ll dance her mouse
Give them Santa stories, cookies & gifts
Give me an inward sense of sober bliss
But most of all this solitary quiet
The first white blanket of beaded snow on the path’s bridge
My breath visible in the dirty morning light
The richness of orange leaves fallen, but not quite
Life exactly as it is, but only for a moment
I open to you & say,
Yes we are   we are
We were, we most certainly were
& now, we still are
Life-rich & life-weary, forward into the coldest season

If This Poem was My Body

I’d stretch it out long, 

rub my I’s

and then shake my sheets

so they flap all loose and silly. 

I’d stretch my arms way up

over my head, shooting schemes 

from my fingertips 

like an illustration of a lightbulb’s trajectory.

If this poem was my body, I’d seek

out my edges 

so that I’d know 

where to jump and then point

my feet into parenthesis 

And declare myself multiple.

(What is not my body or my poem

requires that I shrink it down 

to boxes 

on a one-sided form:

check off here or here. No-

body claims one  

without opening an infinity 

Other, if so explain …

What constellations our bodies contain.)

And if this poem was my body, 

I’d want to stand too close to you 

yet I’d overcompensate by standing too far away; 

I suppose that’s why 

my poem goes  

without my body —

a grown child leaving home.

This poem is 

and is not 

my body, flies away,

belongs to,

is liberated from 

my skies 

from which I’ve plucked

every word.

Busy Lady on Repeat (after Sylvia Plath)

I open my eyes and the day’s on fast forward. 

I blink, and the sun sets again. 

(I am more than you think I am)

Nouns whiz around the borders 

With random hilarity peppered in. 

I open my eyes and the day’s on fast forward. 

I dreamed I flew on the back of a vulture, 

Vertiginous — my exposed elevation. 

(I am more than you think I am)

We brace for un-yet-fathomed tortures,  

Shake our heads at his insanity;

I open my eyes and the day’s on fast forward. 

I want to write it down so there’s a sense of order,

But I never have enough time. 

(I’m more than you think I am)

I should clear space for a new self,

One who’s in the moment, loosey-goosey, calm.

I open my eyes and the day’s on fast forward.

(I know that I am more than you think I am)

Am I Who I Am?

I’m the hole in the donut

special bc he said 

women are special 

then silence (I don’t listen 

to what he says)

I am of 

no consequence

I’m the heart that was the heart 

when all of this began; 

the shoulder 

shrugging at the firework,

mid-explosion 

I’m not exactly an elephant hunted by men 

I am not personally hunted, and yet 

what I have has been captured; and the booty isn’t zero 

factor in the accumulation of our isolated nervosa  

I’m a sitting duck, ripe for the picking 

I’m scantily clad in the horror movie at which everyone is yelling

I’m going about my business

I am love when her eye sweeps over me 

I’m here, I say 

I am absence, off duty

in the gray mist on a dead leaf 

submerged in cold water, both never seen

and unseeable 

As for the donut hole,

no sugar dust can reach me

no crust of dough  

no rainbow 

no ooze of egg or fruit —

through the hole

I  

take 

form amidst 

the sugar of this world

wipe it from my fingers

with a towel, never with my tongue

emptiness 

knows its own