april tanka

   round red pomo-naut
   you are the apple growing my belly
       and the cyanide tumoring my brain
            wet slice of cantaloupe
                ripe black opium
                    static stalking radio pollen
                        cadet blue overalls
                            creamy sweaters sway
                                plum sap showers ooze (on the lettered keys)
you make my sensor tendrils sticky—

I wish I could convince your scent
                                your taste your feel
                                    to stay
                                        to come closer
                                            to turn into touch
pale winter hands reaching for
                                        shy rosebuds
                                                                shattering pale pink globes
                                                    of ice


divorce in new jersey

it is always on the verge of spring here
not quite, but almost

our trains ran all night into the dew
they whistled as they trudged through small colonial towns
gorging on naked baby rabbits and
the last drops in estranged liquor bottles
and we made no budge
or race for the window
knowing fear-well
of the stars bursting in flares to flames
to insatiable black holes

it’s a new jersey morning again
imprisoned sun in the east
the birds won’t shut up
and I can’t sleep in past six
I lost myself in plucking mindless strings
— homocide to a packet of honey
adding doubting eyebrows to a semicolon —
ensuring to waste every milisecond
up until the final
when it’s time to really get started

get me out of this place
can’t I be the plumes of a wing?
I’m on the verge of being human
I’m barely moving nowhere fast
and that is more than enough

I could engage the morning with christened bands
and long-body stretches-in-sheets
where all is slimy and writhing new
but too much potential is a curse
suburbia, too
where you can sit on your porch
wearing the shackles of tomorrow
watching the cues trail in reverse
mistaking dead-ends for cliffs

always on the verge
after a snowless rainless frostless winter
and if you don’t will it
spring will never come

in my opinion

the pure angel white inflorescence,
they robe the trees and breeze and streets
for the warm weather.

in my opinion,
the blossoms smell like death already came and went,
rotten human carcasses in trenches at best.

and at their worst:
the sludge at the very bottom of the pool in Hades’ hell,
where the floating silk souls dare not to go unless their
skin is shedding …
it’s Underworld rule that there’s no littering in the mainstream.

in Rome,
most cut off their noses upon premonition of death,
so they won’t have a sense of smell in the Afterlife.

the plague of feeling

being a child
feels like clogged ears and stuffy sinuses
the muted world
sweet lemon and tissues

mom brings home vietnamese soup
a soapy broth with thai basil
I watch tablets fizz and dissolve
in a crown royal tumbler

if the enemy aproaches,
I’ll surrender quickly
knowing I can’t uplift or outsmart
even if he’s drunker than I

he’d lay me down
tell me all about my favorite things,
himself being at the top of the list,
and I’d believe every word
he could say

being a child
in illness
waiting for a caretaker
who won’t come

time lapses and fevers
spring rushes in late
a hellish fog
scared, unprepared
I run for the bedcovers