Haiku Dingue

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a work of fine art
‘ceci n’est pas une pipe’, huh?
it’s goddamn perfect

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Haiku Haletant

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wander with me dear
fingers laced in bated breath
burning with passion

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Haiku Paisible

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falling leaves silence
the dirt comforts my bare soles
this life is lovely

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Haiku Délié

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brass bell ensemble
brazen beauty swing stepping
dance with me darling

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Haiku Émeraude

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the tin man is cold
we walk this yellow brick road
what do you search for

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Haiku Tranquille

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dragonflies hover
lily pads like checkerboards
listen to the fish

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Aside

this is my truth

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How do you help those who do not ask for help?

the stagnant stench of well wishes
left out to rot, a thin skinned nectarine
innards strewn haphazard pulsing wounded
wooden core carved, two capitol letters
encircled with a gracious heart

I loved you, once.
I loved what I thought we had.
I loved the way you shaved my face in the shower.
You filled me with honey-turned-air
so maybe it should make sense that
before our balloon partnership burst,
so big and so empty,
I felt so desperate for you.

You had already given me everything.

How unfortunate.


so I will paddle my own canoe
occasionally thinking of you
sending small birds laden with words
and sweet nothings piled high

even if you can’t stand to
talk or listen or hear
you will still have a memento
of something I hold dear

you are a wonderful lily
somebody will one day hold tender
I want you to be happy
you are a strong oak
somebody will one day shade under
I want to help you
you are a sweet peach
somebody will one day taste daily
I want you to prosper

I gave you a piece of myself.
I will never take it back.
It is yours to do with what you will.

Please do not leave it locked away in the back of your dresser drawer.

Derecho

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Derecho. No, it’s not the new item on the menu at Taco Bell,” the man on the radio says in the morning, “it’s a short, violent storm that’s due to ravage most of Southeast Ohio tonight.”

This summer is the hottest I remember, last week I showed my brother how to fry an egg on the asphalt out front. Most days my brother and I ride our bikes or go swimming, but today we have to stay at home on strict orders from our jailer.

“Derecho.”, my mom tells me, “So come inside when it starts raining.”

The grass feels sticky from the air-sweats-on-you humidity of the Ohio summer, wailing beetles fly amidst the emerald leaves of the trees. All morning we worked inside, washing the dishes and cleaning the house looking forward to freedom outside. All for nothing. My brother and I recline on our arms in the front yard tossing what’s left of a ball to and fro playing our labradoodle’s least favorite game: keep away. We sit at the end of the yard next to the tomato plants and pick grass to nibble on to pass time, I’ve never felt more bovine.

“At least it’s going to rain later,” I say to Sam.

“Derecho.” he says.

“Derecho.” I say.

A rumble accompanies a sudden gale through the yard, catching the ball and carrying it just out of reach of my brother’s fingers. As if at the beginning of a movie the sky dims, a deep navy cloud descending on the town from the west horizon. A wind carries mist through the yard that makes me shiver and knocks my cap from my head. Tree branches whip about amidst another rumble, a single dull thud, that murmurs from the distance.

“Let’s go inside, man. This is crazy.” my brother says, his eyes glassy and wide.

Ten minutes prior the sun bathed my arms in golden light, twenty minutes post all but one or two sunbeams are sunk by the torrential pour of rain assaulting our red sided house. My brother and I are in our swimming suits standing on the screened in porch at the top of the stairs outside, mist blasting our faces. The only light shines from within our house, throwing long shadows across my Mom’s face. All at once in a clap of cymbal and flash of sky; Darkness envelops the porch. The wind picks up and throws the rain at us, the gale deafening as trees creak and groan in the yard next to ours. I see a tree fell in the street, taking an all-white mailbox to the ground with it. The sun is all but blotted out and I can hardly see the ground outside, my phone reads five o’clock. A few more moments of chaos and then, as if the movie were ending, the sky grew white and the rain slowed to a drizzle.

“Derecho.” I say.

Everybody else nods in agreement.

flammable

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my passion a hoard of tinder

craving a smoldering other,

ignite my ember

consume me to a

tender-joyful-beautiful-surrender,

her lovely being searing

my mind and body,

her burning desire

leaving me scorched and bare.

           ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I deep breathe the love motes

that settle around us,

my husk filled with you

and yours with me,

 I trace your ashen skin

my finger can’t find

where you end and I begin.

The Videogame that Saved my Life

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Three friends on my giddy ride home from practice.

Seven cars in my driveway and twelve relatives they belong to.

Twenty four crossed arms, twelve tear-stained faces.

Two rivers taken residence on my Mother’s young face.

 

I don’t play basketball much anymore.

It was chilly that September night.

Dark and dusty on the basement floor.

And me, in an egg shaped chair, silver controller in hand,

clutching.

Twelve Mormons, twelve antagonists, one floor up.

I can hear the way they murmur “Does he need?”

He need not. Not he need. Need not he.

What will I tell my brother? My sister?

Camp stove. Closed window. Mountain asylum.

They can’t know, fragile as they are,

just recently eight and not yet five.

My brother won’t be baptized.

My sister won’t remember.

Four hours, three o’clock, two aunts:
“Are you okay?”

No—yes—maybe—probably—will be—sure.

What are you playing?”

This? This is my friend. This is my compatriot.

This is my father. This is my still-beating heart.

Won’t you come upstairs?”

You see this black cord sewn into these silver guts?

This is my umbilical cord.

You see that timer? That beautiful, elegant sideways-eight?

I’m here forever.

You see the way I duck and dodge?

One thought:

O, I am fortune’s fool.”

Aside

Lions, Tigers, and Bears

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walking alone
[Brisk Bold Brash – oh my]
roasting in a long sleeve flannel
[Eggshell Knuckle – oh my]
my fist clenched on a single pebble.

on the horizon, an emerald shimmer?

 –

no? no. no no. no no?
no.
[no] no no no!
no no? no no. no! no

my best friend the tin man,
my worst enemy his missing heart.

Urban Exploring (lost in a concrete jungle)

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This post is written in response to Daily Prompt – The Zone.

I love the damp smell of a building in ruin, the way a place can live and breathe with only mice and cockroach skittering inside.

Let’s get lost, hmm? An old asylum should do the trick — let’s do some urban exploring. It’s such a wonder to get lost in a place that’s so beautiful yet so melancholy.

1

Here’s our entrance, a door with the window broken out, on the back side of the asylum, don’t cut your hand on the window frame. It’s a fitting entrance, one that’s unnoticed and misplaced, attached to the building at a thirty degree angle to the back wall.

2

Diaphanous, sheer, veil across summer window frame. Most of the windows in this room were covered with the same shroud, I designate this room “The Room of Turin”.

3

The hallway along the only path into the building, slowly being reclaimed by nature as vines snake through gaps in the windows. Flecked paint on the walls reminds me to put on my mask — apparently lead isn’t too great for your health.


4

 This is the only light fixture still attached to the ceiling in this thirty foot hallway, and while it’s broken and useless it’s more valuable than most everything else there.

5

“The Stairway to Heaven” — These stairs led me to the second floor, a place that reminded me of what Narnia must be like. On a side note, I’m severely turned around at this point, I must’ve walked at least ten minutes down snaking hallways to get to this stairwell.

6

At the end of this hallway, when I walked in, something crashed in the room on the right. I’m still not sure what it was, I didn’t know poltergeist messed about in the day time!

7

The doorway that leads to the “Serene Room”, it reminds me of a portal to Hell.

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The Serene Room. This room is deadly, absolutely quiet. Sunshafts are illuminated from the windows as drops of sunlight bounce off floating motes of dust.

8

My view from inside looking out, at a window with an old asylum gown hung on a hook just adjacent. Old pipes and gas lines snake around willy nilly in the asylum, mimicking nature’s vines and twigs that strive to reclaim the structure.

9

Somehow, after wandering another fifteen minutes, I found myself in a corner on the second floor next to a stairwell, which led to this door. A hallway lined with patient cells that leads to the way out the front door of the asylum.

Let’s get lost. Please and thank you.
_____________________________________________________________________

Cracks in Paint
Without sense of self,
no need for direction,
let’s get lost, lover,
at nobody’s discretion.

Follow me until wit’s end,
down the dark, dank, and dreary,
I’m always close, just your hand extend,
I’ll support you when you get weary.

Evil eyes and poltergeist,
it’s their faces leering,
walk past, lover, past the mice,
it’s not you nor I steering.

G-d and his g-d d-mn l-m-ns

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Icy and golden,
I dare not taste that sour liquid for fear of
the skin-to-skin contact that makes me humble,

 the kind that drives people to find their G-d

 (breadcrumbs of faith, wine cups of tradition, paper scraps of worry.)

I spent that summer sweaty next to my best friend.
We spent hours putting cards in our spokes, riding around the neighborhood – always a determined look pasted on our faces when passing by the girls in manila church skirts. That day, the predominately Mormon community was deserted and boiling, dusty hot. My father built me a lemonade stand, with dreams of rags to riches. I have no patience for lemons or the ade they create – Me, a martyr, pouring that liquid into the sewer so my friend and I could say
“Look, Dad, look at how much lemonade we sold!”.
I felt a sacred duty, a designed purpose
To pour that crisp cool summer drink directly through the storm drains.
To save their esophagi from the deadly caress of said liquid born in yellow.
To dream of fluids beyond the quasi-nightmare of an ocean in dandelion tones.
It’s strange –
Before I emptied the pitcher
through those steel slits
I never noticed how flavor electric
His empty promises were.
Weeks later I throw my prayer rags
in the air and Cupid will carry them to Timbuktu
(the other final destination not conducted by His truly).
They hang in the air with bated breath like
unpaid interns serving cups of freshly brewed French press coffee.

Tomorrow is another day

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Have you ever stepped in a puddle?

Just been walking along, minding your own business,

when you find your foot all damp and sorry?

And then kept walking along, socks a-sloshing,

spirits a-dwindling, all because of that darn raincloud?

And when you cut your finger with paper blade,

oh how it hurts, how you want the hurt to go home, go away.

Father Time can help, you know.

He may be slow, but he’s sure as steady.

The moon knows it.

The sun knows it.

Even the little mice know it.

That’s why they live in little hidey holes,

that’s why they go home at day.

They know that tomorrow waits,

hiding under Father Time’s coat cubes of cheese laid out on plates.

obsessive

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I have an obsession with non sequitur.

There. I said it. Whew. Now I can go on with my life, right? (RIGHT?!)

Now can I finally stop believing that the sentence “Evil eventually ekes elaborate euphemisms” is such a rich and valuable conglomeration of words? Can I cut my fishing line baited with “Hullabaloos”, a word that attracts promiscuous word lovers (English majors?)

I’m afraid.

Afraid that I’m stuck here forever floating
in the sea of diction on a raft shaped
like a beautiful, elegant sideways-eight.

Have you ever written an entire page of gibberish?
The sheer non sequitur of it all!
It’s irresistible,
all those dense nouns and flighty verbs and flavor-wormwood adjectives.
It tastes so substantial, so nourishing, and so ultimately useless.

My obsession all began when I was eight. Tall, Mormon, skinny, I had just reached the peak of Everest. The week before I spent years lounging on the dark side of the moon, building moon castles with space dust and drinking out of a dimpled coca-cola glass a mimosa aptly named “astronomical sedulity” the contents of which are:

  • three stones of comet ice
  • 2 oz. quasar pulp champagne
  • equal parts protons and neutrons
    (it does not follow)

My obsession all began with a simple goal: to become interesting. I’ve spent years exploring the jungles of Vietnam keeping track of all The Things They Carried, working out the logistics of selling hundreds of pounds of chocolate-covered egyptian cotton while flying forty-five-no-fifty-no-fifty-five missions, and became flushed with bated breath as I heard that tapping, tapping at my chamber door.

Have I succeeded? Is a cat in a box dead? Is a cat in a box alive?

(Don’t let it out, Pandora gets angry.)

My obsession all began when I was twenty. She was sitting straight-backed just shy of the spotlight at the back of the room,  five minutes later she’ll walk out — dragging me by her daisy chain. In that instant, my entire being bursting at the seams, I whispered after her

Won’t you, kind stranger, come, stay awhile, take a dive into the sea of debauchery? Taste the cocaine and the absinthe, witness The Sun that Also Rises over the Hemingway hills.

Aside #182

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Don’t tell me some divine isn’t out there watching over us, listening to every single thing every single person (7.075 billion at last count) thinks and still has the time to affect the effect of fate in every single life — a real task, considering the multitude of Shakespearean-esque worry in the world what with all the “O, I am fortune’s fool” — and on top of it all allow for bees to make honey and DNA to replicate and cats to be stripe-ed as they are.

No, don’t tell me this — I’d much rather follow the priest, a zombie (He or I? Not that it matters, Schrodinger as this situation is, I’m so torn on the matter half the time all the time).

Don’t tell me this, because this always leads to that and that’s evil.

Some old guy told me so.

When life gives you lemons…

Okay, where’s the sugar and spice with a side of everything nice? Maybe a glass, too, drinking from cupped hands offends me.

…make lemonade.

Back off frenemy, you know I don’t like lemonade. Maybe I’ll make a spritzer, or rather give them to the soured poor, or squeeze them into the sewers so nobody has to make lemonade from Life’s spoiled, rotten lemons.

caterpillar monologue

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The leaf I’m on is fragile, green, iridescent to any other eye but mine. I mistake my foot for a bike tire, ten in a row. Ten pins on either side of me, waiting to be knocked over by an apple dropped from Newton’s own hand or the avid hunter with a keen eye for perfection.

I’m sitting now, across from tall brick red strength, a history of respect and intellect, a delicious atmosphere reminiscent of the surface of Venus. And yet, it’s addicting. I’m an addict, to all the attention and sleeplessness of this institution. I’m addicted — just like my Labradoodle, that muppet of a canine chained to the tedium of the game “fetch”.

Do you remember when? When you rolled down the field sized hill through the patches of dandelions while college students shot past riding on chariots made from blocks of ice. Years later you’ll look back and smile on the first time she knew you knew she knew after you said:

Elsie, you have no idea.

Woe is me the feather shadow, come to snatch my soul from the face of this fragile planet – the same ecosystem that nurtures my contents only to consume me – berating my exhaustion into the stone corner six feet under. “You’re so insignificant” says everything, “You’re so insignificant” everybody says, “You’re so in(significant)”. 

Stop it. Nobody’s saying mean things about you. You’re not even on our radar.

Just wait, before long now i’ll not be a speck of matter, no longer a mote of existence, but a deity of hue and saturation. And while most won’t take note, I’ll still exist as a deity of deference. You don’t know what I’m named, that’s the good bit. You can’t see me, but you can see the way my butterfly wings propagate hurricanes across golden shores.

a love letter to nobody in particular– (Read: ‘Vous m’avez brisé le coeur, le bijou de ma vie.’)

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maybe it’s the squiggle
in your hips when you stretch
and mew in my warm bed
before you’ve actually woken
and I kiss the soft lobe
of your ear to incite the
small grin that stirs up
butterfly happiness under my skin
or maybe it’s the freckles
that grace the delicate and
supple edge of your cheek
and how your nose crinkles when
a smile flashes across your face
but mostly it’s your fingers and
the way your electric touch
satisfies an ache inside me
that I never knew I had until
your lovely being was not near
leaving me muddled with visions
of your diaphanous fingers
tracing elegant patterns
down to the small of my back
leaving me gasping and bare
your touch consumes me
your soul inspires me

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