I’m being released
by my own congnizence
this morning,
that, rhyming naturally
is harder than it’s made to look.

No warnings issued, but
a few fellow poets
clanked on my cell
to let me know
I’d been seen,
and I did likewise.

I hope,
as visiting hours
and comments are
shared, to learn about
others’ solitary. as well.

I tried -before the website careened to standstill –
to tally how many poems I’d done and to confirm which years
I participated, and what I’d made private.
A group functionality would be nice for designating poems
as private, but I digress.

Everyday Villainy

Time is a thief
that keeps taking us by surprise.
Or hiding key aspects of what it knows about us
and what we keep forgetting.

Schedules are fuel to burn.
Intentions a Super Highway of high-speed chases
that never get on the news.

I’d like to meet my younger self and
tell her she had the right idea
before she hit the snooze alarm
for five years.

Straight to the Top

I have an unopened bottle of Citron in the refrigerator
and it has our names on it, baby.
Let’s hand trouble its calling card back
and put up “Come Back Tuesday” sign.

By then, we’ll be long gone.

Lost Art of Legible Handwriting

At some point in my day-to-day writing, it appears
I lost my cursive muscle.
My handwriting had morphed into
a poor man’s Comic Sans with my own
spin being little “connectors,”
a pretense to cursive, I suppose,
without any real effort to be actual cursive.

My shame was private
until now.

I’m in solitary cursive rehab,
and the results are painful.
To the eye, and to the memory
of my once effortless cursive.

Someone told me – and I hope this person
was wrong – that cursive is no longer
being taught in school.

At the risk of sounding creaky,
penmanship isn’t an old fashioned thing
to be discarded because we can text one another.

It’s a personal expression. To write a lovely letter
in distinctive handwriting is to honor the art of correspondence,
and, hopefully, the person with whom we’re corresponding.

And, where would the study of graphology be without
handwriting? What do I want my handwriting to say about me?
That I’m resilient, and, if I keep practicing, elegant in my scrawl.

Book of Lists

My brain is magnetically predisposed to lists.
Out of thin air, I will new lists into being of items
no one but myself has a curiosity.
One day, it was apartment movies.
Another, it was directors who married their leading ladies.
My favorite was my wishlist for Hot Ones guests.
Looking at my daybook for January,
I see that I started a list of potential Oscar Hosts –
and, maybe I’d had a glass or two of wine because among my wish hosts
were “extras from Seinfeld.”

The sense of overdrive for accumulating
unrequested minutia is the last refuge left
for the 21st century. Or, so that’s the conceit.

Everything has been accomplished
so now all that’s left is to catalogue it.

Will the end of the world
be a flash, or will it be a slow collapse
that finds us accelerating our lists for a
memory no longer required?

Note to self: List all my favorite disaster flicks.


Looking at my forearm under the desk lamp,
I see an indention previously unnoticed.
Can I now have a fortuneteller read my arm
for signs of my destiny?

It may have been the trick of the light,
inducing me to think my vein had become
a roadmap to palm readers.

Looking again, I wonder what
I think I saw.

Will this stubborn awareness
coupled with sudden self-diagnosing
become more pronounced
as I age?

There Have Been No Fireflies

When last did I see a firefly?
When I was a child,
I remember a preponderance
of their flickering every summer.

Maybe because
I’m long past bartering
with my mother to stay outside
in the backyard,
I no longer have the vantage from which to succumb
to their blinking presence.

Gordon and Marvin

One nimble, the other lived-in,
And they’re both competing for the stomachs
of the F Word customers.

Gordon, in his chef’s coat, sans T-shirt –
scratchy material, no wonder he’s telling
his cooks to eff off – methodically roasts peppers
and chorizo for heat, adding sherry, pureeing, er, tomahtos
while exchanging cheerful barbs.

Marvin, gleefully waving his knife in the air –
“Am I distracting you in any way?” –
is boiling celery for his Meat Loaf Tunafish Casserole Surprise
over which he crumbles potato chips while maniacally
laughing that Gordon can’t identify his secret ingredient.

And, it was close. Two to three, Gordon, who was
still laughing as Marvin left the building.

Prompt 15, No One’s Looking

Oops! I’m caught!
I have to keep walking
I put one foot –
I know, I can tell the way she looks at me,
she doesn’t seem to like me.
I know I’m not stylish.
She was looking at my shoes.
The short lady with the Irish name,
she’s nice.
The manager talks to me in a kind way.
The assistant manager talks to me like I’m slow.
And the tall lady stops me and instructs me how to carry things.
She doesn’t know how much I want to fit in.
I don’t know how to, though.
You can’t ask that.
You can’t.

Prompt 14, Prison Toilet Missive

– Tensions from underground                            does little
to dismantle radicalism from our                  landscape.
Instead, persuasive troublemakers flourish where
recruits are preconditioned to disregard                      news
as make-believe and to, instead laud first-hand stories
or ‘yard gossip’ to exert control over weaker inmates.
That ex-convicts are barred from participating in the election
process their                               of marginalization.
We anticipate if unabated, the ongoing trends spell potential
for dire effects on our                     processes –

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