Hour Fourteen: Walls

You could be facing puke brown walls,

back to the cage bars and booted key holders,

envisioning apertures,

sunlight piercing the dank air,

and dirty, fluorescent, flickering dying light.


And you might lie in a meadow,

floating atop a bed of purple coneflower, fireweed, buttercup, and chicory,

rehearsing scenes,

screams and fists,

behind closed eyes, reliving it all in an acid-gut and brimstone mind.


Or you can sit among urban blight,

cracked walls, concrete barriers, painted baby blue hope,

hooded against daylight,

slumped over a sucking screen,

missing signs, like a diamond in an addiction wall.



Hour Thirteen: I am what?

I. What am I?

Not everyone should be here.

Piss-poor prose proves it.

A life of homework and hormones,

judge and jury, mom and mistress,

tour guide to mind-travels, opening

doors, smacking the knuckles of form,

and crushing hopes, time, and progress,

sometimes, and at other times,

cradling children to their higher selves.

II.What am I?

And adults, too, not in sterile walls,

but on soft cushions, brushed in

pastel blues, pinks, and lavender,

a wave wall below the billowing clouds,

emanating from dark chocolate laminate,

facsimile of earth and sky.

Here, the magic grows from crooked toes,

knobby knees, putrid breath, loose sphincter,

synchronized to subtle movement, and

peace, peace, and perfect peace.

III. What am I?

But not the cathode ray light,

the one I tap at, looking for linguistic

miracles, searching for synonyms,

definitions, brisk, leisurely, narrow, wide,

whichever way the words lean, the subject

unwinding and then reeling back in,

close to the bone, from vacuum cleaner

reviews to gun crimes in New Jersey

to Texas probates, and mans’ best friend and beyond.

A buck will get you 20, a hundred so much more, but

Steady pay gets you life.


Hour Twelve: Closeted Clutterer

Open, close, open

white panels blending in a white-walled chamber–

Close, open, close

hidden disarray, a mind, a mess, a material amassment–

open, open, open

white poly-blend shirt, patterned harem pants–

close, close, close

move along, all clear, nothing to see here.


Hour Eleven: Lines–black on white on white

Half an egg for a face,

two stuffed olives for eyes,

An M, a W, and a slash for lips

An eyebrow curves, dives, dips,

and becomes a nose,

two slashes for brows, and

seven sticks, four curved,

suggest hair, a woman,

one half her face a bird’s wing,

the beak at her third eye,

three eyes, half a bird,

half a woman,

black lines on a white background,

simply suggestive,

line drawing–



Hour Ten: What is love but a poem of predictive text?

What is love for me and how much is it worth

to spend the money to make sure that your family

has been able to enjoy the rest–comfortably seated

at the studio, teaching gentle yoga and reiki

among the wave wall and clouds of your breath?


What is love for the veterans and what they have done

so well for this year–

and all of us who have had, not had, any

experience with the chakras of our being, in our lives,

in a beautiful world,

of the same world we are in,

for our second wedding,

and our family will not have any questions?

Hour Nine: Running on Empty



She cries.

“I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do, I just don’t know what to do!”

A tremor in my voice, “I can’t tell you. I don’t know.”

I’m afraid of her despair.

I want to hold space, but I’m afraid.

The phone is heavy.

I rest my elbow on the brass headboard, leaning into its solidity for support.

She says she can’t go to the gym. That’s how bad it is.

But she can go get a spray tan.

“Get your jacket on. Take the first step. It’s momentum.”

She cries again, the high-pitched kind.

“Should I come over?”

I’m at a loss.

I don’t want to come over.

“I can meet you at the carport. Do you need me to drive?”

She doesn’t want to go to the gym. She can’t. She’s repeating sentences, phrases, words.


Once, on a train ride through the open plains of New Mexico, I saw them,

Rocky Mountain elk, in rushing herds, locomotive racing,

my face pressed into the dirty window, wondering where they’re heading,

asking myself the same, on an Amtrak, mid-winter, heading home, where I no longer belonged.

I couldn’t cry then, but those sleek animals, full of grace and urgency, hollowed me,

gutted my very being, and I sat soulless, unable to move forward or turn back–

blurring through space and time, boundless but not free.


I’m empty now, too. I can’t help you.

Hour Eight: Cellina

Patience, like dawn, is a crawl, an arising, a long exhale.

One note at a time, I inch closer, stroking her hollow just so,

Enchanting the air, thrilling fingers, ears, tremulous vibrato,

Sweetening cilia, like swaying heather among the zephyrs,

Soft, I treble climb down her neck, sliding past her hips, floating,

Anchorless over the wires, close to the bridge, then retreating,

a gallant glissade, resonant in widening daylight, a tuneful opening.

If only she’d sing for me, if only I could master her, make her mine.

Hour Seven: An Empty Pod

Seek and you shall surrender, the old sage sang,

but I turned away, mumbling in response, “Oh, yeah.”

The eager ones agreed and kissed his brittle, sun-crusted feet.


Keep walking the straight and high, narrow and low road;

Seek and you shall surrender, the old sage sang, and

The rebels tossed stony glares at the old man’s knees.


No path is too steep to fall on, no caves too dark to see,

but I had nothing, a mind blanked out, an empty pod,

so I turned away, mumbling in response, “Oh, yeah.”


Peace is one step more, two to each side, a dance,

but I only shook my head and snorted, “Sure.”

The eager ones agreed and kissed his brittle, sun-crusted feet.

Hour Six: Over the Flat Earth Lies

Over the edge, I’m falling—

No, just dizzying fear, acrophobia again.

Peering into the abyss, I see

Broken promises, no stars, planets,

Not even dwarf ones, no asteroids, moons,

not even super ones, no comets, meteoroids,

saints, astronauts, photons, multiverses,

—no heaven,

Quasars, Musk-bits, satellites, Major Tom,

Galaxies, black holes, nor space burials.


The earth’s angle rounded by curved space,

Einstein’s claim, overlooks a sun-warping place,

And orbits squared by ten, to the nth degree,

on the edge of knowledge.

But all I see is darkness, no matter, dusty, unlit,

Bent time, invisible quarks and gluons, one

Plane, indivisible, neither truthful nor just,

under Lunacy, without liberty

–Sandwiched to Sol, Ra, Surya

A morsel of the great nothingness.

Hour Five: Verity

Where did you go, my long-lost friend?

Growing up, I learned from my mother

Who sang your virtues, triumphs, and worth.

She called you holy or whole or simple.

Ever elusive, you, an abstract idea,

Invested in me, the guilty vestibule,

once piqued a guardian embarrassment,

a Red-faced heat before honed stares.


A Google search bore nothing, mere

Letters dancing 1s and 0s, but not you,

My once hero-now-gone-missing-sister,

A wife to wicked hissing serpent sins.

Last seen among the silent ones, a

Mute testimony and vibrational grasping,

you, your innards sparkling clear waters to wind,

I miss you, motionless, paralyzed by lies.