Living in the Nexi

Running on fumes

Stuck in traffic

At a crossroads

Passages behind her

Well traversed successful highway

Orange barrel barricaded

Wrong turn down dark blind alley

Re-materializes, shadowy mirage

Around blind curves and sharp corners

Path ahead obscured

Thoroughfare obstructed

Forward progress hazard-impeded

Seat belt fastened, hands at 10 and 12

She eases into intersection


Highly educated woman

Devoted suburban “soccer mom”

Enamored of productivity

Good deeds, creative pursuits

Lands, alone and vulnerable

Amid hardened criminals

Gun toting drug dealing men

Awash in loud profanity

Draped in lingering suffocating smoke

Cultural disconnect glaring

Universal pain overarching

Merging in present nexus

Despair meets fledgling hope

She sits in the milieu


Well-spoken confident professional

Accomplished in helper’s role

Ricocheted from full speed collision

With runaway untended needs

Overturned, upended

Crash landed

As unemployed felon

Societal bane, object of

Repeated derisive rejection

Stalled at road fork of

Perpetual shame and

Justifiable pride

She cautiously turns



Strewn among the refuse

Invaluable treasures reside

Among sex-fiending profane hustlers

Titanium shreds of genuineness

Vulnerable in universal humanity

Between harsh jagged judgments

Polished platinum scraps

Of acceptance glimmer

Compassionate understanding of human frailty

Interspersed with slamming doors

Oft-repeated summary rejections

Shining silver possibilities

Crack tentatively open

Hung jewellike, tantalizing

Amidst depression colored clouds

Golden sparkles

Summoning her through

Another day


Under cover of her felony

Cloaked in criminal label

She slips unnoticed to learning

Momentarily immersed in

Brutally honest portrayal

Fears imbedded in new focus

Returning to life on the street

Details she would never have heard

Pain to which she wouldn’t be privy

Regardless of attempts or compassion

By cultural divide separated

Powerful poignant moments

Emblazoned into her brain

The Interloper

Deposited, timid, unbidden

Into an all-male domain

With each step and every look

(However quiet, retiring)

She subtly changes their man-space

Unobtrusive nonetheless intruding

From room to room to room.

Amongst the tall gangly trees

Smoking and talkin’ trash

She is diminutive invader

Out of place in every way

Unknown, potential predators

Require head up and shoulder tall

No cowering target drawn

She walks purposefully, firm of step

Greets politely one and all

Internally hyper conscious

Painfully aware of her misplacement

She shrinks further into herself.


World spins, whirling off-kilter

Dizzying axis-bent twirl

Tumbles her, head hitting, feet

From one twisted surreality

Unceremoniously into the next

Thrust aghast

Into nightmare’s new screening

Playing on and on and on

Dropped disoriented amongst

Cadre of rough-edges men

Stepping-stone, supposed

To freedom,

A positive move

Deposits her in waters

More foreign than those

She already in terror traversed


Contemplation of a beetle

Mesmerized by winging colors

Persistent nature starvation

Engrosses observers in tiny insects

Orange striped, lemon dotted

Or diaphonous near-neon green

Summer’s waning hours entice

Intriguing courtyard visitors

Unworthy of “real world” notice

Unless, startling, on skin they alight

Months devoid of wild-life

Symbolic connection to unfettered world

Each miniscule creature enthralls

Poised with miraculous wonder

Loquacious Eyes


Soul-baring windows

Scream silent soliloquies.

Downcast, avoidant

Mumble mortification;

Brimful, beseeching

Sob forgiveness’ requests;

Blurred, bewildered

Ramble unfocused, lost;

Pinpoint, skittish

Stutter petrified

Glazed, agonized

Beg pain’s release;

Blazing in fury

Demand recompense

Twinkle, mischievous

Bubble over with joy

Glow warming

Whisper love’s gentleness

Clear and direct

Calm comfort provide.

Mesmerizing monologues

Captivate audiences

Eloquently narrate

Life’s travels and travails


O’er months of harrowing dejection

At war eternal with burning shame

She could not meet her eyes’ reflection

Fearful to encounter souls horrific maim

Window shattered, past correction

Grevious errors are to blame

Battered by repeated harsh rejection

Cracked in character’s defame.

Assuredly no paragon of perfection

Never has she made that claim

Dare she now to raise objection

Explain perspective, actions reframe?

Between the dots provide connection?

Attempt unbesmirching of her name?

Cowed, she follows power’s direction

Plays role as pawn in twisted game

Spirit slowly rebounds in insurrection

Eyes, tentative lift to mirror of the same

Witness to soul’s tortuous resurrection

Her essential kindness undoused, a flickering flame.

Optical Illusions

Her body, in the mirror

Looks whole

Prison trimmed and toned

Incongruously strong and lean

Impossibly healthy, even

Her eyes must then be flawed

Vision warped and faulty

Since corpus long since


Into a quivering gelatinous blob

Of mutinous fear-scented goo

Held together with tenuous hope

Protective waist-wrapped arm

And quavering, oft-held breath

Let’s Do the Mind Warp Again

Clink of keys in her pocket

Not just jangling on officers’ belts

Walk across a parking lot

Unaccompanied to a highway reststop

Innocuously into a store

Wild blue burst of berry

Icy mint chill biting

Through crunch gumshell

Squirrels scampering, rustling leaves

Scramble headlong over fences

Impossibly headfirst, down walls

Turtles pond long displayed

Re-painting themselves in the sun

Daffodils, golden, thrust springly

Trumpet end to winter’s cold seige

City sparrows chirp

As they gather, flock, scatter

Compete for airtime among

Traffic’s hum and squeal

Bragadocious smoke-scented banter

Testosterone car-stereo thumping

Phone calls uncensored, in private

Text sent in real time, thumbs click-clocking

Unbelievable in their mundaneness

Mind bending familiarity

How easily she could slip

Right back in, unnoticed

The world, to all her senses


The same as it always was

Time contracts, shape-shifting

An eternity of pain and loss

Evaporates, invisible

Scares, deeply etched

Changed her world forever